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‘Bolingbroke and Norman’



He was King of the forest.  Strong, powerful, brave.  He had hundreds of mistresses, hundreds of children.  He knew the green of the land.  The hills covered with snow.  Where to find the sweet grasses and the juicy leaves for his many followers.  They kept a look out for him while grazing on the slopes, and he defended them when danger from wolf or fox came by.

            But that all changed……...

            In the blink of an eye, Bolingbroke had no idea where he was.  

What were the strange plants about him?  What were the smells that permeated his nostrils?  What was that strange grass and the thin spindly trees with inedible leaves?  Though most important of all,

‘Where is my family?’ he roared.

Bolingbroke’s roar woke a nearby fairy called Jimna, and Jimna woke her friend Moni.  Moni was quite annoyed at being disturbed that she dived at Jimna, dislodging her dainty slippers as they rolled over and over out of their tree home.  The gentle breeze caught the fairies and they hovered, looking down on the strangest creature they had ever seen.

It stood on four legs with its head held high, a little tail wiggling at one end, its mouth open at the other and the hugest pair of trees growing from its head.

‘What is all this noise about,’ grumbled Moni to the thing in her sights.  She dove down picking up her slippers, before scooting back quickly to the safety of her friend.

‘Where am I?’ questioned Bolingbroke to what he thought were the strangest little creatures he had even seen in his life. 

‘You are in our forest, and you are making one big noise,’ answered Jimna, trying very hard to be brave.  ‘What is your problem?’

Bolingbroke told the friends how he had woken up in this strange world and that he was very lonely without all of his family and subjects around him.  The fairies, who had very kind hearts promised that they would help Bolingbroke to find his family.

It just so happened that the fairies where not the only ones that had heard Bolingbrokes’ roar. 


Several valleys over in this steep and wooded forest, Norman raised his head and flicked back his ears at the familiar noise.  The girls grazing hungrily around him tried to head towards the call but shuddered as Norman stomped his feet.

‘Stay with me,’ he demanded then pushed the girls deeper into the forest, further away from Bolingbrokes’ cry.


Jimna and Moni found they liked this furry new friend, with the trees sticking out of his head.  He was strong, brave and seemed to care about what might have happened to his kind.  They travelled with him through the forest seeking information from other fairies along the way, while Bolingbroke sniffed the air and scratched at the ground looking for sign himself. 

One day, Jimna and Moni meet Harlin, who told the group about a strange fellow just like Bolingbroke, who had been drinking at a stream not far from there.  He had four of the same funny creatures with him, but with no trees protruding from their heads.  They took off immediately with Harlin leading the way.  At the stream Bolingbroke picked up the familiar scent of his subjects.  He traced the smells, scattered at first and then together up a hill and over the ridge. 

There they were, grazing on this unusual grass, Alma, Ada, Atlas and Martha.  He recognised them at once as being subjects from his green sloped home……and then there was another.

Bolingbroke roared ‘I am here.’

The forest cracked then burst to life as birds scattered and branches broke.  Norman charged through the undergrowth, taking bushes and grasses as he went on a direct path at Bolingbroke.  The two stags meet in high combat, their tree like antler on their heads crashing together and tossing about until one could release and then crash again.  Bolingbroke fought with fury, hatched from his concern for his family.  He fought for his kingdom and his subjects.  He fought, and Norman fought back. 

Alma, Ada, Atlas and Martha looked on, no one seemingly too concerned about the safety or the outcome of the confrontation in front of them.  They grazed, and were soon joined by Jimna, Moni and Harlin. 

‘They are quite strong, especially Bolingbroke,’ ventured Alma.

‘They are both handsome, especially Norman,’ replied Ada.

‘Bolingbroke was the King,’ Martha added.

‘Not in this place,’ said Atlas, who was a little wiser than the rest and really fancied Norman.

‘We could help,’ Jimna told the casual hinds, ‘if you wanted us too?’

‘Let them work it out,’ said Atlas after a moment’s contemplation.  She continued to graze. 

Just as suddenly as it had begun the fighting stopped.  The crashing of antler could not be heard.  The tearing up of the bush and the barking and roaring of the stags ceased.  Bolingbroke and Norman had clashed so hard their antler had tangled and neither were able to pull free of the other.  They struggled for a long time, then exhausted both lay joined on the ground.  Bolingbroke called to Jimna and Moni. 

‘Would you please get us out of this situation?’  By this time the unconcerned hinds with the slightly concerned fairies had found the situation very funny indeed.  In this strange land, the boys had to prove themselves, and look at the mess they got into. 

The fairies laughed, the birdlife joined in, the hinds circled, digesting exactly what this situation could develop into.

‘I have an idea,’ said Jimna, with a sweet little smile.

‘Though you stags have to agree,’ joined in Moni who knew exactly what Jimna was going to say.

‘I agree,’ Norman struggled.


A deal was struck.  Norman wondered to the south with Ada and Atlas by his side.  Bolingbroke travelled north escorting Alma and Martha, while their fairy friends kept a watch over them, popping down to meet the new members of the herds at those special times each year.


Vicki Sweedman


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