2018 Quick-Shot: Dragons

 

Ok, it’s been 2019 for somethin’ like five days now.  Happy 2019!  But there was a whole lotta 2018 I never wrote about, cuz I didn’t have time, or things got too crazy busy, or my ‘puter was busted, or a tank ran over my camera…

Yeah.  The camera really did get busted.  Cooper tried awful hard to get photos off, but I hadda get a new one, so I lost a bunch of pictures an’ stuff.  I’ll get to that, though.

DRAGONS

There was a dragon onna roof of the big white house.  It scared everybody outta their minds.  Cooper an’ me chased after it to make it go away.

We tracked it through the forest, walkin’ days an’ nights an’ followin’ its flight or findin’ places where it’d landed.  There’d be these big circles of burn, with smokin’ trees an’ half-eaten things an’ burnt grass, an’ we knew we were onna right path.  Cooper hadda monster book, an’ he kept lookin’ through for ways to fight off dragons.  We knew it’d be tough, but we couldn’t let the dragon come back to hurt our friends.

While we were walkin’, I kept tellin’ Cooper I thought I heard somethin’ followin’ us.  He wasn’t so sure what it might be, an’ I gotta say I didn’ have a clue either.  But I didn’t like the thought it might sneak up behind us an’ do somethin’ not so nice.  So we went an’ hid one day an’ waited for whatever it was to catch up to us.

I could hear it crashin’ through the bush, gettin’ closer an’ closer.  It was sorta quiet, but sorta not, like an animal that maybe hadda bum leg or wasn’t worried bout bein’ super quiet or wasn’t used to movin’ through forests.  But we stayed quiet, an’ it came closer.  I held my sword so tight, my hand hurt. Then I saw somethin’ bright red pop up, an’ it was sorta kinda familiar…

Hey!  It was the witch!  What was she doin’ here?  Cooper looked at me, an’ I looked at Cooper.  Then she was standin’ right there with us, even though I swear she was a buncha bits away just a moment afore.

“Whatcha doin’ here?” I asked.

“Did you see it?” she asked.  “I sensed that you were following it, but I didn’t know if you had laid eyes on it or not.”

Wait…what?

Cooper’n’me must’ve looked dumb, cuz she rolled her eyes an’ sighed deep.  “The dragon.  Big flying lizard. Has scales. Breathes fire.”

My tongue came loose.  “We saw it onna roof.  I don’t wanna let it hurt our friends. We’re gonna go kill it.”

The witch started shaking her head.  “Oh, no, no, no, no, no.  You can’t kill it.”

“But we gotta.  It might eat us.”  What was the witch thinking?  “My book says they don’t like cold.  If we could throw loads of ice cubes at it first, it might get super weak, an’ then we can take it out.”

She sighed again.  “You will not kill a dragon with ice cubes.  You will not kill a dragon at all with the weapons you have.  You will die trying. I have a much better idea for how to solve the problem while keeping you alive.”

I looked at my sword.  It was awful small compared to the dragon.  “What do you think we outta do?”

“I believe we may have an advantage, but I need to know what the dragon looked like.”

Uh…  “It was big. An’ silver. It had two wings an’ four legs an’ some super sharp claws.  There were some horns round its head an’ … uh … sharp teeth.”

The witch looked thoughtful.  “What color were its eyes?”

“They were blue, with these gold stripes.”

She rubbed her thumb along her chin and started walkin’ back and forth, talkin’ kinda to herself an’ kinda to Cooper’n’me.  “There is a possibility that we are dealing with a female dragon that has recently laid a clutch of eggs.  If she’s out and about, they may have hatched.  This would create an ideal situation.”  She stopped and looked at us.  “Don’t you see?”

I shook my head.  Hatched eggs just sounded like more dragons.  More dragons would be a bigger problem.  How could more dragons be good?  Even Cooper didn’t seem to get it.  “I think I fail to see how newly-hatched dragons would benefit our situation…” he told the witch.

She sighed.  “New-hatched dragons have a very particular diet.  If we can get in there and help to feed them, we will imprint upon them that humans are good, that humans are friends, not food.  They will be easier to manage and less likely to cause chaos.”

“So…they won’t eat us?” I asked.

“They imprint like baby birds?” Cooper asked.  “That will be interesting.  I’ve seen videos of baby geese who imprint on a human.  They’ll follow the human around like puppies.  But how will this benefit us with regards to the mother dragon?”

The witch looked a li’l funny then, like she was hopin’ nobody’d ask that question.  “I have heard from a friend of a wizard I know that the adult dragon will be so grateful for the assistance that she will no longer see us as a threat but as an ally.  Another wizard theorized that she will simply fly away once the babies have been fed.  I am not sure that I believe either of them.  We may have to feed her as well.”

Cooper’n’me just stared at the witch.  Feedin’ baby dragons might be sorta ok.  But feedin’ a great big mama dragon that wasn’t sure if we were there to maybe hurt the babies?  That seemed a whole lot scarier an’ more like a Very Bad Idea.

“What do dragons eat?”  Cooper asked, alla sudden.  He had his eyes closed, like he didn’t really wanna know the answer.

“Stardust, of course,” the witch said, like everybody inna world knew that.  “Moonbeams sometimes, if there’s a full moon, but stardust is easier to harvest.”

“So they don’t wanna eat people?” I asked.  “Or pigs? Or puppies?”

Cooper chuckled.  “Or penguins or pandas or peacocks?  What’s with all the “P” things, Kestrel?”

I hit him inna shoulder, an’ he laughed more.  Brothers.

The witch crossed her arms.  “If you two are done?”  When we quieted down some, she kept on. “Baby dragons grow best on stardust and moonbeams.  Both are difficult for dragons to harvest, so most often the adult will feed the hatchlings blood from killed animals.  But that is not ideal, and it will stunt the hatchlings’ growth.  As adults, dragons also still want to eat stardust and moonbeams, but animals are easier to find.”

“How do we get stardust an’ moonbeams?” I asked.

“There is a process,” the witch said, as she was fumblin’ through a bag she had over her shoulder. “I will show you how to do it when the time is right.  We need both a full moon and a new moon, so timing is particular, and both cannot be harvested at the same time.  Thankfully, I harvest these items all the time and have some here with me.”  She pulled two things out of her bag: a bottle, filled with shimmery, glittery flakes, an’ a smaller closed pouch.  She handed the bottle to Cooper an’ worked on untying the knotted pouch.

Cooper popped the cork outta the bottle an’ shook a few flakes inna his hand.  They were all sparkly an’ sorta glowed like they were fulla light still.  I touched ’em with my finger.  They were a lot softer’n I thought they’d be an’ sorta warm.  Cooper poured ’em back inna bottle an put the cork back in place.

The witch finished with the knot an’ slid the bag back.  Soft light poured outta the bag, an’ she showed us these translucent white glowy bars.  Cooper’n’me both ‘wow’ed atta same time.  She covered ’em back up an’ put them an’ the stardust bottle away in her bag.

“I take it you have not actually found the dragon’s nest yet,” she said as she was closin’ up her bag.  “May I travel with you as you search?  I had seen signs of the dragon, but I confess I am not good at tracking beasts.  I nearly lost you several times, and you did not leave the ground.”

I laughed.  “It’d be nice if we had wings.  Flyin’ up over alla trees might make it easier to see…”  Then I trailed off, thinkin’. I didn’t have wings, but gettin’ high didn’t seem like a bad idea.

Cooper pointed to a nearby tree that had lotsa broken low branches, but it went up awful tall.  “Do you want a boost?” he asked.

“Nah,” I said.  “But maybe hold the sword.  It’ll make it hard to climb.”

It was a good climbin’ tree, with plenty of broken limbs atta bottom an’ lotsa branches higher up.  When I got high enough up so I could look out over the other trees inna forest, I looked round the horizon.  Ahead of us but off to the left, I saw some columns of smoke.  They looked dragon-ish.  I climbed back down.

We headed in the direction of the smoke. It was different travelin’ with the witch.  She sure didn’t know much bout movin’ inna woods, but she did know loads bout alla plants we passed an’ what they outta be used for. I didn’t listen too much, but Cooper did.  He likes stuff like that.  I kept lookin’ for more signs we were trackin’ right:  burned trees, broken limbs, gouged trunks.  An’ no animals.  The woods were quiet.

We kept walkin’ til it was dark.  I wanna keep goin’, cuz I felt like we were close.  I could smell a bad, stinky smell, like rotten eggs, an’ lotsa smoke.  An’ I heard a sound, somethin’ like a wind sneakin’ through a crack inna roof.  Cooper said it’d be better to wait for light, an’ the Witch said she thought it’d be better too if we didn’t go in at night.  I guess they were right.  It’d be scary to face dragons–big or li’l–at night, when you couldn’t see.

It was hard to wait for mornin’. I kept wakin’ up, lookin’ around, an’ wonderin’ what time it was or when the sun was gonna come back up.  That awful sound kept on, too.  Once, I got up an’ started to walk closer to where I thought the dragons were gonna be, but the witch started talkin’ in her sleep, an’ it was weird.  I couldn’t see too far, either, so I stayed there with the others.

But dawn finally came, an’ we set off again.  The forest was black an’ smokin’, an we started hearin’ loud noises ahead.  The burned up forest gave way to lotsa rocks, an’ the noises got louder, so we went creepin’ behind rocks one by one, peekin’ out in case there was somethin’ to hide from.  Then, finally, the land opened up, an’ oh-my-gumdrops…

There was the dragon, all huge an’ hulkin’ an’ scary.  There were dead animal bodies piled around the area, but they weren’t eaten or nothin’. Most of ’em were covered up in flies an’ smellin’ bad bad.  The witch was right, too, cuz there were eggshells an’ some baby dragons!  They were huge too, but not so scary, cuz they were not happy lookin’.  Some of ’em were lyin’ splayed out onna dirt, not movin’.  Some were covered up in flies.  There were two or three crawlin’ about, cryin’.  That cryin’ sound was what we heard inna forest.

“What’re they doin’?” I asked.

“Starving,” the witch said.  She kept her voice quiet.  “The mother dragon must be young.  She doesn’t know how to feed them.”

I looked at the babies again.  They were thin an’ slow-movin’.  Their scales were dull.  “We gotta help them,” I said.  “What’s gonna help faster? Moonbeams or starlight?”

The witch shook her head and shrugged.  She couldn’t take her eyes off the mother.

“Gimme both.  I gotta try somethin’.”

Then the witch looked at me.  “Hold on, girl.  If you just go rushing in, the mother dragon will think you’re attacking her babies. She will kill you without realizing you’re only there to help them.”

I frowned, looking back out at the babies.  “Ok.  So what should we do?”  The silver dragon kept staring at the crawling babies.

Cooper spoke up.  “It’s like chess.  We need to distract the mother while we make our move.  Can we get her attention off in the other direction?  Maybe make her think there’s a threat over there while we move in to help the babies?”

“That might work,” the witch said thoughtfully.

“I’ll do it,” I said, startin’ to hop up.

The witch pulled me back down.  “No.  You should let me take care of the mother dragon.  You are smart, clever, and quick, but you are no match for an actual dragon.  I have spells that will assist me.  I’ll distract her, and you two move in to feed the babies.  Start with the stardust.  I think it will be all right after.”  She took the stardust an’ moonbeams outta her bag an’ gave ’em to us.  She put two moonbeam bars back inna bag.  Then she whispered some words I didn’t know, an’ alla sudden, she vanished.

Cooper’n’me peeked out from behind our rock.  The baby dragons weren’t movin’ any more, except to breathe a li’l bit.  The silver dragon kept watchin’ ’em.  The mornin’ was all sortsa quiet now.  While we waited, Cooper split half of the stardust into two piles an’ wrapped ’em up inna bandanas.

Alla sudden, the silver dragon’s head snapped up an’ whipped ’round.  Smoke dribbled outta her nose, an’ she let out a roar.  Then she leaped to her feet an’ ran off, movin’ super fast.  I was sorta glad then that I wasn’t out inna forest, tryin’ to distract her.  I think if I’d seen her leap up an’ come chargin’ at me like that, I woulda been frozen stiff.

Cooper grabbed my arm.  “Come on.  This is our chance.”  We both scuttle ran out from behind the rock an’ headed for the baby dragons.  They saw us comin’ an’ tried to rear up an’ fight back, but they were awful weak.  They just made a soft mewling sound an’ their heads weaved back an’ forth a bit.

I knelt down next to the red-gold dragonling, an’ Cooper helped the one that was green-gold.  The baby hissed at me an’ snapped its jaws a li’l, but it couldn’t do nothin’ to actually hurt me.  I untied the bandana with the stardust an’ scooped some inna my hand, then held it toward the baby.

It stopped hissing. Its nostrils got real big as it snuffed in an’ out, tryin’ figure out what I had.  Then its tongue came out, an’ it licked up some of the shiny stardust.  Then it licked again, an’ again, until my hand was empty. An’ wet.  I was covered in baby dragon slobber.  It made me giggle.

The baby dragon Cooper was helpin’ started to make a different sound, sorta like a happy hummin’.  My dragon baby did too, even as I got it another handful of stardust.  Its eyes got brighter, an’ its scales started shinin’ some too.  It was lookin’ loads better.

Neither of us was payin’ any attention to the big silver dragon anymore, but I kinda started to when it came flyin’ straight at us.  It landed inna dirt near the babies, an’ I thought for sure we were gonna be fried toast.  I looked up at it an’ gulped.

But it stretched its big head down an’ nosed the li’l red-gold baby.  It was all pretty an’ shiny now, lookin’ loads healthier’n’ it did afore.  It raised its head up too, an’ they rubbed against each other some, then the silver dragon looked at me an’ Cooper both.  The big silver dragon made that happy hummin’ sound too.

The witch popped up behind us alla sudden.  She hadda moonbeam bar inna hand an’, while we were still feedin’ stardust to the babies, she walked up to the silver dragon again.  It seemed loads friendlier now, but it still drew back a li’l bit when she started walkin’ towards it.  Then it caught the scent of moonbeam, an’ its nose did the big-wide thing like the babies’ did.  It crunched up the moonbeam bar, an’ its blue eyes went bright.

“A long time ago,” the witch said softly, like she was tellin’ bedtime stories to the baby dragons, “dragons and humans got along.  They relied on each other.  Adult dragons couldn’t feed their babies starlight because they couldn’t harvest it.  And humans couldn’t perform magic without dragon scales.  So they worked together, and they thrived.  But history says something went terribly wrong–maybe a wizard tried to enslave a dragon or take too many scales or take a living dragon’s soul, or maybe some bachelor dragons went rogue and attacked a city–and the dragon-human bond was broken.  Without humans to help, the dragon population has fallen dangerously low.  I want to thank you two for your help with making this happen.  I hope that we might be able to re-establish the bonds of old.”

The witch looked really happy.  I kinda felt like she’d used us again, but I didn’t mind so much this time.  Maybe she didn’t know how to explain things good when she started explainin’ things.

“Are we gonna stay an’ feed ’em some longer?” I asked.  I didn’t know how long we outta feed baby dragons, or when they could start eatin’ normal dragon foods.

“I think you and your twin should go make sure your family is safe and that they know they’ll be ok.  There is nothing more to worry about from these dragons.  But yes, I will stay and care for this family, at least until these small ones are better able to care for themselves.  It is a time honored tradition that many wizards and witches have ignored for far too long.  I hope that I can help convince more of them to agree to help the dragons as we did before.”

“All right, then,” Cooper said.  He tugged on my arm.  “If you need anything else from us, or if we can help again, you know where we’ll be.”

“Thank you,” she said.

As we walked back inna woods, I was happy.  We hadda great adventure.  The Flock was safe.  Dolli Lane was safe.  I gotta feed a baby dragon!!  It was a super good day.

~Kestrel

Halloween Decorations

Cuz Wren’s been awful busy makin’ costumes, an’ I’m not too good with sewin’, I figured I’d work on decorating up the main room for Halloween!  Cooper an’ Falcon said they’d help.  Meikiko wanted to help too, but Wren couldn’t get her to take her costume off, so she had to sit out.  But that’s ok.  She can help with other stuff.

We cleaned up the room some first, cuz it was fulla dust an’ dirt.  That part wasn’t so fun.  But I knew Wren would say it was important.  Personally, I thought maybe alla dusty stuff would make it look creepier.  Cooper said that was just a lazy thought.

Alla stuff was packed away, so we pulled it outta storage an’ set stuff up.  I found this awesome tin with a ouija board onna front, an’ a creepy coffin, an’ thought the corner over by our stove would be good.  Riley tried to help, but mostly she just barked atta coffin.  I love Riley.  She’s a good guard pup.

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Falcon focused onna middle, using some cut-out pieces for decoratin’.  He found a cauldron, too, an’ those awesome eyeballs!  Oh, I remember those!  Wren thought she’d scare me with ’em last year.  They are pretty creepy, tho.  I wish they glowed inna dark or somethin’.  We could turn off alla lights an’ watch ’em watchin’ us.  Falcon’s fox wasn’t too sure what to think of it, even without it glowin’, so I think that means it’s spooky enough.

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An’ Cooper…well, he kinda struggled a bit.  He put some li’l pieces out inna other corner, where we got chairs, but he said the skeleton didn’t look right sittin’ there, an’ it kept fallin’ down, an’ he just didn’ know what he outta do with it.

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So I popped it inna different place, an’ I think it looks all right.

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I’ll probably move it again later.  For sure, some Little’s gonna wanna hide inna coffin.  I hope they do!  It makes a frightful sound, an’ I bet it’s gonna make ’em all jump.  They’re so cute when they get scared, cuz their eyes get all big, an’ then they get all angry cuz I giggle.  I can’t help it!  They’re just so cute!

But that was it.  I told Cooper we needed more.  If we could find some spider things, an’ rig up somethin’ so it’d look like cobwebs, that’d be neat.  An’ maybe if we could make somethin’ look like a science experiment gone wrong, that’d be cool too.  But “gone wrong” sounds kinda like “make a mess,” an’ I’m not too sure Wren would like that much.  Plus we need snacks an’ candy an’ things.  Apples too.

Oh gumdrops!  An’ pumpkins!

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“We need pumpkins ’bout this big.  At least this big.  Bunches of ’em.”

Cooper just laughed.  “It’s going to be ok, Kestrel.  We’ll find pumpkins.  Maybe not quite that big, though.  That’s about as big as Meikiko.”

Exactly!

I can’t wait.  It’s gonna be so much fun!

~Kestrel

Gingerbread House–2nd visit

Meikiko took me back down the trail to visit the gingerbread house.  I wan’t sure what I was gonna see.  Was it the witch’s new home? Was the witch gonna catch an eat alla Littles wha’ came round?  But I wasn’t a Little.  An’ she’d have a bit more t’do to catch me.

When we broke through the forest an entered the clearing, Meikiko said “There.”  An’ there it was, a house made all outta gingerbread an’ done up wit’ icing an stuff.  But I wasn’t sure we was at the right place.

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“Um…how mucha th’ house did ya’ll eat?”  Suddenly, I kinda understood why th’ witch mighta been upset they was munchin’ on her house if they ate down alla candy an icin’ and stuff.

“No no no…we didn’t eat that much,” Meikiko said.  “I don’t know what ate the rest.”  And she sat down on the rock and wouldn’t go any closer.

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So I went closer an’ spent some time examinin’ the house.  It looked empty.  An’ munched.  Really, really munched.

But I couldn’ find anythin’ like no witch or nothin’ what mighta eaten th’ candy offa house.  Th’ whole thing was confusin’.  Cuz I sure believed the Littles when they told me they only licked a little an’ the witch came out.  Maybe she was just visitin’ too an’ was tryin’ t’play with the girls?  Dunno.

As Meikiko an’ me was leavin’, I thought mebbe I heard some gigglin’ from the house.  Made me turn right quick an’ look again, but there wasn’t nothin’ there.  I mighta gone back for another look, but Meikiko grabbed m’ hand an’ dragged me off.

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I’ll keep an eye out, but it’s lookin’ maybe kinda ok for now.

~Kestrel

In which the Littles have an adventure

Yesterday was a kinda nice day.  It’d been super cold for a bit, an’ I thought for sure it was gonna snow! But no snow. So yesterday, it started off pretty cold, but it got nice inna afternoon, so alla Littles were outside playin’.  They were over at our house cuz Nim needed time t’ get Dolli Lane cleaned up.  Hazel an’ Vega were over there, helpin’ her.  Wren an’ me was inside, cleanin’, so we could maybe getta Christmas tree set up afore too long, so I guess we weren’t payin’ too good a mind to the Littles.  I mean, we’d go check on ’em an’ stuff, but it wasn’t like we was standin’ out inna grass with ’em.

It gotta be dinner time, an’ Wren finally stopped an’ said that hadda be good enough.  She told me go get the Littles an she went t’ heat up a pot of soup.  So I put on m’ hat an’ headed for the door.

Alla sudden, the Littles came burstin’ in.  They was wild-eyed an outta breath an’ scared.  Alla they grabbed onna my legs an’ just shivered.  I patted their backs for a bit.  The calmin’-down-after-nightmares is more Wren’s style, but I tried.  Finally, Meikiko calmed down an’ started talkin’

They was outside, playin’ tag, when somebody suggested maybe they go for a walk inna woods. (At this, I reminded Meikiko that they shoulda come an’ gotten me first afore they went wanderin’ off.  She kinda hung her head an mumbled, an’ I let it go.) So they all picked a path an’ wandered down it.

Thankfully, it was a nice day.  It wasn’ too cold or too hot, there wasn’t lotta rain or snow, an’ there ain’t a whole lotta scary bad animals inna wood, like bears or coyotes or nothin’.  They said they saw chipmunks an’ rabbits an’ even a red fox, so they kept walkin’  When they came to a path inna woods, they’d lay down some rocks onna side of the path so they’d know how to get home again in case they got confused.  I told Meikiko that was a smart idea.

After wanderin’ a bit, they came to a clearing.  Inna clearing was a house.  It wasn’t no ordinary house, tho.  Meikiko said it was made all outta candy, like gumdrops an’ gumballs an’ icing an’ gingerbread.  An’ I couldn’ say I blamed them for wantin’ a closer look, but parta me was wonderin’ if they ain’t never heard the story bout Hansel an’ Gretel!?

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They hadda talk bout whatta do.  Rosy an’ Aqua wanna turn round an go back home.  But Poppy an’ Meikiko wanna make sure it was for real a gingerbread house.  An’ inna middle what they was talkin’ bout, Meikiko walked over an’ started messin with somethin’ onna roof.

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She said she licked it, an’ it was candy for real, an’ that kinda decided it for alla they:  they wanna try some too.  I mean, what kid could resist an entire house made outta candy?!  I bit m’ tongue an’ let her keep tellin’ me what happen.  Onna other side of th’ house, Rosy scraped icing offa roof an’ licked it an’ said it was good too.  So then Poppy went to the walk an’ tried a gumdrop, an Aqua went for th’ gingerbread tree, an’ alla they was tryin’ somethin’ sweet.

Then Aqua stopped, an looked ’round a bit, sayin she thought she heard somethin’.

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An’ Poppy stop too, an pointed atta house, sayin’ she thought she saw somethin’ movin’ inna window an’ maybe they outta stop eatin’ alla candy an’ let it be.  Which is kinda weird, cuz Poppy’s usually the first one who wantsta do somethin’ kinda dangerous.

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Aqua an Rosy started listenin’ to Poppy, tho, an’ they agreed maybe they outta get outta there.  But Meikio had finally gotten an entire candy offa roof, so she wasn’t listenin’ too good to her dolly sisters.

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Then, outta blue, Meikiko heard somethin’ from behind her, near the back of th’ house, an’ when she turned, she saw lotta curly red.  She yelled, “Witch!” an’ threw her candy down an’ alla Littles high-tailed it outta there.

Poppy said the witch was sayin’ somethin’ as they ran, but not a one of ’em stopped t’ hear what she hadda say.  I think every one of ’em was thinkin’ hard bout Hansel an’ Gretel an’ how that story ended, an’ they sure didn’ wanna have no part of it!  They woulda gotten lost but for the rocks they left, an’ afore too long, they cam burstin’ outta woods at our house an’ came runnin’ in.

Oh my gumdrops!

I told ’em I was glad they got home safe.  An’ I made ’em all promise me they wouldn’ go wanderin’ off again without gettin’ a big doll t’ go with ’em.  They said ok.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll get one of ’em to take me back to see it.

~Kestrel

(ps:  from Kestrel’s BEAN:  The gingerbread house was constructed by my two little beans and their friend.  They kindly allowed me–encouraged me, even!–to take pictures with the Littles, which prompted this story line.  Thanks, guys!)

Happy Halloween!

It’s that awesome, spooky time of year when the ghouls come out and the ghosts get to play!  Nim said Halloween’s also called All Hallow’s Eve, which sounds spookier and niftier than Halloween.  Like somethin’s lurking round the corner in the dark, ready to pounce out atcha if you aren’t paying attention.  Yeah!  Who doesn’t love Halloween? (specially cuz the monsters are really just Littles dressed up all cute, and there aren’t no monsters ya gotta cage up in some iron bars…least, not as I’ve seen. Not yet.)

We decided Trick or Treating wasn’t gonna work.  There’s just not enough houses in the area, an’ tryin to walk all the Littles to somewhere other houses would be was…yea, it wasn’t gonna happen. Their legs’re too short to go that far.  So Nim brought ’em over to our house to have a fun evening.

All the costumes that Wren and Nim made were sitting out, waiting for a Little to choose.  When the whole pack of ’em got in and they saw ’em, they were all a jabber about who wanted what and why and how much fun and–!  So many conversations all at once.  But they didn’t fight or nothin’, which was nice.  They did pounce on ’em like little wild beasts, though.  It was pretty funny.  Wren was kinda horrified.

The outfits were simple.  Mostly just hats.  While the Littles were sortin’ out who was gonna be what, Nim looked at Wren and kinda whispered “Did we forget something?”  Wren was kinda puzzled for a bit, then her eyes went wide.  “Oh, the tails!”  Oops.  Maybe next year?  They were cute anyway.

I got alla them to let me take pictures, so you can see how cute they were.

First, the kittens.  They decided they didn’t want costumes, cuz they already had fur an’ ears an’ tails an’ everything. Angel-kitten came over in Nim’s bunny jacket, though, which was pretty cute.

Rosy got to wear the bunny costume.  You can kinda see her in the kittens’ pictures, standing behind Kitty, but she’s cuter when you get to see her face-on.  She an’ Angel kinda hung out during the evening, cuz they were both bunnies!

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Poppy picked out the little fox hat (she said she loved it cuz red’s her favorite color!)

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An’ Meikiko picked up the little panda hat, saying it reminded her of somethin’ from  when she was a baby.

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An’ Aqua picked the elephant!

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I mean, they were all just so super cute!  There was one hat left over, a kitty hat.  I guess there were enough kittens in their group that nobody wanted to dress up like one?  At least, not at first.  Nim, Wren, an me sat down on the bench for a bit while they all ran around, playing ring round the rosy an’ London Bridge an’ duck duck goose an’ things like that.  We three got to talkin’ an’ payin’ not enough attention to the Littles, cuz they were doin’ a pretty good job of entertainin’ themselves.  At some point, Meikiko ran over an’ grabbed the kitty hat off my lap.  I was happy someone was gonna be a kitty!  Then Wren told me I outta put on the panda hat, so she helped me. (I make a pretty cute panda, right?)

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But that’s when things started to go way wrong…

First, it was Meikiko, bein’ a little crazy-rough onna chair, climbin’ over it like it was a jungle gym.  Wren told her be careful an’ all.  Then I looked around a bit, cuz what’d been all the Littles’ voices singin’ different songs was all-a-sudden a lotta voices gigglin’ an being crazy-loud, not singin-loud.  Whoa.

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There were kittens onna bench.  Not sittin’ down, but climbin’ on toppa the bench.  I dunno how they got up there without us noticing, but there they were.  An’ Rosy was off on the side, standin’ on another chair.  At first, I thought she was tryin’ to get up there too with Lily an’ Kitty, then I realized she was tryin’ to grab a cat down.

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At first, we just kinda stared around at it all.  I’d never seen the Littles get so crazy afore.  But then Nim said, kinda laughing an kinda deep-sighing, to please let ’em keep on doin’ it so they’d wear themselves out. Poor Nim.  It’s gotta be hard tryin to take care of alla them Littles all the time.  No wonder she loves it so much when we come over.

But when Kitty flipped herself down and said “Boo!” beside Wren, that was a bit much.

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Then Wren hopped up and backed herself inna corner, an I hopped up and tried to keep Lily from joining her sister (who had laughed and crawled back up on toppa the bench), an it was jus’ total chaos!

I guess Wren backin’ up was enough, cuz then Nim started talkin’ in this soft, calm voice, but one that sorta kinda sounded like maybe she wanted to kill somethin’ at the same time.  All the Littles stopped what they was doin, looked at her, then meekly got down an’ clustered up all nice and calm, like they ain’t done nothin’ bad at all.  After a little bit, I got Wren to come back so we could take a nice picture with alla us sittin’ together, bein calm.

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I love Halloween!  Not sure Wren feels much the same anymore…  Next time, though, the animals gotta all have tails.  I think the weight’ll keep the Littles more butt-heavy, so they won’t go scalin’ everything in sight an bein’ so crazy-wild.

(I am not gonna ask Wren, but I do kinda wanna know what happened to Hazel an Vega. I didn’t see hide nor hair of ’em during the party.)

I was sad to see all the Littles go when the evening was done.  If it wouldn’ give Wren a heart attack, I’d say we should do this alla time!

~Kestrel

 

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Captured and Contained

Vale did an awesome job, capturing the monster and subduing it (I’m learning all these new words.  Wren’ll be proud).  The net was super strong.  I don’t think I could’a caught it on my own, tho, but you’ll see why.  Getting it in the cage was hard enough.

I’m  ahead of myself, tho.   I had the cage set up in another part of the forest, but I didn’t want nobody to know where it was.  I thought that’d be safest. For everybody.  Magic is weird. It does scary things sometimes.  Far away and unknown seemed good.

I met up with Vale in the forest, away from the house, once she captured and subdued the monster.  It took me a while to find her after she sent the first message. I’m not so good at reading a compass…  I’d been wandering through the dark for a bit, trying to use the compass and a map and find the right coordinates and having no luck.  Thank goodness Vale had a bright light blinking at her eyepiece.  I saw something flashing off between the trunks, like a firefly on caffeine.  Made my way to it, slipping through the mud.  Then there was Vale, standing tall with her foot on top of the squirming bag of monster.  She had some scuff marks on her mechanical parts, and a dent in another spot, and her boots were covered with mud.  I didn’t wanna know how the monster looked.

She looked down at me and asked again if I’d be ok doing this.  An’ I said yea, cuz I really needed to cage it myself.  I wanted to protect Wren and the Littles from the monster that scared us all.  I hoped that maybe, if I put it away, I wouldn’t be so scared of it either.  Vale said, if I needed more help, if the monster got to be too strong, I should just call and she’d hear me and come help.  I said ok, then picked up the bag and started to haul it through the woods.  I felt loads better, knowing Vale would help if I needed it.  But I hoped I could do it myself.

 

The woods were dark.  And cold. And wet.  I slipped and fell in the mud, and the monster thrashed in the bag behind me.  I dropped my flashlight, and it hit a rock and rolled off.  Then it was hard to see anything.  But there was a tiny sliver of moon to light the way.  It took forever to reach the clearing where I left the cage.  I was so tired.

I put the carry-bag down and untwisted one of the poles.  I dunno what I was thinking–that maybe the monster would just hop on into the cage like a good little creature?  But it seemed simple. I started to unzip the sack.  Then, alla sudden, there was a terrible roaring sound, and a ripping and a bursting.  Waves of bone-numbing cold swept out as the monster rose out of the containment sack. I tried to back up, but there was a tree right behind me and nowhere to go.

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The monster was suddenly HUGE.  I’d never seen it that big before.  And it was glowing!  Or the cage was glowing.  I couldn’t tell which.  I think it was mad, super duper mad. It’d never been contained and subdued before.  It’d never been hurt before.  Oh my gumdrops…what was I going to do?

I turned quick to look for the stick I’d twisted out of the carry-bag.  Other than the cage (which was on the other side of the monster!), that was the only weapon I had.  The monster roared, and I took a step back, slipping in the dirt.  The monster grabbed for me, and all I could do was watch its hand getting closer…

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My heart was pounding in my chest.  I was terrified. If I failed here, the monster would return to the house like this.  It’d attack Wren and the Littles.  I could imagine nothing worse.  I scrabbled in the dirt, my fingers thick and numb, hoping for a rock to throw at the monster.  My fingers closed over the stick from the carry bag!  I grabbed it and surged to my feet, stabbing at the monster to drive it back into the cage.

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When the monster touched the iron bars, it roared again and lunged forward at me.  We were face to face then, its cold, rotten breath blowing straight in my face.  But I couldn’t give up.  I pushed it back again.

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There was a sucking sound, like the ground opened up.  The monster started to get pulled into the cage, like one of the Littles slurping a noodle off her plate.  Those iron bars really worked!  It was screaming as it got pulled in, loud and fierce.  I slammed the lid down as soon as I could.  It kept oozing its parts out through the bars, and I’d shove them back in with my stick, worried it was trying to escape.

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The monster changed as it was in the cage, getting smaller and stranger. When I realized there was no way it could escape, I sat down for a bit to catch my breath.  It watched me watching it.  It growled and hissed and stuff, but it didn’t seem half so fierce as before.

The witch needed to take care of it, though.  I got up finally to go find her.  I set up cameras first to make sure it didn’t escape or nothing.  (Vale’s idea.  If I’d been smart, I’d’ve taken her other idea and put a GPS tracker on the monster so I could be good and sure it was really gone).  Then off I went.  The forest didn’t seem so dark and scary on the way to Dolli Lane.

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After I find the witch, I gotta find Vale to tell her thank you.  Then sleep.  I could sleep for a year.

~Kestrel

 

Recruiting help

After asking for help and suggestions from Facebook, a friend, Kylie, suggested that I allow her very awesome cyborg, Vale, to help.  And she’s really something!  She’s so cool.  I wanna be like her when I grow up.  And she has an awesome wolf, Shylock.

She has captured the monster for me, so now I can drag it to the iron bar cage and trap it, and the witch can go put it back in whatever place it outta be at instead of our house.

An’ if I never see another monster ever again, I’ll be happy.

As long as I get to grow up to be kinda like Vale too.

~Kestrel