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The Grove of Reversion

The Grove of Reversion

"Where are we going?" the gnome Jillian asked her friend Gert. "Well, according to this map…" The gnome examined it closely. "Hey, this map is reversed!" he exclaimed, and quickly turned it around to see the proper view of it. "According to this map, we're heading towards some place called 'The Grove of Reversion'." Jillian took a bite of her apple. "Why reversion? Do all its inhabitants walk backwards or what?" She chuckled as chewed pieces of apple flew out of her mouth. "Don't ask me, but the merchant who gave me the map said it was filled with glittering gems and jewels, and one can never have too little precious stones." He smiled, his one gem-tooth sparkling with azure light. "Well, let's be off then!" Jillian said, thrilled at the thought of glittering rubies, shimmering sapphires and gleaming diamonds. The two gnomes ventured off through the dense woods and thick underbrush, heading towards 'The Grove of Reversion.' They got tired along way to their goal, but the thought of gems kept them going. After about four hours they reached a grove in the large forest. It seemed to be the correct place. Gert checked the map. Yes, the purling stream was there, as well as the clump of willows next to the big gray rock, and in the midst of the grove was a very large oak, as indicated on the map. "Look how tall that tree is!" Jillian shouted. Suddenly and unexpectedly, almost as if in response to the gnome's shouting, the huge tree shrunk rapidly in size and became no larger than a flower. Gert looked in awe at the now tiny oak, his eyes large as apples. "What happened?!" he said, astonished by the tree's headlong shrinkage. He had heard of magic before, but this was absurd. Who could reduce a thing of that magnitude to the size of a dagger? Jillian interrupted Gert's thoughts. "Well, we didn't come here to look at trees, right? We came all the way here to find us some precious gems!" Almost drooling, the gnome searched the surroundings for any signs of topazes, amethysts or emeralds. The rummaging went on for a good hour or so, and still they couldn't find any gems. The two gnomes had looked under rocks, in treetops, in the murmuring waterway, but without result. "The merchant must have tricked you," Jillian told Gert, "because I can't find any gems here!" Abruptly, a large pile of gold coins, gems and jewels formed up in the middle of the grove, where the gigantic tree had stood before. The jangling sound of riches awoke the gnomes' attention, who quickly turned their eyes toward the source of the beautiful clattering. Jillian was the first to leap toward the large heap of gems, closely followed by Gert, who was so startled he made a double somersault before landing smack in the middle of it. There were more precious stones here than they had ever seen. "This must be the paradise of a gnome," they both thought. "Let's pack all we can carry into our bags and go home to brag about it!" Jillian said after the first few minutes of excitement. "But why not stay here for a while? After all, it is very peaceful and quiet around here," Gert said. If the gnome should have said those words was arguable, and the second after he uttered the words "peaceful and quiet" a horrid ogre jumped out of the nearby bushes and charged toward the Gert. The gnome was struck with fear. He looked for a safe hiding place from the onrushing beast, finding only the gem-pile, which he quickly dived into. Jillian who was watching quickly climbed up a tree and shouted, "Watch out! The ogre is very dangerous!" That saying felt very unnecessary. All gnomes know ogres are dangerous, and Gert was no exception. Finally, the monster reached Gert's hiding place and pulled him up from there. The ogre raised his right hand, as if preparing to hit the gnome. Gert closed his eyes. "This is my doom," he thought. He felt the massive hand landing on his head, but what he thought would be a punch was actually a stroke. "Nice little gnome," the hulk said in a guttural voice, and put the surprised Gert down again. The gnome's face lit up with relief as he cried out, "Jillian, the ogre didn't kill me! I'm alive, it didn't kill-"Gert's words abruptly stopped as he slumped dead to the ground, killed by his own words.

Thanks to Scarab for this contribution!


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