The Sixth Story

The Wind Rider


One bright, crisp morning, King Ferdinand the Thirteenth of Vàldovar was taking his usual stroll through the woods outside the walls of the royal castle. The air was still, and wisps of mist floated ghost-like between the trees. The only sound came from the first golden leaves of autumn that had fallen from the trees, and now crunched beneath the King’s feet. King Ferdinand liked this time of day better than any other, for he could be alone and undisturbed.
    Suddenly, there was a loud crashing sound, followed by a series of bumps and bangs, and a great deal of shouting.
    ‘Oh, bother!’ said someone in a very cross tone of voice, and then added, ‘Fiddledee-dum!’ (and that is a very naughty thing to say in Vàldovar).
    King Ferdinand looked around to discover who was making such a dreadful noise – but there was no-one to be seen. ‘This is very odd,’ he thought.
    The snapping, tearing, crunching noise became louder and louder, and whoever was doing all the shouting was clearly becoming angrier and angrier. ‘Womplie-wump!’ the voice said (that is much worse than fiddledee-dum), and then the voice said the most awful word that exists in the whole of Vàldovar: it said, ‘Riggle-piggle!’ and King Ferdinand clapped his hands over his ears.