Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Tavern Tales

As the stranger picked up the mutton, he tapped his forehead, just above his eye. “What happened here?”

Erik looked at him for a moment, lost, then realized he was asking about his missing eye.

Firdon interjected, “The boy was fishing on a willow’s knee and the willow-sprite up and plucked out his eye! ‘Taxes!’ it said. ‘You must pay old man willow his just desert.’” Firdon burst out laughing. He laughed from deep in his belly and though he smelled as only men can smell, hard and stout, the laughter was warm enough and infectious.

Erik handed him the boot beer. “Aye it was willow-sprite you old stump.” Smiling he turned back to the stranger, “I wish it were a willow-sprite. At least the willows sing you to sleep. But it wasn’t no willow nor willow sprite. It was a witch from the Bottoms as took my eye.”

“A witch you say.” The stranger leaned back a little as he ate and perked up some. A few others turned around to listen.

“Aye, it was a few years back . . . .

Excerpt from "A Night at the Cockleburr", Tales of Two Worlds

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