Haran Stays Up Late

Once upon a time there was a boy called Haran, and he was small, like his aunt, and loud, like his sister, and stupid, like his mother. No, wait, I mean clever like his mother. And he liked to stay up late. His mother told him to sleep before midnight, because the fire would be banked for the evening, and she went to bed.

Haran stayed up quietly, but he was so quiet that he started to hear the noises of the house. The house creaks and the slow hiss of breakfast cooking began to talk to him.

The fire said ‘Haran, you are being too small,’ and he was sad because his aunt said he was a perfect size.

The creak of his parents’ bed said ‘Haran, you are too loud,’ and he let slip a whole tear because he liked being loud with his sister.

The wind outside was the worst. It said to him, ‘Haran, you are clever and you should come out,’ but he knew it was not a True wind. It was sent by Valind and it would freeze him solid like a lump of ice and he would die.

So Haran put his toys down by his bed where they would not be scared, and he crept into bed quietly so he would not wake them, and he closed his eyes and pretended to sleep like when there are Boggles about. And soon the fire said ‘Haran is perfect’ and the bed said ‘Haran is sleepy’ and the wind went away to bother other people, because Haran was in his bed.