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PYEWACKETWIZARD'S CORNER

Wizard's Journal
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ABOUT ME
PERSONAL INFORMATION
MY THOUGHTS FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH
RAINBOW BRIDGE
MEMORY PAGE OF MY CATS
MEMORY PAGE OF MY CATS ~~PART 2
MEMORY PAGE OF MY CATS--PART 3
THE STORY ABOUT OUR CATS AND ME
KISSY AND PYEWACKET
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Wizard's Journal

Various writings of a wizard:
   Since I love all things magical and mystical, I thought you would like to read this, real, true story about me.  I swear!!  It's all true--this is my actual real life!

INDEX OF STORIES:
1].   A NOT SO SIMPLE LIFE
2].   THERE AND BACK AGAIN:  A RABBIT'S TALE** 
 
 
 
                        
                                                   A NOT SO SIMPLE LIFE

                                                                 BY
                                                         PYEWACKET
                         (commonly known in the real world as MELANIE NEER)


Oh, how I yearn for things to be simple. To be a simple, ordinary person, living in a simple, common, quaint town, and having a normal boring, simple life.  Ah!  But that was not to be my lot.  How could it be?  You see, the mystical, often mysterious, magical realm has been a part of my life since the day I was born.

My mother has the beautiful, enchanting name of Sindaria, and she's no ordinary woman.  She's of the faerie folk; kin to the sprites who dwell in the untamed wild forests of the northern English countryside.  Her family's home, set deep inside a forest, is elusive to find or see unless they wish it to be seen, which wasn't very often.  Like many of the faerie folk, they guarded their privacy, preferring to keep to themselves.  They hide from the world of mankind, of whom they thought were a rather dim-witted species.

But then, one day, a long time ago, they allowed their guard down, or at least my mother did.  Suddenly, their home appeared out of nowhere, or so it seemed to the strikingly handsome, young bearded man with slightly long, sandy blond hair.  He had been traveling for many days, wandering the countryside to gain a new appreciation and understanding of the world around him.  He was tired.  He was hungry.  And, he was quite lost.  He had been leading his white stallion, Tor, to follow a narrow dirt pathway of the forest, when his keen sense of smell was aroused by the enticing aroma of roasting meat coming deep within the forest somewhere.  One minute, there had been nothing before him except that pathway, then, with a blink of his eye, there appeared a small, cozy, warm-welcoming, inviting cottage.  Standing in front of it, was Sindaria.

The abrupt materialization of the cottage didn't alarm him; as he wasn't exactly an ordinary man.  Odd occurances, such as objects or ven people appearing or disappearing out of thin air weren't new to him.  Only weeks before, he had officially been initiated as a wizard, and had been taught his skills by none other than the great Merlin himself.  Well......that is, if you can believe it.  This wizard was known to be full of tall tales and stories that he'd tell by the light of the fireplace late at night.  No one could be sure if any of his stories were true.  This wizard of whom I speak is my own father, Gaelin.

Now it's not absolutely certain whether my father fell in love with my mother of his own accord.  My mother remains beautiful to this day, despite her age which isn't known.  Even she has trouble remembering exactly how old she is.  There's not a touch of grey in her thick, wavy, long to the waist, golden-red hair; nor is there a single wrinkle upon her smooth, flawless milky-white complexion that has a natural hint of rose blushing her cheeks.  Alas though.  My mother being of the mischievous faerie folk probably did indeed cast a spell on my father to make him fall in love with her.  

Throughout the years, while I was growing up, I had been told the story of how, only moments after my birth, there appeared a sleek, agile black cat.  Where he came from remains a mystery to this day.  He entered the cottage, making himself quite comfortable, as if he were the ruler of the home; the way all cats seem to have the habit of doing, oh, so well.  He immediately took it upon himself to always be near my crib, as if he had arrived to fulfill a mission; to guard and protect me.

Around this cat's neck was a beautiful jewelled collar with a silver tag dangling from it and on the tag was a name etched on it in the ancient language of rune symbols.  My father, being skilled with runes, was able to translate its meaning.  The name of the cat was Pyewackette.  Now both my mother and father couldn't fail to notice that while they were of light-colored hair, I was born with and still have raven black hair.  So, you can just imagine the name they decided to give me.  Oh, yes.  Pyewacket, of course.  My, my.   How original.  Really dug deep into their brains to come up with that, didn't they?  Why couldn't they have bestowed upon me a loftier, more ethereal name, in keeping with the magical parentage I was born to?  Oh, well, such is life.

To this day, my cat Pyewackette remains my faithful companion.  Still protecting me.  Still guarding me.  Yes, he is quite old now, yet death seems to have eluded him, and it is my belief that he shall live and remain my guardian until my own demise. He's not only long-lived, but he seem to have given me the power to do a form of magic, that neither my parents can accomplish.  I have the skill of shape-shifting, and as you can no doubt guess, I can take the form of a black cat.  Sometimes it's difficult to tell the two of us apart; although he has the most beautiful shade of jade green eyes, while my appear as my own deep, turquoise blue color, or sometimes a honey-amber.

My parents didn't have long to wait in discovering what magical skills I possessed, much, I must add, to their own dismay at times.  I was only a few days old, when my parents noticed objects floating around in the cottage.  As I was a mere babe, I wasn't exactly too skilled in keeping things afloat for long.  Oh, poor mother!  How I must have exasperated her back then.  My wandering infant eyes were particularly drawn to the large set of delicated, fragile ceramic animal figurines my mother had made, and were set aligned, all in a row on the mantel of the fireplace.  It didn't take long for her collection to become smaller and smaller.  I'd make them fly in the air for a few seconds before they'd come crashing down, breaking into tiny, minute fragments that were beyond repair.

And, my father? I probably gave the man a near heart attack at times.  Often, at night, he set himself with the task of writing on a parchment his lively accounts of when he was an apprentice wizard.  All would be still.  All would be quiet.  All would silent.......then.............BANG!!!!  You see, I was also fascinated with the shiny pewter plates stacked in the cupboard.  Pyewackette seemed amused by it all, watching all these things dance about in the air.  Sometimes, one could have sworn he had a smile on his feline face.  He was probably the only one who found the humor in it all.

The time passed, and as I got older my mother, being highly skilled with the healing arts, began teaching me her vast array of herb-lore knowledge.  She must have been ecstatic when it became apparent that I demonstrated an inborn knack for understanding the healing  properties of the medicines found in nature.  I say ecstatic, as I obviously didn't inherit my father's attempted skills.

 
For a wizard supposedly taught by Merlin, my father was.....well...oh, how can I say it otherwise?   He was a complete klultz in preparing herbal brews or potions.  Here he would be, following the same recipes my mother would use; use the exact same measurements of each herb necessary, yet his concoctions never came out right.  My mother would be standing nearby, with two water-filled wooden buckets, waiting and ready to dowse out the fiery explosions that were sure to occur.

There was something else my father was none too skilled at.  Now, I don't know why, but wizards have always seemed to be attracted to fireworks.  According to my father, Merlin was addicted to them.  And.....oh my goodness!  Who can ever forget that other grand, noble, mighty wizard; the one who they say started this explosive tradition.  Why, yes!  Of course!  I'm referring to Mithrandir, or as most people knew him by as Gandalf.

But father?   Fireworks?  You've got to be kidding!  Alas, let's just say he was a danger to be around.  My mother finally put her foot down, sternly reprimanded him, telling him that under no circumstance was he ever even to think about setting off rockets again.  So, for a good number of years it was delightfully calm, that is, until shortly after my thirteenth birthday.

The festival of Ostara was at hand, the day heralding the equinox, and the official first day of spring.  My parents had decided to go into town to join in on the celebration.  Oh!  What a beautiful day it had been.  Everywhere one looked, growing in abundance and in full bloom, were cheery, sunny-yellow daffodils, salmon-pink or orange or red tulips; and lavender or white hyacinths. Cherry, crab-apple, plum and pear trees were showing off their delicate white or pink-petaled flowers. 

It was wonderfully warm; such a pleasure after the long, harsh winter we had been experiencing.  Scenting the air were the fragrants of the flowers, mingled with the mouth-watering aromas of food coming from  the multitude of the stalls set up all along up and down the streets.  All over town, were colorful banners gently flapping with the slightly cool breeze.  Groups of musicians, jugglers, and acrobats roamed the streets to entertain and amuse the townfolk.  The festivities were to continue well into the night, ending with a fireworks display.  Neither my parents, nor I, however, were to stay that long.  It was on that day, that I discovered I had somehow acquired my father's hazardous trait with fireworks.  In my case though, it was much worse.

 
At various areas of the town, were large wagons full of the rockets that were to be set off later that nignt.   My parents and I were walking down along one of the streets, having just finished a light luncheon repast, when we happen to come across one of these wagons.  As we passed by, what do you think happened?  One of the smaller rockets suddenly shot forth, whistling down the street.  People quickly ducked or ran from its path. It then shot upward, hovered in the air for a moment before bursting into a fiery, colorful explosion.  Everyone seemed amused, even applauded at this early fireworks display.

As we continued our way down the street, my mother became attracted to the stands where crafts and jewelry were being sold.  Every once in awhile, she'd stop to admire a brooch here, a necklace there.  At the end of the street, we came across another wagonful of rockets.  Oh, yes, you can imagine what happened.  This time, instead of just one rocket, three shot forward simultaneously down the street, then into the air.

My mother stood stock still, her hands on her hips, looking at my father with the most horried, angry expression I had ever seen on her face.  Her accusing eyes penetrated right through my father's skull, making him fidget and he began to sweat profusely.

"What?"  he asked, nervously.

"You know what, Gaelin.  Stop it this instant!"  she yelled at him.

"Stop what?"

"Stop setting off those rockets.  Now!  Before there's a disaster at hand," she said.

"How can you possibly thinks it's me, Sindaria?  I haven't set off rockets in years.  You know that, and one does have to light a rocket to set it off.   Have you seen me do that?"

My mother then gave a distinct, loud audible gasp as she turned her attention to me.

"It's you!

"Me?"  I asked.

"Oh, goodness gracious.  How can it be her?" asked my father.

"Well, she is your daughter."

"And just what, prey tell, is that supposed to mean?" he asked, a bit annoyed.
"Pyewacket must have inherited your disasterous effect with fireworks."

"Oh, that's nonsense.  Besides, did you see her light them?"

"No, I didn't, " my mother said.

"So how can you be accusing her of setting them off?"

"Gaelin, it's just a gut feeling I have, and there's only one way to find out, " my mother said.

She began looking up and down the streets, until she spotted another large wagon full of rockets positioned almost at the edge of town.

"Come," she said, grabbed my hand, and quickly headed toward the wagon, with my father practically running to follow us.

My mother halted when she was still a good many yards away from the wagon, still firmly clutching my hand.

"Okay, Sindaria.  Now what?"  asked my father, a bit winded from running.

"Pyewacket, I want you to slowly walk up near toward that wagon, then stop when you're about two or three feet away from it."

I must have had a puzzled look on my face as I gazed up at my father.  I heard him sigh as he leaned over toward me, and whispered in my ear.  "Humor  your mother. Do as she says like a good girl.  And don't worry.  Nothing will happen, " he said, giving me a gentle pat on my shoulder.

As I began walking down the street, I didn't have to turn around to know that I had two pairs of eyes starring at me.  I could feel them, with such intensity that it felt as if arrows were being shot at my back.  My legs  began to wobble.  You'd think I was walking a death's  march to my own execution.   My head began to swim, as I realized what my mother was somehow implying.  Could it be possible that I was setting off those rockets?   But how?


When I was about three feet away from the wagon I stopped.  I stood still. Oh, so still!  And I waited.  And waited.  A few minutes passed.  To my joy, nothing happened.  I was about to turn around to give my parents a huge smile, when it happened.  In rapid succession, five rockets fired forth.  My mother and father ran toward me, each harshly grasping one of my hands, dragging me away as fast as possible.  The three of us ran to where we had left our wagon, scrambled aboard, and with a sharp tug on the reins, my father made our two horses swiftly lead us out of town.


Once at our cottage, for the remainder of that day, and all through the night, I was given the worse possible punishment imaginable.  The silent treatment.  Finally my father spoke, but only to say, "Pyewacket, it's bedtime for you."   The silence in the cottage continued quite awhile, until I suppose my parents thought I was asleep.  I could hear their low, soft voices.  It didn't take a genius to figure out what they were talking about.

At breakfast next morning, my mother informed me of the decision that had been made.  I was never, ever to go into town again during a festival celebration.

"I still think that's a bit harsh, Sindaria," said my father, "She should at least be able to go during Samhain.....that's the greatest, grandest celebration of all."

"No, Gaelin. This time wasn't so bad, but it might only be a matter of time when some serious harm could occur.  That's my final word about it."

I thought better to argue or make a scene.  My father may have been the man of the house, keeper of his domain, but, as in the case of all us of the female gender, it was my mother who was the boss.  What she said goes----no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

Of course, I did want to make a scene on how unfair it all was.  Yet, all was not lost.  My mother had become so proud of my quickly attained knowledge of herblore, that on normal, regular days, she'd allow me to accompany her into town, where she'd spend the day administering her healing skills upon those who needed it.  She was, in effect, preparing me for the days ahead; when I'd be taking over her practice as she would no longer be around.

                                   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The next six years passed quickly.  All too quickly.   As each year ended I began feeling gloomier and gloomier, dreading the day when I knew my parents would be taking their leave of me.  It would be the day when they would take their journey to Avalon.  They had explained to me that Avalon was a kind of retirement retreat, where wizards, faerie folk, and all other magical beings and creatures could go to, to spend the remainder of their lives until the end of the world itself.

I was in the kitchen, bundling up the herbs I had just cut from the garden to be hung up and dried.  I heard a gentle rapping upon the front door.  A minute later I heard it open, then heard my mother's voice, plus two unfamiliar voices talking in low tones.

"Pyewacket.....could you come out here, please?"

Upon entering the room, I was met by the gaze of the most beautiful woman and most handsome man I had ever seen in my life, next to my own parents, of course.  I could tell they weren't ordinary humans, but of the faerie folk like my mother.

The woman smiled and came closer to me.  "Oh, Sindaria!  Don't  tell me this is Pyewacket?  My, she's gotten to be a real beauty hasn't she?"

She noticed my perplexed expression and laughed a bit.  "I haven't seen you since you were a little baby.  I don't suppose you know who I am, do you?"

I just stood there like an idiot, looking at her, and shook my head no.

"I'm Ardenya, and this......." she said, gesturing to the man, ".....is Tenyan. We're your mother's parents.......your grand-parents."

I still stood there like an idiot, not moving or saying a word.  But then it hit me like a storm.  I knew why they were here.  The day I had dreaded for so long and tried to push aside from my mind had come at last.

"It's time, isn't it?"  I asked.  I looked first at my first at both my grandparents, then to my father, finally my mother, whose eyes I gazed into the longest.  Tears started to well up in my eyes.

"Yes, it's time," said my mother.

"Must you go?  Now?"   The tears were now flowing like rivers down upon my face.

"Yes, dear daughter.  We must," she said.  My father came by her side and rested his hands gently upon my mother's shoulders.
 
"Pyewacket, your're nineteen now.   Old enought to be on your own and begin living your own life,"  he said.  "Besides, you won't be entirely on your own.  You still have Pyewackette to keep you safe, as he's done all these years."

"I still don't understand, father.  Why must you go at all?"
 
"Someday, perhaps when you're much older, you'll understand.  Avalon is a place that beckons to all us who are of faerie or magical folk sooner or later.  It's a calling that can't be ignored.  It's our final home where we will live beyond time itself."
My mother came closer to me, wiping the tears off my face with her smooth, kind, gentle hands.  "The years will pass quickly, Pyewacket, you'll see.  Before you know it, you too, will be joining us."
 
"Sindaria, Gaelin.  We really must leave now if we're to make it before sunset," said Ardenya.  My grandmother and grandfather came over to give me a kiss on my cheek before walking out the door.
 
There was no need for my parents to pack anything.  Everything that they would ever need would be provided and waiting for them once they arrrived in Avalon.
 
My mother reached down to kiss my cheek, then my father.  I stood looking at both of them, for what would be the last time for many years.  They took down their cloaks hanging on the wooden pegs near the door, put them on, turned to look at me for a final time, then left.  Neither of us had said good-bye.  We didn't want to. It would have seemed so final.  I remained standing where I was, aware of the sound of hoofbeats rapidly retreating away from the cottage.  Then..............nothing.

                                 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Now it seemed as though the years passed by at a snail's pace.  To keep myself busy, I went into town a lot, of course avoiding festival days, as I didn't want to tempt fate.  I took it upon myself to continue my mother's healing practice and was greatly received by the townsfolk, just as my mother had been.

I hated being home though.  All I had for company was my cat, and while he was a faithful companion of whom I loved dearly, he could not exactly be counted on for meaningful conversations.  I began to become rather reclusive.  Oh, sure, I'd be friendly in town, talking up a storm with the folk there, but once home, it was as though I didn't want the world to know that I existed.  I even did what my grandparents and mother had done so many years ago.  I made the cottage disappear, not allowing it to be seen by anyone, unless I wished it, which, I never did. That is, until one day when I was nearing my twenty-fourth birthday.
 
Sitting near the fireplace, I was sewing up the hem of a dress I was working on.  My keen sense of hearing suddenly became aware of all things, someone whistling.  I rushed over to the window to peer out.   The whistling became steadily louder, as did the sound of hoofbeats following the narrow pathway that led straight toward the cottage.
 
Then I saw him.  Next to my grandfather or father, I was looking at a remarkably handsome man riding upon a magnificent black stallion.  By his appearance I could tell he was perhaps only a few years older than I was.  He had a well-trimmed beard and dark chesnut-brown hair that reached near his shoulders.  I gave a slight gasp as I recognized that the blue velvet with purple trimming traveling cloak he wore, was the type that only newly initiated wizards wore----------the same identical type my father had worn when he had suddenly come across this cottage years ago.
 
I ran out of the cottage and stood in the garden, releasing the spell that made the cottage invisible.  HIs horse stopped so abruptly with the sudden appearance of the cottage, that the man was nearly thrown off his stallion.  For just the ever so slightest moment, the man looked bewildered, but quickly regained his composure, and gave me the warmest smile I had ever seen.
 
Well.........my dear folks.  I don't think I need to tell anymoe of my story of what happened next.  I think you can guess what happened.  And no, I didn't have to cast a spell to make Laegaire fall in love with me.  All I had to do was..................

                                                 BANG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
 
Uh, oh!  Perhaps I'll continue with my thoughts some other time.  My little darling son has just let another pewter plate come crashing down.  Pyewackette certainly looks amused.  My.  History does have a way of repeating itself.  Doesn't it?
                                              
 
 
                                                  BANG!!!!!!!!!!!!!


                   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
 THERE AND BACK AGAIN:
        A RABBIT'S TALE
 
 
Daisy stopped nibbling on the sparse long blades of grass.  She stood up on her hind legs, stretching her body upward and was twitching her nose nervously.
 
"What is it?" I asked.
 
"Hush," she said, while still twitching her nose.  "I smell two-leggeds."
 
"Orcs?" I whispered.
 
"No. It's a different smell.  Quick.  Let's hide."
 
We scampered over and ducked into one of the few nearby thick bushes; hiding ourselves from view.  The two of us peeked out, waiting for the arrival of this invasion of two-leggeds that had the nerve to interrupt our early evening meal.  Then, we saw them.  Oh, my!  What a strange array these two-leggeds were at that!
 
I recognized one of them, as I had seen him once before during one of my longer journeys away from home. A wizard he was, wearing his tall blue, pointed hat.  His silver silk scarf was billowing in the wind that had suddenly picked up.  In his left hand, he was carrying a tall, twisted, knarled wooden staff.  There were two others of the human sort; a tall lean, golden-haired elf, carrying a bow in his right hand, and a helmeted, armored, axe-carrying dwarf.
 
But...what on earth were those other four with them?  I had never seen the likes of them before in all my years.  They weren't much taller than the dwarf.  One of them was holding and pulling the reins of a bridled pony.  Poor fella. He looked so miserable and tired from being heavily weighed down with all those possessions and a large bundle of wood.  I wiggled out a bit from the underbrush, wanting to get a better view.
 
"Careful, Jack!  They might see you.  Come..let's go home."
 
"You go on Daisy.  I want to stay."
 
"Why?"
 
"I want to see what they're up to."
 
"Oh, honestly, Jack.  You better be careful, or you'll wind up in a stew like your poor uncle," she said.  Quietly she scampered away leaving me alone to watch as the travelers made their way closer and closer to the mountains.  As the darkness of night began to fall, I felt a drastic chill in the air that made me shiver despite my thick white fur coat.  The two-leggeds were now struggling to climb up the steep cliffs.
 
"Mmmm....," I thought, "They're picking a lousy time for a mountain climb."  I remained where I was, hidden in the bush. I sat huddled up trying to keep warm.. Suddenly, I felt something wet touch my nose.  Soft white flakes were coming down.  From the sky,  it was beginning to snow.  In only a few moments, the wind had picked up, and the snow felt harder and faster.

The storm didn't seem to deter the two-leggeds, as they continued to make their ascent up the mountain.  Upon reaching one cliff, they halted, huddling close to each other for warmth.  My keen eyes saw the wizard pick up a sngle faggot of wood and in a minute or two, I saw a spark of blue and green.  Soon, a hearty fire was burning.
 
"Well....that should keep them warm a bit.  Sure wouldn't mind being near that fire myself," I thought.  My eyes were getting heavy and drowsy.  I yawned. "Don't think they'll be much to watch now."
 
I buried and nestled myself amongst the pile of dried leaves that carpeted the ground near me; curled myself into a tight ball, and nodded off.
 
A fairly rough, warm, wet touch was licking my face.  I slowly opened my sleepy eyes to see Daisy looking directly at me with an annoyed expression upon her face.
 
"Have you been here all night?  You could have caught pneumonia."
 
"Is it morning already?"
 
"Morning?  Good gracious, no!  It's well past the mid-day sun."
 
"Oh, dear!  Have I slept that long?"
 
"Yes."
 
I stretched my body a bit, trying to rid myself of the stiffness I felt in my limbs.  I peeked out from the bush, glancing up toward the mountain.
 
"But......where are they?"
 
"Oh, they left sometime ago.  What a struggle they had plowing through all that snow.  Thought the poor souls were going to be buried alive."
 
"Which way did they go?"
 
"They went down that path over yonder.  Why?"
 
"I'm going to follow them."
 
"Jack!  You'll do no such thing!   It's too dangerous.  I've been hearing the howls of those hideous wolves."
 
Without waiting to hear anymore of her warnings to me, I scampered off.  My poor, sweet Daisy.  I knew she loved me, but, oh, how I must have exasperated her at times with all my rather fool-hardy, reckless need for adventure.
 
Feeling my stomach grumble, I stopped and began nibbling on some grass. I was quite famished as I had slept through and missed my morning and afternoon meals.  I was angry at myself for having slept so long and now darkness was once more upon the world.  "Well," I thought, "There's nothing for it.  Might as well sleep now and make an early start in the morning."
 
A chill crept upon my spine as I heard not one, not two, but a virtual chorus of the howls of wolves.  Not knowing if the wolves would come my way, and not wanting to become a wolf's meal, I began to climb up a large, old tree.  I was one of the few of my type who could manage this feat, having taught myself when I was just a very young lad.  Up high, on one of the limbs, I found a large empty bird's nest, and I settled myself inside, falling asleep almost instantly.
 
The next day, after a hasty repast, I continued on my way, following the all too visible tracks of the two-leggeds.  At one spot, I came across their campfire, yet it was now stone cold, telling me that they must have left this spot quite sometime ago.  Thankfully, I counted my lucky stars, for at least now,  I no longer heard anymore of those terrible howls of the wolves.
 
Now, however, I had wished I hadn't been so determined to be so adventurous.  As I continued to follow the tracks, I was starting to feel a bit panicky, for they were travelling to a place I had never been before.  "Oh, I'd never hear the end of it from Daisy if I got myself lost."  Here and there I marked the territory in the hopes that upon my return journey, I'd be able to find my way back without too much due concern.
 
If I had had any amount of common sense at all in me, I could have given up on the whole idea of following the two-leggeds.  Oh yes, that would have been the wiser choice.  Leave now; turn around and head home where it's safe and warm and where I could cuddle up to my lady love, Daisy.  But no!  My curiosity got the better of me, so onward I went.
 
The land I was passing through was the most desolate area I had ever seen. Never in my life had I seen such a barren country. To my dismay, not even one blade of grass grew here, and my growling stomach was telling me of my hunger.  I heard no sounds; not even the twitter of a single bird chirping.  I no longer saw any tracks on the ground of the two-leggeds, yet my twitching nose still caught their scent. For a moment, I stood up on my hind legs, staring directly in front of me.  In the distance, I saw a series of cliffs with one much taller than those surrounding it on either side.  This was obviously the place that my party of adventurers were heading for, so onward I went.
 
The darkness of night was fast approaching.  It seemed to take me forever to catch up with the two-leggeds.  The path they had chosen to take wasn't an easy one to follow.  There were many twisting turns, and steep, exhausting climbs up numerous slopes.  But, at last!  I had made it!  I could see them now.  They were on the other side of the rather large lake that was before me. I rushed up to the lake with the intention of quenching my parched throat, but upon looking at that brackish water, I thought the better of it.  I smelled a strange scent coming from the water that didn't seem right to me, and, every once in awhile, I saw bubbles and ripples disturbing the water's surface.
 
I backed away from the lake and raised myself on my hind legs to stay and observe what the two-leggeds were doing.  From my viewpoint, it didn't look like they were doing much of anything except stand before one section of the cliff.  My keen eyes saw the wizard pass his hands back and forth, back and forth several times over one area where the cliff had a smooth, almost glass-like surface.  Suddenly, the moon peeked out from the clouds that had hidden it; its brightness was almost as strong as the mid-day sun.  Then, I blinked my eyes several times to make sure I wasn't hallucinating.  Where the wizard had just moments before passed his hand on the surface of the cliff, there now was a large, visible design upon it.
 
Even from where I stood from across the lake, I could sense the two-leggeds mood of elation, for clearly, this was what they had been searching for.  For quite awhile though, it seemed as if nothing was happening; they all remained standing there watching the wizard with his raised staff.  I could hear echos of his voice, saying several different words, that didn't make much sense to me.  Still.....nothing happened.  Then, after a fair amount of time had passed, I heard the wizard's voice say in a clear loud voice one single word, and suddenly from where I was I could feel the ground tremble underneath me.  Oh, my!  The cliff was actually opening up as though it were a door!
 
Oh, how I was just itching to follow them!  I was all set to make a fast scampering around the lake to where they were, when a horror of horrors took place!  I saw a pale-green snake-like arm bolt out from the lake seizing and grabbing the ankle of one of those short two-leggeds.  More and more of those long arms came shooting out from the water.  While the attention of the two-leggeds were  fixed upon rescuing this poor victim, I saw the pony make a fast dash with lightening speed away from this gruesome terror.  He was fast approaching to where I was, yet he had apparently saw me, for he began slowing down slightlly.  The pony yelled out to me, "hop on," of which I did.  Once settled safely upon the pony's back, he picked up speed once more and ran as if his life depended on it.
 
Whatever fate was to occur to those two-leggeds I would never find out, and quite frankly, I didn't want to know.  At that moment, all I wanted was to get away as far and as fast as possible from that lake.  I wanted to be back in the safety of my own home, and in the company of my sweetheart, Daisy. 
 
As I clung onto the pony's back, I lifted my head up a bit and saw a bright, twinkling star in the black sky. I  made a solemn vow upon that star......that never, ever would I have anymore adventures.
 
 
~~~~~The End~~~~~
 
**  THE ABOVE STORY WAS PUBLISHED IN THE SUMMER 2005 EDITION OF MINAS TIRITH--EVENING STAR, THE JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN TOLKIEN SOCIETY *****