Soda-Bread and Apples

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
I wrote this Unicorn story back in 2016 but can't find it posted on Booksie, --- so I'll post it again, just because.

Submitted: March 09, 2019

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Submitted: March 09, 2019

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  The Leprechaun was making his way through Gillian's woods when he heard sobbing.

"Whatever might cause such sorrow?" he thought to himself. "I will investigate."

With that thought passed, he crept ever so cautiously toward the sound.

"By the Saints, it is Miss Dale, the Unicorn," the Leprechaun exclaimed.

"I'd be wondering what tragedy has befallen her, that she weeps tears in such large quantities. I should ask her, and I shall if the coin falls to the side of tales," the Leprechaun quipped as he pulled a gold coin from his pocket.

It should be noted that Leprechauns are very superstitious creatures and some make no decisions without the flipping of a coin. 

With a flip of his stubby little fingers, the coin launched into the air and landed on the ground.

"This is going to be an interesting day," he thought when he saw that the coin had landed, standing on its edge.

"I shall flip it again," he said, but this time he said it out load and Dale heard him.

Dale asked, "Who stays hidden in the presence of a Unicorn? Are you not aware of the problems that may arise for doing such a devious thing?"

"Begging your pardon Lassie, I heard you sobbing and came to inquire as to your situation," the Leprechaun replied while picking up his coin.

Dale replied, "What business is this of yours, Mr. Golden, and I'll be thanking you to mind your own never-mind, if you don't mind."

At that moment Mr. Golden, the Leprechaun, pushed aside a bush limb that he was standing behind. And when he did he saw a horrific sight!

"Your horn, by the Saints, your horn is missing!" Mr. Golden said with such tragedy in his voice that all the wooded creatures came scampering to have a look for them-selves. They were all shocked and astounded at the sight.

Dale replied while shaking tears from her nose, "I know, I had a terrible accident and it just snapped right off," 

"Tis an Omen," said the Leprechaun, "a fearsome Omen! We need to put it back on your head, right away, or who knows what might happen."

"I can't, a few seconds after it broke off, it just vanished, (POOF!),” Dale replied.

 

At that very moment a girl came by carrying a basket with mushrooms in it. She was obviously picking them when she stumbled upon the group standing around the Unicorn. The Leprechaun hid behind a bush, the other creatures found cubbyholes of their own, but Miss Dale just stood there because humans can't see Unicorns.

The girl stopped for a moment, walked over to Miss Dale and petted her nose.

Miss Dale was in shock!

"What a beautiful horse you are," said the girl, "and so big, you must be very strong," she commented. "I wish I had an apple to give to you; I'm sorry, maybe at another time."

With that said, the girl continued in the direction that she was going, disappearing into the woods.

 

"I do not believe what I have seen today, by all the saints, I do not believe it!" Mr. Golden said as he came out from behind the bush.

"Nor I", replied Pixley the Pixie; a new arrival to the gathering.

Dale started crying again, and then she said in a blubbering fashion, "That girl could see me and she touched my snout. Then she talked to me like I was a common horse! What is going on?"

"It's a Omen I say, and a bad one at that!" Mr. Golden exclaimed.

"Oh please, will you stop with the Omen stuff? It is obvious what is going on here, "said Featherblinken the Owl. “Her Unicorn's magic was in her horn. When her horn was detached, then she became a worldly horse. A little logic tells us that she was a unicorn until the detachment occurred."

"I'm afraid Featherblinken has a point," Dale sniffled. "Everything was fine until the accident.

"Maybe you'll grow a new one," commented Pixley, "one even better than the last."

"Maybe so," Dale replied with another sniffle.

"In the meantime, it is important that you blend in now that you can be seen by humans," Mr. Golden cautioned.

Dale wrinkled her nose and replied, "Blend in, I've never had to blend in before. And even worse, I don't think I know how."

"Blending should be easy," said Pixley, "you look like a horse now. So all you have to do is stand in the fields where the horses are, you know, until your horn grows back.

Besides, humans aren't too bright so they will never notice another horse in the fields."

 

Well, this idea was discussed at great length and everyone agreed; Dale would just act like a horse until her horn grew back.

 

Weeks past by and horses came into the big field in the morning, and they left in the evening, but dale stayed and bathed in the light of the moon.

Bathing in the light of the moon is what all Unicorns must do to stay healthy; at least that is what Dale was told by other Unicorns.

 

***

 

One day the girl that Dale met in the woods came into the field where Dale was.

The girl was carrying a basket of apples and a loaf of fresh Baked Irish Soda-bread.

The girl walked towards Dale and greeted her. "Good day to you beautiful Lady," the girl said to Dale. "Today, I have apples for you and I have one for myself too. Let's have a nice lunch of apples and Soda-bread; I'm sure that you will find that they are delicious together.

Without another word the girl removed a table cloth from her basket and spread it out on the ground.

After settling down, on the table cloth, the girl took the bread from her basket and proceeded to pull a chunk off of the end of the bread loaf, then another, and another, until half the loaf was in pieces.

Then the girl polished each apple until they shined, and afterward, she laid them in a row on the tablecloth.

Lastly, she wrapped the half-loaf of bread in a napkin and put that into her basket.

And when she was done doing all that, the girl looked up at Dale and asked, "Shall we dine?"

 

Dale had never eaten an apple before.

Unicorns only eat heather, clover, and a variety of forest ferns. But from the day Dale lost her horn she has been sampling other things; field grasses, alfalfa, corn, she even dug up a potato with her hoof.

So when the apple was offered, Dale had to try it.

Dale ate the apple, core, seeds, and all; she chomped vigorously because it was so very good. Then she ate a second apple, and a third; each was better tasting than the last.

Then it happened, Dale ate a chunk of Soda-bread and she fell in love. When the girl offered her another chunk, Dale ate it and then went straight for the napkin that covered the half-loaf; it was gone very quickly.

"Well, aren't we the piggy today," the girl gleefully giggled.

"No, don't you dare eat the rest of my bread!" She said while rolling around on the table cloth and trying very hard to conceal the rest of her chunks of bread. Here, have another apple," she giggled, "and don't slobber on me this time; after all, we are ladies."

It wasn't long before the bread and apples were gone, which left these new friends time to chat.

"I have a confession to make," said the girl, "I am the daughter of a kindly Wizard and his kindness has endeared me to him, ever so much.

So it is understandable that I try to follow his example, in all my witching ways.

I knew who you were from the moment I first saw you. So I whipped up a potion that my Father taught me how to make; I baked it into the soda bread. The apples provide the right amount of moisture to make the magic work. Your horn is restored."

Dale's eyes looked up as far as they could see and sure enough, Dale had a new horn sprouting from her head. Dale was a very happy Unicorn, once again!

***

Now many years have passed and the good witch has long sense passed away, but as in many Irish tales there is an after story, a story with twinkling in the eyes and a kiss to the Blarney stone. 

And so it is with this story, for it is said that you may find visual proof to this story, just as I did. And the proof comes in the summer when apples are ripe for picking.

With a keen eye anyone can see that the kindly Witch is sitting in one of the horse fields, and she is eating soda bread and apples with a mysterious, invisible, friend.

Gee, I wonder who that might be.”

 

 

D. Thurmond / JEF 

06-01-2016

Reworked  --- 03-08- 2019


© Copyright 2019 D. Thurmond, aka, JEF. All rights reserved.

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