desktop to mobile switch button
desktop to mobile switch button
• Show or Hide Illustration •

The Uninvited

by George McGinn



It was a cold winter's night when Belle prepared for bed. She finished up her supper and walked to the window to draw the curtains when she noticed it had started snowing outside. She stared in wonder as the delicate fluffy flakes floated silently down turning the ground into a shimmering blanket of white. She was eager to go out, but it was bitterly cold and she needed a good night's sleep. She hoped the snow would not melt during the night so that she could build a snowman in the morning.

So tired was Belle that when her head touched the pillow, she quickly fell into a deep sleep. A few hours later, she was awoken by an unfamiliar noise coming from the nook above. Belle was aware that the nook was empty after a family of birds had recently moved out. She nipped outside to investigate. It was perishingly cold and she saw the big lolloping feet of a little troll poking out of the nook. Belle's heart sank as she realised big feet meant heavy stomping. Holding back her displeasure, she said to the troll: 'Are you sure the nook is suitable for a strapping troll like yourself?' Squeezing himself out and crashing to the ground, he replied: 'It's too poky in 'ere for me. I'm off.' With his big feet, he ploughed through the snow into the mist. Belle was relieved as woodland rules forbade her from preventing any woodland creature from taking up residence in an empty home.

Fleur was about to drift back into sleep when she was again awoken by another unfamilier sound. She got out of bed and went outside which was colder than before. Through the blizzard of snow, she saw a tall skinny goblin scuttling up the trunk to the nook. It was common knowledge that all goblins were anti-social creatures particularly at night when they got up to mischief. They could soon turn a quiet friendly tree into an undesirable home which would attract other undesirables.


Belle knew she had to act quickly. She diplomatically said to the creature: 'Are you sure the nook is suitable for a towering goblin like yourself?'. The goblin poked his head out of the nook and hurled a torrid of abuse at the nymph: 'What kind of a place is this? The ceiling is far too low!' Belle sighed with relief as the lanky goblin disappeared into the snowy mist.


Returning to her bed, an exhausted Belle slipped back into a tentative sleep when she was startled by a great thud of a noise outside. 'Who is it now?' Belle asked herself. She climbed out of bed and went to investigate. She was aghast at the sight of a scruffy ghoul mindlessly banging on the side of the tree. Belle pinched her nose to escape its foul smelling stench which was known to be powerful enough to kill a small animal and render unconscious a tree nymph such as herself. Not even the nooks and crannies ventilating the tree would be enough to neautralise a ghoul's unsavioury body odour. Mindful of the woodland rules, Belle said to the ghoul: 'There's very little food in this part of the woods during winter. Most of the animals go to the far side of the Forgotten Woods'. Of course, Belle was not telling truth, because she would never endanger the lives of other creatures elsewhere. She had guided him towards the caves where at least the ghoul could spend the night out of the cold snow. The ghoul took no notice and licked its lips as it eyed up the nymph as a tasty morsal. Belle was not one to use her magic powers gratuitously, but when needs must, she had no complusion to take action. Raising her hand, she mustered up a strong gust of wind which threw the ghoul out of the forest in the blink of an eye.


As she shook the snow flakes out of her hair and once again turned her thoughts to sleep, she saw in the corner of her eye a small squirrel traipsing through the deep snow like a wondering nomad. She soon realised he was heading for the tree. What a relief, she thought to herself. Perhaps now I will get some sleep. Her relief was shortlived as a pair of wooden clogs on his feet came into focus. Belle knew that she could not keep turning away the woodland creatures who had a sacred right to take up abode in an empty home. Downheartened, she decided not to intervene and went back to bed. Expecting the clipperty clop of clogs to keep her awake, she lay there with her eyes wide open. But the scuffling of hard heavy clogs was not to be heard. The minutes past and the silence continued. She decided to venture back outside and saw that the squirrel had left his clogs at the foot of the tree. 'How considerate' Belle said to herself. She smiled and thought of all the wondeful times she would have with her newest neighbour.


~The End ~






vignette meadow maid
vignette christmas clock
vignette tree sprite gramophone
vignette pillarbox
vignette butler
vignette butler face on pink
vignette moon king
vignette swiss clock girl falling
vignette sun
vignette girl face
winter tree
vignette glitter moon
butler on turquoise
vignette buttercuppia landscape portrait
vignette chair g plan
butter twenties face
vignette mallow path natural
vignette moon
vignette belle fleur tractor
queen knoll
acorn tree
vignette meadow maid
vignette fish
vignette swiss clock
vignette door bell
vignette christmas tree
vignette water witch
vignette swiss clockman face
goat and pig
vignette door bell
vignette compass
vignette air balloon
vignette sun moon
vignette glitter moon
butler on turquoise
vignette buttercup face