Tickling Butterflies is an epic fantasy, containing 128 fairy tales that together create one huge story.
Here’s the story so far. The story continues:
The Teddy Bear and the Invisible Dragon
(Containing the turbulent tale of Al the Average’s battle with an invisible dragon.)
The following is the second story of the second trip of Al the Average to the planet Earth, the realistic world of those who read and imagine but do not believe in magic.
As you no doubt recall from my story which I had told but two seconds ago, John the Cute, I had traveled to the strange and mysterious land the name of which I do not know. There, I met my old friend Gladys and her seven-year-old child, Charley, who was now eight years old. When Gladys claimed that magic did not exist in her world, I vowed a deep and great vow that I would not stop and I would not rest until I proved to Gladys and to myself that her world does have magic.
I did not tell Gladys my vow, but I did accept her invitation to their apartment for dinner.
While Gladys prepared dinner, she said I could play with Charley, which I gladly did.
Charley ran to his room and brought back a small furry bear made of cloth that he called Teddy Bear. Teddy Bear looked at me with button eyes.
“Hello, Teddy Bear,” I said.
Teddy Bear said nothing.
I tried again, “Hello, Teddy Bear. My name is Al the Average.”
Again, Teddy Bear did not want to speak to me. “Is something wrong with him?” I asked.
“He’s shy,” said Charley. Then he put Teddy Bear next to his ear. “What’s that, Teddy Bear? What did you say?”
“What? What did he say?” I wanted to know.
“Teddy wants to know if you want to play Castle?”
“I don’t know the game,” I said, “but it sounds interesting. Is Teddy going to talk to me when we play?”
Charley put Teddy to his ear, and listened. Then he said, “Teddy only wants to talk to me.”
I felt bad at this, but Charley was such a nice kid that I agreed to play.
Charley put together a circle of pillows in the living room, and said, “This is our castle. Outside of it are all the dragons.”
“Where? Where? I can’t see them!” I was afraid suddenly. I knew some dragons could be very dangerous.
“Over there! Flying! Be careful!”
Charley gave me a sword. “You have to fight them and kill them,” he said.
“But I can’t see them! They’re invisible!” I looked around, trying to catch a glimpse.
“It’s okay. Teddy can see them. He’ll tell you where to go.”
I bravely stepped over the pillows, sword in hand. Teddy whispered instructions in Charley’s ears, and Charley told me where to go and when to use my sword.
I killed dragons until Gladys said that dinner was ready.
I was happy that I killed five invisible dragons! I was a hero and I didn’t even know it!
I looked around, exhausted. Charley was looking at me with shining eyes. Gladys was leaning on the wall, looking at Charley with shining eyes of her own.
“Now do you see, Gladys?” I said, panting. “I killed five invisible dragons before dinner! There is magic in the world!”
She looked at her son’s shiny eyes with her own shining eyes, and smiled. “Yes, Al. I see that you were right. There is lots of magic in the world. Thank you for showing that to me.”
I was glad that I had completed my vow so quickly and so effectively. This, on top of slaying five dragons, was a good night, and dinner was a good dinner.
Dinner was so good that I think I fell asleep in that chair, because I remember eating, and then I remember dreaming of home, then I remember opening my eyes, and finding myself in my bed again, back in my parents’ house in Bambooville.
There was no indication that anything had actually happened. No one had noticed that I had been missing for two days – in fact, only one hour had passed. I began to think that my memory did not take place and that it was some kind of fantasy, but then I found in my room a glider. It was one of the sporting accessories which I had seen in one of the many stores I had visited. It is a tool of that world that allows people to give themselves to the wind and fly.
And that is how I knew that my trip was real, and that my vow had been completed, and that I proved there is magic in the strange land with no name.
There was, however, one more vow to be taken, and one more trip to go. That trip, too, happened years later. Should I continue speaking, John the Cute?
“Continue, Al the Average. Your stories are fascinating.”
(To be continued on Tuesday…)
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