Tag Archives: stories

Barkly

Oh, my dears. It’s been a long week. And it is Friday night. The sky is dark, the moon is traveling past the stars, and much of the world is readying for bed. Curl up and listen to the tales I weave, until your eyes grow heavy and you slip into slumber, ready for the Dream Maker.

Have you ever wandered through a parking lot and noticed tiny plants growing through the pavement? Have you wondered at the ivy and vines that seem to grow out of bricks and building sides? Have you puzzled over enormous roots that undulate over the ground like moray eels, yet seem to be without a tree trunk? Then you, my friend, have seen one of the trjábörkur, a complicated genus of sentient vegetative creatures.

This is Barkly, and he is a trjábörkur. He was found in a vacant lot that was being demolished for high-end condominiums, and rescued by a kind soul who appreciated his rakish smile. Oddly soothed by sea shanties, Barkly is nourished by the minuscule bacteria found in our air. If you notice him moving, he is dancing, imagining himself on a great ship cresting waves and meeting mermaids. What appears to be a grimace is actually the face of great contentment, something all trjábörkur share. We could learn a lot from these slow-moving, large-dreaming, oft-ignored creatures.

Sleep tight, my pets. Dream deep.

Lillywack

Oh, my dears. It’s been a long week. And it is Friday night. The sky is dark, the moon is traveling past the stars, and much of the world is readying for bed. Curl up and listen to the tales I weave, until your eyes grow heavy and you slip into slumber, ready for the Dream Maker.

261 miles downstream from Manaus in the middle of the Amazon River is the island of Tupinambarana, covered in forests and accessible only by air or by water. The island has been separated from itself by natural channels, so that it is actually four separate islands, and these channels pulsate through the trees. It is within these channels that Lillywack lived.

Gentle and thoughtful, Lillywack is fascinated by humans. She finds our voices lyrical and mesmerizing and each year crept close to the town of Parintins to listen to the sounds of the Boi Bumba festival.  The Boi Bumba festival takes over the town every year and is based on the folkloric tale of Boi Bumba. There are many different variations of the legend, but a common version tells the story of a rich farmer who gives his daughter his favorite boi (ox) as a gift. He entrusts his ranch hand Pae Francisco to care for the boi, but Pae Francisco’s pregnant wife, Mae Caterina, develops an inexplicable craving for the bull’s tongue. Pae Francisco thus kills this prized beast to satisfy his wife’s need.

When the crime is discovered, adventures ensue as local Indians hunt and capture Pae Francisco in a forest hideout. Brought before the rich farmer for judgement, Pae Francisco faces death for his deed. Desperate to save his and his wife’s lives, Pae Francisco attempts to resucitate the ox. With the assistance of Curandeiros (spiritual shamans), Mae Caterina and Pae Francisco are able to harness the power of the drum beat and bring the ox back to life.  Thus, their lives are spared and all is forgiven.

Each year, 35,00 people gather in an arena to party and participate in the Boi Bumba festival. It is described as “an incredible musical and theatrical experience, a religious procession, a tribal ritual, a giant puppet show, a fairy tale of powerful villains and brave heroes, a folk art presentation, a major party for the audience and an energizing choreography of the galera all at once.”

So you can understand why Lillywack was so fascinated. Each year she crept closer and closer to Parintins, hungry for more lights, more music, and a better view. She crept too close, though, and was discovered by a boatload of fishermen, drinking in their wooden craft in the river. They offered the creature quentão (she wisely refused this hot and alcoholic beverage) and let her watch the festivities with them from the safety of the water.

Intoxicated by what she saw, Lillywack prefers to live amongst humans now, favoring the bright lights and stories of our world than the rich, aquatic quiet of her world. She now resides in the United States, and loves any holiday that involves a parade. There may be tiny Lillywacks growing in every country, for all we know. Or perhaps Boi Bumba will entice another Amazonian creature to come out of hiding.

Sleep tight, my pets. Dream deep.


 

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Phil

Oh, my dears. It’s been a long week. And it is Friday night. The sky is dark, the moon is traveling past the stars, and much of the world is readying for bed. Curl up and listen to the tales I weave, until your eyes grow heavy and you slip into slumber, ready for the Dream Maker.

Phil is the thing that runs past you in the forest at night, so quickly and invisibly that you think you’ve imagined him. Only seen by moonlight, Phil has pitcher-like ears that can hear trees growing and birds sighing.

His skin feels like a whisper and his voice sounds like a soft blanket on a cold night. He smells of mossy skies and clear bark and is gentler than the fuzz on a raspberry.

Caught in a boot by campers, when asked his name, he whispered a word that sounded like “Phil”.

Often Phil is misunderstood; mistaken for a devilish gremlin, a hobgoblin, an irate imp. But Phil is none of these things. He is kind and shy and not of this time. We can all learn from Phil. So next time you meet something – or someone – you can not quite understand, take a moment and think of Phil. Be quiet and still and listen.

Sleep tight, my pets. Dream deep.

 

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Decklen

Oh, my dears. It’s been a long week. And it is Friday night. The sky is dark, the moon is traveling past the stars, and much of the world is readying for bed. Curl up and listen to the tales I weave, until your eyes grow heavy and you slip into slumber, ready for the Dream Maker.

Deep in the stacks of maps on the third floor of the British Library lived Decklen. Old, composed, and rather polite, Decklen grew up among the books and manuscripts, from a teensy little pup to the venerable and aged creature he is today. Fed and cared for by librarians (who love a well-behaved furry thing who adores knowledge as much as they do), Decklen grew in size and in education. His appetite for books and information surpassed his appetite for toast and jam early.

If one had managed to stay in the library overnight, one might witness this fellow loping past the stacks, re-shelving books, pulling new ones, taking big deep and satisfied sighs when he found a book he particularly wanted.

And so Decklen grew and aged in the British Library. He slept behind shelves and danced in moonlight on the terraces. He ate up as much knowledge as he could, and he learned how to brew a perfect cup of tea. Unfortunately, with health regulations being what they are these days, the librarians were forced to ask Decklen to leave. They knew that he would find a new home, surrounded by new pages. With a noggin filled with Chaucer and science and even some rather significant philatelic facts, this monster would, at the very least, be delightful conversation.

Perhaps you should peruse a bookstore or a library soon. Perhaps you should keep some toast in your pocket, and maybe a tea bag or two. Look through the stacks of books – the really dusty ones with books gleaming with words and not fancy covers. That’s usually where Decklen can be found.

Sleep tight, my pets. Dream deep.

 

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