Stories for Young People from 4 to 400
Here for the Reading:
A New Story
October 20, 2022, in Stories for Young People of All Ages
In summer, Mum and I collect cottongrass from the moors. Mum plucks their fluffy white heads, storing them in her knitting bag along with a handful of magic.
As Autumn approaches, she opens the bag.
We start slowly, creating a cloud here and there, cooling the world one grey sunshade at a time. It’s a delicate process.
This year I watch the cloud-yarn drift and shift about the bag, damp as peat bog and twice as clingy.
I pick up Mum’s needles and hold them out to her, but she shakes her head.
“It’s time for you to start knitting the clouds.”
New Story for Young People of All Ages
January 30, 2021, in Stories for Young People of All Ages
“The Water Buffalo, the Wanderer, and the Prince”
by Sam Muller
Once upon a time, in a faraway land where people had skins as blue as the sea and hair as white as moonlight, where animals could speak in human words but few humans any longer listened, there lived a girl called Ambha.
Ambha was a human who did listen.
For March 31, 2020,
“Tea and Sanctuaries”
by Hannah Montine
Crown Prince Ferdinand was shaking. Doom was upon him. His parents’ royal carriage was creaking to a dusty and ominous stop before his door. They had laid waste to every princess wishing to wed him. They had their idea of perfection, and nothing else would do. Soon their disapproving forms would loom over him, frowning down upon his recently-wedded bliss. What fault might they imagine in his beloved Regina?
“Ladder to the Moon”
by Naoko Awa
Keiko’s great-grandmother gave her a real rabbit for her birthday. She told Keiko “It’s easy to care for her. But there’s one thing you must remember… Rabbits love the moon! And the moon loves rabbits. So make sure your rabbit doesn’t escape on a full moon night.”
And when the Autumn Moon Festival came, the moon loomed large in the eastern sky and seemed to say, “Your rabbit will be mine.”
We are pleased that the first publication of this story by the much loved children’s author Naoko Awa is here in Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, with the kind permission of her estate. We’ve published it to coincide with the Moon Viewing festival in Japan.
Olaf was Lars’ ice bear, and Lars was Olaf’s person. They were a team.
Olaf was intelligent and skilled. When he danced around a sword or walked a tightrope it was as much a performance as that given by any human acrobat.
But he would perform only for Lars. Sure, the King might be there —- a thousand people might be there -— but anything Olaf did, he did for Lars alone.
So they were on their way to perform before the King, But just now they were looking at the chimney smoke rising over the hill. They might soon be at the castle, but meanwhile they wouldn’t mind spending the night with a roof over their heads.
The little fox showed up after a big shooting star streaked across the sky. He couldn’t remember who he was. But he knew he wanted to run, to glow, to leap through the air.
But he also wanted to please all the very puzzling people he met, and they didn’t want him doing any of those things.
If you were a dog,
if you were in a cage waiting for someone to take you,
to take you out the Good Door and home with them,
if you could change your size and shape and color to please them,
of course someone would pick you right away —
Magda practically lived in the tree, and she wouldn’t leave it to the mercy of Harris and his chain saw, in spite of Carla and her pizza bribes, policemen, firemen, dire threats from Child Services, rain, hunger… and that beast from the Paleolithic.
What was this woman doing disturbing Deifilia’s nest on the belfry? Offering frogs and asking for a baby for her daughter!? Hah! From the looks of the old crone she probably wanted the infant for some unsavory purpose. Perhaps to boil into a stew.
No deliveries for her. Deifilia was sure of that.
My grandmother picks up dead things. She brings them home. Sometimes she scares people because they don’t understand. Nobody does. Except me. And that’s the scariest thing of all.
Lead illustration “Peregrine Ghosts” photograph © Dave Cox
The Lady and the Moon, by Matt Dovey,
Why we must love the Sea…
“The Lady and the Moon” © Matt Dovey
Matt Dovey is very tall and very English and most likely has a cup of tea in his hand right now. He has a scar on his arm where the giant squid caught him with its beak as it finally won free and slipped back into the terrible depths.
He grew up by the sea. He believes you cannot know magic until you have stood alone on a beach beneath the swollen summer moon, warmed by salt winds. He speaks from experience. Of all the wines he has homebrewed, he has never made seaweed wine, but reckons he could come up with a recipe.
More waffle and nonsense can be found at mattdovey.com. You can follow along at facebook.com/mattdoveywriter or on Twitter @mattdoveywriter.
Illustration: “Eternity” © Stephanie Piuman Law
Stephanie Pui-Mun Law has been painting fantastic otherworlds from early childhood.
What Stephanie tries to convey with her art is not simply fantasy, but the fantastic, the sense of wonder, that which is sacred.
While most of Stephanie’s work is done with watercolors, she experiments with pen & ink, intaglio printing, acrylic, and digital painting as well. www.shadowscapes.com