The Forest Princess

Author: • January 16, 2017 • Short Stories

“Wilhelm’s not doing so well today, Uncle Helmut, but I’ll continue on in his place.”

“Thank you, Steffi.”

“He said he had shown you the picture of Erika.”

“Erika?  That was her name?”

“Yes, of course.  But we didn’t know that until much later.”

“But she had a name?”

Steffi nodded.  “She even told me herself.  ‘My name E-ri-ka,’ she said proudly.”


“He said he had told you up until the point where she had bitten him.  Well, after that, he caught her.”

“He caught her?”  The older man sounded like he wanted to laugh.

“You don’t believe me?  Oh, come now.  You know just as well as I that Wilhelm has caught many animals in order to study them.  He’s done that since he was four years old.  Yes, he prepared a trap for her, and she fell right in.  It was as simple as that.  Every morning he would wake up at sunrise, head out to the forest, and after watching her for a week or two, he discovered where she slept—in an animal hole between two rocks with a lot of leaves and dirt.” Steffi paused, shaking her head.  “She always did behave very animal-like.”

“Wilhelm described her like that too, but he says it with love in his voice.”

“Yes, and Wilhelm found everything that she did just wonderful.  He was completely in love.  Siblings are allowed to find each other strange every now and then, right?  That’s how it was with Erika; I loved her like an older sister.”

“Going back to what you said, Wilhelm really did catch her?”

Steffi nodded.  “He said she also had in her bed a few fish that she had caught.  When she was away during the day, he laced them with sleeping powder.  In any case, she slept so deeply that she didn’t notice Wilhelm digging the hole outside her house, and when she woke up late the next morning, she took two steps and fell in.  Wilhelm was very satisfied with his plan.  He had caught the last undiscovered animal.  She yowled, he said, but he waited until he went to her.”


“He didn’t say why.  But I think he wanted to find out if she could really manage by herself in such a situation.  He said she tried to climb out.  The hole was only a little deeper than she was tall.  After an hour, Wilhelm went to her and pulled her out.  In my opinion she went with him of her own free will because she thought he had rescued her.  That and she had also twisted her ankle in the fall.”

A weak voice came from the next room.  “Steffi?  It’s almost ten o’clock…”

Steffi stood up.  “Excuse me, Uncle Helmut, but my brother has a dose of medicine due now.  Tomorrow at the same time?”  Then louder she said, “Coming, Wilhelm!”


About the Author

Cecile's Writer_Rebecca LinamAuthor: Rebecca Linam

Country of residence: United States of America

Nationality: American

Mother tongue: English

Rebecca Linam was born in the United States and studied in Aachen, Germany.  She visits Germany every summer.  She earned a master's degree in German and teaches German at the University of North Alabama.  Her short stories have been published in Ireland, Canada, Hong Kong, England, and the United States of America.  For more, visit her website at or find her on Twitter@rebecca_linam.

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