Copyright Cornelius Clifford 2023
Cornelius Clifford, Fantasy Books & Films

MAGICAL FANTASY STORIES

THE FLYING PIG

Gerald Snook lives in a cosy hole in the ground. He's a kind of small elf from the niggle tribe. He is thin and agile, and stands about two foot tall, including a rather battered top hat. One day he was dancing and humming outside his burrow, like you do, when a flying pig flew past. Gerald had never seen such a thing. He ran after the flying pig, and watched it land clumsily in a hazel thicket. He thought to himself, "It would be a fine thing to ride a flying pig." So he started to sneak up on it. The pig, rooting for acorns, (hard things to find under hazel trees) was snuffling happily in the undergrowth. Unfortunately, Gerald stepped on a dry stick, which snapped with a loud "CRACK!" The pig looked up, startled. It snorted loudly at Gerald. Who stepped back, caught his foot in a bramble and fell over, twisting his ankle. "Ouch!" After a few moments, instead of flying away, the pig approached Gerald, who was groaning from the pain. The flying pig gently flapped its wings and nudged Gerald with its muddy snout. Realising the pig wanted to help Gerald tried to climb onto its back. The pig, startled, pulled back in alarm and Gerald rolled onto the ground. Then Gerald remembered his aunt used to scratch her pig behind the ears. He gently tried this. The pig smiled and stopped going backwards. Slowly and carefully, Gerald pulled himself up onto the pigs' bristly back. The creature was nervous at first, but Gerald kept scratching behind its ears and whispered gently, "Everything's going to be okay." The pig flapped its pink wings and leapt into the air, with Gerald clinging on tightly to its' back. Who was so excited he forgot about his painful ankle for a while. Gerald somehow guided the pig to fly to his friends' house, a wise faerie witch called Philomena. "Philomena! Philomena!" Gerald shouted, as the flying pig landed outside a tiny thatched cottage. The door opened and a short, plump and green-winged faerie appeared. Seeing her friend Gerald, she smiled, but when she saw the flying pig, she laughed out loud. The pig somehow managed to look hurt. So she gave it a handful of acorns from her winter stash and while the pig happily crunched them, Philomena wrapped Gerald's ankle in a poultice of healing herbs. Then she helped him back onto the flying pig. The young elf thanked her over and over. She said; "Think nothing of it," and smiled again at the amusing pig. The flying pig flew Gerald home to his comfortable underground burrow. Whilst waiting for his ankle to heal, Gerald and the flying pig spent a lot of time together and grew to be great friends. Gerald helped his flying friend find a goodly supply of acorns. Of course, being a kind of elf, he knew where all the best oak trees were. And the winged pig took Gerald flying every day, just for the fun of it. What larks they had!

THE BAT CAT

Horace Dripwood had been hiding in the hollow tree all day. He absolutely did not want to be found, because Toecruncher, a hobgoblin moneylender, was after him. Horace had borrowed money and could not pay it back. Toecruncher could get very nasty if he didn't get his money back. Very nasty indeed. Trouble was, making money in the forest was difficult. Most fae folk didn't have coins or cash, they swapped and bartered instead. Nobody seemed to want the services of a scruffy Wizard of middling years. Whose pointy hat sagged, whose robes were threadbare, and whose pointy-toed slippers were more hole than shoe. Horace heard something moving in the tree above. He peered up nervously. Luckily, it wasn't Toecruncher! With the night drawing in, it looked like a large bat had come home to roost. The bat slowly climbed down the inside of the hollow trunk. even in the low light, Horace could see that the bat had a furry tail and paws. Clearly not a bat, in fact. The creature waved its tail about and nearly knocked Horace's hat off. "Are you a bat cat or a flying cat?" Horace asked. The bat cat just purred. Horace had a good feeling about this. "Perhaps you might like to be my familiar?" He said. "The best I can offer you is a regular supply of mice, and a dry tree nest to sleep in." The cat purred, offering its back to be stroked. Despite the bat-like wings, it behaved like any other cat would. "Maybe that means yes?" Horace thought out loud. Whilst stroking the bat cat, Horace felt a bit sorry for himself. He told his new found friend of his woes and difficulties. The lack of wizarding work, no sympathy from his friends Horace felt the creature somehow understood. The bat cat jumped down from Horace's lap and started scratching around at the base of the hollow tree. At first, Horace thought it was going to do something nasty in the leaf litter. But when the corner of a small chest emerged, Horace became excited. He helped with the digging, and, in a few minutes, a small and battered metal chest was revealed. The best thing was that not only was it unlocked, but it was full of silver coins! With this treasure he could easily pay off the Hobgoblin. Brilliant! The next day he did just that, with the bat cat sitting on his shoulder. "No more debt for me!" Horace said to the bat cat. Then they went to the market together and bought plenty of food. Horace was delighted to have met the bat cat, who had turned his life around in just one day. She seemed pretty pleased with the arrangement too. When they got back to his thatched tree nest they feasted on hot savoury pies, a jug of cider, chocolate mice, and some special witch- made cat treats for his new found friend and familiar. A very special bat cat!

A VISIT TO THE APOTHECARY

Two young witches, Polly Lambsnuff and Amelia Twigg, were on their way to a local market town. They needed to buy some magical supplies from an apothecary there. Because witches are not popular with the superstitious townsfolk, they left their brooms at home, folded their pointy hats flat, and put them in their carpet bags. Going down the old sunken lane, past the whitethorn bushes, they entered town by the back way. They wanted to avoid being seen. When they came to the market place, a muffled voice said: "Let me out! Put me on!" "Shut up!" Amelia hissed. "I didn't say anything." Polly said. "Not you. Its' my hat, it's getting rebellious again." Polly laughed. Before they had a chance to nip into the apothecary, the Town Mayor spotted them across the square. His suspicions must have been aroused by Amelia's talking hat! "Quick, quick, down this alley." Polly said. The alley was dark and narrow, and the further they went in, the darker and narrower it got. At the end was a door, about three foot high and two foot wide. They could hear the fat mayor wheezing behind them. "You there! Stop! Show yourselves! We don't allow witches in this town." Amelia, in desperation, grabbed the door handle. She closed her eyes and wished it would open. And, amazingly, it did! The two witches dived through the small doorway and almost fell down some narrow stone steps going steeply downwards. Bent over double, the witches ran down the stairs and came to a rough-hewn cave. Here, at least, they could stand upright. But it was very dark. "Who are you?" A gruff voice demanded from the darkness. Polly thought, 'Oh no! How could the mayor have gone around and got in front of us so quickly?' There was a chink of metal on metal and a candle spluttered into life. It illuminated a short figure with an enormously long and scruffy beard. Clearly not the Mayor!  He looked like he had just woken up "Sorry to barge in. We were running away from the mayor." Polly said. The shortish person grunted. "I don't blame you, he's a dratted nuisance. Always demanding more duty on my metalwork coz I'm a dwarf." He pointed to a tunnel. "Take the first left and you'll come out in the back lane. I'll lock the door behind you." "Thank you." Amelia and Polly said, as one. The two young witches dashed off down the tunnel and soon emerged into the back lane. They found a gate with a black crescent moon painted on it. "This must be the apothecary's." Polly said. They slipped inside. The old, bald Apothecary was in his stillroom. He was dressed in black robes and grinding up some purple powder in his pestle and mortar. He smiled when they came in. "Hello ladies, may I be of service? I see you found the back entrance." Polly said; "Thank you, could we use your back gate next time we visit?" "Of course, you know what people are like in this town. They hate wizards and witches, I blame that fanatical mayor." The witches gave the Apothecary their shopping lists. It didn't take him long to prepare everything. "That'll be three silver pennies for you," he said to Polly, "and six and a half silver pennies to you, young Amelia." (He knew Amelia's mother, slightly.)  The girls paid their bills, packed the magical ingredients in their carpet bags and went out the back way. But the back lane wasn't empty. Two town guards, carrying long spears,  were guarding the lane at the bottom of the hill. Amelia had had enough. She put on her talkative pointed hat and marched ferociously down the lane. Polly followed more cautiously. The two guards looked perplexed and then shrank back when Amelia shouted; "Great Argaga, deep skull core, fingles bat hiss." and waved her arms wildly. The ignorant guards turned tail and ran for it. They didn't want to be enchanted or turned into something dreadful!  Amelia was giggling to herself as she and Polly scuttled out of town and into the dark countryside. "What was that spell?" Polly asked. "Utter gibberish," Amelia replied. But they don't know that, do they? Sometimes ignorance can be put to good use!" The two young witches headed homewards, tittering and giggling as they went. Once safe at home in the wild wood, they unpacked their dittany, powdered root of asphodel, gryphon tooth, eagle's claw and the rest. Then they had a pot of tea in front of a roaring fire, with toasted crumpets and chocolate brownies.
MAGICAL ARTIFACTS SHOP ON ETSY Magical fantasy props and unique hand-made items for the discerning Witch or Wizard: Fairy doors, dragon scuptures, magical film props, magical manuscripts etc. all created by Cornelius Clifford in Somerset
Copyright Cornelius Clifford 2023
Cornelius Clifford, Fantasy Books & Films

MAGICAL FANTASY STORIES

THE FLYING PIG

Gerald Snook lives in a cosy hole in the ground. He's a kind of small elf from the niggle tribe. He is thin and agile, and stands about two foot tall, including a rather battered top hat. One day he was dancing and humming outside his burrow, like you do, when a flying pig flew past. Gerald had never seen such a thing. He ran after the flying pig, and watched it land clumsily in a hazel thicket. He thought to himself, "It would be a fine thing to ride a flying pig." So he started to sneak up on it. The pig, rooting for acorns, (hard things to find under hazel trees) was snuffling happily in the undergrowth. Unfortunately, Gerald stepped on a dry stick, which snapped with a loud "CRACK!" The pig looked up, startled. It snorted loudly at Gerald. Who stepped back, caught his foot in a bramble and fell over, twisting his ankle. "Ouch!" After a few moments, instead of flying away, the pig approached Gerald, who was groaning from the pain. The flying pig gently flapped its wings and nudged Gerald with its muddy snout. Realising the pig wanted to help Gerald tried to climb onto its back. The pig, startled, pulled back in alarm and Gerald rolled onto the ground. Then Gerald remembered his aunt used to scratch her pig behind the ears. He gently tried this. The pig smiled and stopped going backwards. Slowly and carefully, Gerald pulled himself up onto the pigs' bristly back. The creature was nervous at first, but Gerald kept scratching behind its ears and whispered gently, "Everything's going to be okay." The pig flapped its pink wings and leapt into the air, with Gerald clinging on tightly to its' back. Who was so excited he forgot about his painful ankle for a while. Gerald somehow guided the pig to fly to his friends' house, a wise faerie witch called Philomena. "Philomena! Philomena!" Gerald shouted, as the flying pig landed outside a tiny thatched cottage. The door opened and a short, plump and green- winged faerie appeared. Seeing her friend Gerald, she smiled, but when she saw the flying pig, she laughed out loud. The pig somehow managed to look hurt. So she gave it a handful of acorns from her winter stash and while the pig happily crunched them, Philomena wrapped Gerald's ankle in a poultice of healing herbs. Then she helped him back onto the flying pig. The young elf thanked her over and over. She said; "Think nothing of it," and smiled again at the amusing pig. The flying pig flew Gerald home to his comfortable underground burrow. Whilst waiting for his ankle to heal, Gerald and the flying pig spent a lot of time together and grew to be great friends. Gerald helped his flying friend find a goodly supply of acorns. Of course, being a kind of elf, he knew where all the best oak trees were. And the winged pig took Gerald flying every day, just for the fun of it. What larks they had!

THE BAT CAT

Horace Dripwood had been hiding in the hollow tree all day. He absolutely did not want to be found, because Toecruncher, a hobgoblin moneylender, was after him. Horace had borrowed money and could not pay it back. Toecruncher could get very nasty if he didn't get his money back. Very nasty indeed. Trouble was, making money in the forest was difficult. Most fae folk didn't have coins or cash, they swapped and bartered instead. Nobody seemed to want the services of a scruffy Wizard of middling years. Whose pointy hat sagged, whose robes were threadbare, and whose pointy-toed slippers were more hole than shoe. Horace heard something moving in the tree above. He peered up nervously. Luckily, it wasn't Toecruncher! With the night drawing in, it looked like a large bat had come home to roost. The bat slowly climbed down the inside of the hollow trunk. even in the low light, Horace could see that the bat had a furry tail and paws. Clearly not a bat, in fact. The creature waved its tail about and nearly knocked Horace's hat off. "Are you a bat cat or a flying cat?" Horace asked. The bat cat just purred. Horace had a good feeling about this. "Perhaps you might like to be my familiar?" He said. "The best I can offer you is a regular supply of mice, and a dry tree nest to sleep in." The cat purred, offering its back to be stroked. Despite the bat-like wings, it behaved like any other cat would. "Maybe that means yes?" Horace thought out loud. Whilst stroking the bat cat, Horace felt a bit sorry for himself. He told his new found friend of his woes and difficulties. The lack of wizarding work, no sympathy from his friends Horace felt the creature somehow understood. The bat cat jumped down from Horace's lap and started scratching around at the base of the hollow tree. At first, Horace thought it was going to do something nasty in the leaf litter. But when the corner of a small chest emerged, Horace became excited. He helped with the digging, and, in a few minutes, a small and battered metal chest was revealed. The best thing was that not only was it unlocked, but it was full of silver coins! With this treasure he could easily pay off the Hobgoblin. Brilliant! The next day he did just that, with the bat cat sitting on his shoulder. "No more debt for me!" Horace said to the bat cat. Then they went to the market together and bought plenty of food. Horace was delighted to have met the bat cat, who had turned his life around in just one day. She seemed pretty pleased with the arrangement too. When they got back to his thatched tree nest they feasted on hot savoury pies, a jug of cider, chocolate mice, and some special witch-made cat treats for his new found friend and familiar. A very special bat cat!

A VISIT TO THE

APOTHECARY

Two young witches, Polly Lambsnuff and Amelia Twigg, were on their way to a local market town. They needed to buy some magical supplies from an apothecary there. Because witches are not popular with the superstitious townsfolk, they left their brooms at home, folded their pointy hats flat, and put them in their carpet bags. Going down the old sunken lane, past the whitethorn bushes, they entered town by the back way. They wanted to avoid being seen. When they came to the market place, a muffled voice said: "Let me out! Put me on!" "Shut up!" Amelia hissed. "I didn't say anything." Polly said. "Not you. Its' my hat, it's getting rebellious again." Polly laughed. Before they had a chance to nip into the apothecary, the Town Mayor spotted them across the square. His suspicions must have been aroused by Amelia's talking hat! "Quick, quick, down this alley." Polly said. The alley was dark and narrow, and the further they went in, the darker and narrower it got. At the end was a door, about three foot high and two foot wide. They could hear the fat mayor wheezing behind them. "You there! Stop! Show yourselves! We don't allow witches in this town." Amelia, in desperation, grabbed the door handle. She closed her eyes and wished it would open. And, amazingly, it did! The two witches dived through the small doorway and almost fell down some narrow stone steps going steeply downwards. Bent over double, the witches ran down the stairs and came to a rough-hewn cave. Here, at least, they could stand upright. But it was very dark. "Who are you?" A gruff voice demanded from the darkness. Polly thought, 'Oh no! How could the mayor have gone around and got in front of us so quickly?' There was a chink of metal on metal and a candle spluttered into life. It illuminated a short figure with an enormously long and scruffy beard. Clearly not the Mayor!  He looked like he had just woken up "Sorry to barge in. We were running away from the mayor." Polly said. The shortish person grunted. "I don't blame you, he's a dratted nuisance. Always demanding more duty on my metalwork coz I'm a dwarf." He pointed to a tunnel. "Take the first left and you'll come out in the back lane. I'll lock the door behind you." "Thank you." Amelia and Polly said, as one. The two young witches dashed off down the tunnel and soon emerged into the back lane. They found a gate with a black crescent moon painted on it. "This must be the apothecary's." Polly said. They slipped inside. The old, bald Apothecary was in his stillroom. He was dressed in black robes and grinding up some purple powder in his pestle and mortar. He smiled when they came in. "Hello ladies, may I be of service? I see you found the back entrance." Polly said; "Thank you, could we use your back gate next time we visit?" "Of course, you know what people are like in this town. They hate wizards and witches, I blame that fanatical mayor." The witches gave the Apothecary their shopping lists. It didn't take him long to prepare everything. "That'll be three silver pennies for you," he said to Polly, "and six and a half silver pennies to you, young Amelia." (He knew Amelia's mother, slightly.)  The girls paid their bills, packed the magical ingredients in their carpet bags and went out the back way. But the back lane wasn't empty. Two town guards, carrying long spears,  were guarding the lane at the bottom of the hill. Amelia had had enough. She put on her talkative pointed hat and marched ferociously down the lane. Polly followed more cautiously. The two guards looked perplexed and then shrank back when Amelia shouted; "Great Argaga, deep skull core, fingles bat hiss." and waved her arms wildly. The ignorant guards turned tail and ran for it. They didn't want to be enchanted or turned into something dreadful!  Amelia was giggling to herself as she and Polly scuttled out of town and into the dark countryside. "What was that spell?" Polly asked. "Utter gibberish," Amelia replied. But they don't know that, do they? Sometimes ignorance can be put to good use!" The two young witches headed homewards, tittering and giggling as they went. Once safe at home in the wild wood, they unpacked their dittany, powdered root of asphodel, gryphon tooth, eagle's claw and the rest. Then they had a pot of tea in front of a roaring fire, with toasted crumpets and chocolate brownies.
MAGICAL ARTIFACTS SHOP ON ETSY Magical fantasy props and unique hand-made items for the discerning Witch or Wizard: Fairy doors, dragon scuptures, magical film props, magical manuscripts etc. all created by Cornelius Clifford in Somerset