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Ribbony and the Magic Mushrooms

A world of magic., England

Once there was a woodcutter, who was married to a beautiful young woman called Annabel. Annabel's greatest wish was to have a child but she could not. One day her husband saw tears in her eyes. "What's wrong my love? Can I not help you?" but she shook her head. She explained that she wanted a daughter with hair as black as the night sky, lips as soft and pink as roses, and eyes like magic.

Her husband felt distraught, for how was he to be happy, if his love was not? So he went into the woods to try think of a solution, but instead he found a single mushroom by a tree. The mushroom was green and blue and swirling with magic. He dug up the roots and spent the afternoon carving a plant pot from a log of wood. He brought it home to his wife, who did not know why she was so delighted. But nine months later they had a baby girl with hair as black as the night sky, lips as soft and pink as roses, and eyes like magic. They names her Ribbony.

As Ribbony grew up she began to wonder in the woods, then at the age of 16 she found a tree, surrounded by amazing mushrooms. She had heard tales of enchanting mushrooms but ignored them completely. On the tree was a door, carved with flowers, ivy and mushrooms. With a great push on the door, Ribbony's eyes widened at the sight before her. Down three diamond steps was a golden pathway, so shiny she could see her reflection. And on either side of her was trees with leaves of silver and emerald. But at the end was floating bubbles and inside those bubbles were mushrooms; sparkly, shiny, swirling, shimmering. Ribbony plucked some leaves from the trees and took them home, where her family became rich.

Although Ribbony never revealed her secret place. Two years later, on the day Ribbony became an adult, Ribbony went to the tree. Inside she danced on the golden pathway feeling refreshed and happy. Then suddenly she looked up. The bubbles had always been floating there, and not once had Ribbony had the urge to POP one! She walked over slowly, hardly breathing, afraid that a single movement would burst them. Slowly and steadily, her hand reached up and ... POP!

Then suddenly the golden pathway turned to mud, earth and dirt. The beautiful jewel trees turned twisted, black and no longer living. And the bubbles - they froze, encasing the mushrooms in a ice prison. But the one mushroom, the one that had been burst, lay shriveled and brown on the ground. Ribbony was horrified, she ran to the wooden stairs that had once been diamond, and pulled on the door handle but remained closed. She cried and screamed and pulled and pulled. But it did not shift. She buried her head in her knees gently sobbing for an hour or two. Then she heard something. There it was again! A voice, calling her name, a small and quiet voice. The mushroom. She walked over cautiously and approached the mushroom. It moved.

"Pick me up..." she heard it whisper. At first she did nothing. But eventually she picked up the shriveled mushroom and gazed at it. Then two eyes appeared but Ribbony was not scared and a small mouth that said.

Ribbony gently kissed it and threw it in the air, where it landed in a bubble and became plump and beautiful again. The ice on the other bubbles melted and disappeared. The pathway became golden and shimmering again. The tree's untangled and had the sparkling jewels once more. And the steps turned from wood to diamond. And lastly... the door opened.

Ribbony ran out, with tears of joy in her eyes, and when she saw her mother and father she embraced them with all her love. Ribbony never went to the tree again but knew it was waiting, waiting for the next girl, and the next and the next. And forever so.

The End

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