Over the Hills and Faraway
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This is a book of contrasts, a stewpot wherein anything and everything might lurk with each spoonful a different taste: high adventure and complete nonsense, serious quests and silly meanderings, real poetry and doggerel verse, one moment grave as death and blithe as a lark the next. As in life, the world of story and Faerie in particular is a varicolored, ever shifting landscape of joy and sorrow, laughter and tears, adventure and quietude. Each story is preceded by a bit of verse or a quotation that may or may not be relevant, many of them are inspired by old nursery rhymes as one wonders what came of the original tale beyond the little passed down from time immemorial to the wondering hearts of children through the ages. Life is a story and with these bits and pieces of story, this crazy quilt of whimsy as it were, perhaps it will add a little more wonder to your own.
journey and they must content themselves with waiting for the morrow. She gratefully accepted a sleeping place in one of the many empty rooms the castle boasted, far better accommodations than the stable or under a hedge which might otherwise fall to one of her lot. But they were not to speak with the dear woman in the morning, for she had vanished, but they were not left long alone to ponder this strange occurrence, for another visitor demanded their attention. The sun shone merrily upon the
was naught she could say to enlighten him, for it was just the way matters stood and was perhaps beyond mortal comprehension. She could not harvest the flowers herself, but she could certainly help the boy in other ways and much did she ease the tedium and difficulty of travel with her magical talents and companionship, until at last, after a rather uneventful and relatively pleasant journey, they arrived upon the hills that bordered the verge of the world. It was a charming land of rolling
boy expected, this was a scratchy, feminine sound, and not anything like what he had anticipated from such an ethereal source, but then it was not the light that had spoken, said she, “the wisp can do nothing you fool! But it can gain much by luring you to your death, at least if you will let it. Death need not be all your future.” The boy, now up to his neck, turned his head as much as the mire would allow and gasped in astonishment to see the source of the voice. A woman older than time
death an inevitable part of life? Would they rather be as the hag, existing forever upon stolen life and joy though never truly living?’ The princes drew rein, dismounted, drew their swords, and turned to face one another, hate and rage glowing in their fierce young eyes. Wait! Screamed that once poisonous voice in each young mind, is this not your brother, once your best friend? Has it truly come to this? Lies, all lies, and nothing more! Hesitation replaced wrath, perplexity scorn. Two sets of
the darkness. He has been vanquished but not destroyed. He still lurks in the world, full of malice and hate and ready to assist any who give themselves over to a lust for power and destruction. Until last night, mankind had lived in peace and harmony with one another and with all creation, but that peace has been shattered. Man has shown himself vulnerable to evil, willing to place himself above all else, even his own children. It is no longer safe to assume that all men are good in and of