The Wolf and the Witch, our world premiere improvised fairy tale show, runs October 3 – 12 at the Ballard Underground and tickets are onsale now ($12 advance purchase.) Click here to buy tickets at Brown Paper Tickets!
The cast of “The Wolf and the Witch” is writing their own original fairy tales as part of the rehearsal process. Story #1 was “The Tale of Hubert and Pooch” by Cheryl Platz, and Story #2 was “Sharing isn’t Caring” by Chris Wong.Today’s story comes to us from Christine Riippi, whose debut with Seattle Experimental Theater was alongside Chris and Cheryl in “Wedding Horror Stories” in Summer 2013. Christine’s challenge was to write a new fairy tale that incorporated elements of several other familiar tales.
The Tale of Sisters Robin Hoode and Peeta Pann
by Christine Riippi
Once upon a time there were two sisters: Robin Hoode and Peeta Pann. While there were twins by birth, they could not be more different in demeanor and values. Robin Hoode was a brave, clever girl while Peeta Pann favored a life of playtime, yearning to stay set in her childish, flighty ways forever.
The girls lived with their grandmother in a cottage, deep in the Neverneverhamm Woods. Grandmother had recently fallen ill and was bedridden. As she grew more ill, the girls were afraid they would lose her for good. They decided to venture into town for help. The girls gathered up the last five gold coins they had and kissed Grandmother on the forehead. Before they left, Grandmother told them, “Stay on the path to the village, no matter what temptations you see. The forest is property of Sherriff Hooksby – villagers are allowed to stay on the path but those who venture off dissappear into the forest and do not return. When you have reached the village, ask for the apothecary, Jeannie Lampe. Give her the golden coins and she will give you three magical healing vials. And remember, stay on the path.”
The girls left their house and headed out into the wilderness. They had only been gone twenty steps when Peeta saw a rabbit hopping through the bushes. Peeta – not remembering Grandmother’s words of warning – darted off the dirt path and straight into the woods, laughing and calling after the rabbit. “Peeta! No!” exclaimed Robin, running after her, far off the path.
The sisters soon found themselves alone and surrounded by the dark woods. Suddenly, a looming figure appeared in sillouhette between the trees.
“It is against the law to enter the forest of Sherriff Hooksby!” a low, booming voice called out, “And now, you must pay the price.”
“We did not mean to offend, Sir,” Robin replied, holding the shaking Peeta behind her.
“No one ever means to offend. But nevertheless, you disobeyed the law. And if you wish to escape with your lives, you must do something for me.”
“What do you want?” Robin asked. The figure held up an arm, which was shaped like a giant hook.
“Many years ago I was cursed in this forest. I am not able to leave until this burden is gone. Bring me the three magical healing vials from Jeannie Lampe and I will allow you to leave my forest unharmed.”
“But what of our ill Grandmother-”
“She will die.”
“Robin,” Peeta whispered so the figure wouldn’t hear her, “If we just say yes, we will get to leave anyway. We can tell him yes, then go get the vials and keep them for ourselves.”
“But that wouldn’t be honest, Peeta – that’s not right,” Robin said. Peeta rolled her eyes.
“What does he know?! Come on – one little lie won’t hurt anyone,” Peeta raised her voice, “We’ll do it!”
“We have a deal,” the figure answered, “Now – my insurance.” And with a crack of thunder, Peeta was gone and Robin stood alone.
“When you’ve returned with my vials, you’ll have your sister back.”
Robin ran from the woods as fast as she could and did not stop until she saw the lights of the village ahead. She ran through the village gates and immediately began searching for Jeannie Lampe. She spent hours running up and down the streets of the village, asking everyone she met where to find Jeannie Lampe, but no one knew. It was growing dark and Robin was feeling defeated, when she finally saw a little cart with a merchant in the distance.
“Excuse me, do you know of Jeannie Lampe?” she asked the merchant. The kindly old man held up a small, golden lamp in response.
“Here you are: the last of the genuine Jeannie Lampes. Three healing vials guaranteed to cure any ailment you may have,” he said proudly. Robin spied several other lamps in the cart that looked exactly like the one he held.
“If that is the last one, what are those?” she asked.
“Oh, those are impressions,” he said knowingly, “To make people believe they are receiving the magical healing elixir, when actually it is a sleeping potion.” Robin considered this for a moment – what if she were to bring two lamps and trick the figure into believing he had been cured? Then she and Peeta could return to Grandmother with the actual elixirs. But then again, she made the promise. She knew to do anything else was not just or fair. For that was not the deal they had made and she would not risk Peeta’s life over what could only be a risky game. Robin looked at the merchant and stated matter-of-factly, “I’ll take the last of the Jeannie Lampes.”
The merchant looked at her in amazement. “Are you sure?” he asked, with a twinkle in his eye. “Yes,” Robin stated firmly, and held out the gold coins. He laughed, “Brave girl.”
With the lamp in hand, Robin ran back to the woods, frantically calling out to her sister, until she found herself in the deepest, darkest part of the forest. The figure appeared to her again.
“Do you have the Jeannie Lampe?” it asked. Robin held up the lamp, then set it out in front of her.
“Is it the real lampe?” the figure asked.
“Yes . . . Of course,” Robin replied, tentatively. Slowly, the figure began emerging from the trees, heading towards Robin and the lamp. As he approached, Robin could begin to make out a face . . . a familiar face. She realized she was standing in front of the merchant.
“How did you . . . I don’t understand,” Robin said. The merchant laughed knowingly.
“I am Sheriff Hooksby and you my dear, have demonstrated a great deal of bravery and fairness. You protected your sister and kept your word; not breaking a promise, no matter the cost.” The merchant opened the lamp and handed the vials to Robin.
“Your reward for your bravery and honesty.” Robin smiled with a sigh of relief.
“Thank you,” she said, then asked, “And my sister?”
“She is waiting at the cottage with your Grandmother, who will surely not die.”
Robin thanked the merchant again and turned to head out of the forest, when she heard him call back to her again: “Remember, Robin – those who place honesty, bravery, and fairness above all will be rewarded.”
Are you enjoying our original fairy tales? You’ll love seeing us create new ones live! Just days until the premiere of “The Wolf and the Witch”. Shows run October 3 – 12; click here to buy advance tickets.