Careful walking in the forest...
From The Dark Portal, Ch. 16: Pixie Mischief
Suddenly, Jake and Dani were under siege as the pixies rained down acorns on them like cannonballs and started shooting their bows at them with splinter-sized arrows.
"Ow! Ow!" Jake and Dani said.
"Release Whortleberry! Put him down, you oversized oafs!"
More pixies joined the fray. They swung down off the branch above by bits of twine and landed on their heads and shoulders, where they proceeded to beat them and pull their hair...
On the Wee Folk of the Forest
To find out what happens next, read The Dark Portal!
If you're reading THE DARK PORTAL, you may have come across a mention of "The Souling Song." If you haven't got to that part yet, you soon will! We thought you might like to hear what it sounds like. All story ghosts aside, E and I both find this song incredibly haunting. Below the audio is an old Victorian photo of some of the kinds of real, historical poor children who might have had to sing for a few pennies to buy something to eat. In this case, these were coalmine child workers.
To learn more about how life was for them, click the picture. It will take you to an article from the UK Daily Mail, by Annabel Venning, which discusses a recent scholarly book entitled Childhood And Child Labour In The British Industrial Revolution, by Professor Jane Humphries. Unfortunately, if you think that child labor - virtually child slavery - is the relic of a bygone age, brace yourself and click this grim infographic from the US Dept of Labor, which we came across in our research. It shows the prevalence of child labor in poor countries today. Chilling. (Once you open it, it will enlarge if you click on it.)
Wowee! Want to get a little taste of what it must be like for Jake to take a ride on Red up into the sky? Check this out! Somebody strapped a tiny camera on a real live eagle. Ok, it's not a gryphon, for real, but you've got the eagle head there! You just have to use your imagination. I can't believe how smoothly the eagle flies. Amazing!!! Enjoy ~ G. :)
Archie Bradford’s Field Notes
Latitude and Longitude: REDACTED (for security purposes)
I am forbidden from divulging the exact location of the great Scandinavian tree of legend, Yggdrasil, in whose vast branches the Nine Worlds are tucked away like so many bird nests, including the giants’ realm of Jugenheim (pronounced YOO-gan-hime, the J is silent). But I deem it safe to note that the tree stood on a mountaintop one day’s walk from the shores of Oslo Fjord. We had to cross an enchanted wood and deal with the frightening guardians the Tree, REDACTED. (No spoilers!)
Giants are surprisingly competitive, especially the warriors, who are especially fond of boasting. (Jake fit right in.) They, as well as the royal family, are and must be brave to the point of almost being foolhardy. It is the only way to win the full respect of the people.
Giants of all walks of life pride themselves on their toughness. They are generally a simple folk, hardworking and fascinated by stories and songs. They can be gullible, but they love jokes. They most enjoy crude humor; anything with a burp or a fart brings uproarious laughter from males and females alike.
Perhaps we are not so different from them after all.