Study Guide

The Wee Free Men Chapter 8

By Terry Pratchett

Chapter 8

Land of Winter

  • When Tiffany steps into Fairyland, she finds that the ground is covered in snow and the sky is white. The trees are all black. She looks to see that the Nac Mac Feegles are alert and some have drawn their swords.
  • Tiffany grabs her frying pan just in time to see another pack of big black dogs running at them. Oh, brother.
  • Tiffany smacks one with the pan, while the pictsies play a high note that sends the dogs running (and makes the snow melt); then they pick Tiffany up and keep carrying her through the snow.
  • As they go along Tiffany notices something distinctly weird about the landscape. The trees look like blobs from afar, but when they get closer, it's as if they become more distinct, as if they're trying to become more real.
  • The Nac Mac Feegles say that they used to live here and were robbers for the Queen, but she kept getting greedier and they didn't want to steal from the weak and poor for her sake.
  • Tiffany learns something pretty horrible. The Queen isn't going to hurt Wentworth, and she'll send him back to the Chalk when she's done with him… but he won't be a day older even though a ton of time will have passed by in the real world. So when he returns he'll still be a baby, but his whole family will be old or dead. Bummer.
  • Also, if you live in a dream for too long, you can go crazy. Good to know.
  • Tiffany is pretty scared, but she doesn't let it stop her and she walks along.
  • But suddenly she wakes up. Which is really bizarre.
  • And when she does, Tiffany finds herself back in her bedroom, looking around. Her mom is down at the sink in the kitchen, but doesn't say anything to her at all.
  • But something's odd—the cat rubs itself against her when it usually hates her, and there's a rattling coming from the china shepherdess. As Tiffany watches, the rattling moves to the oven—and then the oven bursts open with hundreds of Nac Mac Feegles pouring out and telling her not to eat the porridge.
  • Tiffany looks up and the walls are shifting; everything's shifting, and there's this weird creepy creature lumbering toward her. She screams.
  • When Tiffany wakes up (again), she's lying on the ground in the snowy wood. Lumps of gray things are hanging from the trees.
  • The Wee Free Men tell her that she got caught in a web by a drome, which spins dreams (kind of like a spider's web). If you get caught in one and eat food in the dream, you won't be able to leave and will end up starving to death—whereupon the drome eats you. Gross.
  • They keep traveling on even though Tiffany is pretty scared.
  • A bunch of small people with wings like dragonflies come buzzing down at them; they grab Rob Anybody, but Tiffany manages to snatch him down. Rob Anybody screams that there's going to be poetry. What does that mean?

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