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The Marvellous Musician Cover

The Marvellous Musician

Long ago there was a horrible musician. He had a straggly beard and wore a red top hat. 

He loved playing the fiddle. His cat hated the sound. The only thing the cat and the musician shared was their love of eating eels. The cat only stayed for the eels.

One day he had been fishing and had a basket of live, squirmy, slippery, slimy eels. As he walked home, he thought about how he loved boiled eels. 

He suddenly said to himself, “Maybe here in the woods I might find myself a new animal friend?”

Then he took out his fiddle and played a lovely tune. 

Soon a wolf pricked up its ears and headed in the direction of the music.

The musician saw the wolf approaching and thought, “A wolf is not the kind of friend I wanted.” 

The wolf trotted up and said, “That music made me wish I could play the fiddle.”

“Do what I tell you and you will play any tune in days,” answered the musician.

“Mega brilliant, maestro” replied the wolf, “I shall follow your instructions to the letter”.

The musician said, “Right, follow me.” 

They arrived at an oak tree, which had a split up the middle.

“If you want to learn to play the fiddle, put your front paws into this split in the tree trunk,” said the musician.

The wolf did and suddenly the musician jammed his paws into it. 

“Wait here,” said the musician, and off he went.

“I’m stuck! But he is a marvellous musician and he knows best,” thought the poor old wolf.

As the musician strolled through the forest, he thought he might find a different animal friend.

So, he played another tune. Soon a fox’s ears pricked up and it loped toward the music. 

“Not a fox”, thought the musician, “not really the kind of friend I wanted”.

The fox said, “I’ve always loved that tune. I wish I could play the fiddle.”

‘“Do what I tell you and you will play any tune you like,” answered the musician.

“I shall follow your instructions absototally,” answered the fox.

They came to a place with tall springy trees. The musician grabbed one and bent it to the ground. He made sure it didn’t spring back again by putting his foot on it. 

Then he said to the fox, “Give me your front paw.”

Suddenly the musician tied his paw with string to the top of the springy tree. Then he lifted his foot. Whoosh, the tree sprang upright, whizzing the fox high up in the air.

“Wait here,” said the musician, and off he went.

“I’m stuck! But he is a marvellous musician and I must trust him,” thought the poor fox.

The musician thought, “Let’s see if I can find another animal friend.” 

Once again, he played a tune. A pretty little hare came hopping up.

“Not a hare,” thought the musician, “he won’t be much of a friend”.

“What a marvellous musician you are,” said the little hare, “can you teach me to play?”

“Do exactly what I tell you and you will play any tune you like. Now, come along,” answered the musician.

They came to an old pine tree. The musician tied a length of string around the little hare’s neck then tied the other end to the tree.

“Now run around the tree,” shouted the musician. The little hare ran round and round the tree and the string got shorter and shorter and tighter and tighter. The poor little hare could hardly move.

“Wait here,” said the musician, and off he went.

“I’m stuck!” thought the poor little hare, “but I suppose I must trust him.”

The wolf realised that he had been fooled and was very angry. He pushed and pulled and freed his paw from the split in the tree and off he ran to find the musician to say a few things to him.

The little fox saw him and called out, “Brother wolf, please come and help me.”

The wolf bit into the string and freed the little fox. Off they went together to have a few words with the musician. 

On their way they found the poor tied-up hare and set him free. 

Then off they all went to have a few words with the musician.

“He made fools of us all and tricked us,” growled the wolf.

“He deserves to be taught a lesson,” muttered the fox.

The musician saw them all and was terrified. He dropped his basket of eels. The lid flew open and eels slithered everywhere. 

The animals looked at all the eels and then looked at each other and came to the same idea all at once.

The wolf took hold of the musician and the animals grabbed handfuls of eels and shoved them down inside his shirt and his trousers and under his hat.

The musician squirmed and fidgeted, shrieked and hopped about and made such faces that the animals laughed out loud.

“Not such a marvellous musician after all, is he?” chuckled the fox.

They all went back into the forest, laughing their heads off. And the musician was left there, feeling and looking very foolish and red-faced.

For as long as he lived, he never played the fiddle in the forest and never caught another eel. 

His cat got fed up and left one night and never came back.

And that serves the musician right.

The End

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