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The Brownie of Blednock

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The Brownie of Blednock Part II
Aiken-Drum would start a bonfire and tell stories to the children.
Aiken-Drum would start a bonfire and tell stories to the children.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Below is the second part of "The Brownie of Blednock."

Soon, all of the people of Blednock were sharing stories about the magical work of the little brownie.

"Aiken-Drum fixed a broken wheel on my wagon last night. He must have known that I was going to take my grain to the miller today," chuckled Baker Smith. "I will be forever grateful to that curious little brownie."

Old Mother Jones also had a story about the brownie. "While I was asleep with fever, Aiken-Drum came. He cleaned my whole house and cooked a big batch of soup!" she said.

"Aiken-Drum brought all my sheep to safety. He took them into the barn just before last night's storm!" said Farmer Adams. "It's too bad those sheep can't talk, but I know that it was the brownie who led my sheep into the barn. And he did it so quietly, too. I didn't hear a thing until the storm kicked in."

More and more stories were being told of the good work that Aiken-Drum had been doing around Blednock. Wherever work needed to be done, Aiken-Drum was there. No one even had to ask. And the town was looking better than it ever had. The new church that the brownie built was even prettier than anyone had hoped for. The town was delighted!

Aiken-Drum did take breaks from time to time. On still evenings, when fireflies began to wink, the brownie sat by the river. He was never alone for long. The children of Blednock came to join him.

Children loved Aiken-Drum. He loved them, too. They crowded around, giggling and asking to play this game or that one:

"Tell us a story, Aiken-Drum."

"Teach us a song, Aiken-Drum."

"Show us a dance, Aiken-Drum."

"Play hide-and-seek, Aiken-Drum."

Aiken-Drum would start a bonfire and tell stories and play with the children until their parents called them for dinner. When the children went off to their houses, Aiken-Drum went off to work. That's the way he liked it.

Everyone thought things around Blednock were better than ever thanks to Aiken-Drum. Well, almost everyone. Miss Daisy Fain thought differently. "I think things are unfair around Blednock," she said to whoever was near. "It is not right to make a brownie work so hard for so little."

Miss Daisy thought it wasn't fair to make the brownie work so hard.
Miss Daisy thought it wasn't fair to make the brownie work so hard.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Miss Daisy's neighbors shook their heads at her. "Aiken-Drum made it plain, Miss Daisy," they would say with a sigh. "Brownies work only for the love of making people happy. Brownies do not need to be paid."

Miss Daisy just sniffed. She was sure he needed something more. He simply was too shy to ask. Why, who wouldn't want more than the corner of a stable and a horse blanket?

Finally, Miss Daisy decided to do what she knew was best. Everyone would thank her for it later, Aiken-Drum most of all.

One night, Miss Daisy tiptoed into the blacksmith's barn. The brownie was not there. Miss Daisy placed a pair of her husband's pants next to his mug. They would be too big for Aiken-Drum. Still, he would love them.

Well, you can guess what happened. Aiken-Drum took one look at those pants and knew what was happening. Someone had tried to pay him! His new friends had forgotten what mattered most to a brownie, so he disappeared that very night. No one saw him go.

Aiken-Drum was offended that Miss Daisy tried to pay him.
Aiken-Drum was offended that Miss Daisy tried to pay him.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

The townspeople were very angry at Miss Daisy. She not only tried to pay a brownie, but she paid him with smelly, old pants!

After that, the people often spoke of Aiken-Drum with broken hearts and heavy sighs. The children were saddest of all. Still, once in a while, when the wind was just right, they could hear the sound of humming floating across the river.

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