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

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 ...

catd69: Karim is a very talented writer. When I started reading his journey it took me into the book and I was in the story till the end. I've never felt this way with any other writers stories. If you want to read a gripping adventure, this will be the one book I would suggest you pick.

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 ...

carla1234: I couldn't stop reading this book once I started! it was brilliant! I loved it and I would love to buy it. Although if you could make a more eye-catching synopsis, I would suggest you please do.I loved how everything came together in this novel. everyone, even people not involved in the main stor...

Alkira Joan: I omg I am honestly speechless I couldn't stop cry it's so sad I wish it had a better ending and they would all be happy and the end is their going to be a second book?thanks for the amaZing story xoxox

Stephen Warner: To start off, I am thoroughly impressed. The writing style is somewhat unique, and the plot seemed to move at a nice and steady pace. However, I was not expecting this to be a vampire book! I am usually not one for novels about vampires, but I was pleasantly surprised! You wrote with such grace a...

Erin Crowley: The concept here is really strong, but the execution is definitely lacking. Tenses, grammar, etc are all off, with at least one or more errors per 'Page' on my phone. The writing style is almost broken- sentences move into each other awkwardly, and are filled with an excess of "filler words", lik...

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!

Mourn8220House: When first reading "Avarice," I thought it would be another fairytale but I was taken back the author's approach and choice of ending. There is little to be said for the story and overall plot besides the sudden twists and speculation, other than that I do not want to ruin a fantastic tale, you m...

More Recommendations

Catherine Kopf: Wow! This was a really great story. I really enjoy reading fantasy, so it didn't take long for me to become invested in the book and its characters like Jacob. I really liked your writing style, and it seemed to flow very well. The descriptions that you used for your world were also created n...

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...

Bri Hoffer: I couldn't put it down!! The characters are all incredibly likable, and it's so descriptive you can see, smell, and feel thier surroundings. Great story, and very well written. I cannot wait for follow up stories. there were a few grammatical errors, but nothing that I could move right over.

Lynda Keosavanh: very well written. from start to finish. I loved the plot and how it flowed. I enjoyed the characters and was engrossed by the mystery unfolding. I could barely put the book down. and look forward to seeing more

ernbelle: When I first started this story I was a little unsettled by all of the information that appears in the prologue, and wasn't sure if I would continue. However, I am very glad I did. The plot was very well thought out and really interesting. There were not any page breaks or markers to acknowledge ...

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.