Uma Russem and the Three Friendly Elves
A Fairy Tale
by Cice Rivera
Once upon a time there was a brave girl called Uma Russem. She was on the way to see her friend Sophia Butterswirp, when she decided to take a short cut through Landwood Forest.
It wasn’t long before Uma got lost. She looked around, but all she could see were trees. Nervously, she felt into her bag for her favourite toy, Daisy, but Daisy was nowhere to be found! Uma began to panic. She felt sure she had packed Daisy. To make matters worse, she was starting to feel hungry.
Unexpectedly, she saw a friendly elf dressed in a blue magical shoes disappearing into the trees.
“How odd!” thought Uma.
For the want of anything better to do, she decided to follow the peculiarly dressed elf. Perhaps it could tell him the way out of the forest.
Eventually, Uma reached a clearing. She found herself surrounded by houses made from different sorts of food. There was a house made from broccoli florets, a house made from chocolate, a house made from muffins and a house made from sweets.
Uma could feel her tummy rumbling. Looking at the houses did nothing to ease her hunger.
“Hello!” she called. “Is anybody there?”
Uma looked at the roof on the closest house and wondered if it would be rude to eat somebody else’s chimney. Obviously it would be impolite to eat a whole house, but perhaps it would be considered acceptable to nibble the odd fixture or lick the odd fitting, in a time of need.
A cackle broke through the air, giving Uma a fright. A witch jumped into the space in front of the houses. She was carrying a cage. In that cage was Daisy!
“Daisy!” shouted Uma. She turned to the witch. “That’s my toy!”
The witch just shrugged.
“Give Daisy back!” cried Uma.
“Not on your nelly!” said the witch.
“At least let Daisy out of that cage!”
Before she could reply, three friendly elves rushed in from a footpath on the other side of the clearing. Uma recognised the one in the blue magical shoes that she’d seen earlier. The witch seemed to recognise him too.
“Hello Big Elf,” said the witch.
“Good morning.” The elf noticed Daisy. “Who is this?”
“That’s Daisy,” explained the witch.
“Ooh! Daisy would look lovely in my house. Give it to me!” demanded the elf.
The witch shook her head. “Daisy is staying with me.”
“Um… Excuse me…” Uma interrupted. “Daisy lives with me! And not in a cage!”
Big Elf ignored her. “Is there nothing you’ll trade?” he asked the witch.
The witch thought for a moment, then said, “I do like to be entertained. I’ll release him to anybody who can eat a whole front door.”
Big Elf looked at the house made from sweets and said, “No problem, I could eat an entire house made from sweets if I wanted to.”
“That’s nothing,” said the next elf. “I could eat two houses.”
“There’s no need to show off,” said the witch. Just eat one front door and I’ll let you have Daisy.”
Uma watched, feeling very worried. She didn’t want the witch to give Daisy to Big Elf. She didn’t think Daisy would like living with a friendly elf, away from her house and all her other toys.
The other two elves watched while Big Elf put on his bib and withdrew a knife and fork from his pocket.
“I’ll eat this whole house,” said Big Elf. “Just you watch!”
Big Elf pulled off a corner of the front door of the house made from chocolate. He gulped it down smiling, and went back for more.
Eventually, Big Elf started to get bigger – just a little bit bigger at first. But after a few more fork-fulls of chocolate, he grew to the size of a large snowball – and he was every bit as round.
“Erm… I don’t feel too good,” said Big Elf.
Suddenly, he started to roll. He’d grown so round that he could no longer balance!
“Help!” he cried, as he rolled off down a slope into the forest.
Big Elf never finished eating the front door made from chocolate and Daisy remained trapped in the witch’s cage.
Average Elf stepped up, and approached the house made from muffins.
“I’ll eat this whole house,” said Average Elf. “Just you watch!”
Average Elf pulled off a corner of the front door of the house made from muffins. She gulped it down smiling, and went back for more.
After a while, Average Elf started to look a little queasy. She grew greener…
A woodcutter walked into the clearing. “What’s this bush doing here?” he asked.
“I’m not a bush, I’m an elf!” said Average Elf.
“It talks!” exclaimed the woodcutter. “Those talking bushes are the worst kind. I’d better take it away before somebody gets hurt.”
“No! Wait!” cried Average Elf, as the woodcutter picked her up. But the woodcutter ignored her cries and carried the elf away under his arm.
Average Elf never finished eating the front door made from muffins and Daisy remained trapped in the witch’s cage.
Little Elf stepped up, and approached the house made from sweets.
“I’ll eat this whole house,” said Little Elf. “Just you watch!”
Little Elf pulled off a corner of the front door of the house made from sweets. He gulped it down smiling, and went back for more.
After five or six platefuls, Little Elf started to fidget uncomfortably on the spot.
He stopped eating sweets for a moment, then grabbed another forkful.
But before he could eat it, there came an almighty roar. A bottom burp louder than a rocket taking off, propelled Little Elf into the sky.
“Aggghhhhhh!” cried Little Elf. “I’m scared of heigh…”
Little Elf was never seen again.
Little Elf never finished eating the front door made from sweets and Daisy remained trapped in the witch’s cage.
“That’s it,” said the witch. “I win. I get to keep Daisy.”
“Not so fast,” said Uma. “There is still one front door to go. The front door of the house made from broccoli florets. And I haven’t had a turn yet.
“I don’t have to give you a turn!” laughed the witch. “My game. My rules.”
The woodcutter’s voice carried through the forest. “I think you should give her a chance. It’s only fair.”
“Fine,” said the witch. “But you saw what happened to the elves. She won’t last long.”
“I’ll be right back,” said Uma.
“What?” said the witch. “Where’s your sense of impatience? I thought you wanted Daisy back.”
Uma ignored the witch and gathered a hefty pile of sticks. She came back to the clearing and started a small campfire. Carefully, she broke off a piece of the door of the house made from broccoli florets and toasted it over the fire. Once it had cooked and cooled just a little, she took a bite. She quickly devoured the whole piece.
Uma sat down on a nearby log.
“You fail!” cackled the witch. “You were supposed to eat the whole door.”
“I haven’t finished,” explained Uma. “I am just waiting for my food to go down.”
When Uma’s food had digested, she broke off another piece of the door made from broccoli florets. Once more, she toasted her food over the fire and waited for it to cool just a little. She ate it at a leisurely pace then waited for it to digest.
Eventually, after several sittings, Uma was down to the final piece of the door made from broccoli florets. Carefully, she toasted it and allowed it to cool just a little. She finished her final course. Uma had eaten the entire front door of the house made from broccoli florets.
The witch stamped her foot angrily. “You must have tricked me!” she said. “I don’t reward cheating!”
“I don’t think so!” said a voice. It was the woodcutter. He walked back into the clearing, carrying his axe. “This little girl won fair and square. Now hand over Daisy or I will chop your broomstick in half.”
The witch looked horrified. She grabbed her broomstick and placed it behind her. Then, huffing, she opened the door of the cage.
Uma hurried over and grabbed Daisy, checking that her favourite toy was all right. Fortunately, Daisy was unharmed.
Uma thanked the woodcutter, grabbed a quick souvenir, and hurried on to meet Sophia. It was starting to get dark.
When Uma got to Sophia’s house, her friend threw her arms around her.
“I was so worried!” cried Sophia. “You are very late.”
As Uma described her day, she could tell that Sophia didn’t believe her. So she grabbed a napkin from her pocket.
“What’s that?” asked Sophia.
Uma unwrapped a doorknob made from chocolate. “Pudding!” she said.
Sophia almost fell off her chair.