Gem Squash Tokoloshe by Rachel Zadok

Gem Squash Tokoloshe

Rachel Zadok

Readers will quickly become hooked by this South African fairy story. The account of Faith's childhood on an isolated farm before the awful tragedy happens is both fascinating and deeply unsettling. The resolution, when it comes decades later, is shocking. You cannot fail to be moved by this sad tale.


A loud crash jolted me awake. Hushed voices, the sound of crying. It was dark, hot. I couldn't make out where I was. I tried to remember when I had fallen asleep, nothing came. I lay still, wondering what to do, when I remembered the warning Mother had given me about getting lost in fairy rings. I stiffened, straining for sounds. I could just make out someone breathing. Low voices hummed like electricity, just beyond my grasp, or perhaps it was the language I could not understand. Mother said fairies spoke in strange tongues. I knew that if I tried to move they would discover me. I was afraid, Dead Rex, the Tokoloshe, Tit Tit Tay. Now, in the dark, alone, I didn't want to see the fairies. I lay still, taking shallow breaths as often as I dared.

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