James Deighan is a 34 year-old English teacher from Scotland. He first started writing short, fairy-tale style stories and poems when he began volunteering as a teacher in Honduras seven years ago. The school had no library so he would write a short story every week to read to his class and began to enjoy it.
All his work is dedicated to them and would love to return and give them all a copy of a published work, in order to show them just how much they inspired him.
The young lad's bell
Old Gillymill, where folk are good,
Little but full of charm,
Where everybody works 'til noon,
Down at the carrot farm.
At breakfast time it's carrot juice,
For dinner, carrot pie;
And as for laws, there's only one:
You mustn't tell a lie.
One day there came a visitor,
Who darkened the bright mood.
That was the day a nasty troll
Came to their neighbourhood!
Pimples and warts ran down his nose,
His hands were thick with hair.
His pointy ears and narrow eyes
Gave everyone a scare.
The troll was nasty, horrid, mean.
His hair was full of lice.
So when the people saw him come
They hid away like mice.
The troll ate all the carrot cake
And kicked down all the doors.
He spat and swore, bellowed and moaned,
They couldn't take anymore.
The townsfolk had a secret meeting,
To think what they could do.
They scratched their heads and stroked their chins:
They didn't have a clue!
'I'll rid you of that ugly troll,'
Called out a sprightly lad.
'I need a working bell, that's all.'
They thought he must be mad!
He looked no older than a boy,
Not one hair on his chin,
'A bell,' he said, 'give me a bell.
I promise that we'll win.'
The doubtful people shook their heads.
'Mad!' said one with a sigh,
'But then again he might be right,
let's give the lad a try.'
The boy went looking, bell in hand,
And found the troll nearby.
'Stop spitting down that well,' he said,
'I want to be your spy!'
'My spy?' The troll hissed nastily.
The boy stood straight and true,
'I want to help you Mr Troll'
'Cos people don't like you.'
The troll was stunned, his face turned blue,
'can it be true!?' He cried,
'Who dares say such a thing to me,
'I'll have his tongue deep-fried!'
'Have patience my dear trolly friend,
You'll have revenge in time.
You'll have your tongues to cut and fry.
Just wait for my bell's chime!
'Your bell?' the troll said with a grunt,
'I don't need such a thing.
I'll smash their heads in with a spade
Before your bell can ring.'
'There's lots of people in the town.'
The boy sat on the well.
'If anyone should call you names,
You'll hear the ring of my bell.'
So troll and lad shook hands. With that,
The deal was sealed and done.
The lad walked off and left the troll,
Who waited in the sun.
Within the hour the bell rang out.
The troll looked for the lad.
'Oh there you are, dear Mr Troll,
I just heard something sad.
'I heard a fellow say you're fat,
And have a horrid smell.
He claimed you barely have a chin!
That's why I rang my bell.'
'Where is he?' Yelled the fearsome troll,
I'll snap his bones in two!
Show me him now you snivelling toad,
Or I'll put you in a stew.'
'Dear Mr Troll, I understand,
you make quite a strong case.
But when he said those nasty words,
I didn't see his face.
The mean troll stamped and kicked his feet,
Departed with a shout;
But hardly had a minute passed,
Before the bell rang out.
'What is it now?' he asked the boy.
'Sorry I've got bad news.
Another chap was laughing at
The blueness of your shoes.'
The troll grimaced and snapped his teeth,
'Where is he, what's his name?
I'll suck his brains out with a straw.
Now show me, who's to blame?'
The young lad frowned and shook his head,
'Dear troll, I feel your pain,
But brains will have to wait, because
His face was hid again!'
It rang a third time, then a fourth,
The news was all the same.
The troll would leave in a mad rage
Without a single name.
It rang and rang and wouldn't stop,
By now the troll was drained.
'You've spent all day ringing this bell
And nothing has been gained.
'That's it, no more, I'm done!' he yelled.
'I've had it with this place.
The people clearly hate my guts.
It's truly a disgrace!
'I've spent all day chasing around
Waiting for folks to eat.
But all I've got to show for it
Are badly blistered feet!'
So off he went: past the main square,
across the church's lawn.
He stomped across the carrot farm.
And with that he was gone.
The townsfolk danced and clapped and cheered,
And sang a merry song.
They hugged the lad and gave him gifts,
And told him they'd been wrong.
'Congratulations!' said the mayor,
And firmly shook his hand.
'But there is just a little thing
I don't quite understand.
'You told the troll some made-up things
Before he said goodbye.
But that's no good in Gillymill,
Because we mustn't lie.'
'Lie, Mr Mayor?' answered the boy,
'Oh, I did no such thing,
I only spoke the honest truth,
As clear as a bell's ring.
'His awful smell and lack of chin,
Those things were said by me;
But look: I never saw my face,
So never lied you see!
'So please don't worry Mr Mayor,
Although I was quite sly;
For I'm a boy from Gillymill,
And I won't tell a lie.'
The people all began to laugh,
They clapped and hugged the lad,
And on that night Gillymill saw,
The biggest and best party it ever, ever had!