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Pelwrath
April 16th, 2013, 06:08 PM
The Bridge of Woe


The three princes while out surveying their father’s lands came to a far corner of the kingdom, A small forest with a medium stream that had a bridge over it. The bridge was nothing special, save that it was old and appeared such that only people and horses would use. What drew their attention was a very crude sign to the right:

Dis is da bridg of Woe

They looked at each other and then around them and saw little save some birds, a rabbit and a few butterflies. The eldest said. “Well there's nothing around, no hovels or fields. Who could've written such?” the second oldest added. “I don't know but how dare they say that this is Woe's bridge when all this land belongs to our father the king!”. The youngest replied. ”Perhaps we should ask. Someone wrote the sign.”
The elder just scoffed. “Little brother, we are princes of the realm,this will all become ours. Whoever did write such is obviously uncouth, for they can't spell.”
“True, but that isn't important.Where does it lead to?” the second queried. “Why dear brother, it leads to the other side.” the youngest said with a smile.

It was then that they all heard the deep booming voice. “I be troll and this be my bridge, would princes three like cross bridge?”
“Who are you!” the eldest demanded. “Show yourself, so that we may see who speaks.”
“Why need eyes to speak? Have you no ears?” the voice said.
“Such impertinence, of course we have ears you fool. Now show your selfor face the king’s justice.”
“If I no show, then how I face?” the voice countered.
“Well troll, I would like to see the owner of the bridge.”

“If king is father, then go back to castle.” Replied the voice
The eldest was becoming agitated and said. “You seek to jest with us troll? Come out then and I promise no harm to you.”
There was a pause before the voice replied. “Okay, troll promise, no harm to you.” and out from under the bridge came a troll. Even for trolls he was ugly, small and smelled very bad. “I be troll of bridge. How I help little princes?”
The second brother said. “We seek to cross your bridge, is that okay?”
“This be troll bridge. Need pay me.” and the troll just stood there, arms crossed, in front of the bridge.
“What do you charge for people to cross?” the youngest added.
“Three things that you brought with you, if sons of king you are then have them you must and valuable they must be.”
The three princes began checking their packs to see what they might have. “ How valuable must they be troll?” asked the second.
“Oh I not know, value is to giver not receiver for in giving is true value known.” The troll responded.
“Listen, he is but a stupid troll, just give him anything to be done with him.” said the eldest who went first.“Troll, I have these three small pretty stones. Will this be acceptable?”
“If pretty for prince to keep, then value to you they have. Fine, I take.” and the troll reached out his wort covered and dirty hand and the eldest put the three small stones in his hand and then crossed the bridge.
The second son went next. “Troll, I have these three grasshoppers. Are they acceptable to you?”
“If prince gives food to troll, that is good.” and again the troll reached out his hand and the three grasshoppers were put in it.
The youngest went last. “Woe, I have three silver coins for you. Is that to your liking?”
“Oh I like silver so take coins.” and for the third time the troll extended his hand and the three silver coins were placed in it.
“Now, you all pay troll Zendas to cross bridge. Do so with permission.” The three princes crossed and when they got to the other side the youngestsaid. “Wait. Isn't your name Woe?” he said to the troll.
“No little prince, name is Zendas, the bridge is named Woe and gives to those what they gave to me” and then Zendas disappeared back under the bridge.



Now, several years later, the three princes were now each a king as their father had died and had split his kingdom into three parts, one for each of his sons.
The eldest found that when his farmers went to plow their fields, they turned up many colored rocks, this made farming very hard and the harvest was poor and his people went hungry .The second son was thinking things were good until swarms of grasshoppers began eating all his crops and his people also went hungry.
The youngest son was worried that his farmers would not have enough time but when they plowed their fields, they found silver and were able to buy enough food so that none went hungry. Legend has it that in the kingdoms of the eldest and second, you can hear their ghosts saying: “Woe is me.”

Apple Ice
April 16th, 2013, 10:34 PM
Which age group is this aimed at? The language might be a bit much to follow for the younger years. It seems a classic good and clever children's story to me and has a good moral at the end which appears to be quite rare nowadays. Well done

Pelwrath
April 16th, 2013, 10:44 PM
I told this to my three who ranged from 8 to 12 at the time. My thanks for the read and comments.

Apple Ice
April 16th, 2013, 10:51 PM
ah right that would be fine then. No problem

Unconsoled
April 23rd, 2013, 08:05 AM
Hi Pelwrah,


The eldest then said. “Well there's nothing around, no hovels or fields. Who could've written such?” the second oldest then added. “I don't know but how dare they say that this is Woe's bridge when all this land belongs to our father the king!”. The youngest replied. ”Perhaps we should ask. Someone wrote the sign.”

The "Then"s are not necessary. In fact, they obstruct flow and it sounds robotic to read.


Now, several years later, the three princes were now each a king as their father had dies died and had split his kingdom into three parts, one for each of his sons.

There are numerous words that are attached together. You should look over them and space them out. I like the story. It's traditional and follows the same techniques as many others.But kids aged 8 to 12 might find it a bit childish, don't you think? What did yours have to say about it?
The story is good, as I said before, and the troll's dialogues are cool to read. Make sure the princes dialogues have enough "aura" in them.

Anyway, this was a lovely read. Hope to read more from you.
Sharyar.

Pelwrath
April 23rd, 2013, 04:35 PM
Well they didn't tell me they didn't like the story, but at that age perhaps they wouldn't tell daddy they didn't like it. I'll look at removing the "then's" as it makes sense. I have two other stories in the Sci-fi/fantasy section. "When a Thief isn't a Thief and "An Unexpected Encounter" if you interested. Thanks for the read and comments

Folcro
May 4th, 2013, 06:25 PM
Be wary of words like "Just" and "Then." They often serve only to encumber your prose. Also, watch for expository dialogue--- "Our father, the king." I don't say to my brothers "Our father, the owner of our house."

Personally, I would have liked the ending better if they all suffered, and I think it would have made sense. The prince whose lands became silver, his people should have had no one to buy from, because the lands of the other princes were barren.

Finally, what is the lesson or theme of this story? None of the princes seemed like they had this coming to them. What exactly is going on around here?

Have you read Stephen King's The Eyes of the Dragon? Given the trend your stories seem to take on, I would highly recommend it. I think you will learn a lot.

Pelwrath
May 5th, 2013, 11:08 PM
As an actual short story, you might well be correct, as a bed time story, I needed to have a happier ending but things can change. Thanks. No, I haven't read any Steven King, so either the comparison is that I'm similar or have a very, very long way to go. I did ask a few friends about that book and they said it was the worst book he's ever written and the only reason it was published was his name. They all panned it in very unanimously as a terrible book. So, what would I learn? I'd read it but with nothing to compare it to his other works, I'm not sure that I'd be able to make a fair comparison.

Okay, if his fans think it was a terrible book, mayhap that I'm well not a very good writer or have unknowingly developed a style that is similar regardless of my story?

Folcro
May 7th, 2013, 08:00 PM
As an actual short story, you might well be correct, as a bed time story, I needed to have a happier ending but things can change. Thanks. No, I haven't read any Steven King, so either the comparison is that I'm similar or have a very, very long way to go. I did ask a few friends about that book and they said it was the worst book he's ever written and the only reason it was published was his name. They all panned it in very unanimously as a terrible book. So, what would I learn? I'd read it but with nothing to compare it to his other works, I'm not sure that I'd be able to make a fair comparison.

Okay, if his fans think it was a terrible book, mayhap that I'm well not a very good writer or have unknowingly developed a style that is similar regardless of my story?

No, no. See, I'm not a big fan of Stephen King. In fact, I tend to think most of his work is a might overrated. But I loved Eyes of the Dragon. His narrative was masterful and his villain was inspiring. It was written as if told to a younger person, with a voice that made me feel like I was being spoken to directly. The man really shows his imagination when he writes fantasy. I think people who thought the Eyes of the Dragon was terrible were fans of King's who were expecting something else. Whereas fantasy lovers weren't seeking King for that kind of thing, so the book got thrown to the way side. I'm a very slow reader and I finished that book in a few days, I couldn't put it down. You should really give it a try so we can debate it sometime.

Pelwrath
May 8th, 2013, 01:32 AM
Okay, now I've a much better handle on what you mean. I may well order it. I did add some to this but only a bit of an intro were 'grand-pa' arrives at the house and tells the kids the story. Should I add descriptive a for tone and setting, to reflect the story tellers?

Folcro
May 8th, 2013, 03:33 AM
Okay, now I've a much better handle on what you mean. I may well order it. I did add some to this but only a bit of an intro were 'grand-pa' arrives at the house and tells the kids the story. Should I add descriptive a for tone and setting, to reflect the story tellers?

If I'm understanding you correctly, that you frame the story by revealing that another person is telling the story, I'm not sure if I agree that should even be added. But it did give me an idea...

What if this story were told within one of your other stories, namely Thief, that connected to the ideas surrounding Uxatore's journey (perhaps his struggle with the corruption of his city)?

kitsunescholar
May 8th, 2013, 08:15 PM
I liked the ending. You could have the first prince lose crops to mudslides and avalanches. I don't know what I would do to change this. Maybe add in a few lines about the kingdom at the beginning. Use a few colorful words to transport your readers to the actual bridge. Hope to read more and feel free to disregard my advice is it contradicts your vision.

Pelwrath
May 9th, 2013, 03:15 PM
My thanks kitsunescholar for read. I really didn't have anything more for this story. My wife suggested that I write others but use common takes but tell them from the trolls perspective as with the little I've added the grandpa telling the story is the troll from the story, to his grand kids.