The Story Finder

Voices in Fairy Tales

by Michelle Tocher

Story finder - Curly

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Deserting Soldier

Themes: Escape | Protection

Me and my two buddies have been hiding in the cornfield for two days and we’re starving to death. If we venture out, it’s certain death. The army is still camped here, and we’ll be hanged. On the other hand, if we stay here, we’ll starve. Now we’re asking ourselves, what was the point of deserting, if only to perish here?

A fiery dragon appears, hovering above us. “Why are you hiding?” he asks. We tell him that we deserted the army because the pay was so low. He makes a proposal. If we go and serve him for seven years, he will lead us through the army and keep us safe from capture. What choice do we have? He is our only flight out of here!

A Deserting Soldier in The Dragon and His Grandmother, Yellow Fairy Book. Painting by N.C. Wyeth.

A Deserting Soldier