“So you see,” said the mother to her young son, “if you don't go to sleep when I tell you, the Malinquents will come and steal you away, just like they did that girl Lillie Poots. ”
Ezmeralda Tyke slumped down under the window through which she had been watching the mother put her child to bed.
“But we didn't steal her!” she sighed.
“We did steal her.” mumbled Hogart. The big oaf was sitting toying with a beetle that had crawled up his boot. “We stealed her 'cos Malink told us to, for that Leech Lady.”
“Well yeah, we did. But then we saved her - saved her from whatever the Leech Lady was going to do to her!”
Suddenly a small ragged girl skittered round the corner of the cottage, skidding to a halt in front of them.
“Are you coming?” she gasped, grinning widely. “We got the cellar door open and Kittlewick found the biggest cheese!”
Hogart lumbered to his feet and ran off excitedly with the girl.
“Brat!” hissed Ezmeralda.
Excerpt from 'The Tales of Lillie Poots', Anon.
(Currently sculpting a small girl.)