Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Fairy Tale of Prince and Horse, Chapter 10, Part 4

Part 4
Walpurga explains the nature of fairy folk.


The elfmound faded from view within the crystal ball and Walpurga covered the glass once more with silk cloth. “Your intended one has gone to the fairies or the Night Folk as some call them. The Elf Queen lives in the bush and night is the fairies’ time of joy. That is when elf-throngs join in dance and sing boisterously. Only fairy rings in the dewy grass tell of their dancing. But woe to him who by chance happens upon them. He that speaks to them shall die! You must find your maid and remove her from the elfmound. Then she will lose her wings and return to you. But once you step inside the elfmound, you are under their spell and have no power to resist. You must then take on their winged armor and join the ethereal horde.”


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Fairy Tale of Prince and Horse, Chapter 10, Part 3: A Place of Moss and Mold

Part 3
The maid spoke:


My home is the impenetrable elfmound where sump meets hillock.  Once I pledged my heart to a prince but I was kidnapped by a king; my swain freed me from the king’s cruel advances only to abandon me soon after. Were it not for my horse or help from the fairy folk I would have been lost. But by and by I came to this place of moss and mold. I have put on the wings of the fairies as armor and here I shall live for all time forth. For in the muck every army sinks, every villain is swallowed, and love is unknown. 

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Chapter 10, Part 2: Crystal Ball Gazing

Chapter 10, Part 2:
Crystal Ball Gazing
The Shielding Marsh




Walpurga placed the silk on the glass and trembled. “The future is harsh and we scarcely desire to know it.!”

“That isn’t so!” the prince gasped. Clutching her arm tightly he implored “You must show me more. My heart shall otherwise break in two.”

“As you wish,” the abbess closed her eyes and breathed deeply. Soon it seemed as if she panted, then croaked, then rasped and finally made no sound at all. Even though her eyes were closed, the lids trembled in their sockets and her lips tightened. All color had fadedl from her cheeks when the silk fell from the crystal ball once more.

Inside the glass tiny figures could be seen running through a forest. They ran and ran past mighty oaks. Down, down they ran into a swamp, through  marsh and muck until finally, pushing forward they reached a mound on which more fat oaks stood. Now they pushed upward, up up through tall thick grasses following a well-trodden damp and dewy way. The prince gazed intently at the tiny figures fleeing and then noticed one, a maid.  His maid! His intended one! Running through the mud and leading her trusted steed through the sheltering sump. 



Thursday, September 6, 2018

Fairy Tale of Prince and Horse, Chapter 10: Crystal Ball Gazing

Chapter 10
Crystal Ball Gazing

“But back to practical matters,” Walpurga said kindly. “I have grace to see future things before they happen. The future cannot remain hidden from me! And doubt? I shall take it from you when we gaze into the crystal and clearly see your future, your destiny.”


She retreated to her cabinet and removed a basket containing her utensils: a silk-blue cloth impressed with wonderful images of dragons, snakes and other animals, a green-translucent bowl shimmering, and a crystal ball. Placing the crystal in the bowl, she then draped the silk over it before beginning.  

Walpurga fell silent for several minutes. The prince leaned forward as she began to murmur, eyes closed. Then she removed the silk and asked the prince to gaze inside the crystal ball. 

First he saw nothing. Then his bride appeared in beautiful costume, adorned for her wedding day. As lovely as she seemed there was also a trace of sadness in her countenance and while he gazed more intently he noticed her pallor and how she trembled.  Her face was such a deathly white that you could not see her without feeling pity. Then her features convulsed into something horrible and cruel as a gallant approached. As if coming from a long trip he still wore boot and spur, but his gray mantle with golden buttons was covered in dust still plentiful.  As he approached her he removed two shiny flashing pistols one in each hand from under his coat and then he pointed at her heart. The prince looked on in horror as the gunman placed the pistol on his bride’s breast, released the clasp and squeezed the trigger. Then he heard a dull far-off sound and shuddered. Who was this gallant brandishing a weapon? He peered more intently into the crystal ball and saw his own face. 


Sunday, August 26, 2018

Chapter 9: I am Walpurga, Fairy Tale of Prince and Horse

Chapter 9
I am Walpurga



I was born in England, in Devonshire and my father was Richard, the Pilgrim, the Walker. When he left for Jerusalem I was but a virguncula*and so he entrusted me to the abbey of Wimbourne. But for my brothers, the Two Balds, the white spotted and the blazed one, known as Willibald and Winibald, I would have stayed in Wimbourne til my dying days, but my two brothers up and left for Germania,  beckoned by Onkel Winfrid the holy one. My dear Onkle soon became known as “Saint”, his name “Winfrid"  became Boniface, and I soon became known as the Abbess of Heidenheim. 

(young girl)




One day Onkle Winfrid was out in a sacred grove of oaks in a place called Gaesmere where he spied the largest oak, called the Oak of Jupiter, the mighty one, tree of all trees, which he felled with a single mighty chop! 



What to do with such wood? Workers started immediately on the monastery of Heidenheim, where I subsequently became abbess-in-chief. But soon after my Lieber Onkle chopped down the tree, the angry locals forthwith chopped down Onkle.  And that was that! (He now lies in the crypt in Fulda.) 



But back to my days in Heidenheim. One day I was strolling in said sacred grove, when I stumbled upon a Wolfbelt, or some would say, Wolfpelz,  lying on the ground where the Oak of Jupiter had once stood. I secured it round my waist and I transformed into a wolf! What appetite! What gnashing of teeth! What wild chases through the woods! If only I could get that darn thing off, quite difficult to un-notch with wolf paws!






Thursday, August 23, 2018

Walpurga and the Werewolf; Fairy Tale of Prince and Horse, Chapter 8

As the brightness of day faded, the horse carried the prince further and further into the woods. The sun was hanging low in the sky, when the prince awoke as from a dream. Horse and rider continued on a crooked path twisting deeper and deeper into the woods. At last they left the cold and dewy forest and emerged on a steep road, which became stonier with each step. As a full moon rose in the sky, a small hut could be seen and through its window glimmered candlelight.



The prince dismounted from his exhausted horse, its body damp from exertion. Looking through the window, he spied an old woman setting the table with what looked like a banquet feast. He heard a raspy voice command from within “Enter! The food is ready and you shall be fed the very best!”



She was a hunched woman with a mane of silvery-brown hair. Shuffling back and forth through the room, she never looked into the prince’s face as she carried heaped platters of food and pitchers full to the brim. A broad leather belt girdled her dark and dank dress. Her hair was matted, her skin wrinkled and moist. The prince returned to the horse, who whispered in his ear: “I would advise using a silver spoon when you eat her fare!” The prince removed from the horse’s saddlebag a shiny silver spoon and entered the clammy and dark hut. A chill ran down his spine as he sat at the table. Although a fire burned in the fireplace, the room was cold and the prince could not shake the chill that seized him.



















“You were hungered!” the woman said approvingly. Her chest heaved with each word and her breathing was loud and uneven. “It is good to understand true hunger, food tastes better,” she muttered. The old woman then began a raspy monologue while she cleared the table. She said her name was Walpurga. She was the last surviving member of a noble family. The prince dozed off as she prattled on about her extensive land holdings, the servants who tended the fine herd of sheep, the succulent little lambs, the sinewy cattle. Soon the prince was snoring. The old woman cautiously rose from her chair and unbuckled her leather belt. It slipped from her waist and she was a wolf.






With lightening speed the wolf lunged across the table toward the sleeper. In the nick of time the prince, now roused and still gripping the silver spoon, held it up to ward off the blow of the wolf’s powerful body. The dreaded snout hissed, the stench and foulness of its breath could be felt against the prince’s cheek. In the last second, the animal veered off to the side howling pitifully. “Quick!” the horse cried out, “You are no match for a werewolf! We must invoke the mistletoe.



“Mistletoe, Mistletoe, Where do you grow?” the steed cried out.

With the prince still holding the silver spoon to keep the wolf at bay, the horse chanted this magic charm:

“Mistletoe, mistletoe, where do you grow?
Neath the full moon glittering?
Neath the owl twittering?
Climb up and around,
Without a sound.

Mistletoe, mistletoe, where do you grow?
Neath the full moon glittering?
Neath the owl twittering?
Form strong bands,
Round werewolf hands.”

Grow fast,
Grow round,
Grow up,
Grow down.
Mistletoe, Mistletoe grow!”

Small voices could be heard from the floor of the cabin as buds sprouted swiftly around the werewolf, who stood subdued by the shining silver spoon:

“Here we grow, here we grow.
All fat-stemmed blossoms.
Your cry was heard,
Like cuckoo bird.
We grow fast,
We grow round,
We grow up,
We grow down. “

The mistletoe grew up on all sides of the werewolf, encircling the beast in a ring of green leaves. The wolf could not step beyond the ring of vegetation and the silver spoon sparkling in the candlelight seemed to terrify the creature even more.

“You must shout out her Christian name three times to break the werewolf spell. Then, she shall serve you and you both will be allied!”

“Walpurga, Walpurga, Walpurga!” the prince screamed out as loudly and forcefully as his lungs permitted.


Where the wolf had stood, a young woman in an abbess’s frock now appeared. At that moment a warmth spread through the room and the prince could feel it in his bones.
“I am Walpurga, the Abbess of Heidenheim. Welcome!” she said. 






Monday, August 13, 2018

From wolf to Walpurga, the strange journey of the abbess of Heidenheim.

Fairy Tale of Prince and Horse, Chapter 8 Part 7

With lightening speed the wolf lunged across the table toward the sleeper. In the nick of time the prince, now roused and still gripping the silver spoon, held it up to ward off the blow of the wolf’s powerful body. The dreaded snout hissed, the stench and foulness of its breath could be felt against the prince’s cheek. In the last second, the animal veered off to the side howling pitifully. “Quick!” the horse cried out, “You are no match for a werewolf! We must invoke the mistletoe.

“Mistletoe, Mistletoe, Where do you grow?” the steed cried out.

With the prince still holding the silver spoon to keep the wolf at bay, the horse chanted this magic charm:

“Mistletoe, mistletoe, where do you grow?
Neath the full moon glittering?
Neath the owl twittering?
Climb up and around,
Without a sound.

Mistletoe, mistletoe, where do you grow?
Neath the full moon glittering?
Neath the owl twittering?
Form strong bands,
Round werewolf hands.”

Grow fast,
Grow round,
Grow up,
Grow down.
Mistletoe, Mistletoe grow!”

Small voices could be heard from the floor of the cabin as buds sprouted swiftly around the werewolf, who stood subdued by the shining silver spoon:

“Here we grow, here we grow.
All fat-stemmed blossoms.
Your cry was heard,
Like cuckoo bird.
We grow fast,
We grow round,
We grow up,
We grow down. “

The mistletoe grew up on all sides of the werewolf, encircling the beast in a ring of green leaves. The wolf could not step beyond the ring of vegetation and the silver spoon sparkling in the candlelight seemed to terrify the creature even more.

“You must shout out her Christian name three times to break the werewolf spell. Then, she shall serve you and you both will be allied!”

“Walpurga, Walpurga, Walpurga!” the prince screamed out as loudly and forcefully as his lungs permitted.


Where the wolf had stood, a young woman in an abbess’s frock now appeared. At that moment a warmth spread through the room and the prince could feel it in his bones.
“I am Walpurga, the Abbess of Heidenheim. Welcome!” she said. 






Friday, August 10, 2018

The dreaded snout hissed.....


Fairy Tale of Prince and Horse, Chapter 8, Part 6

With lightening speed the wolf lunged across the table toward the sleeper. In the nick of time the prince, now roused and still gripping the silver spoon, held it up to ward off the blow of the wolf’s powerful body. The dreaded snout hissed, the stench and foulness of its breath could be felt against the prince’s cheek. In the last second, the animal veered off to the side howling pitifully. “Quick!” the horse cried out, “You are no match for a werewolf! We must invoke the mistletoe.


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Walpurga tells her story


Fairy Tale of Prince and Horse, Chapter 8, Part 5

“You were hungered!” the woman said approvingly. Her chest heaved with each word and her breathing was loud and uneven. “It is good to understand true hunger, food tastes better,” she muttered. The old woman then began a raspy monologue while she cleared the table. She said her name was Walpurga. She was the last surviving member of a noble family. The prince dozed off as she prattled on about her extensive land holdings, the servants who tended the fine herd of sheep, the succulent little lambs, the sinewy cattle. Soon the prince was snoring. The old woman cautiously rose from her chair and unbuckled her leather belt. It slipped from her waist and she was a wolf.



Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Use a silver spoon when you eat her fare!

Fairy Tale of Prince and Horse, Chapter 8 Part 4



She was a hunched woman with a mane of silvery-brown hair. Shuffling back and forth through the room, she never looked into the prince’s face as she carried heaped platters of food and pitchers full to the brim. A broad leather belt girdled her dark and dank dress. Her hair was matted, her skin wrinkled and moist. The prince returned to the horse, who whispered in his ear: “I would advise using a silver spoon when you eat her fare!” The prince removed from the horse’s saddlebag a shiny silver spoon and entered the clammy and dark hut. A chill ran down his spine as he sat at the table. Although a fire burned in the fireplace, the room was cold and the prince could not shake the chill that seized him.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Walpurga Serves Lunch

Fairy Tale of Prince and Horse, Chapter 8 Part 3

She was a hunched woman with a mane of silvery-brown hair. Shuffling back and forth through the room, she never looked into the prince’s face as she carried heaped platters of food and pitchers full to the brim. A broad leather belt girdled her dark and dank dress. Her hair was matted, her skin wrinkled and moist. The prince returned to the horse, who whispered in his ear: “I would advise using a silver spoon when you eat her fare!” The prince removed from the horse’s saddlebag a shiny silver spoon and entered the clammy and dark hut. A chill ran down his spine as he sat at the table. Although a fire burned in the fireplace, the room was cold and the prince could not shake the chill that seized him.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Fairy Tale of Prince and Horse: The Banquet Feast

Fairy Tale of Prince and Horse, Chapter 8, Part 2

The prince dismounted from his exhausted horse, its body damp from exertion. Looking through the window, he spied an old woman setting the table with what looked like a banquet feast. He heard a raspy voice command from within “Enter! The food is ready and you shall be fed the very best!”

Friday, August 3, 2018

Fairy Tale of Prince and Horse Chapter 8: The lone hut and the glimmering candlelight

Fairy Tale of Prince and Horse Chapter 8

As the brightness of day faded, the horse carried the prince further and further into the woods. The sun was hanging low in the sky, when the prince awoke as from a dream. Horse and rider continued on a crooked path twisting deeper and deeper into the woods. At last they left the cold and dewy forest and emerged on a steep road, which became stonier with each step. As a full moon rose in the sky, a small hut could be seen and through its window glimmered candlelight.




Thursday, August 2, 2018

The swooshing sound of horse hooves, Fairy Tale of Prince and Horse, Chapter 7, Part 6

But above the witches’ wicked cries could be heard another more hopeful and familiar sound. It was the swooshing sound of the prince’s steed as he hurtled through the air. It was the sound of his hooves alighting on firm ground. It was the neighing of the horse as he battled the witches, four-footed beasts, two-tailed creatures, creeping things and winged leeches. When the prince awoke, he found himself lying on the back of his horse, but he did not know where he was or whither they were going.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Four-footed beasts and two-tailed creatures: Fairy Tale of Prince and Horse, Chapter 7, Part 5

As the prince lay gasping for breath in the wooden embrace of the oak tree, he could finally discern the words of the song that had lured him to his demise. The witches sang:

You four-footed beasts,
And two-tailed creatures,
You creeping things,
And winged leeches,
Fly from the sky,
Come nigh.
Choke, strike, hew,

Choke, strike, hew!

(Fairy Tale of Prince and Horse, Chapter 7, Part 5)

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Blackest of Hours: Fairy Tale of Prince and Horse; Chapter 7, Part 4

In this blackest of hours he remembered the magic horse charm. Barely able to gasp out the words, he beseeched the horse to come to his aid:

Huzza, huzza, hinny-whinny.
Fly like a hawk, shake like thunder.
Eyes like the sun,
Hooves swift-footed.
Come to me horse,
Where I am rooted.

Huzza, huzza, hinny-whinny.
Fly like a hawk, shake like thunder.
Legs are leaping,
Ears are keeping.
Come to me horse,

Where I lay weeping.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Fairy Tale of Prince and Horse, Chapter 7, Part 3: He choked, he struggled....

After running for some time, he thought the menacing cacophony had diminished somewhat. But still he ran on, breathless and with heart beating. Surely now he had lost them in this impenetrable maze of trees and bushes and thickets. Soon he heard a new sound, meager at first but cheery. Was it a song or was it the sighing of the wind passing through the dense treetops? Now he thought it was a lark, now he thought it was a woman’s beautiful song. He followed the sweet music and could almost discern words in the melody. The source was just over the next hillock or in the next grove, behind that jagged rock or down the next valley. But when he reached the next hillock or the next grove, the melody seemed to be further ahead and so he pushed on, drawn to its sweetness and purity. The shadows of early evening soon descended and the prince found himself hopelessly astray. As blackness enveloped the woods, the prince sank down beside an enormous oak tree in complete exhaustion. 

Soon he was fast asleep. He dreamt he could see his bride walking ahead of him in the forest. It was she who was singing. As he got nearer and nearer to her, the song became clearer and more beautiful. He felt a deep calm come over him and smiled peacefully because he knew he would soon be with her. And then he felt her warm embrace like a slowly enveloping cocoon. At first, warmth spread through his body but soon it felt more like a stranglehold and then he could barely breathe. Awakening he found the oak tree had sprouted woody arms, which had grown tightly around him while he slept. He choked, he struggled, to no avail. The tree had been bewitched by the king’s hexes. It would now destroy him as he lay there helplessly. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Fairy Tale of Prince and Horse, Chapter 7, Part 2: The Whoof and Whoompf of War

With no ant hole of his own for protection, the prince looked around and saw a forest at some distance. He ran for it and just as he reached its edge, he turned back to see an immense army on the horizon. Dust spun up creating black clouds around the throng; the creak and crackle, whoof and whoompf of war vehicles melded into one loud roar. And still the mob rushed toward him. With no time left to lose he turned and ran into the shielding forest.