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Each of these twelve original ...
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Each of these twelve original fairy tales illustrates an aspect of conflict resolution.
The Little Caballero
Once upon a time, beneath a sky bright with stars, a young boy rode down a narrow pathway on his pony. He was a lowly stable boy from the Casa de Caballeros, a great hall of famous knights. His name was Pablo. Tonight, however, he called himself Sir Pablo. He clanked along in a suit of armor, much too large for him, hoping to go unnoticed as he searched for the King's army.
Ahead of him, the moon was setting behind the western hills. Against its light, he could see the silhouette of a face, crude and terrifying. It was the face of the stone giant.
For a hundred years, that face had only been a rocky ridgeline above the kingdom as the giant slumbered deeply in an ancient wizard's curse. Tomorrow, though, was the hundredth day of the hundredth year and on that day the giant always woke. He would be awake just until sunset, but in that time he could destroy the whole kingdom. That's why the King and his army were preparing for battle. Pablo wanted to be among them.
All at once, a voice croaked through the darkness, "Who are you out on this wicked night?"
The boy stared through the gloom at an old man on the trail before him. He was dressed in a ragged white tunic and bent over a gnarled wooden cane. "I am the brave caballero, Sir Pablo," Pablo replied with a voice as deep as he could manage.
The old man looked at him with squinting eyes. "Why that's just a pony and you're no bigger than a boy."
"I'm not a boy," Pablo said hastily. "I'm just short."
"Short is fine, if you're smart," the old man said with a wink. Then he shook his head. "Those fools. I tried to warn them. A whole army cannot defeat the giant. I know. I was there."
"You were there? A hundred years ago?"
"I was just a boy," croaked the old man, "but I remember. Nothing could stop that giant. No sharp sword. No swift arrow. Not even burning oil can harm him. He's made of stone."
The boy shook his head. "Something must stop him."
"Not their meager weapons," the man snorted. "I tried to give them this. None would take it, but perhaps you will."
The boy reached down to accept what the old man held in his hand. He studied it in the darkness. "It's only a rope."
"A silken rope," the man corrected. "Strong enough to trip a giant, even one made of stone." The old man laughed. "Tie the rope between two trees where the earth is full of boulders. Lead him there so he will trip and crack against the rocks_"
"Yes! I see!" cried the little caballero. "The giant will crumble into pieces. Ha! That will stop him, won't it?"
"You must be smart. You must trick the giant," warned the old man.
"I will. You'll see," the boy assured him as he turned his pony down the path into the darkness.
However, he had not gone far when another voice called to him, "Who is this, alone on such a terrible night?"
The boy recognized the voice as an old man's. "It is me, Sir Pablo. Don't you remember? You gave me the rope."
"Oh, that silly old rope," cackled the speaker. "You must have been talking to my brother."
Then the boy saw an old man step toward him from the side of the trail. He looked very much like the first, but he had on a dark tunic instead of a white one. "My brother's wrong," he said as his voice cracked with age. "Using trickery won't stop the giant. You must distract him from his angry thoughts."
"Distract him? What with?" Pablo asked slowly.
"With this." The old man held out a leather pouch. "It is a music box from a far-off land. Just turn the key and it will play a wonderful melody. It will distract the giant long enough for him to fall asleep again."
Pablo pulled out the box and turned the key. The melody was extremely beautiful. "No one could resist this song," he said happily. "Yes, this could stop the giant."
"Be very, very persuasive, Sir Pablo." warned the old man. "You must convince the giant to listen."
"I will," the boy assured him as he rode on. "I will."
The little caballero had soon left the second man far behind as his pony trotted down the dark trail. It was not long, however, till the brave Sir Pablo came upon yet another man in his path. This man seemed ancient. He was stooped over double as he hobbled along with his cane. His tunic was half white and half dark. He called out to the boy in a weak and weary voice, "Stop a minute. I must speak to you."
Pablo stopped. "I have met your brothers," he said.
"So you have," the old man replied with a great sigh. "And they have given you much advice. I warn you, though, my brothers' plans are mere manipulation. Neither way will work for long. You need a lasting solution to truly stop the giant."
|Step One: The Highs and Lows of a Dragon's Esteem||Page 8|
|Of Dragons And Diamonds||Page 11|
|The Master Of The Marsh||Page 25|
|Dragon Bluff And Blunder||Page 36|
|Step Two: Dragon Words||Page 48|
|Fairy Talk||Page 51|
|When A Dragon Says No||Page 63|
|The Dragon Stick||Page 74|
|Step Three: Dragons Can Cooperate!||Page 88|
|Pixie Tuggles||Page 91|
|The Little Caballero||Page 101|
|To Build A Dragon||Page 113|
|Step Four: A Win for Every Dragon||Page 121|
|Behind Each Wish||Page 124|
|Three Wise Dragons||Page 148|