The radishes had been bad enough. Jacob’s wife swore she’d die without them, and they were too poor to buy any, so he sneaked into Dame Gothel’s garden to steal some. Just a few, hardly noticeable among the lush carpet of greens. Then it was cabbage, parsley, arugula; he knew pregnant women got cravings, but this was crazy.
Now he was back, tiptoeing across the fields with the sickle moon above clothed in clouds. The daft woman wanted rapunzel; it was too bitter for him, but he’d have porridge while she ate like a rabbit. He was so lost in reverie that he nearly ran into the scarecrow standing guard over the plant he wanted.
That’s new, he thought, leaning down to tear off a long leaf.
The scarecrow swiveled to stare at him. “Thieeef,” it said, and extended a straw-stuffed arm.
With a yelp, he bolted back toward the wall that surrounded the Dame’s lands and scampered over it, heart pounding. He ran all the way home to his expectant wife.
“If you want… any more salad,” he wheezed, “get it yourself.”