Be Careful What You Ask For

story & illustration © 2002 Bruce Van Patter

am hungry," Prince Zim said.
Nearby, a little old man dropped more sticks into the fire. Sparks flew up into the opening in the trees above them. The old man began to pull on his beard and whine. "I am sorry, your highness. I told you I forgot the food. I'll find some berries."

"No!" shouted Zim, who was known for his boyish temper. "I don't want berries. I want something warm, something that will fill my stomach. I want you to make it with your magic, Yawni."

"But your highness," whined Yawni, "Your father sent me with you on your trip to help you get to your uncle's castle. But he said, no magic. I am not a very good magician."

"You're stalling," stamped Zim. "I want some bread."

"I don't think..."

"A simple wheat roll! That's all I ask. MAKE ME A WHEAT ROLL!"

Yawni sighed and pulled out an old, worn wand. He closed his eyes and mumbled words in a wheezy voice. A puff of pink smoke swallowed Prince Zim. When the smoke cleared, where the boy had been there was now a tiny, ugly man with wild hair and arms so long they touched the ground. "What have you done to me?" shouted the little man.

"Oh dear," said Yawni, laughing. "So close and yet so far. It appears I have made you a WEE TROLL! Ha, ha!"

"It's not FUNNY!" stomped the ugly, little troll prince.

It's Your Story - Don't let the story end here! Finish it for me! Think...

Will Yawni be able to turn the prince back? Will they get to the uncle's castle, and what dangerous thing might be waiting for them? Will Zim learn to control his anger? Will Yawni make some other mistakes? And... good thing Zim didn't ask for a sand-wich!

Have fun -- finish the story -- and be creative! Can you email me your ending?