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Excerpt for Bouncey the Elf and The Magic Box by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


Bouncey the Elf

and

The Magic Box

Brian Leo Lee

Published by Brian Leo Lee

Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2019

Cover and Illustrations by Brian Leo Lee Copyright 2019

The moral right of the author has been asserted.

All rights Reserved

1

The rooks were making such a racket that Bouncey the elf stopped halfway across the River of Dreams Bridge to see what all the fuss was about.

Away to his left, the dark Wild Boar forest could be seen over the bushes that grew along the riverbank.

Between the bushes and the forest was an open area in which a giant oak tree towered. It was the shade of the oak tree branches that had stopped other plants, apart from the long grass, from growing under them.

The rooks were diving to and fro around the oak tree, cawing like mad. The noise was deafening, there were at least twenty or thirty of them and Bouncey at first couldn’t see what had made them so angry.

Then he saw a big brown owl crouched next to the bottom of a huge tree trunk.

It must be injured, thought Bouncey. Then he noticed that one wing was sticking out in a funny way.

Oh dear, it must be broken. I must go and help the poor bird.

The rooks fear owls because they sometimes steal their chicks and so they were trying to frighten this owl away.

Bouncey ran back off the bridge and went along the riverbank as fast as he could. The bushes were so thick he sometimes had to crawl underneath them. A small elf like him couldn’t always push his way through, so he was glad when he spotted a gap large enough for him to pass.

Bouncey suddenly stopped and looked in surprise – someone else was already there, bending over the hurt owl.

The person must have heard Bouncey come through the bushes and turned round to look at him.

‘Hi Bouncey, fancy meeting you here,’ said Trixie the Pixie with a big smile.

‘Thank goodness you came, I could use some help in fixing Tawney’s hurt wing.’

Bouncey nodded, getting over his surprise at seeing Trixie and said, ‘What a lucky bird Tawney is, having you nearby to help him.’

‘Well actually, I heard his cries of help. Not really heard. I mean you know we Pixies have a special power that makes us able to sort of talk and listen to animals with our minds.’

Bouncey nodded. Trixie had once helped save the Piccs who lived deep underground, from the horrible Goblins, with her special powers.

‘Now Bouncey, hold Tawney for me,’ Trixie said, ‘While I put some of my special healing ointment on his poorly wing. Fortunately I don’t think it’s broken.’

Bouncey knelt down and carefully picked up Tawney.

Then looking in the bag that she always carried, Trixie took out a long ribbon and gently tied it round Tawney so that the injured wing couldn’t move.

‘There that should do it,’ she said, putting her tube of ointment back in the bag.

Tawney the owl nodded his head.

‘He’s telling me he is feeling much better already,’ Trixie told Bouncey.

‘Great,’ replied Bouncey. ‘I can hear you much better now as well. Those rowdy rooks have gone back to their nests. They must know that Tawney can’t harm their chicks now.’

Then, before Bouncey could ask Trixie any more questions she interrupted him.

‘I say, Bouncey,’ Trixie said in a worried voice.

‘Tawney has told me that the Wizard had asked him to check the Goblin Goldmine. Some elves have been forced to work down the goldmine for the Goblins and were now prisoners there. The Wizard is worried that more elves might be captured.’

‘Gosh,’ said an amazed Bouncey. ‘What can we do?’

‘Well.’ Trixie looked down at Tawney and stroked his head, ‘Tawney said that there are lots of Goblins outside the Goldmine and some of them were talking into little black boxes which answered back.’

‘What kind of magic is that,’ interrupted Bouncey. ‘Boxes don’t talk.’

‘I don’t know either,’ replied Trixie but we must tell the Wizard as quickly as possible. I can fly a bit but not very far. So that’s no good.’ (Pixies have a set of small wings on their back).

‘The quickest way would be by boat down the River of Dreams to that big bend and then to climb up to the Wizard’s cave,’ Bouncey said. Then he added, ‘I hope he is in though, when we get there.’

‘I know he is. I can hear in my mind. Luna his cat is thinking that it is time for her master, the Wizard, to get her some milk.’

‘I say Trixie, that’s fantastic. I wish I could do that,’ Bouncey said wistfully.

‘Don’t be silly, Bouncey. You know only we Pixies can do it,’ Trixie said with a smile.

‘Now let’s find a boat. We have to get to the Wizard’s cave as fast as possible.’

As Bouncey put a hand down to push himself to his feet, he felt something half buried in the long grass.

‘Just a minute Trixie, I’ve found something in the grass,’ and he pulled up two small thin black boxes, tangled up in some twine. They were made of some kind of shiny hard material.

‘I say, Trixie, what do you think they are for and where did they come from?’

Before Trixie could say anything, Tawney began to shake his head.

‘I don’t believe it,’ Trixie called out.

‘Tawney says that he got them caught in his talons when he got hurt near the Goblin goldmine. A horrid Goblin had thrown a stone at him and it hit his wing and he fell down right on top the nasty Goblin. Even though he was hurt, he managed to fly away but those funny boxes were tangled round his legs. They must have belonged to the Goblins. He had got this far but his wing was hurting so much he had to stop for a rest. That’s when the horrid rooks came.’

‘I think we should take them to the Wizard. He might know what they are for,’ Bouncey said.

‘Come on, let’s go down to the river.’

2

Because Trixie was smaller than Bouncey, she led the way towards the River of Dreams.

Bouncey had his hands full carrying Tawney, who was quite a big owl but not too heavy.

Making sure to find big enough gaps in the bushes along the riverbank to enable Bouncey and Tawney to get through easily and without too many scratches to his hands, Trixie eventually found a path down to the river.

‘It’s our lucky day, Bouncey,’ she cried. ‘There’s a rowing boat tied up to a tree just down here.’

In just a few minutes, Bouncey was pulling on the oars as Trixie, with Tawney on her lap, watched the riverbanks glide by.

‘Well, at least we’re on our way and it’s nice to have a seat,’ puffed Bouncey, pulling on one oar, to steer round a big white swan and her three little cygnets.

The River of Dreams went by the edge of Fawn Wood, a long straight, slow moving, part of the river that made rowing easy.

When Bouncey’s arms started to ache, he decided to have a rest from rowing and let the boat drift down the middle of the river by itself.

He looked over to Trixie, who was gently stroking Tawney’s feathers and smiled.

‘I say Trixie, can I have a look at one of those black boxes. I was wondering what they were for.’

Trixie nodded and reached down to her bag next to her feet and took one out.

‘Here, catch,’ and she gently threw it to Bouncey.

He caught it easily and saw that it was about the size of his favourite choc bar but a bit thinner.

It seemed to be in two parts, a bit like a closed book but however much he tried, he couldn’t open it.

‘Look out, Bouncey,’ Trixie suddenly shouted out. ‘We’re going to hit the riverbank.’

Bouncey jerked up and quickly shoved the box into his jerkin pocket and grabbed hold of one of the oars.

He was just in time and managed to push the boat back into the middle of the river.

‘Sorry Trixie, I’ll keep on rowing from now on.’

‘You can do it, Bouncey. It’s not far now,’ Trixie said, urging him on.

Bouncey started to row again but he was soon sweating like mad. It was harder than he had thought, even though he was rowing downriver with the current.

At last they came to the big bend in the river and Trixie, sitting at the back of the boat, was of course facing forwards and saw it first.

‘You made it, Bouncey. You made it. I said you would,’ Trixie said happily and grinned at him.

Bouncey who was still pulling the oars but much more slowly, turned his head and had a quick look at the riverbank.

A large weeping willow tree, its long branches hanging over the edge of the river like a big curtain, shaded a small pebble beach. It was just below the path, which led to the Wizards cave.

‘Pull in Bouncey, pull in. This is just the right place,’ Trixie called out excitedly.


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