Serializations of the Hitherby Dragons novels

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– 9 –

– 9 –

The little wooden boy looks around the pantry. It sees the pantry of its own conceptions.

Sometimes it is distantly aware of this.

Sometimes it will remember Hans’ dread black jam. Sometimes it will smell that jam, or taste that jam, and it will understand that it is seeing not the world as it is but the world as it is understood to be.

At such times it will sneak off and work great mischiefs among the things of Hans’ farm. It will release the paper serpent, say, into the ocean. Or it will mix up Hans’ reagents, so that instead of bottled summer he keeps newts’ eyes. Instead of cow’s-fire he’ll have stored the blood of goats.

Sometimes the little wooden boy will disguise itself, using a stone on its forehead, so that Hans suspects it of being an emu, or a wallaby, or some other farm animal, and doesn’t recognize it as the wooden boy itself.

It does all these things —

Or, then again, quite possibly it does not.



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