Basil Rosemary and the Wolves

Basil Rosemary and the Wolves

A Story by Stephanie Weippert

Basil and Rosemary lived in a farming village where nothing exciting ever happened. People were born, grew up, married, had children, got old then died.  They had good years for crops and bad years for crops.  They paid their taxes to the king. 


Basil was 15 and Rosemary was 14 and they loved to go out into the woods and hunt small game for fur and meat for their dinner.   Basil was better at shooting birds with his bow and Rosemary was better at snaring small game. 


One late fall day they were out checking their snares when a powerful storm came up.  The trees were swaying and the wind was howling around them.  Basil and Rosemary looked at each other and Basil said, “We better get home.”  Rosemary answered “Fast!”   So they grabbed their stuff and ran down the trail as fast as they could. 


The storm got worse as they ran along.  They could hear lightening and see the flashes.  The storm was getting closer.  They ran even faster. 


They heard a loud CRACK and just within sight down the trail, they saw a tree fall over the path.  When they got to it, Basil said, “Lets climb over” but Rosemary said, “I don’t want to get pitch all over me. Lets go around.”  They stood in front of the tree and started arguing about what they should do. 


“Going over’s faster!”  Basil screamed over the sound of the storm.

“Going around’s better!” Rosemary screamed back.

“I’m right!”

“NO! I’m right!”


I don’t know how long they would’ve argued but it started to rain. It began to pour, in fact.  The sudden rain silenced both of them.  They looked at each other.  Basil put his hands on the trunk and Rosemary did the same.  They both pushed and the tree moved off the trail.  They continued running home, now wet to their skins.


The storm lasted through the night.  Rosemary and Basil sat beside the hearth fire at home wrapped up in warm blankets.  


The next day dawned clear and calm.  It was a perfect fall day, and they went out again to finish what they didn’t get to the day before. 


They had finished checking all the snares and were heading back home before the sun set.  They weren’t there yet when they heard a dreadful sound.  Wa-OOOOOOOO!  It went.  The sound sent shivers up both their spines.  Wa-OOOOOOO! They looked at each other and saw fear.  Rosemary started running for home and Basil followed. They continued to hear it when they arrived at the edge of their village.  They kept running. 


They got home but found that everyone was in the square, afraid of the sound too.  The village elders tried to calm the people but had no success.  Everybody was too scared. 


After some time, the wise woman stood up.  Everyone quieted down; they seemed to believe she could fix any problem. 


“I know what that sound is.  It had not been heard here in a generation.  It is the sound of a wolf pack.”  She calmly said.  The villagers mumbled fearfully at this news.  Wolves were used to scare children into being good in their bedtime tales. 


“What we need to do is scare the wolves away.  Night creatures are afraid of light.  Everyone grew pumpkins in their gardens as usual?”  The adults nodded, puzzled.


“Good.” The wise woman continued.  “Everyone needs to pick one pumpkin, and carve it into a lantern.  Carve the scariest face into the pumpkin you can think of and put a candle in it then bring it here.”  They left to go and the howls rang again.  The sound was so scary, the villagers ran to their houses and quickly got to work.


When some of the fastest people to carve their pumpkins returned to the square, they met the wise woman holding her carved pumpkin.  She told them to follow her to the edge of the village and they placed the pumpkins in a line and lit them.  Next she told them to gather wood from every house and bring it to the center of the village. 


“Why do you need wood wise woman?”


“We are going to have a bonfire to light up the village tonight and scare those wolves away!”  She replied.  They left and quickly got the wood. 


As others came with their carved pumpkins, she told them to set them at the end of the line around the village and light them.  Soon the whole village was surrounded with scary glowing faces pointing outward. 


Next they all gathered around the wood for the bonfire.  The wise woman lit the wood and had it going well when she turned to the villagers and said, “Thank you for all your work in making the lanterns and gathering the wood.  The light will chase away all the night creatures and we will be safe.  Now, lets celebrate with music and dancing!”


The villagers cheered and those with instruments played and those without sang.  They all danced around the fire all night until it burned out at dawn.  With all the music, singing, laughing, and dancing the wolves were not heard all night. 


In fact, the wolves were not heard close to the village again.  Hunters heard them when they hunted out in the woods, but their call carried no fear, as they knew that light would keep them away. 


Thereafter, every fall, when the pumpkins were ripe, the village celebrated by carving lanterns with scary faces and lighting the biggest bonfire to keep the night creatures away.  They began to look forward to fall, as they had never done before. 


Once again, with the fear gone, the village returned to a place where people were born, grew up, married, had children, got old then died.  They had good years for crops and bad years for crops and they always paid their taxes to the king. 



© 2008 Stephanie Weippert

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oh I love this story...what a great way to traditionalize the carving of pumpkins and bonfires in the fall! I like how these begin and end the same....with nothing much going on except the everyday business of living. great job!


Posted 12 Years Ago

This was great! I like the way you made it into a myth as to how people began to carve pumpkins! Rosemary and Basil are going to have to keep getting in trouble so the town doesn't stay so boring!
I really enjoyed this! I look forward to seeing what else they get into!


Posted 12 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on February 8, 2008


Stephanie Weippert
Stephanie Weippert

Tacoma, WA

I write because my muse tells me to. She's such a demanding little *&$%*! LOL Below is my writing contest. Go ahead and take a look! Geek LoveDec 27, 2007 - Mar 28, 2008 more..


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