There was once a little girl who lived in a tiny little house at the edge of a forest. She shared her house with her mother, her three sisters and two brothers. Her father had been killed when she was a baby, fighting in a war she often heard her mother describing as “illegal, immoral and just plain wrong!”
Lindarella and her sisters often played on the edge of the forest, but had been warned by their mother never to venture too deeply in the woods. It was believed to be full of monsters, most feared amongst them had been the Repugnant Reid, a vulture like creature who sat high in the trees to keep his beady eyes on each and every citizen of Bewilderland. However, it was rumoured that he had recently fallen off his perch and there had been great rejoicing throughout the land.
The families who lived in Shambleville, the village on the edge of the forest, were all poor. Every year they found they had to pay more for the logs to put on the fire and they had even been forbidden by Great Gord to pick up fallen branches in the forest for fuel. That had been contracted out to a powerful king who lived in a castle beyond the mountains where everything was said to be made of gold!
On the other side of the forest from the great Gord lived a Sheriff called Dave. Sheriff Dave was the talk of the village, he had a nice smile and he was promising the villagers that he would help them depose Gord so that he could run Bewilderland himself. He promised life would be very different if he was in charge. But there were legends than when his Great Aunt Mags ruled the land things were worse than they were now under Great Gord.
In the village there was a beautiful school, children sat at their own desks brimming with books and pens and ink and paper. Sadly the children at the school were nearly all from the neighbouring village of Mansionville where houses were mansions and children were carried to school in carriages of iron and steel that made an enormous roar as they ploughed up the road with their giant wheels. Linderella asked her mother why she had to walk for 3 miles to the village of Notsofar to go to school when there was a school practically next door. And the school in Notsofar was tumbling down, the classrooms were not brimming with books and pens and ink and paper, but children. "Ah" said mother "that's what the great Gord calls parental choice - parents get to choose whatever school they like and this is the best in the whole of Shambleshire" Lindarella was confused "But you are a parent, didn't you get a choice?" Lindarella's mother looked very serious, she sat Lindarella on her lap and explained. "Well dear, you have to understand, we are poor. We are not so very important to the powerful giant Gord or his monsters. In my day I didn't even get to go to school, so I am afraid I don't know as much, or have as much money or influence as the people in Mansionville. This is how it works" Lindarella pondered, then had an idea. "I know, the Sheriff Dave is promising everything will be different if he overthrows the great giant Gord. Maybe we should all go and help him. Then I will get to go to our school." Mother sighed, "Lindarella dear, you have a lot to learn! In the days before the great giant Gord there was a wicked witch called Mags. She is Sheriff Dave's great aunt. And everything Gord is doing he learnt from her. We all cheered and smiled when he came to power, but, for us, nothing changed. In fact it got worse. We are even poorer now then when the Wicked Witch Mags was in control. So no my dear, I fear Sheriff Dave will change nothing except perhaps for his friends."
Later that night as she lay shivering in the bed she shared with her sleeping sisters she saw a strange light on the windowsill. She froze. What was it? The strange light moved and hovered beside her. Now she could see, it was a tiny fairy, no bigger than her thumb! The fairy spoke "Lindarella, I am your fairy godmother but you can call me Fim. I have seen how your mother and family have struggled because of the Wicked Witch Mags and the Great Giant Gord. I know that Sheriff Dave will do no more for you. Now is the time for a change - come with me." Lindarella was confused, but she took the hand the size of a grain of rice and found herself shrinking to the same size as the fairy. "Hold tight!" said Fim as they took off and slipped through the gap in the window where the icy wind usually blew in. "Now" said Fim. "I am taking you to see how different things could be; I am taking you to another land, the land of Liberty!"
To be continued……..