Elidor - Alan Garner

02/06/2010 15:40:07


Once upon time there was a boy called Elidor. He didn't like school and he didn't work very hard.When he learnt one thing, he forgot another. The teacher was angry and beat him with a stick, but he learnt nothing.

One day Elidor was so unhappy that he ran away! Elidor ran down to the river. He knew the river very well; he knew all best places to hide. Elidor hid by the bank of the river. Nobody could find him there.

He thought, "I'll stay here until teatime.They will look for me. They will be very worried and they will be sorry, really sorry, because they were so unkind to me." 

The evening came and it began to grow dark. Elidor stayed by the bank above the river. "I won't go home tonight. I'll stay here all night. They will be really worried." 

Elidor stayed all night and all the next day. Then he decided to stay the next night as well and all the next day! He stayed there for two days and nights. During the third evening two little men came to him. They were very small, only the height of Elidor's knee!

 "What are you doing here?" they asked him.

Elidor told them how unhappy he was because the teachers beat him.

 "Oh, in our land children are always happy and nobody beats them. Why don't you come with us?" 

So Elidor agreed to go with them. The two little men walked along the bank of the river until they came to a large hole. They walked into the hole and Ekidor followed them; he crawled on his hands and knees. Elidor crawled for a long way. At last he saw some light ahead of him and then came out into a new land of field and trees and hills. There were corn-fields and farmers were cutting the corn. The farmers were the same size as the two little men who were with Elidor. The farmers' horses were as big as dogs. The two little men took Elidor to the king's palace. The king was very kind, "Of course you can stay in my land. And you can play with my son, the prince." 

Elidor played with the prince; they played with a golden ball. At last Elidor wanted to go home to see his mother. "Of course you can go, Elidor!" said the king, "You can come and go as you wish." 

So Elidor wet across the fields and though the hole, to river and then home to his mother. She was very pleased to see him.

After some time Elidor went back again to the land of the small people to play with the prince. He often went to the land of the little people.

Elidor told his mother about that world and all the gold that was there. "Oh, Elidor, you know we are very poor. Bring some gold back with you next time." Elidor didn't want to take any gold from the little people but he wanted to help his mother.

Elidor ran across the fields, through the hole, to the river and back home.The two little men ran after him. Elidor opened his mother's door and he fell into the kitchen. He dropped the ball and the two little men shouted "Elidor!." They took the ball and then ran away and down to the river.

Elidor ran after them but he could not catch them. He went to the river but he could not find the hole! He looked and looked for hours but he could not find it anywhere. Elidor came the next day and the next but he could not find the hole. He never found it again.

Many years later when Elidor was an old man, people sometimes asked him about the land of the little people. Tears came to his eyes when he remembered what he had done and what he had lost...

by Alan Garner

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