Posts filed under ‘Story #12 – Nuisance and the Nine Golden Keys’

Nuisance and the Nine Golden Keys – p.23

As Nuisance emerged from the hay with the golden needle in his mouth, he heard someone shout, “Look!” He turned, but too late realized they were coming toward him, and before he could run, a man had plucked him out of the hay by the small scruff of his neck. “He’s got something, my lord,” the man said, and people gathered around.

The man who had the golden keys walked up and leaned in close to Nuisance. He was smiling. “Might I have that, little one?” He held out his hand, and Nuisance dropped the golden needle. “Thank you,” the man said, inspecting it. He stuck it through the fabric of his coat for safe keeping, and where it touched, the threads turned to gold. “An hour ago I was ready to see you become the cat’s dinner for causing all this trouble, but now I think I owe you a great debt.” He picked up the small chest of hay and bid the man holding Nuisance to drop him into it. “If you like, you can remain a treasured pet of my house, safe from harm, well fed, and I’ll even give you your own footman.” People laughed. Nuisance was not sure what a footman was, but the rest of the man’s offer sounded fine to him.

Later there was a wedding, and a great feast, and Nuisance was given a platter at the head of the table, filled with nuts, cheeses, and greens. He ate until he thought he would burst, and the new bride kissed him on the top of his head. As the people cheered and laughed, Rascal the cat brooded under the table, his tail going swish, swish, swish. There would be no mouse dinner for him.

THE END

June 11, 2013 at 11:18 am 2 comments

Nuisance and the Nine Golden Keys – p.22

The chest contained a collection of fine fabrics, woven with gold and silver threads, embellished with jewels, in patterns so complex that some of the women swooned.

Another chest was discovered, and another, as the people cleared away more debris. Nine chests in all, and the man with the golden keys moved around, opening each of them in turn. One held silver goblets and platters, another vials of rare spices and medicinal herbs; the fourth chest was filled with strands of pearls, the fifth with golden coins. In the sixth chest there were scrolls of ancient writing, in the seventh were bottles of spirits and wine, in the eighth was a purple robe fit for a king. The ninth chest was very small, and inside there was, to everyone’s dismay, nothing but a handful of straw.

The people clucked their tongues and fretted over this, but returned their attentions to the other treasures. Nuisance was curious, indeed, and slowly made his way to the small chest. No one noticed as he climbed inside. The straw was fragrant and soft, and he burrowed deep. There, near the bottom, he found a shining golden needle. Not wanting it to accidentally poke him as he lay about in the straw, he carefully took it in his mouth and crawled back to the top of the chest.

June 3, 2013 at 4:00 pm 2 comments

Nuisance and the Nine Golden Keys – p.21

The people surveyed the damage and managed to remove the tent from the debris, freeing those who’d been trapped underneath. The gobbler came running out, making a horrible racket, but no one paid him any mind. Nuisance ran out to him, and they decided to try sneaking around the perimeter of the field, hoping to make it to the trees without being stopped.

Nuisance led the way, and they heard the people shouting to each other as they cleaned. The man who’d been given the golden keys was being called over to look at something. Nuisance glanced back, and saw that there was something sticking up out of the ground. “Let’s stop for just a moment, I want to see what that man is doing with my keys.”

“What need have we of keys, friend? I have already been freed! These rogues will be more famished than before, and half their food is destroyed–no, I’ll not stay!” With that, the bird continued on, leaving the little mouse alone on the ruined field.

As he watched, Nuisance saw the men uncover a large wooden chest, and a strange silence fell over them. The man with the golden keys stepped forward, and tried one in the lock; it did not open the chest, but the second key he tried did.

May 29, 2013 at 3:27 pm 1 comment

Nuisance and the Nine Golden Keys – p.20

One of the horses, who was a light golden color, spoke up. “We can free your friend without any key,” and stamped its foot. “You can first free us.”

The brown stallion bowed his head down to where Nuisance was. “These ropes are binding, and you have strong teeth.”

Nuisance caught on quickly, and began to gnaw at the leads and harnesses that held the horses in the barn. It took many hours, but when he was done, the horses ran out at top speed, straight to the tent, toppling and trampling every animal pen, cage and container in their path, along with many of the tables and chairs, and almost some of the people sitting there.

Nuisance started out to find the gobbler, but the chaos forced him back into the barn to seek shelter. He watched as all the various creatures and humans ran around in panic, trying to get out of harm’s way, and finally the tent itself came down with a huge whoosh of air, and the horses disappeared through the trees.

May 21, 2013 at 7:42 pm 1 comment

Nuisance and the Nine Golden Keys – p.19

The boy carried the jar into the barn, which was filled with animals but empty of other humans. He sat the jar down on the ground and stared at Nuisance. “I’ve got you, magical mouse! Now you will bring me treasure!” He opened the jar and tried to grab Nuisance, but the mouse ran up the boy’s arm, jumped off and bolted towards one end of the barn. Nuisance hid in a mound of hay that had been left for some horses, and the horses promptly stopped eating it.

“Come back!” the boy cried, and ran towards the hay. The horses whinnied and stamped their feet, which frightened the boy, and he backed up. “Quiet, you, I don’t want your rotten straw, I want the mouse!” The horses did not quiet down, and in fact became more agitated, finally chasing the boy from the barn. “I’ll be back,” he threatened as he left.

Nuisance emerged from the hay. “Thank you, kind sirs,” he said.

The horses snorted. One of them, a dark brown stallion, said, “That boy smelled of unfriendly intentions. If he does return, we will kick him.”

“Oh, I hope for his sake that he does not! Now, I must get back to the trapped bird out there, though without my keys I am not sure how I can free him,” Nuisance said.

May 17, 2013 at 11:10 am 1 comment

Nuisance and the Nine Golden Keys – p.18

Nuisance was awoken by a scream. The fabric he’d slept in was now the object of much interest to a group of women, and they were all very upset to see him.

Before he could flee, a pair of rough hands had scooped him up, along with the golden keys, and held him out for inspection. Nuisance blinked; the sun was bright and everyone was dressed in fine clothes, the tent was decorated with flowers and ribbons and things, and off in the direction of the farmer’s cottage someone was playing music.

He was then carried, with much ceremony, to one end of the tent, and the man holding him proclaimed, “Fine tidings to your lordship on this blessed day; I have caught the magical creature and his treasure!” Then Nuisance was dropped into a big jar with a heavy lid, and the golden keys handed over to a man in rich looking clothes.

There was a cry of congratulations and cheer amongst the people, and then the finely dressed man examined the keys. “These are a mystery, sure.” He put one in his mouth and bit on it. “Gold. GOLD!” There was shouting and shoving, and in the excitement, no one noticed the young boy who took the jar with Nuisance inside and slipped away.

May 8, 2013 at 5:20 pm 1 comment

Nuisance and the Nine Golden Keys – p.17

Keys are made by man, for use by man, so a turkey and a mouse would have great difficulty doing so. Nuisance tried his best to position a key as the bird stabilized the lock with his beak, but they could not seem to do it properly.

“In truth, sir bird, I think that perhaps these keys might be too large for the lock after all,” Nuisance said. “I simply must find another way to free you.”

The gobbler puffed out his feathered chest. “Though ye fail, the attempt alone does me great honor. As man maketh me his supper, my last thought will be that I had a true friend.”

“I intend for you to be my guard, and no man’s supper!” Nuisance glanced around, wary of their surroundings. The dog could not lead the chase for much longer. Taking the keys in his mouth once more, he hid them under a table amid some stacks of fabric, which were so soft that, as he burrowed down into them, he could not help but fall asleep.

May 2, 2013 at 9:14 pm Leave a comment

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