recede / advance 

Clever (announces them): Kind Sir, we are Beggars, the lost children of a usurped king, suffering adventures in the Wide World. We will tell you stories for a bit of bread.

Hound (eyes of glassy stone, teeth like bone): What suffering happens in the Wide World is no concern of mine.

Lively (makes fall a pretty tear): Sweet Sir, we ask what children want … to play and be happy. We will dance and sing for a bit of bread.

Hound (lips a grim rictus): What you want and what you do not want are no concern of mine.

But the Golden Bird twittered in Jack’s ear. A Simple boy, he understood her speech. He let go his sisters' hands and trip-trapped cross the bridge directly into the eye and tooth of the Hound.

The dog's hackles spiked. He licked his curled lips. Then he lowered his tail and sniffed Jack’s ear where the song lingered. 

Hound (grumbles): Only the innocent and the mad can cross this bridge. Alas, I must let you enter. Bring no dust with you from the Wide World.

Full of joy, the girls trip-trapped over to join their brother.


recede / advance