19. in which danny seeks the crone’s help

The crone grunted and snatched the little bean sack from the air. She immediately threw it back at Danny — hard.

“Oy,” said the rabbit as Danny barely caught it.

“Throw it back!” hissed the snake.

Danny hesitated, then threw it back to the crone. This time, gentler. The two began to throw it back and forth.

“She’s not holding onto it,” Danny told the carcasses.

“That’s fine. Just keep it up,” said the rabbit.

“Finally,” said the venison. “Thought me skull was going to shatter.”

“Yours!” said the rabbit.

Meanwhile, the crone’s demeanor had changed entirely. “Sorry about the animals, dear,” she said. “They do talk back, and they are rude!”

“I beg to differ, marm,” said the snake.

“Sssshhh!” she said. “You’ll never finish cooking if you keep releasing all of that hot air!”

“Yes, marm.”

“So,” said the crone, peering at Danny. “You’re Danny. Have you come for dinner?”

“No, ma’am,” she said. “I’ve come for a name.”

“A name! But you have one already, dear!”

“Yes, but I’ve come to find someone else’s.”

“Ooooh, splendid! You’re on a quest, then! What a dear. Nasty affair, losing one’s name. Well, I bet you’re hungry, all on a quest and what!”

“No, ma’am. Thank you, though. I’ve come to ask your help.”

“Of course!” she said. “Wonderful. Wonderful. Well, you’ll have to tell your friend to come get his name. I can’t be giving names out to anyone who stops by, don’t you know?”

Danny nodded. “Quite understandable – only, he’s trapped and can’t come himself.” Technically, that was true. She added, “I need his name to free him.”

“Oh! I see. Well, let me consider. Dear me, I haven’t put the onions on yet. Hold this, honey, while I put them on the fire.” With that, the crone tossed the poppet to Danny and turned back to the iron skillet.

“No!” cried the rabbit.

“Don’t!” cried the venison.

“Oh no!” cried the snake, fearfully lowering back into the kettle.


The crone brought the cleaver down hard onto the stone countertop, and the sound left Danny’s ears numb.

“Told you to be quiet!” the crone said irritably. Then, almost as an afterthought, “Blast it!”

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Creative Commons License
Christie “Iamba” Bailey


~ by iamba on October 26, 2008.

One Response to “19. in which danny seeks the crone’s help”

  1. […] quite sure what she was doing, so she aimed — more or less on purpose — at the face. next page Christie “Iamba” […]

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