THE CALLOW PIT COFFER by Kevin Crossley-Holland


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Everyone knew Callow Pit was evil. Its black eye watched the world, unblinking. The two oak trees beside it had been struck by lightning, and withered and died."" In just such a shivery atmosphere, during the reign of Stephen de Blois (1135-1154), brothers Jakke and Keto set out to retrieve the coffer of gold and silver submerged in the pit. Braving wolfhounds and a headless horseman rumor, they take two ladders and a staff. ""If you don't bother them with words, they won't bother you,"" is the local admonition about the pool's demons. Perched on the ladders stretched across the Callow Pit, they plunge the staff into the water until it hooks the iron ring of the coffer. Hoisting the massive chest between them, they are about to return to land when a hideous black hand, then a huge black arm is thrust out of the water. They grapple and in the struggle Keto growls ""Don't let go."" But he has defied the old saying and their battle is lost--the coffer falls into the pit and they have only the iron ring from its lid to show for their effort. Another significant, suspenseful rendering of an old tale from the creators of The Green Children.

Pub Date: April 10th, 1969
Publisher: Seabury