Once upon a time, there was a goblin named Hugo. Hugo was a talented cook but no one knew this.

People were frightened of Hugo. All Hugo ever wanted was to be accepted for his talents. Instead, he was rejected for his looks.

One winter day, Hugo decided to make soup.

“Bard’s root is just the thing I need,” Hugo said. He put on his heavy coat and went out into the snow to search for the ingredient.

In no time, Hugo reached the tree where the bard’s root grew. He began to dig around, looking for the root.

He stopped when he heard someone crying. He looked up and saw a maid shivering in the cold. The maid drew back with fear when she saw Hugo.

“Don’t be frightened,” Hugo said. “I won’t hurt you. Here, take my coat.”

“My name is Hugo,” he said. “What’s yours?”

“Ella,” said the maid. She was nervous, but accepted Hugo’s coat.

“What are you doing in the forest without a coat, Ella?” Hugo asked.

“Looking for bard’s root,” Ella said. “The castle chef told me to make bard’s root soup for the queen. I don’t even know what bard’s root looks like! And if the queen doesn’t like my soup, she’ll have my head!”

“I make a very good bard’s root soup,” Hugo said. “I’d be honored to help you cook for the queen. But I don’t see how they’d ever let me into the castle.”

“Leave that to me,” Ella said smartly.

FAZ Reading Level Detail

Lexile Score 470
Word Count 765

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