I recently got a visit from my cousin, Sweetbell. She came to receive music lessons from me, although she did eat many pies too... Oh well. Why would she come to me for music lessons though? Let me tell you. Sweetbell Woodberry was born to a family of cow herders in Woodhall. Her father, Kurt, was an esteemed cow herder who never let his cows escape. Hence, he was called "Kurt Cowbane", like the toxic weed. Despite this title, Master Kurt had a gentle way to herd his cows: He herded them with music that he played. The lovely music attracted the cows, and they never wanted to go too far from him. One day, Kurt and his wife got a small baby, a lass. "Let's name her Sweetbell," Master Kurt suggested. His wife was appalled. "You are going to name her after your cow?!" she gasped. Kurt shrugged. "Sweetbell is my favourite cow, sweet and mellow." "Besides, I'm sure that this lass will become a talented musician. The name would fit her." So, that's how Sweetbell got her name, but she didn't really live up to it... As Sweetbell grew up, it turned out that she wasn't born to be a musician. If you gave her a lute, she played it so fiercely that the strings broke in an instant and all the neighbourhood grumbled. "Oh well, maybe the lute's not her instrument," Kurt thought. "Maybe she'll do better with the horn. Surely, she won't break it!" But the sound of the horn did break something, the peace in Woodhall at least. It also drove away the cows, pigs and chickens, and all the herders grumbled. "There must be an instrument which the lass can play!" Kurt said and pondered hard. "Oh yes, of course!" "Surely she can handle a simple instrument like a cowbell!" When Kurt gave her the cowbell, he asked her to rehearse the playing in a safely distant place - just in case! So Sweetbell headed to the woods, where she started to train her bell tinkling skills. But unfortunately, there was a bear den nearby and they got pretty angry with all that noise. Sweetbell might not have gotten better in bell tinkling, but she sure learnt how to run fast. Sweetbell was pretty disappointed; she just wanted to please her father in some way. "Maybe I will choose an instrument, practise on my own and surprise my father!" she thought. "Flute is a sweet instrument," she thought. "I'll try that one!" To keep her intentions secret, she decided to practise flute playing away from Woodhall, and she headed for the Marish. Sweetbell found a nice place next to a hedge and decided to toot her flute there. She didn't realise that she was sitting at the edges of Old Maggot's farm and that one of his dogs was close... Sweetbell started practising, but she could only get some squeaky voices out of her flute. "I am doomed," she sighed. "This flute sounds more like a pibgorn to me." Suddenly, she heard growling from the other side of the hedge, and a voice coming from afar: "What is it, Grip? Has another rascal from Brandy Hall come to pilfer my mushrooms?" "I AM doomed now," Sweetbell thought and started running, which she could do just fine. But Grip didn't want to let her go just like that – he started chasing her. Sweetbell ran northward to the fields that were colonized by big harvest flies. There was a little hill at the edge of the fields, and Sweetbell climbed it up, trying to escape the fierce guard dog. But Grip didn't want to give up without a fight – he wanted to teach the trespasser a lesson (not a music lesson). Standing on the top of the hill, Sweetbell felt trapped. And she was only armed with a... flute. So she took the flute and blew into it, making a sound that only dogs could hear. But it was enough: Grip winced and dropped down on the ground, covering its ears. But not only the dogs had heard the sound: in an instant, all harvest flies dropped down onto the ground. Sweetbell looked victorious for a passing moment, but then she saw Old Maggot approach the hill. "What is this?" he shouted. Then he saw the knocked-out harvest flies on the fields. "Did you do this, lass?" he asked, and Sweetbell nodded. "You got a talent there, lass!" Old Maggot said and laughed. "I could use your pest control services at my farm!" Grip winced again, but his master didn't listen. "Have you ever tried that trick with bagpipes?" Old Maggot asked. Sweetbell started to work for various farmers, providing pest control services using various instruments. At the moment, she is practising her skills in my pie cellars, driving out pie rats. So, remember this: never give up. Unless you are a guard dog who is chasing a lass who's armed with tooting devices. Then, think again. The End.