First place winner, Barry Huddleston.
I was a bit startled by the response when I first got it in my inbox as I was not expecting a poem as the fairy tale. But I couldn’t help but love this take on the fairy tale, and the inherent talent Mr. Huddleston obviously possesses. I also loved the idea that someone’s guilt, the fear, anticipation and possible sin of meeting her lover would cause hallucinations. Hey, we’ve all been there, ammiright?
Something twisted in the shadow of the trees as she made her way down the woodland path. She couldn’t quite put her finger on it, but she knew she was being watched. In the far distance, beyond the dusky silhouettes of trees she could see the inky blackness of a pond and beyond that, the castle lights. Suddenly, she felt something grab at her ankle. Stunned, she turned and saw…
A paw, a white paw, it was a rabbit and nothing more
or so she told herself as she dashed to her bedroom door.
A glimpse of white or was it the evening mist?
Was it the fear of a rabbit or the fear of her tryst?
Again she drew up her courage and sought out her rendezvous
in the cool misty forest where the apple trees grew.
Was that her lover among the greenwoods or a Pooka in disguise?
She couldn’t tell and discretion belongs to the wise.
Once again she dashed for the safety of her room.
Was she afraid of a rabbit, the forest, or the gloom?
Pooka was that you, are you testing or tormenting me?
Did you place fear in my heart and cause me to flee?
A whisper replied in the still of the night,
“don’t seek out love until you feel it is right.”
copyright Barry Huddleston, 2017. Re-publication requires express permission of the author.