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Fairy tales are not merely for children. In fact, the magic of fairy tales is often most fully appreciated by adults. Although the 'sweet spot' for Ravenhair is ages 11-16, the tales of Ravenhair will work its magic at any age.

Find out - enjoy the free tale below.

Ravenhair at the Wall

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Ravenhair took many paths in her travels. Some were dark and twisting, where stones trip the feet and branches tear the cloth and odd sounds trick the ear. Others were straight and broad, where throngs brush past and smells crowd the nose and rich folk yell “Make way!” The best paths were gentle and wandering, where sun warmed the hair and fish splashed the waters and something beautiful rustled the leaves.

But some paths simply ended.

As Ravenhair wandered to see what she could see, she neared a narrow valley between stony peaks that rose to the sky and dressed themselves in snow on their tops. The morning sun brought a smile to her lips, the mountain quiet a song to her throat, and the mincing breeze a skip to her step.

Ahead she saw a meadow dressed in blooms, a lake like a mirror…and a wall.

She forgot the song and the skip and the smile.

“How thick is this wall?” asked Ravenhair to the Breezes.

“If it is raining on one side, it might be sunny on the other,” they answered.

“How long is it?” asked Ravenhair to the birds.

“It rests on mountains north and south,” they answered.

“It looks terribly tall,” said Ravenhair to the clouds.

“Tall enough to turn us back,” they answered.

“Who made it?” asked Ravenhair to a lonely stone.

“A giantess named Gowae,” answered the stone. “She put all my sisters and brothers and cousins and friends in that wall.”

In the center of the wall was a gate worthy of a giant, and above it a barred hole. The giantess Gowae peered out through it with wary eyes, seeking anyone who meant to test her wall.

Ravenhair, who rarely hurried, cast off her shoes and stockings, dipped her feet in the lakeshore near the gate, and played two-and-three with the silvery salmon as she thought of the wall that gave no way over, under, around, or through.

Before long, she heard the quiet tread of light hooves. Along the trail came a faun with a tilt to his hat, a flute at his hip, hooves on his feet, and a little meal cart pushed along by his hands. He approached the gate. “Hulloo!” he called up to the giant, sweeping his hat and bowing. “Dillpepper, at your service. May I—”

“You only want the treasures of my land, thief!” shouted the giantess. “I don’t know you. I don’t trust you. I won’t let you through. Go away!”

Dillpepper turned back and sat down next to Ravenhair on the bank. “How will I ever get past?” he said mournfully.

“It could be long or never,” answered Ravenhair. “But it can take time to find out which.”

Her words did not comfort him. “But I must get through. I am to cook and play for the Queen of the Far Woods.”

“Perhaps another path?” said Ravenhair.

“Weeks to the south and months to the north,” said Dillpepper, putting his head sadly on his wooly knees.

“I cook and play too,” said Ravenhair. “Shall we lunch on the bank and dance in the meadow?”

This so delighted Dillpepper that he boiled and baked a bounteous lunch. Ravenhair helped him cook, but she added too much of this and more than enough of that, until they had food not for two but for ten. When they had their fill, Ravenhair set the generous leftovers in front of the gate. “A meal is best when shared with friends!” she called to the giantess Gowae.

Then the girl and the faun danced about the meadow, stirring up scents and laughter. Gowae peered at them in silence, and the fine leftovers cooled and crusted and went to waste.

That evening, there came the clup-clup of prancing hooves—strong servants surrounding a sour-faced princess on a royal steed. She cantered up to the gate and shouted, “Make way, or you will face my brother’s wrath!”

“I don’t know you. I don’t trust you. I won’t let you through. Go away!” shouted the giantess.

The princess huffed and the servants tut-tutted, but the gate remained closed. In no time the princess flew into a fury and galloped back down the path.

The next day, Dillpepper broiled and basted a bounteous lunch, until they had food not for two but for ten. Ravenhair set the leftovers before the gate. “A meal is best when shared with friends,” she called to Gowae. “And so is a meadow.”

As they danced among the flowers, she saw the giantess snap open the gate and snatch up the food.

That evening, there came the clamp-clamp of furious hooves—hooded hunters surrounding a haughty-faced prince on a royal steed. He cantered up to the gate and shouted, “Make way, or you will face my mother’s wrath!”

“I don’t know you. I don’t trust you. I won’t let you through. Go away!” shouted the giantess.

The prince threatened, and the hunters growled, but the gate remained closed. In no time the prince flew into a fury and galloped back down the path.

At lunch the next day, the giantess stepped out to watch the dancing as she ate the bounteous leftovers. At times her foot would stamp to the music, sending shivers through the stone. “A meal is best shared with friends!” called Ravenhair. “And a meadow. And laughter.”

The queen came that evening, but her stern guards could not force the gate. She stormed away, threatening the wrath of the king.

At the next lunch, Gowae could not help but dance, and she laughed a laugh like an avalanche at the playful banter from her fellow dancers. “A meal is best shared with friends!” said Ravenhair. “And a meadow. And laughter. And tears.”

The king came that evening with an army and stormed against the wall. Rocks flew from catapults and rams hammered upon the metal and mighty men with pickaxes shattered stone. But Gowae smashed the rams and splintered the catapults and scattered the mighty men, and the king shook his fists at the wall and fled into the night.

The next day, Dillpepper and Ravenhair and Gowae shared lunch on the lake’s edge. They told tales and spoke secrets both joyous and tearful. “Meals and meadows and laughter and tears are best shared with friends,” said Ravenhair.

“Would you also share a walk through my beautiful lands?” asked Gowae.

“It would be a delight,” answered Ravenhair, grateful to have earned a new friend.

And the three passed through the open gate.

As they walked the paths of the rich lands of the giantess, Dillpepper drew Ravenhair aside and kissed her hands in gratitude. “I shall tell the Queen of the Far Woods about your cleverness and kindness and patience,” he said.

“It seems that many gates are best opened from the inside,” said Ravenhair, and she long treasured the friendship of Dillpepper and Gowae.

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