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Redwall Wiki | Brian Jacques and Redwall Information
Redwall Wiki | Brian Jacques and Redwall Information

The Ribbajack & Other Curious Yarns is a collection of six short stories by Brian Jacques, following in the tradition of Seven Strange and Ghostly Tales.

The U.S. paperback version is entitled The Ribbajack & Other Haunting Yarns.


The Ribbajack[]

Archibald Smifft lives in a boarding school and is infamous for tormenting his fellow students. One day, the matron and headmaster of the boarding school discover his stash of supplies for dark magic. When an old army veteran visits the school, the two ask him to address the issue, hoping Archibald would listen to him. However, Archibald is extremely annoyed and seeks for something to take revenge. Two boys, who share his dormitory, accidentally let slip about a piece of information relating to a dark monster, the Ribbajack. Archibald takes the letter containing the information and conjures his own Ribbajack, and sets him upon the old army veteran. Unknown to them at the time, the old medal the veteran wears was given to him by an Indian and had been enchanted to turn Ribbajacks on their owners. Archibald and the Ribbajack disappear.

A Smile and a Wave[]

Maggie, a slightly rebellious teenager, fights with her mom over going to an ice rink with her friends. Her mother insists on bringing her coat, which she had deliberately left at school because she didn’t like it. Maggie returns to school, even though it’s closed at night, and retrieves her coat, but comes across a strange apparition of a girl with a rose. The girl’s evil face causes Maggie to flee the school. She leaves behind a book that tells the tale of how the Leah Edwina Tranter School came about when a lonely 14-year-old girl disappeared. She was found dead behind a bookcase with a rose in her hand. Her father became depressed and her mother left him. It was his will which asked for the school to be built where his house had stood.

The All Ireland Champion Versus the Nye Add[]

Roddy Mooney lives with his mother despite being the All Ireland Champion Fisherman. They are poor because Roddy does not like fish and most of what he catches gets thrown back. One day, he meets young Mickey Hennessey, who tells Roddy he wants to catch a mermaid. They see a giant tail in the water and Roddy believes it’s a large fish. He rushes home to get his supplies to catch it. Roddy hooks something, but suddenly gets pulled into the water from the other end of the line - it turns out to be a mermaid. She starts playing with him underwater until her mother catches her. The young mermaid is scolded and she pushes Roddy up to the surface, leaving him forever altered by the experience. Afterwards, the narrator describes how Mickey goes down to the water every midsummer night, and the mermaid appears to look for Roddy. Mickey grows to learn her language, and finds out she is really a Kelpie. At the end, Mickey is revealed as the narrator.

The Mystery of Huma D'Este[]

Jason is a popular student athlete, and the school bully. When a tall new girl, Huma D'Este, arrives, he attempts to torment her like he does other students. However, she's able to rebuff his intimidation tactics, and her stare seems to shut him down. Jason continually tries to bully her, failing and embarrassing himself.

That evening, Jason dreams of Huma, and in the vision she commands him to come to her. While asleep, he somnambulates over to her residence, and finds her sitting on a throne, surrounded by statues of mythological Greek heroes. Huma D'Este reveals her name to be an anagram for The Medusa, and that Jason would be joining her collection.

Decades later, two of Jason's old friends are visiting Greece. One of them spots a statue that they swear looks like their old classmate, Jason.

Miggy Mags and the Malabar Sailor[]

In 19th century Liverpool, Miggy Mags, a local teenage girl, works at the boardinghouse owned by her drunkard Uncle Eric while her sailor father is away at sea. Eric frequently mistreats her as she cleans, takes care of chores, and serves guests.

One day, her father returns, and he presents her with a Malabar mongoose as a pet. Miggy decides to keep it in the basement. The mongoose, tiring of playing, burrows up from the basement into the dining room floor, startling Eric. As the man chases the creature around the room, Miggy retrieves it, and rushes out into the Liverpool dock area's streets. Eric pursues Miggy, and when he finds her, he physically attacks her, knocking her out. The mongoose leaps at Eric, and the pair fall into the Mersey River.

Later, after Miggy and her father settle Eric's legal affairs, they takeover the boardinghouse, and the mongoose returns.

Rosie's Pet[]

Rosie Glegg has a reputation for being the terror of the town. One afternoon, she meets a mysterious local boy, Charlie Lupus. Charlie impresses her with his antics, which closely resemble animal behavior. Later that evening, she waits for Charlie on a playground when a grey dog appears. Rosie recognizes the canine as Charlie himself. The pair rushes into the wilderness, and a gamekeeper identifies Charlie as a large wolf.

Rosie requests Charlie turn her into a wolf too, and he complies. Charlie moves in with the Gleggs, and the two live as werewolves together.

Release details[]