An Excess of Enchantment by Craig Shaw Gardner

By Craig Shaw Gardner

Verse the second one within the Ballad of which an uninformed apprentice learns what comes after "Once upon a time..."

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The woods and the goodies aren’t bad either. They lend necessary color, I think. And the wolf eating the grandmother gives us that good old fairy tale violence that children love so much. ” Jeffrey smiled, pleased with the approval. “Why, I eat the kid, too! ” Mother Duck made a face. ” Jeffrey replied, somewhat miffed. ” And with that, Mother Duck climbed back up the hill. Jeffrey the wolf trotted right behind her. My hope faded as Mother Duck walked away. I had completely failed in my plea for her to change allegiance.

On a sunny afternoon like this, he could best whatever was thrown in his path! And with that, Wuntvor skirted the boulder and continued down the trail to the bridge. He had not gone a dozen paces, however, before a large man stepped out from behind a concealing hedge. Wuntvor studied the newcomer with some surprise, since he was the largest man the young lad had ever seen, being massive in girth as well as height. The large fellow was dressed in a bronze breastplate, which was somewhat dented and tarnished, and wore an elaborate winged helmet on top of his massive head.

And, as if in answer, he heard a second voice come from beneath the bridge. “Ho, young traveler, No need to fiddle! ” And with that a second creature leapt onto the path, less than a dozen paces from Wuntvor, who was nowhere near as startled this time, having come somewhat to expect such occurrences. The second monster was a bit different from the first, a tad shorter and more of a putrid gray-green in color. Its clothing was more conservative as well, as it wore dark, almost monastic-looking robes that ballooned around its short body in great folds.

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