The Land of Giggles
Happy Steve and Gramma’ Pam stepped away from the river’s edge and headed their brave travelers towards the village of Giggletown. Oddly, Giggletown did not seem very giggly. No, not giggly at all.
You see, Giggletown is usually a happy place, nearly always and at all times. Mostly, wherever you look or wherever you go, Giggletown is full of joyful and cheery Fuzzles. That is, Fuzzles and Barnels, Unicorns and Glimmerings which are usually laughing and playing, singing or making merry while working, whistling or happily swaying to any tune. But today, oddly and in every kind of way, no one seems happy. Not one Fuzzle in the bunch. Hair was even floating in the air, everywhere!
Cautiously, Happy Steve turned to his group, “Welcome to Giggletown my young friends. I don’t know what’s wrong, but something does not look right here, today.”
“What could be so wrong, Happy Steve?” Mistress Emerie asked.
Happy Steve looked around, shrugged his shoulders, lifted his hands and said, “Boop!”
Mistress Eleanor looked at Gramma’ Pam.
“I don’t know either, honey,” Gramma’ Pam said with concern in her voice.
A few moments later Happy Steve noticed a couple familiar faces heading their way. In the traditional Fuzzle greeting, Happy Steve crossed his wrists over his heart, bowed slightly crying out, “Fair thee well, my Fuzzlily friends! Fair thee well!”
“Yes, fair thee well, Happy Steve! Fair thee well, Gramma’ Pam!” Buddy replied.
Bree ran up to Gramma’ Pam, sliding her arms about her waist even as Buddy sprinted by and slid to a halt beside his old adventurer friend.
Buddy threw his arms about Happy Steve’s waist and cried loudly, “It is so good to see you, Happy Steve.”
Now, Buddy straightened himself, adjusted his clothes and cheerfully sang out, “And a fine furry hello to each of you!” Buddy then turned to Happy Steve, “Who are these brave looking adventurers, my friend?”
Tears filled Bree’s eyes, “Yes, please introduce us Gramma’ Pam.” Bree hugged Gramma’ Pam again, “Oh, I’ve missed you both – soooo much.”
Happy Steve added, “It’s been too long since last we saw you. We’ve also missed you guys so very much.”
“Well, these two lovely young ladies are Mistress Emerie and her little sister Mistress Eleanor.” Gramma’ Pam said, hugging and proudly introducing them both.
Master Cody gave a slight bow, “I am Master Cody and this is my cousin, Master Everett.” Cody ruffled his younger cousin’s orangish hair.
Master Everett slapped Master Cody’s hand away crossly. “I’m too big for that, Cody.”
“Guys, this is Buddy Fuzzleworth and Bree Fuzzlejoy. Longtime friends of Gramma’ Pam and myself.” Happy Steve glanced at Buddy once he’d finished his introductions.
Buddy tucked his chin just a little and looked at his big furry feet, concern obvious. After a moment, Buddy looked up and into Happy Steve’s questioning eyes. “We need some help, Happy Steve. In fact, we need all the help we can get! Bunny, Callyope and several of our Fuzzle friends went missing early this morning! The entire Fuzzleworth Clan is out searching the countryside at this very moment.”
Bree cut in, “And Pappa Fuzzleworth told us there were several sightings of Frazzles crossing the Happy River just this morning!” Bree pointed down-river, “There, near the bridge on the edge of Giggletown.”
For the first time, the young adventurers noticed the little Fuzzle standing behind Buddy. Buddy’s little brother, Nibbles. Nibbles raised his little voice to a mighty squeak, “Like Buddy said, Appy Teve, just dis mornin’, and they were playin’ – right near dat bridge.”
Happy Steve asked, “Do you think the Frazzles took them?”
Bree quickly answered, “Yes, we think it was the Frazzles.”
“And who is Callyope?” Gramma’ Pam asked.
Buddy chimed in, “Callyope is Bunny’s Unicorn. And it is not just Callyope who is missing, but several other Unicorns and Fuzzles too.”
Happy Steve put his hand on Buddy’s shoulder, “What can we do to help, Buddy?”
“Right now, there’s no time to explain.” Buddy’s voice took on a flustered tone, “If you and your friends are willing to join us, and I’m sorry but you’ll have to decide now, we’ll be leaving as soon as the boats are fully loaded.”
“I get it,” Happy Steve said, “…before it gets too late to sail. Right?”
Pointing towards the Happy River, Bree cried out, “They’re getting ready to set-sail, Buddy! We’ve got to get going!” Bree looked over at Gramma’ Pam, “You should know, we won’t be returning to Giggletown until we’ve found our friends!”
Buddy looked over his shoulder at the docks. Several boats were already untied from their moorings as they made ready to leave. Each craft was packed with Fuzzles and several days’ worth of supplies. Buddy knew it was time to go!
Only a moment passed before Buddy and Bree headed off towards the docks, signaling the others to join them. Bree was still chattering, issuing a warning to Gramma’ Pam, Happy Steve and their young friends, “By the way, this journey is going to be dangerous.”
Buddy added, “As I said, I can’t explain right now, but I’ll make everything clear once we’ve set-sail. That is, to those who are brave enough to join our merry little rescue party. We are going to find our friends and we will rescue them; no matter what!” Buddy picked up speed, “We got to go! Everyone is waiting!”
Though one and all were heading briskly towards the docks, Happy Steve needed to make sure everyone was willing to go. Without saying a word, he locked eyes with each of the young adventurers; in return, one and all nodded their willingness to accept the challenge. Happy Steve, Gramma’ Pam and each of their young friends were joining Buddy’s quest to rescue their missing friends!
Happy Steve turned to Buddy, “Everyone has agreed. Let’s go!”
Immediately, the entire group began climbing aboard the closest skiff.
As Nibbles began climbing into one of the boats, Buddy turned and spoke gently with his little brother, “Hey li’l guy, I’m sorry, but you can’t go. You are too young and still a little too little. But I do know a way you can be a big help.”
Nibbles’ eyes began to fill with tears, “But Buddy? I loves Bunny and Callyope too. I wanna hep.”
Buddy smiled warmly at his brother’s courage, “Maybe when you’re a little bit bigger, Nibs.”
Ever so slightly, Nibbles wagged his head from side to side, “But I wanna go too, Buddy.” Nibbles’ lower lip began to quiver. He tried to hold back his tears.
“I know Nibs. But what I need from you, is to look after Mama and Papa while we’re gone? They are already worried over Bunny and Callyope and our other friends. They will be even more worried for Bree and me, knowing where we are going. It’s a big job, Nibs. Can count on you? Will you be my big Fuzzleworth family team player? Huh, Nibbles? Will you?”
Nibbles kicked the side of the small wooden boat. “Ah, okay, Buddy. But you know I’m not a-scared of those nasty ol’ Frazzles. You know that, right?”
“I know Nibs. How ‘bout we take a fishing-trip when I get back. Whatta ya think about that, my brave li’l Fuzzle?” Buddy’s smile was warm and knowing, feeling his little brother’s sadness and great disappointment. He watched as Nibbles’ shoulders dropped in acceptance, his little chin lowering to his furry little chest.
Nibbles put on his bravest Fuzzlily face as he started marching towards home, “I’ll go check on Mama and Papa Fuzzleworth, Buddy. Bye Bree. Bye Appy Teve, Gamma’ Pam and friendly giants. Bye Buddy!”
Buddy watched his little brother trot down the wharf, tears streaming down his furry little cheeks.
As the last boat sailed away from the docks, up the Happy River, one of the brave adventurers, Master Everett, tugged on Buddy’s shirt-sleeve and asked, “Buddy, what’s a Frazzle?”
(Watch for the continuing Saga)