Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Their Songs Wake Singing Echoes in My Land

Platypuss here again. It's probably just as well we don't have weddings very often in Big Bed Land. What a riot of images and emotions! It's not easy to sort through all the Animal Minds around here, but I started looking around... and guess who I found in the imagination of the Best Man? Christina Rosetti! Here's a photo of the lovely singing bird who showed up - so fortuitously! - on the day of the Christmas wedding.

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

The Wedding Guest's Tale

Platypuss here. I'm in the process of shopping the minds of the BBL Animals and gathering stories of the wedding to post. It's a bit tricky because the Animals are fast asleep after this three-day festival and the images are all tumbled together, just like the Animals on the bed, merging into each other... One thing is clear, however. An unexpected guest arrived from the distant land of Annalu and Sally and Eric, bearing kumquats. And the Animals cried out: "Just what we were missing! A guest of honor! What's your name?"

"Speedy, of course," said Speedy.

"Welcome S
peedy! 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

Love Always Hopes, Always Perserveres

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

Mouse Fairies to the Rescue! Christmas Wedding Planned!

The most thrilling package arrived in the mail yesterday.

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

How a Praying Mantis Became a Chinchilla

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

Seven Things

When Sandra Leigh sent us a Friendship Bouquet and asked us to write seven things about ourselves we were thrilled by the kindness of this gesture! But it took some time and the calling of an Animal council to decide how to approach this request. As you will probably pick up on if you haven’t already, things that might seem straightforward to Monsters can take some time to navigate as Big Bed Land Animals. In Big Bed Land, for instance, identity is somewhat fluid. So, when Animals address the phrase “Seven Things About You,” inevitably the question arises: Who Are You? (Pocketnote from Bink: please see Alice in Wonderland for an interesting discussion of this question.)

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...

(photo: home.)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ssshh! The Monsters Are Sleeping!

Platypuss here. The title should explain why I'm whispering, but here are some details. What a day the poor Monsters had yesterday! Not only was there a huge snowstorm so that the new part to their broken heat venting pipe could not be procured, talking with the home insurance agent about covering the damage that the broken heat pipe had caused revealed the fact that toxic fumes could present a serious danger if the pipe became dislodged again and we happened to want heat in freezing temperatures... Monsters can become quite agitated about things like this, and also worry about their Monster parrots and chinchillas to a degree that would seem absurd under less extreme conditions.

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

Illustrations of Reality

Today we go back at last to Pirate Goat’s Log of Summer Island. Goat’s Log is a record of Pirate Goat adventures on the Island in the St. Lawrence River and is one of many layers of reality that intermingle quite happily on that enchanted isle.

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

Talkback on Love

Last night after A Love Story, Willabear joined his fair Glamora for a wonderful night of star-gazing and she gave him some red roses to match his fetching red tie...

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

A Love Story

Since we had already taken a break from Goat’s Log for festivities with Hyggehus, Pinky suggested that we tell a part of the Summer Island story that Goat is unlikely to mention except in passing. That is, the revelation that Willabear was in love. It came as a surprise to Monster E. too! (Only one other Animal of Big Bed Land has fallen in love, and that was when Mooselers admitted to a serious crush on Nell Shipman, the extraordinary writer/actress/film editor of the silent screen.)

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

Historic Ambassadorial Tour

Note from Pinky your hostess: What a flurry in Big Bed Land! Polar Knight and Grey Dog were unanimously selected to add a few words to the Opening Ceremonies. Polar Knight presents this poem, explaining that this kind of poetry is called occasional poetry, because you write it (occasionally) on very special occasions. Here it is, with Polar Knight's dedication:

Dedicated to Fair Monster Kat - honored among Animals

The happy day dawns, we pause not to wonder
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

Ambassadors From Faraway Lands

NOTE from YOUR HOSTESS PINKY: We take a break from Pirate Goat's Log today to bring you exciting news! We are expecting an ambassadorial visit from Monster K (alias Poetikat) and the animals who live with her and her husband at Hyggehus in Ontario, Canada. Here's the lovely introduction we received to these intriguing animals:

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

Next Goat Day

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.