greenbottletree











{05/10/2012}   The Fox and the Miller’s Daughter

This is cheating really but last night I found an old English homework book from when I must have been 11 years old (12 at most).  I am not going to replicate the (dreadful) pictures I drew to accompany it and I will correct what my teacher suggested but I will restrain myself from making it read better.  But I will start off by writing what my teacher said about my story:

“9-/10 A lovely story, Karina.  Generally stylish writing and good use of punctuation.  Just a few points to spot!”

Ahem, did you spot that, “stylish writing”.  Nice!  Here goes:

Once upon a time, a miller and his family lived in the small village of Sweetmead Acres.

The miller’s daughter, Katie, was a pretty girl, but her ugly mother was no match.[I am not sure what that means!]

One day, while the miller was busy working, Mrs Locket (miller’s wife) packed some food and ran out of the village.  No one saw her except Katie.  She followed her mother up a steep hill, straight towards the ogre’s castle.  Her mother turned round, Katie ran into the woods, her mother followed her. [no, no, that’s not how it happens in fairy stories!]

Then Katie fell.  A fox came up to her and sat by her head.  Soon, Mrs Locket came to where Katie was lying, crying.  Then the fox stood up, its eyes glowed fiercely and Katie’s mum seemed to freeze.  The fox then licked Katie and disappeared.  Katie got up and ran home, not even seeing her mum.

At dinner, Katie remembered the fox.  Something inside her seemed to plead with her to go outside to the wishing well.

While her parents were in the kitchen, she ran to the well and pulled up a bucket of water to drink, but the fox’s face appeared on the water.  Then appeared the same castle Katie had seen her mother go to.  She was getting another image —

“Katie!”  Screeched her mother.  The picture disappeared.  “Coming””

Whilst Katie was in bed dreaming again, she saw the fox and a man with his legs tied to a chain and ball, “Aggh!”.  Katie yawned, sat up, stretched and looked out of the window.

The sun was hot as Katie climbed the path through the woods.  She couldn’t remember the way her mother took, so she just followed the main path.  Soon she began to feel lost.

A fox appeared, it turned towards her and she followed it.  The fox’s glossy tail glinted in the sunlight.  She shut her eyes for a few seconds, opened them and the fox was gone.  She looked up and saw the ogre’s castle.

Why am I here, she thought.  Again, the pictures of the man seemed to tell her she was at the castle to rescue him.

Should I knock?  No, maybe if there is a window open I could get in.

Too late.  The massive wooden door opened and a huge ogre appeared.  He was staring at her with his enormous evil eyes and waving a battle axe about.

“So!” he roared, “I have a visitor!”  He laughed.  [a moo-ha-ha type moment]

Katies was too scared to run, so she held her breath and fainted!  [now, was that a planned faint?  Oh, this English is not great … but I was only 11 ish, I guess]

When she woke and looked around, a kind of cell surrounded her and she was [“weak style” my teacher wrote for this]sitting on a stone bed with her legs shackled to a ball and chain, just like in the vision when she saw that man.

She sat for a few hours.  Finally, the ogre came.  If I start crying maybe he’ll take pity on me.  Katie started crying and said, “My feet ache sooooo much.  Please could I have some cold water so they don’t feel so bad?”  [Like that’ll work]

The ogre reluctantly agreed.  [oh what a weak baddie!]  He gave her some water, then walked away.  Katie cleverly poured the water onto her foot, loosening the chain [a particularly dreadful picture illustrates the foot/chain/ball].  When she was near to giving up, one foot painfully escaped the chain, strengthening her confidence.  She pulled and tugged and her other foot was freed.  [really?  water loosening the chain?]

Katie ripped off her petticoat [erm, petticoat?   Could I not have written something more modern?] and stuffed it under the door.  Katie’s hair clip would push the key, which the ogre had carelessly left in the lock, out of the lock.  [oh, that is dreadfully written!]

Here goes, Katie thought.  She pushed the key out of the lock.  It didn’t clink on the ground, so she pulled her petticoat in and there was the key.

Out of the cell, Katie found the man next to her old cell.  She used the key and opened the door, but instead of seeing a man, she saw a fox.  Katie stroked it and freed it with a small key she had found by the door.

The fox and Katie escaped quite easily.  [oh, come on Karina, this could have been an exciting rescue and escape, but, no, they “escaped quite easily”!]  As Katie walked[walked?  Walked?  This is supposed to be an action-packed escape!] along the path home, she asked the fox if it really was a fox.  Katie looked into the fox’s eyes and saw a handsome prince, a happy prince, with eyes of despair [originally “dispair”].  “I wish you could be who you really are.”  Katie wasn’t too sure what she was saying really.  [you can see where this is going!]

Katie turned and looked at the distant castle and saw a flash, like when the fox’s tail had caught the sunlight [I am not convinced that foxes have tails so shiny they can reflect the sunlight?!].  She turned back to the fox and saw the prince.  [oh, perlease, so hideously predictable]

“You have freed me from your mother’s spell.  What will your reward be?”

“I don’t need a reward!”  [you daft girl!] Katie said.

One month later, Katie and the prince got married [erm, I got the impression Katie was about my age when I wrote this, eugh!] and Mrs Lockett [wasn’t her name spelled differently earlier?] ran away, maybe to the ogre’s castle, no one knows, but the miller was the happiest of all, with his daughter happy, and a lovely house in the palace grounds.  [was he not upset to have lost his wife?]

[This does not strike me as being a very original plot but there is at least a happy ending, except for Katie’s horrible mother!  It also troubles me enormously that there are lots of unfinished and unexpanded strands]

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Delia says:

Clever little clogs! I never read that story – you kept it well hidden from your Mum! You could work on it, and make up a more credible fairy tale.



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