A Table for Two

Once upon a time there was a lonely little cottage on the bleakest mountaintop in the whole world. Inside this cottage lived a lonely little wolf.  She always set the table for two and kept a freshly trimmed lamp in the window after sunset. But no one ever came to see her. This made her very sad.

“I wish I had other wolves to talk to,” she often sighed to herself. “There’s old Mrs. Tabletop and Grandpa Oakendoor and dear little Juniper over there, but it’s just not the same thing, is it?”

“There, there, dearie,” said Mrs Tabletop soothingly. “You’ll find friends someday, don’t you worry.”

Little Wolfie dozed off, comforted. Mrs Tabletop gave Grandpa Oakendoor a shove.

“Wake up! We have to do something!”

“We – ah yes, yes, quite right, so we must, so we must. Something, what? That’s the spirit, eh? Let’s do something!”

“Quite, but what shall we do?”

“Something. Don’t fret, old girl. Something always does turn up!”

Juniper snorted. “Of all the tosh! Things don’t just ‘turn up’!” But neither of the old people paid her any heed at all, so she gave one more hoity-toity sniff and went back to sleep.

Now, as it happened, Something was passing by the window just as Grandpa Oakendoor mentioned him. He saw Wolfie’s wan face and made up his mind at once: here was one very special turning up to do before he turned in for the night.

So he knocked merrily on the door and stepped inside with a right cheery ‘what ho’ as Grandpa swung out of the way. Wolfie leapt up, all awake all at once.

“Oh hi!” She said brightly. “Do come in out of the storm … Dear, dear! You’re my very first visitor and I don’t even know what – er – who you are!”

“I’m Something.”

“If it isn’t too awfully rude – what?”

“Something. I turn up, every now and again.”

“Oh,” said Wolfie doubtfully.

“I’ve come to take you on a little adventure,” said Something. “To see the other little wolves in the forest.”

“Oh have you really? How splendid!” Cried Wolfie. “Let me just get my coat. And my hair – oh dear! I’ll be just a moment. Please don’t go away, Something!”

She rushed away to get her things. Something stared Mrs Tabletop, then at Juniper, then at Grandpa – “Good grief.” He said finally. “Has she always been like this?”

“Yes indeed, the little darling!” said Mrs Tabletop. “I found her sleeping near my front left leg one day, poor little mite. All alone she was, but such a dear little thing even then. Why, you never would believe …”

“So – she’s never seen another wolf?” said Something slowly.

“Not that I ken of,” said Grandpa Oakendoor.

“Well, she’s in for something of a shock, that’s all,” muttered Something grimly to himself, and he wondered if he should just vanish off the map. But that was the catch to being Something; one didn’t just disappear once one had turned up.

So off they went into the forest, searching for wolves. Something knew where they were, of course, but he was dawdling his very hardest to avoid them, and Wolfie kept on stopping to exclaim at stuff.

Suddenly a fierce growl emerged from the bushes, followed by a pair of dripping fangs bared from a ferocious snarl, and then a huge pulsating mass of hair, matted with blood and stinking to the tip of its crouched tail. Wolfie shrank away.

“Goodness gracious!” she cried. “What in the world is that terrible creature?”

“That,” said Something. “Is a wolf.”

“Right ho!” said the grinning creature hoarsely. “A wolf. Welcome to the club, little lady!”

“A – wolf? No. No. No!” cried Wolfie. “You’re lying! You can’t be a wolf! You just can’t! Ugh! Go away, you dirty thing!”

“Well, I – ” began the indignant wolf, but Something broke in hastily. “Look, a rabbit! A rabbit in the bush!”

The wolf bounded away. Wolfie had soaked her hanky clean through by now.

“It c-can’t be true. It just can’t!” she wailed. “They’re not all like that, are they?”

Something sighed. “Yes, they are, but –”

Wolfie wouldn’t listen. She cried all the way back to the cottage and ran inside and shut the door in Something’s face.

“Go away,” She said firmly. “I’m sorry, but I think it would be best if you never turned up again.”

“But – but I – ” began Something.

“Shoo! Shoo!” Said Mrs Tabletop, and drew the curtain firmly across the window, shutting out the sputtering Something for good. “Tell me, dearie, what’s the matter? Oh no, of course all wolves aren’t horrid! You’ll see, you’ll meet a fine handsome young wolf just like you …”

But Wolfie never set the table for two again.

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The Vanishing Monkey

(A guest post by Maiza Shabkhez)

There was a little yellow cottage on a hill, inside which lived a little brown monkey. He loved to go and tease people here and there, so they got annoyed.

One day he threw a stone at a very large and grumpy bear. The bear got angry and ran wildly after the monkey, and the monkey said “Oops!” He climbed up a tree and hid himself in the branches, shuddering and shivering. The bear was tearing down trees but he couldn’t find the monkey, it was as if he had vanished. After some time the bear got tired and went away.

 A naughty little parrot on the same tree had seen the monkey. The parrot came closer and closer – suddenly, the monkey vanished! “This monkey knows magic!” cried the parrot in amazement. The parrot quickly flew into the sky looking for him. He saw a long tail coming out of the bushes so he went to find the bear so that the bear could eat the monkey.

The parrot went to find the bear to tell him that his lunch awaited him but the bear could not understand the parrot and attacked it. It crunched the parrot’s bones and flesh. But that was not enough for him so he set out to find some sort of big fat meal that would fill his stomach forever. Suddenly he saw the long brown tail and leapt towards it. He caught it, but it was a small cat. Meanwhile, the monkey was out of the forest and had abandoned his house.

 “I’m the vanishing monkey and you’ll never catch me!” came a voice from the depths of the forest. The bear gave a big roar and followed the voice.

A hunter saw the monkey and shot it. The monkey tried to escape, but he couldn’t and he died in torment slowly and slowly fell to the ground.