A Promise Well Kept

A Promise Well Kept

Early one morning in a town between Salzburg and Vienna two sisters were playing.

Grethel and Liezl lived with their uncle in a big house at the end of the street. There was however another dwelling at the end of the street. When people talked about that place they always referred to it as the strange house at the end of the street.

Grethel and Liezl were afraid of that house. They saw shadows and heard sounds so strange it gave them nightmares. But little did Grethel and Liezl know that they would become explorers of that mysterious house.

“Liezl,” said Grethel. “let‘s play a game of hide and seek! You start counting and I’m going to hide.”

Grethel wanted a good hiding place, so that day she decided to hide in the garden next door. Nobody ever went there she thought.

“Grethel!” Liezl called, but nobody answered. When Liezl looked down, she saw footprints the size if Grethel’s   shoes and followed them. Looking up, Liezl saw something even she wasn’t capable of imagining…

There were big trees with yellow and red leaves. In the trees were nests not only of exotic birds, but of fairies – blue fairies! Their nests were mad of grass, hair, feathers, fur and tree glue. Shadows danced on a nearby pond and a swarm of tiny red elves were whirring above the dark water. Inside the pond, with toad-like eyes, long hair, hands covered with scales and skin as white as lilies, were freshwater mermaids!

Liezl found her way to Grethel slowly and careful not to frighten the creatures. Cobwebs wet with dew clung to their clothes.

“We must look after the children and their uncle” said one merry fairy fellow.

They can talk! thought Liezl .”We must leave, Grethel, before uncle Klaus worries.”

In front of the strange house, two men were putting up a board that read ‘Caution. This is a construction site. New café and convenience store to be erected.’ Grethel and Liezl raced home with shock.

They told uncle Klaus about what they saw....