Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
Russell Bowman would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Epic Quest of Epicness: The Riddling Tree

By Russell Bowman All Rights Reserved ©

Humor / Fantasy

The Riddling Tree

The forest floor was almost completely covered in bluebells, with the strong sunlight making them appear to glow like the wings of fairies.  The birds sang a symphony in the treetops, while rabbits scampered through the carpet of bluebells.  Genevieve the Mage led Dakin the Warrior and Scrub the Dwarf through a narrow dirt path that cut through the forest, examining an old parchment map as she went.  ‘Be careful not to step on any of the bluebells!’ she said.

  ‘Why? Will it anger some woodland guardian spirit?’ Dakin asked sarcastically. 

   ‘No, I like bluebells. They’re a beautiful flower, although they should really be called purple-bells.’

   Eventually, Genevieve stopped by a tree that was shorter than all the others in the forest.  Its two main branches were leafless and looked like clawed hands, and the only leaves sprouted from branches on the very top of the tree, below a thick and lumpy part of the trunk.

   ‘Here we are, the Riddling Tree,’ Genevieve said, rolling up her map and tucking it into her bag.  

   ‘The Forest Gem of Mebitrus is up that tree?’ Dakin asked.

   ‘You know nothing of the legends my friend?’ she answered, facing the tree and stretching out both her arms. 

   ‘Riddling Tree oh Riddling Tree, we come in search of your greatest treasure, that which you were planted to guard!’ 

   ‘This is the last time I take advice from a dwarf,’ Dakin said, shaking his head. 

   ‘Why, what did I do?’ Scrub asked. 

   ‘I'm trying to make a name for myself as a great warrior, and we’re supposed to be looking for the Forest Gem, one of the most important magical items in the known world, and you take me to a mad woman who talks to trees.’

   ‘You’ll get nowhere with a tongue sharper than your sword,’ a low, grumbling voice said.  The tree creaked as pieces of the bark fell to the ground and the branches began to move.  Dakin drew his sword and Scrub clambered back, nearly falling over.  A pair of glowing green eyes appeared through the bark, and a gaping mouth opened below them.  The tree bowed and said, ‘Genevieve, lovely to see you again my dear. Are you well?’ 

   'Indeed I am,’ she replied, ‘but I have a favour to ask you.  These two gentlemen need to have all the Gems of the Gods, so will you be fine parting with the Forest Gem?’ 

   The tree laughed heartily and answered, ‘Only if they answer my riddle.’

   ‘Bloody hell!’ Dakin shouted, ‘this is a matter of great importance, I am a great warrior, we don’t have time to mess about with riddles!’ 

   ‘Ooh I like riddles,’ Scrub said excitedly.

   ‘Be quiet Scrub!’ 

   The tree leaned forward and stared at Dakin and Scrub, bark falling from his lips as his mouth curled into a smile.  ‘No riddle, no Gem I’m afraid. That is the rule of the Gem’s guardian.’

   Dakin’s fists clenched and he huffed, ‘Ugh! Fine whatever, but be warned Riddling Tree, if it’s that stupid four legs in the morning riddle I’m burning you down, and if at any point you rhyme I’ll burn the entire forest down.’ 

   ‘Beg your pardon?’ Genevieve shrieked.   The tree laughed again, ‘Bold words for someone so small,’ he said, ‘very well, here’s one of my favourite riddles, listen carefully: A farmer is travelling with a sheep, a fox and a sack of hay.  He comes to a river with a small boat on the bank.  The boat is only big enough to carry himself and one of his three possessions at a time.  However, if the farmer leaves the two animals together unattended, the fox will kill and eat the sheep, and if he leaves the sheep alone with the sack of hay, it will eat the hay.  What can the farmer do to get all three as well as himself safely across the river?’

   ‘I think I know it,’ Scrub piped up.

   ‘Be quiet Scrub,’ Dakin interrupted, 'what kind of farmer is stupid enough to own a fox?  Shouldn’t he know that the fox is going to eat the sheep?  Plus, what kind of fox is big or strong enough to kill a sheep?  Unless it’s a small breed.  That riddle is stupid, give us an easier one.’

   ‘But Dakin, I want to answer.’ Scrub said, jumping up and down and putting his stumpy arm up.

   ‘I said be quiet!’

   ‘Everyone will have an opportunity to answer,’ the tree said, ‘and the dwarf’s claim has me interested.’

   ‘What, you’re going to let him make a fool of himself by saying something ridiculous and uncharacteristic of a great warrior like myself?’

   ‘Dwarf, what is your answer?’

   Scrub clapped his hands and stepped forward.  ‘Well first, the farmer takes the sheep to the other side,’ he began, ‘and then he goes back and gets the sack of hay.  Once the hay is on the other side he puts the sheep back in the boat, goes back to where the fox is, takes the sheep out of the boat and replaces it with the fox.  Once he’s took the fox to the other side, he goes back for the sheep, takes it over and then they’re all across.’‘

   Scrub, that makes no sense. At all,’ Dakin said.

   ‘Perhaps not to you,’ the Riddling Tree smiled, ‘but that is the correct answer.’

   ‘What!?’

   The tree put a branch claw in his mouth and pulled out a shining green gem, presenting it to Scrub.   

   ‘Well done, I present you with the Forest Gem of Mebitrus for your quick thinking,’ he smiled.   Scrub took the Gem in both hands and admired it, giggling ecstatically. ‘We got it we got it we got it we got it!’ he cheered, ‘Thank you sir, thank you very much!’ 

   ‘Alright Scrub no one likes a boaster,’ Dakin grumbled.

   ‘Perhaps you should take your own advice Dakin,’ Genevieve said, but Dakin had already begun to stomp off through the bluebells, Scrub toddling behind him saying ‘Wait for me! Wait for me!’

Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Russell Bowman
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

Lauren Sanby: This is an excellent story. Very gripping and keeps your attention throughout. Hoping the author is writing a sequel because I'd love to read more about Rhi and Andreas and find out what else Rhi is able to do with her powers.

sanbyra: This story is very well written and flows beautifully. I became engrossed in the romance element as well as the impending war. The action scenes are also depicted very well. I can't wait to read what happens next!

Felisa Yoder Osburn: I really enjoyed the story. Civil War stories are some of my favorites and the intertwining of the past with current times was wonderful. I look forward to reading the next stories.

Nymeria: Really can't get enough of this story. It flows well, it captivates the reader from page 1, and throws you into such a well-written, well conceptualized world that you'll believe it's real. Everything in the book is meshed together really well. From character backgrounds to plot twists, you can t...

Judy Haun-Morelock: A very imaginative, compelling story that captivates and holds your attention. Just how will the new Joshua deal with all the changes in his life: his appearance, surroundings, new friends and enemies.

tsolaidowu: I want a continuation dammit....I loved this book and the 1st one. I can't believe this is it. I'm not ready to say goodbye to Jeff and Lorie; and the gang. Great book and storyline. You're a genius Madelyn.

Krupa Kataria: the detailing is really awesome ....the characters, ur plots jst too Awsm ,m waiting for the further chapters please do complete it ...like m really craving for those ones ...great job with words too ..please complete the further parts ...

Hudson: Your story was fantastic Erin! The Rising Sun was one of the first stories I read on Inkitt, and I have to say I don't regret the three to four days I spent pouring through the story.Probably the biggest strength I see in your writing is your characterisation of Eliana, Oriens, and the rest of th...

Ruby0h: Overall I thought your story was really good! It drew me in right away and kept me interested as the story progressed. I loved the character of Kayla being inserted into this story, and the way she affected and shaped the life of the original story into something totally new and interesting. I lo...

More Recommendations

ynez2005: I LOVE THIS BOOK SOOOOO MUCH!!!!Though you really need to make another book,more Princesses!!! Whoooo!!!Girl Power!!!Mabey it could even be Devona's BFF???That would make it even better!!!Plus can you pleeease make Akki come back,together with Thea and Authur amd the whole family is back!Other th...

Theresa Alley: right from the start it is of the genre I love!! And it doesn't slow down from there!! I love that it kept me reading til I had no more story left to read!! I finished it in one day!! love this book!! looking forward to more from this author, if not about ASTA, more of the same style!! PLEASE!!!???

Marijana1: The melancholy present throughout this story has the power to influence and etch into the minds of the readers, to stay there and refuse to leave even after they have finished reading the story. This is a deep, powerful story, making the readers wonder about everything – about love, about their e...

makaylakay: I love love this story! It's written incredibly and well thought-out plot! I love how it's a different twist in fantasy fiction, other then the usual vampire or werewolves. Love the romantics and drawn to the two characters so much already! This book will draw you in within the first chapter and ...

mullikin902: Do not start reading this book unless you have enough time to finish it in one sitting, because you will not be able to put it down! Superlative! Addictive! Deliciously wicked characters you can't get enough of. Impatiently waiting for the sequel!