The Secret Aquarium of Sir Max Goodwyl, Part One:
Master Waterpot, one of our grand Wizards, gave a brilliant performance of the Breathing Underwater Spell for those of us going to visit Sir Max's Underwater Aquarium. The spell is to insure that the elves don't suddenly fall into real time and begin gagging and coughing when we dive into the sea. It's the taint you see, from being so close to human folk. None of us in this unique construct really needs the Breathing Underwater Spell but I am aware that some of our young ones have been hypnotized by the human thoughts and beliefs.
Breathing, not being a matter of survival for us, doesn't stop Wart from grumbling. Thinking he's a real cat and cats not liking the wet and all, he is convinced this Underwater Swimming Expedition we're planning is not for him. I don't know how to convince the lad that he is really a magical being and not subject to the laws of the physical world.
Master Waterpot's spirited ceremony was marred by one surprising event that turned out to be entertaining for us and yet very perplexing. I think it happened because Waterpot himself was rotating and flapping his arms so much it set his beautiful cloak into a wavelike motion. At first we thought it was part of the performance, but then the cloak seemed to be dissolving right before our eyes. Next thing, all the lovely sea creatures on his cloak suddenly came to life and began swimming off into the air currents. Finally, while we watched in silent wonder, all those lovely fish just disappeared, right into the Cyber Forest. It is very hard to remain quiet and serious after seeing such an amazing thing and after some very great efforts to maintain our decorum we all dissolved into fits of the giggles, barks and belly gusties.
Waterpot himself seems bewildered but is not talking about the incident. It could be some mysterious force is at work here, putting on counter spells and the like. This, of course remains to be seen.
Waterpot has now declined our invitation to go the Underwater Aquarium as he must search for his missing cloak parts. As Nature abhors a vacuum it is uncommon good sense for him to quickly return the sea creatures to his cloak before something much less friendly moves into the empty spaces.
1. If you would like to help Master Waterpot, go to the Coloring Pages and find the drawing of him in the blank cloak. If the cloak is left blank some bad sorcerer could cast a spell on him through the holes. What would you draw and color on this cloak to help protect Master Waterpot and help him find his sea creatures?
2. What do you think a Cyber Forest is? What would it look like? Would other imaginary creatures be there, or internet ads, or E-bay? Whoops! What would happen if Master waterpot's cloak fish end up getting sold on E-bay? Draw your version of a cyber Forest with Master Waterpot's fish swimming around.
3. Design a cloak for yourself. What would your cloak be used for? Your drawings would be a story of what you use the cloak for. An example would be an imaginary trip to the stars. How would you design your cloak? Would you draw stars, moons, the sun, or birds soaring, or even space ships. You dream it and draw it.
We have some of our own tomfoolery afoot. I know we promised to never give our poor bard harkin any more grief about his love life. After teasing him about the tree knot we were easy on him for a time, but we want the lad to go on this Underwater Expedition and he is so stubborn! Purdy and Diafonys (who has an especially beautiful voice), have been whispering to him daily from behind his latest heart throb, a rather large granite boulder that slid down the Hatter's hill during the last rain storm. It came to pause just a misty distance from the path Harkin ponders along daily, its intriguing little bell like face uplifted to his with just a hint of a wistful sadness. Of course, we all sort of helped by artfully scraping away some of the moss growing on her face.
Harkin isn't quite so skittery about listening to her as he was the oak knot as we have carefully scripted the dialogue to avoid such words as marriage and children. The script is intriguing, even to those of us who sat up a whole night making it up. Imagine this, an angelic rock face softly pleading with Harkin to collect for her a certain charmed amulet that lies at the bottom of the sea guarded by a ferocious dragon that just happens to reside in Sir Max's Aquarium.. Angel rock says she needs the amulet to break the wicked spell put on her by Niam's half brother whose loving attention she has scorned. Harkin, being a poet and the more sensitive type, isn't too fond of the sea dragon part but he is attracted to the hero drama and now he actually believes he is the one who has decided on this Underwater Expedition and has cleverly persuaded all of us to go with him!
1. When you are outside, or on a hike or camping, look around you at the trees and the rock formations. Can you see faces, animals or other shapes created by the natural growth or gradual erosion, shadows and light and the imagination. These too, are a source of inspiration for your own writing and drawing. Patterns appear throughout Nature that can stir your imagination, always be aware and observant of what is around you. Draw pictures of what you see, using both real and imagined objects.
2. Can you make up a "hero myth"? A hero myth has certain elements in it that you will find used over and again in many stories, but each is written in different and unique ways.
There is always a young man or a young woman as the central figure, called the Protagonist. This person could be the Hero or the one the Hero helps. Sometimes, the hero is not a Hero at the beginning but a Fool and very gullible, like Harkin. This is the person who will have to go on the journey, be kidnapped or get lost, or have to rescue someone else who is in danger.
The Fool, becoming a Hero will have to learn to draw upon inner strengths and courage to overcome the challenges, usually three challenges. She, or he may be given special magical tools or equipment or clothing, or talents to help them. There are usually magical creatures like dragons, elves, trolls, and human helpers, who often have superhuman strength..
There are also very scary and wicked beings to be fought or tricked. These are called, Antagonists. Antagonists are mean and I don't like them very much, but sometimes they are necessary to wake up the Fool so he or she can become the Hero.
If you are having trouble thinking up you own story, find stories written about heros to read and think about. Sometimes it helps to imagine yourself as the Hero, or to create a Fool, giving him or her a history, a place of origin, a way of dressing, certain features that make them stand out and easy to identify. An example might be, your Fool has a stutter or a twitch, maybe he or she is always falling over things, or has a streak of orange in their hair, or pointed ears. Now you can imagine how to help your Fool become a Hero.
Preparing for the Journey
Oh, such excitement! We've made our own Hot Air Balloons to fly us to the sea drop site, beautiful brightly colored balloons with handwoven baskets shaped like birds and animals, with lots of frufrala hanging on them.
Wart says flying is for things with wings, like birds and bats, not cats. Now, I think that is a rather odd statement coming from the little fur ball since he changes shape every time he is into a temper, some of those shapes having wings as well And I am wondering, does he ever wonder how it is, if he is a cat, that he is a talking cat? Poor lad really does need help. Oh well.
We have been practicing, which means we have been flying the balloons everywhere around about the Glen, causing all manner of problems and hang ups, especially on high tippy branch-like objects, like treetops and lightning rods. This led us to thinking we needed a Welkin elf along who would be in charge of keeping us from crashing into objects, including each other, an expert map maker to show us where we are going and a weather witch. We magical beings still have to figure out what we'll be magicking as some of it can be downright illusive and given to strange and irrational behaviors, not always in our control. Like the Wind Dancers, who I suspect are having a bit of glee off of us when we're flying around, and some other unknown force, playing with our balloons in a way, not so friendly.
Silvertree, Nessa and Gwen are in charge of preparing journey food, the delicious little chewy cakes full of grains and nuts, dried fruits and berries, all held together with honey. They are also preparing goat cheese bricks, and baking rounds of thick crusty bread and gathering fresh fruits and berries. Of course there will be a goodly supply of nectar and spring water for making my tea.
The elvin have been busy designing "sea costumes", somewhat like the diving suits that humans wear but with much brighter patterns and colors taken from the designs on fish. Well, you know how these little ones are, wanting all glitter and glamour but there is hardly anything they can think up that there isn't some lovely or outrageous looking fish to challenge their ideas.
1. What would your Hot Air Balloon look like? If you want help, go to the Coloring Pages to find the blank balloon and fill in your own design. While you are designing it, imagine where you would go on your flight? Will you need a map? Look at a map and see how it is made. Make a map for your journey by putting in your starting point and your destination. Imagine places in between that you will see from the balloon. Mark these on your map. Decide how many days your balloon trip will be. What will the weather be like, fair or stormy?
2. For more information about how Hot Air Balloons work and what they look like there are many excellent sites on the internet. You can also find books at the Library. Sometimes, when you are doing a drawing you might want to research the subject so that your drawing looks like the real physical object. This is good, but it does not mean your drawing has to look exactly like a photograph of the object or that you even have to research it. You can draw objects the way you want them but it does help to know how things work first.
A Hot Air Balloon stays up because the air in it is heated by a burner that is fueled with a propane and methane mix. The propane is periodically ignited in a large blast to heat up the air in the balloon. This, of course, is the way the humans do it. Now I am supposing, when you are working in your imagination, your Burner could be anything you decide, perhaps even a short fat fellow with terrible gas who periodically burps and shoots fire out of his mouth.
3. What kind of sea diving suit would you design? Turn to the coloring pages for the drawings of two elves and the blank suits for you to design and color. Look for pictures of fish at the library or on the internet that have bright designs and use your imagination to take parts of those designs to use on your suit. You can enlarge certain areas or make them very small and repeat the patterns. This is the way some designers work when they use Nature as their inspiration. You can also design your diving suit any way that pleases you, using any images you desire.
4. If you are human what would you take for diving gear to go underwater? If you are an elf or other creature of the magical realm, what would you need? What would you pack your supplies in? Would you make everything yourself, or buy some of your supplies? What kind of food would you take along? Remember, on an imaginary trip you can take all your food covered in chocolate syrup, if you choose to.
Look for divers sites on the internet or for books or magazines at the Library and find out what divers need and use. Then use your imagination!
This ends the first part of our tale, preparing for the Underwater Aquarium Expedition. Please e-mail Phee and tell us how you are enjoying it so far. Also, we would love to see you artwork and stories!
Sir Max Coloring Projects
For Sir Max's first coloring projects using
Elf Costumes, simply click the drawing below.
Hot Air Balloons