Excerpt for Pearl The Farmer's Daughter And The Witch by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Pearl The Farmers Daughter And The Witch

Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2018 Anita Hasch

ISBN: 9780463693780

All rights reserved

All images from Pixabay.com

Pearl The Farmer’s Daughter And The Witch

Close to the woods was a lonely farm. The farmer only had one beautiful daughter. She did all the household chores as her mother had died.

One day Pearl was looking for some herbs when she saw a rat jumping up and down near the edge of the woods. When the rat turned and saw her he ran deeper into the woods and she followed it.

She did not realize that she was running deeper and deeper into the woods. Then the rat ran into a large hollow tree and Pearl thought that now she would be able to catch the rat. As she entered the hollow tree she was amazed that she could actually walk down a slanting passage. Pearl was scared to go down the passage. Where does it lead to, she thought? Then she heard a noise, somebody was moving towards the tree.

She quickly ran down the passage looking for a place to hide. At the end of the passage was a large room and nowhere to hide. There were doors on both sides of the room. In one room the rat sat on a little stool. Suddenly she heard footsteps behind her.

‘At last, a voice said behind her, a pretty girl to be my slave. Don’t dare to run away, or I will catch you and turn you into a statue, just like those rats. Don’t ever open that door,’ she screeched.

Pearl was very unhappy and scared of the ugly witch. She missed her father and was sorry that she had not listened to him He had warned her so many times to never go into the woods. She just had to do the work that the witch gave her to do and wait for an opportunity to escape. But the witch never moved far from her tree house.

The little rat was always running errands for the witch and then she would beat him if he did not return with great speed

‘Why don’t you run away, as she treats you so badly?’

‘I can’t, my brothers and sisters are prisoners of the witch. She keeps that door closed and looked. She turned them both into wooden statues. They can only be freed if the liquid in the golden jar is thrown over them. But the container with the liquid was locked in a chest in the room that nobody was allowed to enter.

Pearl kept on thinking of how she could save the rat family. Then one day the witch was going to a gathering of witches deep in the woods. When the witch had jumped on her broom and left, Pearl and the little rat searched everywhere looking for the key of the room. At last the rat found it under a loose brick.

‘Quickly, we have to hurry. Last time she went to the witches gathering she was annoyed with them and came home early.’

They hurried to the room and unlocked it. The little rat wanted to cry when he saw his brother and sister standing on the shelf as statues. Pearl opened the chest and took out the golden jar with the liquid. She carefully poured it over the rat statues and the little rat smiled and clapped his hands in glee. Slowly they came to life. ‘Come,’ Pearl called, ‘we have to get away from this place before the witch returns. You will have to show me how to get back to the farm.’

And they ran as fast as they could up the passage and out of the tree trunk. As they ran through the woods they stopped to get their breath back.

‘Pearl, can we come to live with you on the farm? The witch knows where we used to live in the woods. She will come and put a spell on us.’

‘Of course, I will be glad to have friends on the farm. I have been very lonely.’ They quickly ran further as they were terrified that the witch might come back sooner and chase them on her broom. Her broom could go very fast indeed.

Pearl’s father was overjoyed to see his daughter and thanked the rats for showing her the way out of the woods. Pear’s father said that they did not have to worry about the witch because he knew witches were scared of dogs. They never went into the woods again and enjoyed playing around the farm. The rats made a lovely home for themselves in the cellar. The witch was very annoyed but could do nothing as she was bound to the woods.

About the Author

Anita Hasch and her family live on a homestead near Port

Elizabeth, South Africa.

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Where To Find Anita Online





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