One Good Turn Deserves… part 1 of 2

When she finally found his way out of the thorny hedge, she was covered in a hundred cuts. Some were quite deep, but luckily they did not seem to bleed very much. In addition, she had no idea where she was. The only thing she was certain of was that she did not want to go back through the hedge, so she chose a likely direction and began walking.

After a while, she heard someone crying. She followed the noise and found a deer tied to a tree with a golden rope. Large tears splashed onto the red leaves in the forest bed.

‘Why are you crying?’ she asked.

‘I used to be human like you,’ the deer said, ‘but the golden rope binds me in this shape, and I am only loosed from the tree when my master wants to hunt me.’

‘That’s terrible,’ she said, ‘let me untie that rope for you.’ And as soon as she had untied the rope from the deer’s neck, it leapt away and disappeared into the forest. She sighed and walked on.

Soon she stepped out of the forest and saw a high leafless hedge surrounding a garden with a large mansion in the middle. She thought there might be someone in the mansion who could help her, so she followed the hedge for a while until she found a silver gate, but in front of the gate lay a humongous hound. When the hound had risen to its feet, it was a whole head taller than her and she took a step back. Then she noticed a silver chain from the hounds collar to the gate.

‘Will you let me in?’ she asked.

‘No,’ said the hound.

‘Why not?’

‘I cannot let anyone in,’ said the hound, ‘as long as I am chained to this gate, I can only serve my master.’

‘What if I released you from your chain?’

‘Then I would flee this place and you could go where you wished.’

She stepped up to the hound and opened its collar. The hound bounded off and she went through the gate and into the garden.

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