Our young hero is setting off for a visit to the woods. He is checking his list to be sure he will have everything that he may need - cookies and a and an for snacking on. A pair of and a for close examinations of discoveries. And, just in case, an all-purpose for anything that might come up. Off he sets with his heart light to seek adventure. He hears some sounds above and looks up to see so he pulls out the to have a better look. As he is looking into the sky, he is unaware that a little gremlin was sneaking up on him. He looks down just in time to see his pack disappearing under a bush. He searched the shrub but it had disappeared. Oh no! All his things are gone what will he do? Good thing he'd eaten before setting out so was not yet hungry. But he'd been walking a long time and had grown very tired so he found a comfortable spot under a and believing with his young heart that all would turn out well, promptly fell fast asleep. He missed seeing that the all-purpose must have slipped from his pack as it lies glistening in a plant a little further down the path. A friendly little (who does not like the gremlins) picks up the and gently deposits it next to our slumbering young hero.
Our young hero, Geoffie, awakens from his slumber and rubs the remnants of sleep from his eyes. His tummy is rumbling now. He decides to get his pack and have his and but remembers how it disappeared. From the corner of his eye he notices a bright gleam and turns to see his all-purpose lying on the ground next to him. Perplexed but happy to see it, he picks it up and does not see the flying overhead with the appearance of a smile on its small face. G-r-o-w-l goes his tummy.
"If I must use magic to eat, I may as well have ."
After eating he is about to start off walking again when he hears,
"Well, I certainly hope you don't plan to leave your garbage there!"
He spins around but sees no one. But his conscience has been tweaked and he picks up his wrappings and wonders what to do with them.
"Just put them in the bin by the tree, of course." says the voice.
"Huh?" He looks back at the he had napped under and sees a garbage bin.
"Where'd that come from?" he puzzles aloud but dutifully places his trash inside. Poof! It disappears.
"What an odd place this is."
"Odd, indeed not!" says the voice he is getting used to hearing. But where or who was it coming from he wonders.
He looks down and sees only a .
"Don't look so disappointed! What were you expecting?"
Astonished, our young hero gets down on his hands and knees and gets on eye level, or as close as is possible to eye level, with the .
"But you have such a big voice for such a little thing!"
"'Little thing'! Hmph! My voice is what it needs to be, of course. You are very uneducated in the ways of the Whimsical Woods. What are they teaching in the schools these days? Not the important things obviously!"
"Um, the Whimsical Woods?"
"Of course, the Whimsical Woods! You better take me along to guide you or you are bound to get into more trouble."
"More trouble?" asks Geoffie, mystified
"Trouble with a capital T!Ms Feathers was watching you earlier and recovered your or your stomach would still be growling! Gremlins are everywhere and you need to pay attention, of course!"
"Didn't your uncle at least teach you something, anything before passing his wand on to you?"
"You know Uncle Miles? He was going to teach me but he was gone the day after he gave it to me. All he told me when he gave me the was if I ever needed him to go into woods at the north edge of town and take the with me. I've not seen him in a week so thought I should try to find him"
"Of course, I know him! He probably got a relapse of Wandering Feet. He was not named Miles for nothing! Well, Geoffie, let's be off then to find your uncle, of course."
"You know my name! Oh. I guess if you knew who my uncle was that makes sense, but how did you know?"
"I recognized Miles' , of course, and knew there was only one person he would entrust it to. Put me in your shirt pocket. Gently!"
So Geoffie gently scooped up the and placed him oh-so-carefully in his shirt pocket. Then he picked up his and the . He looks into his pocket and asks "Have you a name?"
"Of course, I have a name! Everyone has a name! Wisdom is my name, of course."
"Yes. Of course." says Geoffie thinking Wisdom a rather pretentious fellow.
"Which way shall we head?" he asks.
"Forward, of course!" and off they went!
Geoffie, with peeking out of his pocket, trods on along a path of pine needles when he comes to a spot where the path splits off in 2 directions.
"Which one shall I take?" he asks looking down at his pocket.
"The right one, of course!" so Geoffie starts to head to his right.
"NO! This is the Wrong One, not the Right One! Surely they teach reading still in school!"
"Reading? Yes they do but what....." his voice trails off and he blinks his eyes. There in the juncture of the paths is a sign post clearly designating the paths as Right One and Wrong One which he was certain had not been there before.
So Geoffie starts off along the path to his left which was the Right One. After an hour of walking along the cool, shady path he comes to a spot where the path widens and, as the trees are now spread further apart, sunlight bathes the area. At one edge there is a nice smooth boulder looking like a stool for sitting on and on the ground by it Geoffie spies his blue backpack along with an apple core and crust of bread. So much for that lunch. There was one item still unaccounted for. He looks around a bit and sees his next to some very wet, burnt pine needles.
"It was a good thing I was watching" twitters a little high-pitched voice.
Geoffie looks to his pocket and sees a tiny floating mere inches from his pocket looking at .
"That naughty Gee started a fire in the dry needles with that glass; dropped it and ran off without putting it out! "
"Of course, Pixelle. But how did you manage to put it out?" asks .
"I went to the Duchess of Lot and asked if Ephie could aid me." She looks down a path where a is slowly disappearing.
"Of course! Would you like to accompany us on our quest, Pixelle?"
"I would love to! Shall would proceed down the Right One? And Geoffie?"
"Yes, ma'am ?"
"I wondered if I might perch upon your shoulder a while as my wings are so very tired."
"Of course" answered for Geoffie.
Geoffie put the and the and his into his backpack and slung it over one shoulder. Pixelle made herself comfy on his other shoulder. So with his two new friends enjoying a free ride, Geoffie went "Forward, of course"along the pine needle path to seek his Uncle Miles, of course. He could not help but wonder what other fascinating characters he might meet and what adventures they might have.
Forward they went along the path. Although his tiny companions had chattered away when they started on this leg of their quest, the two were now comfortably dozing; one atop his shoulder and the other in his pocket. Geoffie was thoroughly enjoying himself amongst the tall, tall tress. He'd marvel at the way sunlight would manage to stream through in beams here and there; and the way wildflowers still managed to grow; even in the shadiest spots. Some he recognized and others he did not. He was not at all sure that they should all be blooming at the same time. But then this was the Whimsical Woods with all manner of unusual things. He was thinking about trying to remember all the details to share with his best friend when he returned home. Then he wondered if he'd be believed. Perhaps that was why Uncle Miles never told him of this wondrous place. As much as he loved his uncle, he had to admit he would not have believed had he not seen it for himself.
Lost in thought, Geoffie did not notice the bump in the road till he stumbled on it. He did manage to keep from falling. Unfortunately, poor sleeping Pixelle on his shoulder was not as lucky. She barely got her wings flapping in time to avoid hitting the ground. Wisdom was safe within Geoffie's pocket but quite shaken.
"Hmph! You need to watch where you put your feet, of course."
"I'm so very sorry! Pixelle are you alright?" asks Geoffie.
"Yes, Geoffie. A little startled is all."
"I will be more careful from now on." he says feeling sheepish. As he becomes more aware of his surroundings he sees that there is a path turning off to the left from the one the one they are travelling.
"Do we turn or continue straight?" asks Geoffie.
"Straight, of course! Straight, of course!" flusters Wisdom so vehemently that Geoffie's curiosity is peaked.
"Never take that path, of course! Never!"
"They really aren't so bad, Wisdom. They are harmless and some I'm quite fond of." says Pixelle.
"They?" inquiries Geoffie.
A slightly less ruffled Wisdom responds "Not dangerous, of course, but exceedingly peculiar. Even by human standards."
"There are humans living in the Whimsical Woods?" asks Geoffie.
"Not in the Woods, of course! Close to it though." answers Wisdom "Too close."
"Oh, Wisdom, they really are a friendly group." chirps in Pixelle.
"Friendly? Ha! It wasn't your cousins that were being made into appetizers, of course!"
"This is true, but as I recall no one wanted any and as your cousins were still quite alive, they all managed to squirm away safely."
"Not the point, of course!"
"But maybe Uncle Miles is with them." Geoffie says.
"Possible, of course. But not if he has Wandering Feet again, of course."
"Perhaps we should go ask them." says Geoffie.
"No, of course!" shrieks Wisdom.
"Geoffie, I think Wisdom is afraid of becoming an hors d'oeuvre!" giggles Pixelle.
"Hmph! That is only one of the strange things that happen there, of course."
"But what if Uncle Miles is there?" insists Geoffie.
"Pixelle!" exclaims Wisdom. "Did you see him when you fetched Ephie?"
"Oh!", says Pixelle, "I never thought to ask when I was there earlier! Shall I go ask the Duchess?"
"The Observation Platform, of course!" exclaims Wisdom. "We can check from there, of course!"
"Oh! Splendid idea Wisdom!" twitters Pixelle who went floating off down the path to the left.
Geoffie runs to catch up to her and finds her a short way down the path. With a snap of her teeny fingers, the lilacs behind her separate, showing some wooden steps. Geoffie climbs up and at the top is a deck with a railing around it. The railing is covered with vines and blends in with the nearby trees. He walks over to the railing and looks down on a rather large cabin in a clearing.
Geoffie gets out his binoculars to look more closely at the cabin. The area around the cabin is beautiful; all lush and green. There was even a stream with a small waterfall nearby.
"Wonder why there are clothes sitting on the grass by the stream." he says.
"Oh!" giggles Pixelle as she gently pushes the binoculars to view the cabin area.
The cabin itself has a covered porch along the front adorned with planters full of violets, and a deck along the back where the the land slopes allowing for a walkout from the basement level. Off to one side is a very large barn and corral. Focussing on the corral, Geoffie sees a beautiful unicorn grazing and, nearer the barn, the elephant he had caught a glimpse of earlier. Near the elephant is a woman sitting on a bench polishing a trophy. "She sure must be proud of that trophy, " thinks Geoffie aloud. "The way she's polishing it up".
"Oh!" giggles Pixelle "That would be the Duchess of Lot! She sure is! She won the Headspinning Championship again. No one else even came close!"
"Headspinning?" asks Geoffie, hesitantly, unsure of whether or not he wants to understand as a vision of a row of heads spinning around pops into his head.
"Oh yes. She is ever so good at it!"
Behind the enclosure is a gently sloping area and as he watches he sees people lying down and rolling down the slope. " It seemed like an odd thing to do to him but from the smiles on their faces, he guessed that they must enjoy the activity.
Geoffie scans the area back over to the cabin. There are beautiful roses growing near it. He scans the rose bed and then scans back focussing on one of the bushes.
"A rose bush with a peach colored teddy sitting in it?" he can't help asking.
"Of course!" says Wisdom and Geoffie quietly echoes, "Of course."
Near to the cabin he sees a young man wearing a Tshirt with "Xena Forever" on it, chasing a furry black bat that has red glowing eyes.
Moving the binoculars field of vision to the deck he sees a large group of teddy bears in a wide array of colors at one end sitting on graduated benches. They are mostly of 2 sizes but a couple are bigger and one multi-color one is even bigger. A tall man is standing in front of them waving a baton. While he watched, a woman came over to the man and tugged on his arm. He bent over, continuing to wave the baton, and she rapped on his blonde head and then went on her way. "How strange." he mutters aloud.
"Of course!" says Wisdom. "Even by human standards this bunch is "
"Unique!" breaks in Pixelle.
"Hmph!" says Wisdom.
Geoffie smiled at the obvious difference of opinion his two companions had about the people in the cabin.
Then Geoffie noticed something even odder than all the other things. "There's letters floating in the air!" he exclaimed. "Like a or t and sometimes whole words!"
"Letters do not float, of course!" says Wisdom. "That is a human device you have and limited in range. Wave your wand in front of it, of course!"
So, Geoffie gets out his wand, extends his arm and waves the air in front of the binoculars. "Wow! Look at all those, um, well..."
"Tell me what you see and I'll tell you who they are, of course." says Wisdom.
"Okay. Where I saw the letters, there is a row of funny looking little grey men. Not a row exactly. More like a column. They are standing on each others shoulders. A small grey hand pops out of a window and hands the letter or letters to the one on the bottom who passes it up one and so on till it reaches the one sitting on the roof. He has letters spread out all around him. He throws letters down a chimney of sorts. Sometimes he just keeps the letter or word. Seems to be a large pile of words and a bunch of parentheses, too, piling up. Sometimes he tosses a different one down. Sometimes he just quickly rearranges the letters and tosses it in. They seemed to enjoy what they are doing."
"Those are gremlins, of course!"says Wisdom.
"They do enjoy what they do but the humans find it rather irritating" adds Pixelle. "Those are some of the Twist Your Perfect Order or T.Y.P.O. gremlins. "
Geoffie moves the binoculars a bit. "More of those little grey men!These ones are at the corner of the building and look to be fiddling with some wires that are going into the cabin." he observes.
"Those would be the Irritating Stunt Patrol or I.S.P. gremlins of which the Annoyingly Obtuse League or A.O.L. gremlins seem to be particularly well-known." Pixelle tells Geoffie.
As Geoffie, continues to scan the building he sees a shadowy figure emerge through a wall of the cabin and hurriedly rush toward the woods on the edge of the clearing. All that Geoffie can really tell about figure heading to the edge of the woods is a big, floppy hat and a long trench coat. He has one hand inside the coat as if hiding something under the coat. He rushes up to a rather large vine-covered box. He opens the lid; pulls a sack from beneath the coat; deposits it into the box; and closes it very quickly. Then he heads back to the cabin. After observing the comings and goings a few times, Geoffie asks "Who is that rushing between the cabin and the box at the edge of the woods? And what is he doing?"
"Time Nabber, of course!" says Wisdom. "Next time he enters the building, wave your wand in front of the binocluars and you'll be able to see him through the walls."
Geoffie follows Wisdom instructions and watches as Time Nabber goes up to a clock; opens his coat; takes a folded sack from an inside pocket; opens the sack and places it at the bottom of the clock. Then he advances the time on the clock and his empty sack fills. He quickly closes the coat, holding the sack beneath and leaves through the wall heading back to his box.
"So that's where the time goes!" exclaims Geoffie.
"Time Nabber, of course!" says Wisdom.
Geoffie puts down the binoculars. "This is all very interesting. Are Time Nabber and gremlins everywhere or just there?" he asks.
"Everywhere, of course!" says Wisdom.
"But, " explains Pixelle, "they are paricularly busy and numerous in the clearing."
"I didn't see any sign of Uncle Miles though." sighs Geoffie. "Should we go down and ask?"
"No, of course!" says Wisdom.
"I'll ask the Duchess," offers Pixelle. "Be back in a twinkling!" And off she flew in a blur.
"She didn't give me a chance to object, of course," mutters Wisdom.
"Why would you object?" asks Geoffie.
"She needs to be more careful, of course. Humans sometimes mistake her for a fly and try to swat her. "
"Oh my!"says Geoffie just as Pixelle returns.
"I heard that Wisdom. I thank you for your concern but I am careful."
Pixelle continues, "The Duchess said that Miles had been there but just walked around a bit and left without ever stopping. She said he looked very tired."
"Wandering Feet, of course!"
"Poor Miles," says Pixelle. "We better try to find him."
"Of course! Let us continue our search," Wisdom states.
Geoffie puts the wand back in the backpack and goes to put the binoculars in to but takes one last look at the cabin in the clearing before heading down the stairs to continue his search in the Whimsical Woods.
Back walking along the Right One, Geoffie decides to ask a question of his companions. "What is Wandering Feet?"
"Miles' problem., of course!" says Wisdom.
"Geoffie, it is rather hard to explain in human terms. " Pixelle explains. "In some ways it is like a virus humans can get. Once one has been afflicted, relapses can occur. The poor victim just can't stop his feet from walking on and on and gets so very tired. It usually lasts a few days after which the patient sleeps for several days."
"But Uncle Miles has been gone a week!" exclaims Geoffie.
"Well, " Pixelle continues. "He may have been at the Woods a day or two before his relapse started and it has been a few days since the Duchess saw him, so he could be in the sleeping stage now."
"Where would he go to get some sleep?" asks Geoffie.
"Wherever he was when the sleeping phase took over, of course!" says Wisdom.
"You mean he could just be lying in the Woods sleeping?" Geoffie asks. "That sounds dangerous."
"Miles will be fine," reassures Pixelle. "There are many in the Whimsical Woods who would watch over him."
"Really?" asks Geoffie.
"Of course!" pipes in Wisdom.
They continue on their trek quietly until Geoffie abruptly stops and exclaims, "Oh No!"
"What is it?" both Pixelle and Wisdom ask.
"What time is it? My mom might be getting worried. I left her a note and it said I'd be back before supper. I don't know how late it has gotten but it seems I've been here a long time. I don't want my mom to worry."
"Time is relative, of course." says Wisdom. "What seems a long time may be short and vice versa. It is not so very long by the outer world's clocks since you arrived here."
"Oh. That's good," says Geoffie. "I wouldn't want to leave without finding Uncle Miles but I don't want my mom worried either."
As they round a bend in the path, they come face to face with a grizzly bear on the path in front of them!
Geoffie, who had froze at the sight of the bear just stared at him unsure what to think or do.
"Bout time you got here!" says the bear. "Ms. Feathers said you were on your way."
Geoffie just stared at the bear. He saw Pixelle fly up to the bear's nose and ... hug it!
"Well, Grinny, we took the time to check the cabin on the way." Pixelle explains.
"Gr-rin-ny?" stutters Geoffie.
"Of course, Grinny!" says Wisdom. "Thought Miles might come to you."
"Uncle Miles is here?" asks Geoffie.
"Miles arrived a couple of days ago. He was pretty exhausted and dozed off soon after. I put him to bed but he should soon awake."explains Grinny.
"You're such a sweetie Grinny," says Pixelle. Geoffie was amazed to see that big bear blush. "No one could take better care of Miles than you."
Just then, a disheveled man appeared at the cave entrance rubbing his eyes. "What's all the chatter for?"
"Uncle Miles!" yelled Geoffie as he ran up to the man and nearly knocked him over with an enthusiastic embrace.
"Geoffie!" exclaimed a surprised Miles as he returned the embrace. "What are you doing here?"
"Looking for you, Uncle Miles!" responds Geoffie.
"Well, you've certainly found me. Does your mom know where you went?" Miles asks young Geoffie.
"I left her a note saying I went to look for you but would be home in time for supper."
Uncle Miles pushes up his shirt sleeve revealing two watches. "Hmmm. If we hurry we just might make it back in time. My sister will not be pleased with me if you are late."
"Does Mom know about the Whimsical Woods?" asks Geoffie.
"She does, Geoffie, but she won't enter the woods." Miles answers with a sad and distant look on his face as if he were seeing something from the past.
Giving his head a shake to clear away the memory, Miles looks down at Geoffie, smiles and says, "We better get going on our way Geoffie."
"We'll accompany you to the edge of the Woods," offers Pixelle. So off went the five of them; Grinny, Pixelle, Wisdom, Uncle Miles and Geoffie. At the edge of the Woods, Miles and Geoffie say goodbye to their special friends with a promise to return soon to the Whimsical Woods.
[Whimsical Woods Index]