My name is Ball-Carrier. My people say that a witch lives on the other side of the wood, near the great river. She steals children. She flings her ball in the direction of the child’s home, and when the child starts to chase it, she reels in her prey, and the child is never seen again.
It is all true, because I have followed that magic glass ball with its changing blues and greens and whites. It led me to the witch’s house, but I soon discovered she is not the Bad One. The Bad One lives on the other side of the river, and the witch has been looking for someone who can fast long enough to be filled with all the good, powerful spirits that are needed to confront him. I will do it. I will carry the ball.
Ball-Carrier in Ball Carrier and the Bad One, Brown Fairy Book. Illustration by Michelle Tocher.