Wednesday, December 30, 2009
And here's Best Man Piggles herself in the Wedding Gazebo. And this is the poem she chose as a wedding poem, called A Birthday by Christina Rosetti:
My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a water'd shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thick-set fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these,
Because my love has come to me.
Raise me a dais of silk and down;
Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me.
(Goat is forced to groan here because Monster E. is having sweet thoughts about Monster J. - weddings are hard on Goat!) Bink mentions that it makes sense to find Christina R. in the mind of Piggles, because she wrote a wonderful book of poetry for children (this is the kind of poetry that Animals often like best.) The book is called Sing-Song and it's a BBL favorite because of the philosophy that lies encoded in lines such as these:
When fishes set umbrellas up
If the rain-drops run,
Lizards will want their parasols
To shade them from the sun.
This drawing, according to BBL historians (whose sources are not found in Monster Dictionaries, Bink points out) depicts the moment when Christina Rosetti, with her Goblin Market sister, sketches out a vision of Big Bed Land and writes her immortal words:
Their songs wake singing echoes in my land.
Monday, December 28, 2009
"Speedy, of course," said Speedy.
"Welcome Speedy! Hooray!" said the Animals. Bink thought this was all somewhat disorganized and tried to make Speedy feel more comfortable by offering him a choice of wedding possibilities: "Would you like to make a speech now or tell a story later?" Bink asked.
"I would like to tell a story. I will tell it now," Speedy answered, and all the animals gathered around happy as could be because they could tell, just by looking at him, that this Speedy Animal had good stories to tell. Speedy looked right at Goat and said in the most fascinating way: "This is a story of-- Adventure." Like many of the most ancient and wonderful story-tellers, Speedy spoke in someone else's voice - in this case, the voice of Sally, Annalu's most favorite mother - so he could put himself in the story! A great number of Animal eyes were fixed on him and you could have heard a corsage drop in the Wedding Gazebo they were all so quiet, waiting for him to begin. And he began:
Speedy's European Adventure One day, Speedy was with Anna Lu at a shopping mall while she was having lunch and he got dropped by accident on the floor. Someone picked him up and threw him in the trash, and poor Anna Lu thought he was lost and gone forever. Her BEST toy! However, when I went to England about 6 months later to a conference in Sheffield, I checked into my hotel room and there in bed was Speedy! He had new ears and a new nose and smile, but otherwise, he was as I remembered him. Here was the story he told me, which I went home and told to Anna Lu: Speedy's garbage can was dumped into a dumpster that was dumped into a dump truck that was dumped onto a trash barge that sailed all the way around the world to Amsterdam. When it docked there, Speedy jumped off and hopped on a train to Germany. He was made in Germany, so he was very eager to go back and see his old home town of Bad Waldsee, where Anna's cousin Judith, who is a fashion designer and very good at sewing, lives.
Speedy rode on trains of many kinds with minor adventures too numerous to mention, until finally after several weeks, he did arrive at Bad Waldsee, only to get into a very bad situation with two nasty old cats, right in front of cousin Judith's house. Lucky for Speedy, Judith came out of her house on her way to work just in the nick of time and chased the mean old cats away, who were fighting over Speedy and about to tear him to shreds. Not much was left of Speedy when cousin Judith found him. He was torn up and most of his face was ruined or just missing. All the same, Judith recognized Speedy, since she had met him with Anna Lu many times in the past and had even mended one of his ears on a previous visit to California. Being the amazing talent that she was, Judith mended Speedy this time, and she let him stay with her as long as he wanted. He stayed for many months, very happy to be back in his native land, but eventually, he began to miss Anna Lu, so he decided to try to make his way back to California. His efforts, which, again, involved an elaborate series of adventures, landed him in the hotel in Sheffield, England, where by a miraculous coincidence he was reunited with me. You might think that the story ends quickly here, but that is not the case. Speedy, worried that Anna Lu would not want him back, given how very different his face now looked, refused to come home with me in my suitcase. He decided to stay in Sheffield until he knew for certain that Anna Lu still loved him, even in his altered form. So he asked me to take some pictures of him, with his new friend, David, at the train station, in his new bed at the hotel, etc. (I have several others as well). He told me to show them to Anna Lu when I got home and ask her if she wanted him to come back. If so, he promised that he would find a way to get home. Wanting to be helpful, I left him with a self-addressed Manila envelop, postage paid, so that he could mail himself directly, should he decide to return. When I got back from my trip, I showed Anna Lu the pictures and told her the story. She looked carefully at his new ears and nose, then said, yes, she definitely wanted him to come back. It was now more than 6 months since she'd seen him but she was still devoted to him. So, we wrote Speedy a letter and sent it to his Manchester hotel address, and about 10 days later, Speedy arrived back home in the mail. Anna Lu was overjoyed to see him. That was July 2005. Anna Lu sleeps with Speedy always to this day, although he no longer goes out shopping. He still attempts to go on other great adventures (you should hear about his island hopping efforts in Hawaii!), but so far the European escapade was his last.
"WHAT A STORY!" cried the Animals when Speedy was done, and they all picked up their hula hoops and began to dance with Annalu. Note from Pinky Your Hostess: You will be hearing more about Speedy and his amazing Monsters, Sally, Eric, and Annalu!
Friday, December 25, 2009
What a day it has been! While Monsters J. and E. were making the frosty midnight trek to sing carols and play music at the chapel on Mesa hill, with the waxing half-moon lalapaloosing at a rather giddy angle among the stars, and the snow spangles outdoing themselves in the Subaru headlights as we bounced, also giddily, over cattle grates and drifted snow-- the wedding gazebo was taking shape in the Imagination Collective of Big Bed Land.
Luckily for the Animals, the Monsters slept in the next morning so they could finish the gazebo in time for this evening's wedding and still open presents. This event tonight is likely to amaze us all, and we'll be telling you all about it in the days to come!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Among other treasures, it contained Glamora’s wedding cape and bouquet, prepared by the cunning hands of Mouse Fairies and their Beloved Queen Margot! There has never been more beautiful wedding finery, Glamora’s bridesmaid G.W. Moose assures us.
Bridesmaids do not have to be girls in BBL, and G.W. Moose is among those whom Glamora has chosen to share that honor. (Although G.W. are the initials of George Washington, they stand for Gee Whillikers in the case of G.W. Moose.) Amanda Every Otter will be officiating, and Boo Boo will give the bride away.
Piggles is Best Man and will also lead the dancing (you should have seen her pirouetting along with the Nutcracker Ballet last night!)
The bridesmaids have carried the wedding finery safely out of view and are preserving a strict code of secrecy on these important matters. They advise us to turn our attention to other tasks, such as decorating the wedding gazebo or helping Pinky write out the announcement. We want to state once again how much Platypuss-in-Boots owes to the Mouse Fairies. In the words of Polar Knight:
This locomotive new creation
Whistling out of Platypuss station
Would be nothing but a dream
Without Mouse Fairy steam.
The box contained other treasures – such as photos from the Mouse Fairy archives, going all the way back to the turn of the millennium! You will be hearing more about the history of these fascinating creatures on P-in-B.
Bink decided that some new words should be invented in honor of the Christmas wedding! So here's your invitation, complete with Bink's own words, hand-crafted especially for this occasion:
You are emfrappingly invited to the nupcoming wedding party in Big Bed Land on Christmas two days hencelish. Lambanarfest greetings!
P.S. If you’d like to offer a gift, please bring along an Arctic Snow Goose to participate in the Honking Song that will wake all of Big Bed Land early Christmas morning!
(Very early, adds Little Pig Petunia who loves presents!)
Monday, December 21, 2009
Here's how the story goes in Big Bed Land: once upon a time there was a girl who moved to Indian Valley Idaho and woke up one morning to find that grasshoppers had devoured every leaf of every potato plant in her potato patch. Although this event in no way diminished her life-long loyalty to the Great State of ID or her growing love of the fascinating place that is Adams County Idaho, she did initiate the War on Garden Grasshoppers. First she talked to the elders of her community. Guinea hens, they told her. And keep a border of green mowed lawn around the edge of the garden. ("A moat!" cried Goat. "Excellent strategy.") Although many people in the county clamored every year for pesticides to be dropped from the sky, the elders shook their heads. "You kill 5,000 grasshoppers," they said, "and 10,000 come to the funeral." Wise words.
So came the guinea hens, little hatchlings that lived in a box in Monster J and E's bedroom. What a beautiful coop the beloved Monster J. made for the younguns! And what daring rescues he undertook when the little ones would get themselves in trouble in ways that only guinea hens could come up with... The crowning delight was to lie in the hammock and watch the adult guineas run around eating grasshoppers with lovely darting motions of their elegant necks. It was during this time that Monster E. developed an abiding affection for praying mantises, when she learned that they ate grasshoppers. She began to keep "pet" mantises on the porch. Although not confined in any way, these praying mantises would occupy the same place every year, and accept offerings of grasshoppers from the hands of Monster E. who knew how to hunt for the hoppers in their favorite haunts in the cool of the early morning when they were moving slowly. Here's a photo of one of her pets, which our dear friend Tom Trusky especially liked-- he enjoyed hearing detailed battle stories of the War on Garden Grasshoppers.
This year, when Monster E. thought that the porch mantises were gone with the frost after having left their egg cases as they always do, she walked out onto the porch one morning and there at her very feet was a praying mantis. Stunned with cold but not yet dead. What else could she do? She carried it into the house, found a jar, and saddled up the internet to find out how a person could feed and house a praying mantis through the winter.
This quest involved a 2-hour trip with Monster J. to the closest pet store that had crickets and meal worms. Crickets would be better than meal worms, but 2 hours is a long trip and Monster E. knew how to raise meal worms at home for her own supply because she had done this as a girl when she raised finches (she had pleaded for chickens but suburban customs frowned on this, spelling doom to hours of daydreaming over chicken magazines.) She explained to Monster J. how fun it was to raise meal worms, but perhaps did not notice his expression...?
Then came the transformational moment: she saw a plastic bag labeled Chinchilla Dust. Did they have chinchillas? she asked. She had never seen a chinchilla but had longed for one ever since her nephew Jeremy had described his chinchilla to her...
Yes, they had a chinchilla. An irresistably lovely chinchilla and Monster E's heart was instantly lost to this enigmatic creature. She looked at Monster J. (shall we say once again "beloved" Monster J?) who had in the past (wisely) raised objections to baby burros, pygmy goats, and indoor rabbits- though he did evince a passing weakness for a miniature horse needing a new home in the area- and he said: Yes! (Perhaps he had felt some nervousness about my sudden passion for keeping insects indoors and my occasional mention of reptiles?) "I like mammals," he commented. After researching the rather particular needs and ways of the chinchilla monster and deciding we really could keep one in our home, we made up our minds to call her Rosie.
Rosie lives in a room off Monster E's studio and a chickenwire gate can close off half the room for her and Monster J. to hang out with Rosie and learn Rosie's ways and talk peacefully together in the presence of her mysterious loveliness. When we went to pick Rosie up from the pet store, two Animal Ambassadors went with us. They had an intuition that Rosie might be something quite unique - a sort of hybrid between Animal and Monster. (Pocketnote from Bink: we are still working on this theory, and will inform you of our conclusions at a later date.)
Friday, December 18, 2009
So, the Animals talked about who should speak for us. Should it be Platypuss, as our scribe? We are all rather curious about Platypuss, as a matter of fact and would like to know more about this mysterious creature. Or should it be Piggles, perhaps, who would give a beautiful but not entirely accurate picture of Animal nature? How about Boo Boo? Many Animals have learned to ask the question “What Would Boo Boo Do?” before making a decision they feel not totally good about if they happen to pay attention to that feeling and not ignore it for instance like Goat did when Goat had seven veggieburgers in a row during one of the first Big Bed Land picnics…
In the end, however, I, Monster E., was elected. So here goes.
1. Most life-changing events besides marriage to the exquisite Monster John Hayes: learning to build fence and cut down trees with a Marxist cowboy; spending four years in rural Brazil. (photo: trelissing cucumbers in my Brazilian garden.)
2. I wore an amber organdy dress for a piano recital as a young girl who endured the awful mortification of having to perform the detested Happy Farmer (perhaps a receptiveness to Marxism started that day with my deep suspicion of whether any farmer could be as mindlessly happy as this piece suggested?)
3. I stopped playing music almost entirely for 10 years – playing with John for a local production of Alice in Wonderland started me up again; I doubt I would ever have ended up playing music and starting to compose without John’s inspiration. I’ve always thought of myself as a writer rather than a musician. My favorite genre to write in: unpublished novels.
4. I did not play very much with Animals as a girl – it took a friend in my twenties to introduce me to the world of Animals (this was Margot, Beloved Queen and Pioneer Woman) and she had her work cut out for her – my first Animal, Chinabeary, spent several years in a closet (as she never tires of reminding me…)
5. For over 20 years I had only books by women authors in my library (I somewhat guiltily kept my collections of Dickens and Victor Hugo in my bedroom.)
6. My favorite musician is the jazz composer and pianist Mary Lou Williams.
7. I met my dear friend and writing collaborator Audrey when we were both waitressing at a college restaurant in Charlottesville, VA, and our first conversation was about nineteenth century women writers.
8. I often seem to have difficulty in following even the simplest rules...
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
The storm continued and all students cancelled piano lessons. The vent pipe kept becoming dislodged by snow falling off the roof, and no duct tape in the house! A sling of baling twine finally remedied the situation, shortly before the power went out.
The Monsters handled this crisis moderately well, but were largely unaware of how much Animal help they had as they went through it all. For instance, who was it but Animals giving them the gentle yet unrelenting suggestion that it might be best to shovel early in the afternoon? And then just as a past-shoveling bath was beginning to induce the delightfully virtuous slumber that can come so easily after the first snow shoveling of winter, who tweaked them awake again by reminding them that the snow-storm was a text-book instance of the power-outage type of storm and WE WERE NOT PREPARED. So then the Monsters gathered candles and flashlights and filled water jugs and a thermos so as not to face the crowning disaster of a power-failure morning with no coffee. And who suggested they settle to dinner early (the first dinner at home in days!) so that all the quesadillas but one were cooked before the power finally did go out?
And it was also the Animals who entertained them during their candle-light dinner and cribbage game with silly songs and stories so that they laughed and laughed even though they were worried and tired! It was a restless night for all of us, and I'm heading back to BBL to suggest to the Monsters that they just keep sleeping as long as they can this morning. P.S. to Poetikat from Goat: We have much to say to you. We shall return.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Perhaps it would be a good idea to dwell on those multiple realities for a moment. I have heard Monsters express confusion and some discomfort about those who treat Animals “as if they were real.” This perplexes many dwellers of Big Bed Land, who find it quite odd that Monsters treat money as if it were real. When money is just bits of paper and plastic! Furthermore, Monsters have invented a kind of Time that is also a Monster, and seems to control them. Bink, while hesitating to criticize the “Time is Money” reality of Monsters when they have clearly worked so very hard on it for centuries now, would just like to point out that sometimes less is more. Less work, more play, Bink ventures to suggest.
Here are several viewpoints of Summer Island. Mouse Fairy Goldenrod joined Goat in many of Goat's adventures and even won from Goat the rare honor of a written description of her beauty! (You will read this later.) Adele, the Monster self of Mouse Fairy Goldenrod, drew this map to the Island- called Hickory Island by Monsters- and she clearly stated that the map was how she saw Goat seeing the Island. (It's actually all quite simple if you don't think about it too hard.)
She noticed that Willabear, the only BBL Animal at the Island who did not eventually go on any of the river-swimming expeditions, had a very different point of view of the Island - mostly from the vantage point of the porch where he often sat, visiting with the Animals as they took sunbaths after swimming, and dreaming of his fair Glamora. How handsome love has made him! M. Adele drew both maps into Goat's Log, and we thank her for her generosity. Mouse Fairies are notoriously generous except on the occasions when they are not.
Here is another view of the Island from the hands of the remarkably talented Monster Margot. She herself dwells in the multi-faceted realities of being Mouse Fairy Tulip, our Beloved Queen, as well as Pioneer Woman, mother, artist, and now community social activist for the arts!
Friday, December 11, 2009
Webfootnote from Platypuss: There has been some follow-up in Big Bed Land on yesterday’s post: A Love Story. I have been asked to clarify the fact that Goat isn’t against love, just thinks it’s not particularly important or interesting.
If you want to rescue a fair maiden you can do this from a sense of honor, Goat points out, without getting mushy about it. If a maiden turns out to be an expert swordmaiden, you can fight beside her without getting mushy, and even save her life (if that’s the best strategy given the circumstances) without falling in love.
Pocketnote from Bink: Honesty compels me to mention that Goat just made a terrible face when Platypuss said “love” that last time, and that Goat actually groans when there is kissing in the movies the Monsters watch.
From Goat: Well, if we’re being so honest, how about the time we were looking at listings on the satellite TV menu and you told us that the show White Chicks would be all about albino hatchlings right out of the egg and Chicklet was so excited, not to mention Tip Chick, and then the Terrible Disappointment?
From Bink: That satellite was full of misinformation and we’ve gotten rid of it now, haven’t we? Partly thanks to your complaints, I might add. It wasn’t my fault that there was no Animal Pirates channel, and while we’re on the subject, there are no Animal Pirates at all in the Monster Dictionary, have I mentioned that?
Piggles appears at this moment, not ominously, but silently glowing with a particularly fulsome pink shining she can have and the Animals fall silent for a few moments. Then there are apologies and kisses all around and the Animals get back to the tobogganing trip Goat has organized to celebrate the first sub-zero temperatures! We have noticed that these little conflicts often arise just before a trip, then they disperse. Queen Gretel is bringing the picnic in her pocket-hamper, and Bink gets to snack on the way!
Feel free to join if you'd like, or to visit with the stay-at-home animals (and the stay-at-home Monsters!) We will give you fair warning that tobogganing with a Pirate Goat and a Lefty Bear and the notorious Penguins is fairly riotous...
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Willabear was a relatively recent arrival in BBL when he went to Mouse Fairy Island this summer along with Lefty, Goat, and Chinaberry. Willabear has always been a dapper sort, and the Animals find this one of his fine qualities, along with his extremely relaxed attitude (which is genuine and not for show.) The combination of dapper and relaxed- even to the point of floppy!- is most unusual and piquant.
At the Island, Willabear pointed out that he needed a bath. Monster E. can be remiss in this area and often needs to be reminded. Since there is no running water at Summer Island, Violet Mouse Fairy helped fill a large basin with water from a hand pump in the kitchen for washing dishes that brings water up from the river. Violet has great and unusual insight into the Animal heart. When Willabear told her that he would like a fragrant shampoo with his bath, she began to guess the secret that he later revealed to her: that he was in love- and that his love lived in Big Bed Land.
As soon as she mentioned this, I realized at once who the Animal of his affections must be. “Glamora the Giraffe!” I said to myself, I said, “Self, it must be Glamora.” I had always suspected that great mystery dwelt behind those dramatic eyelashes of questionable authenticity. Through Willabear’s eyes, I perceived the complex beauty of her imagination and it felt like walking into a very three-dimensional snowflake—with planes of color on each crystal facet that kept turning into different landscapes: an unfurling frond of fern that became a paisley jungle of skirt drying on a chair next to a radiator clanking its way through the beat that chorus girls danced to when Forbidden Passion was a shade of lipstick red and frost furred the thin edge of the windowpane… Glamora was right to lower her lashes! A less capacious soul than Willabear’s could get completely lost in her eyes.
The Animals and Mouse Fairies are helping the happy couple plan a winter wedding. Glamora has already tried on her veil which came from the Council thrift shop. Who would have guessed that a place called the “Thrifty Shoppe” would be a place you could purchase a wedding veil for a giraffe? And on dollar-a-bag day too! What wonders life holds.
Monday, December 7, 2009
what makes the sun sparkle, we don’t have to guess
why even the earth worms are dancing down under
the earth as she shakes out the folds of her dress-
It’s the Hyggehus Animals crossing the tundra
The Gang is arriving today, we say, yes!
Welcome Teddy the Plushy with dapper crochet
And Eli with baby who shepherds the way
Here’s to Manny the Manatee, Pablo the Blue,
Carl, Goody and Will, and hey Gordon, you too!
Welcome Sergeant, the vigilant, Richard the Bold,
Enigmatic Henri (whom we’d love to hold!)
Flo and Pisa, the Boxers, the Highland Cow (sweet!)
And Hobo the traveler- it’s a pleasure to meet!
Footix Official and Ewen the lamb:
Big hugs from Piggles, Big Bed Land grande dame.
With Shingles and Hush they’re all making their way
The Hyggehus Gang meets Big Bed Land today!
Postscript from Polar Knight: We salute you, Monster J., without whose wisdom, loving patience, encouragement, and thorough understanding of Big Bed Land, Platypuss-in-Boots would never have been (and neither would today’s slide show have been completed in time!)
And now for the opening ceremony: we eat!
A few words from Grey Dog: Here I am with Rosie Bear, who has joined me in many of my travels. I do love to travel and run! One day this green basket simply lifted off the exercise bicycle (where many of our trips begin) and could travel by itself, effortlessly. When traveling with Monsters by car, I love to go outside and run next to the car for long stretches. (This is safe for Animal Dogs, but not safe for Monster Dogs.) I must say I feel a kinship with Shaggy Dog Hobo who traveled from Texas.
During the tour you'll visit Panda Air, the hammock which under Chairman Panda's direction can take the Animals anywhere, including under water and into outer space. Chairman Panda is an extremely evolved Animal (possibly from another planet, some speculate) who introduced the Animals to a number of new technologies, including teleporting and shopping. Panda has the somewhat disconcerting ability to appear suddenly outside Big Bed Land. There have been Panda sightings on Television, in Chinese Restaurants, and even on billboards! A much loved and respected Animal. The music for the tour is called "Grey Dog's Holiday" and was composed by M. John Hayes. He performs on the baritone ukulele and Monster E. accompanies on the flute.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Clockwise, starting with the bear with the bowtie: Teddy (under all that crocheted goodness, is the original orange plushy bear circa 1961. He came all the way from England!), Richard Parker, the tiger (with the huge head) He was rescued from a boulevard where he was awaiting the big, bad garbage truck!, Manny, the Manatee, Pablo, the big bear (in his BLUE period!), Eli, the Shepherd-lamb (on his head and holding baby, Isaac), Carl, the cardinal, Goody and Will (the Lemur Mom and baby from the thrift store of a similar name), Gordon, the Ram (he never swears though), Sergeant, the German Shepherd, Flo (Florence) and Pisa (He leans) the Boxers, Hobo, the shaggy dog, who came all the way from Texas, Hennessy, the Highland Cow, Footix, the Official mascot of the World Cup in France, 1998, Shingles, the sloth with Ewen, the lamb, Henri, the French Arctic Hare, and Hush, the Basset.
We are all very excited about being transported to Big-Bed Land. As you can see, our bed is rather small, especially since Richard Parker takes up so much room and when K-Monster gets those hot flashy things, she moves into this bed and then there's no room at all. Plus, the fluffy red, cat-monster always comes with her!
We can't wait to go to Pirate Island and to see the ladybugs and meet everybody! Thanks for not minding us inviting ourselves. We don't get out much and we can hardly sit still with anticipation!
SECOND NOTE FROM YOUR HOSTESS: You can visit our dear friend Kat! The Big Bed Land animals are so excited about the visit (after official negotiations, scheduled for Monday, Monster Time (MT)) that they asked Polar Knight to write a verse commemorating this historic event! Platypuss will be working out the details of how to arrange a tour for the Hyggehus representatives, and of course I'll be busy too, especially planning the menu! I wonder what they like best to eat in Hyggehus and if they have similar etiquette to ours. Our rule of table manners is one of the first things we teach the young arrivals to Big Bed Land, since there is only one rule and animals tend to grasp it fairly quickly: Have As Much As You Want Of Whatever You Like. We can't wait until Monday! Hope to see you all there!
Greetings from our Platypuss,
Ambassadors from Hyggehus!
The animals from Big Bed Land
Extend a friendly furry hand
and thank fair Monster K, a sweetie,
for this first international treaty!
We hope ‘twill be the first of many
Where peace and poems don’t cost a penny.
NOTE FROM POLAR KNIGHT (Bard of Big Bed Land): “Poems” in Big Bed Land are pronounced “Pomes.” But I still have some doubts about that last line. And Poetikat, I found your tea-cup poem very beautiful and inspiring. Tea-cups, I feel, are sadly overlooked in the hallowed annals of verse. Thanks!
While I'm here, I would also like to thank the One whom Platypuss calls Audrey, Pinky calls Aunt, and I call Phoenix. "Madam! You are a phoenix. Your taste is refined, your Sentiments are noble, & your Virtues innumerable."
Aunt Phoenix Audrey sent the wonderful postcard I am showing you. A good motto for any bard. Best wishes to any other bards out there!
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Such an exciting entry in Goat's log of Summer Island adventures today- one of the high points of Goat's stay at Sugarbush. This Platypuss, herself, has never been swimming with the monsters, but Goat makes it sound like fun. I have a feeling, though, that while Goat thought the Ladybugs had disappeared they were actually reading Goat's log! Who knows what they will do with the information they found there? I don't think Goat even realizes what happened! The picture was taken by Mouse Fairy Tulip, our Beloved Queen Margot, of Jewel Weed (carrying Goat on her hat), Violet, and Goldenrod of the Mouse Fairy Band. They are setting off for one of the Island swimming spots...
Pocketnote from Bink: Goat is referring to "Zebra Mussels," an invasive species (from the Monster point of view) with extremely sharp-edged shells that have made walking barefoot in the water quite hazardous. This is why Monsters and Mouse Fairies alike (most Mouse Fairies, that is) now wear water-shoes for swimming and wading. But they still get cut quite often and Goat was impressed by how much blood the dreaded Zebras can make flow without even moving! By just waiting there, in deceptive stillness.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Another Goat Day
Too much is happening to track the days. Today is S’more Day. I must remember to make this native delicacy for the others in Big Bed Land when I get back. It will be perfect for when the bears bring dried marshmallows back after the spring Petunia Hunt. Strange how only bears have seen marshmallows growing wild on the bush and only when the Wild Petunias are blooming. I have traveled the Seven Seas and never seen a single marshmallow bush. A pirate’s life is full of mysteries like this.
(A NOTE OF ENCOURAGEMENT from Pinky Your Hostess: Don’t worry if you don’t understand about all the many traditions of Big Bed Land. After all, these have been evolving since time immemorial! Dog, who spends quite a bit of time digging in the Cultural Archive, will explain the traditional spring hunt for the Wild Petunia later on.)
Some of the monsters know about the ladybugs, mostly the Mouse Fairy girls, it seems, along with Monster E. and her friend Margot. They speak of the wild herds of ladybugs and of dangers, fearsome yet vague. But they also laugh and call each other “Ladybug.” Monster E. and Margot are unusually silly since the men disappeared. They call each other Pioneer Woman, whatever that means, and it is confusing that they seem to share this name. I fear that the Ladybugs might be using some kind of mind control as a weapon.
Around the fire, as the S’more flames burned low, Pioneer Woman swung their lassoes in a lazy but skillful manner saying, “Git along, li’l ladybugs.” I looked up at the stars (noting their position exactly) and listened to the monster girls sing “Yodel-ay-dee-bug, yodel-ay-dee-bug” into the hot and leafy night sky. For one moment I lost my keen sense of cunning and unceasing watchfulness—contentment overtook me. Could the Ladybugs be affecting me as well? I must be careful in my planning. Very careful, and reveal nothing.
No moon. I am writing this by candle light. I think the Ladybugs come from the Ancient West and I will not be hasty about their destruction. Tomorrow I am certain to discover more.
(ANOTHER NOTE FROM YOUR HOSTESS: I asked Goat if Goat would add some pictures of Summer Island to his log and Goat replied that this was not necessary as Goat already knew what the Island looked like. But I got approval for adding some pictures myself. This is one of my favorite views of the grassy island paths among the trees-- and a lucky sighting of Mouse Fairies! Here are Violet and Goldenrod walking together toward the waters that lap at the island's edges.)
Friday, November 27, 2009
Welcome back! We continue today with Pirate Goat’s log which records the island adventure shared by Mouse Fairies, animals, Pioneer Woman, and Sir Hickory this past summer. But first I thought I’d introduce Piggles, since she came up in Goat’s log last time (Where To Begin.) Piggles arrived at Big Bed Land many years ago during a very hard time in Monster E’s life, and luckily was already very old and very wise (although you might not guess it if you saw her dancing parts of the Nutcracker Ballet, as she loves to do at times.) In fact she is known as the Keeper of Faith and Reason and all animals recognize her loving rightness as easily as monsters recognize natural laws like gravity. They might try to evade her on occasion (Goat knows that if Goat gets too enthusiastic about having enemies walk the plank after a pitched battle at sea, Goat will eventually have to go and talk with Piggles) but none of the animals actually minds talking with Piggles; she always calms them down. I introduce her now because she is a quiet but very important part of life in Big Bed Land! And now, on with Goat’s Log!
Goat Day 1
It turns out the monsters here are OK. Some of them disappeared earlier today. Now I think I know why. This island is haunted by ladybugs, mostly invisible. A worthy foe.
Goat Day 2
The monsters here climb trees, this is useful. We swarmed up the rigging of a tall one. I explained to everyone that this highest place was called the Crows Nest. I saw to my satisfaction that a good supply of limes has been laid in against the Scurvy. Later we saw 4 moons and Jupiter. I might go there sometime. An explorer called Gallylayo (POCKETNOTE from BINK: actually spelled “Galileo”) was the first one to go to these moons—perhaps he is a distant cousin of mine. But before I do anything else I must make a strategy about the ladybugs.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Well, I tell her, I think Piggles would love for you to make a nametag especially if it had glitter and flowers on it, and Lefty would like a whole collection of different ones, especially with outlandish names never heard before in Big Bed Land (names like Laffidepot, or Gornsnook, Lefty adds here)—but otherwise, probably not. Pinky’s face got a little pinker at the suggestion of glitter and she scampers off like the graceful pink elephant hostess that she is.
By the time she gets done spelling Laffidepot, I will have started us off with Goat’s tale of adventure and we’ll be on our way. I should perhaps mention, since Goat does not, that this whole adventure takes place on an island in Canada in the St. Lawrence Seaway. Even Monster E. doesn’t really know exactly where that is but maybe you do, so I mention it. Bink finds it very interesting that the plane ticket Monster E. used to get there reads “Eberlems.” He thinks it curious that monsters flying have different names than their usual ones, but perhaps that is useful in some way. He has looked through the Monster Dictionary (which is often strangely inadequate) and finds no explanation of this mystery. Here is the first section of Goat’s Log.
Most of the trip was boring. So I fell asleep in my sleeping cave, deep on Pirate Island. My wolverine slept beside me. They are robbers, feared and detested, and they make good pets. I woke up suddenly on a boat. My ears were blowing backwards in a pirate wind and I knew the real journey had begun. It was a monster boat, which no animal of Big Bed Land ever drove before. I drove it very fast (Piggles says that animals don't enslave ancient trees to run boats like monsters do - OK - but just this once it was great, it was loud and stinky and fast.) I knew I was going to have adventures. At landfall, there was a lot of hugging also kissing so I left.
Monday, November 23, 2009
First of all, Platypuss is the only animal who arrived in Big Bed Land via the internet. That might be why she has the abilities that she does. (POCKETNOTE from BINK: You will no doubt notice that in Big Bed Land, some animals are called “she” at certain times and “he” at other times. This is probably too complex for anyone to understand fully. Suffice it to say that some animals are usually “she” but sometimes “he,” some are both pretty much equally “she” and “he,” some are always “he,” some are always “she,” and some are either sometimes or always or usually neither. There are many of these interesting difficulties in translating how animals talk—I am making a study of these in my Dictionary- the dictionary is called “Bink’s Dictionary” for this reason.)
The very first animal, Chinabeary, came from the land that was later discovered by the Mouse Fairies (you will be meeting these delightful and mysterious creatures on Platypuss-in-Boots as well.) The next generation came from a town in Bolivia called Tarija: Beatrice, Lucy, Old Bones and Roxy Mouse (who is very good at building things like underwater roller-coasters.) They’re called the Old Ones and were later joined by Sparky and Bear from Ancient Vermont. After that, there are so many animals that it’s better to keep track of them in any way you want—in many different ways rather than in just one way. You get more history that way if you like history, and if you don’t like history, you can ignore it altogether without missing anything.
The other animals came from stores in towns, gas stations, and an airport. Three are orphans. I mention this because the animals, after arriving in Big Bed Land, tend to forget where they came from. They get occasional flashes—Lefty will fall over laughing, suddenly, remembering a night of wild antics in Rite-Aid. Bit by bit, however, it becomes a mystery to them, the way our births become a mystery to us. That’s why I wanted to introduce them before handing the blog over to Platypuss. As scribe, he has the ability to type the words of the animals onto the internet. So from now on you’ll be hearing from Platypuss.
YOUR HOSTESS wants you to know that Platypuss will be posting on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday M.T. (Monster Time.) Check back in to hear the adventures of Goat and the plague of Lady Bugs! That’s what Platypuss has scheduled. Hope to see you here!
POCKETNOTE from BINK: It is seriously important that you achieve a clear understanding of the following: in Big Bed Land, all animals (loosely referred to as “stuffed animals” by some) are known as “animals.” Humans, cats, cows, dogs, etc. are all called “monsters.” It is a term of affection.