Tal, the boy with golden hair, lived happily in Martoona. He might well have gone on living there forever, had not something strange happened.
An old man came to town, leading a white donkey. “I’m Noom-Zor-Noom, and I come from the kingdom of Troom,” the man said. He invited Tal to join him on a trip to see amazing things in strange lands. The donkey, whose name was Millitinkle, spoke up, urging Tal to say yes.
Never before had Tal heard a donkey speak, but her words seemed true, and the man was kind and gentle. Everything he heard and saw made Tal want to go, so he agreed.
In the course of the journey, Tal’s job was to choose the best story, out of a great many wonderful stories the man had written down on a block of black crystal.
This was an important job. If Tal chose the right story, the young prince of Troom, who disappeared years ago as baby, would be rescued. If not, the king would send Noom-Zor-Noom to prison.
That’s all we can say for now, nothing else. If you want to find out what happened on the way to Troom, and hear the fanciful stories, you’ll have to join the journey. As Millitinkle the donkey said to Tal, “You’d better come with us. You’ll never have another chance like this.”
Illustrated by Ruth Reeves