There was once hitherto a golden age when first the great chronometer was wound, now long since passed and faraway, as far as the heavens resideth above the earth’s shimmering, bright circle all a blue…where there is and was (a forever realm)… Oh mighty Avalon was to be christened thee, and who should dwelleth there was none other than a wee, orphan, sprout named Abbot, who lived in a small cobb bordering just upon a ripened, greensward field of a goodly plain…flowing vastly rich of seed and grass of every kind, and was raised he by Angus the troll, who was a kindly old soul who wouldn’t even draweth nigh his hand unto a fly as to bring harm to it, nor a bent reed shouldest he not break in the least.
Yea, Angus adored little Abbot with all of his soul, even though he was a child of man. Oh, so very often the villagers madeth cruel sport of Abbot…for reason of Angus, which he comprehended not nor had he the slightest twig, for Abbot did not judge people by their garment or appearance. Instead his judgements were true, for he judged people by their hearts as Angus taught him to.
Now most contented was Abbot spending his time in the forest with his two, teensy, little Tiddlywink friends Kazmar and Squeakpeep , he especially enjoyed to watch the Horses of Avalon from afar, and would he not scrutinize their wanderings ceaseless hours untold, and never weary he, for such was his fondness towards them…for now such was his love. And as he would often considered them he would hear these his father’s most wise words,” There will be peace and light in the land so long as no razor ever touches their manes.” – told he many times to little Abbot. There was also another who knew of the horses great prowess and his name was Mortimer, and was not his wicked trade dark sorcery in which he was chief practitioner.
And now very much desirous was he to possess their silken manes and twine them together with the golden thread of a perfect child, in order to make he a sovereign robe with matchless power to rule over the land. And was not he too in league with Hemlock, the ruler of the imps, and with his allegiance they would give sinew to this his most sinful plot. Now there could be found no other as faithful as Kazmar and Squeakpeep, as they served their king well…with an unwavering eye and swiftness of foot from all the vast stores of their loyal hearts. Yes, it is true they had a leg in this world and the other in Avalon’s wondrous realm, and to a keen…nay, to a cunning eye they would only appear as wisps of vapor…tiny blurs forever lost in a peripheral world just beyond the edge of one’s sight, and just as quickly they would evaporate into the evening’s, nocturnal shade, and thus were reasoned they more dreams then earthly substance.
There lies above and below unseen realms, layered upon layer woven by the cosmic thread of time, as they danced and played with the shadows of this world without a soul ever being made the wiser. Now it came forth a day in the fair kingdom of Avalon when the Tiddlywinks’ plumly, sized King Fuzzywhazzles proclaimed he in a great proclamation, that he was giving a dream of dreams, that required him to dawn a new golden vesture spun from the eyelashes of the earth’s most beautiful child. So decreed he aloud and pronounced, “Go forth throughout all the earthly dominions and seek ye the golden child!” Now with all candor it was as common as blossoms a-bloom that there was found no better than Kazmar and Squeakpeep in such kingly matters fickle and royal.
Indeed, a fact which could be proclaimed from every rooftop, as all the auditors would return their reply and swear, “None other are the King’s worthiest in acquiring the very finest of thread!” Then the King spoke of their craft and said he,” Spun from the earth…the cradles loom, Oh blessed be the babes of man which dwelleth upon the earth,” and as he placed his hands upon them forming a little triune he charged, “Recite the pledge and swear the oath that all should bear witness and bind thee to.” And from their proud hearts overflowing they rendered the verse and spoke the ancient poem and said, “Strike the circle upon the oak…when betwixt two worlds, when they touch shall we crosseth its silvery ring to lands afar…worlds apart. As the sun strides in boundless sky of cloud and yonder blue…with breaths of flame and manes of white…doth glory rides upon golden hooves of light…over the cerulean and waxen fields and emerald seas of rolling plains, in their mystic play the horses frolic in triumph against the eternal night with steady hearts aflame…born of light they adorn the sun with their glorious might.” Then nextly they sealed it with a vow and swore, “If we fail you Oh, King as surly as we strike the oak then strike us from your heart.” Then Kazmar smote and scribed his finger across the oak, and thus a door swung betwixt the two worlds, and they stepped through as so many countless times before, and now with Avalon’s brightness behind them, they descended once more into the earth’s deeply well of night. Alas, with the entrance unto their world closed, they yet again traveled mysterious, hidden paths that spade nor shovel could ever find nor ax could hew. Yea, for a king’s purpose they now had a call to make upon their friend of old, and should no sooner Sandy the Sandman hear their familiar rap-tap-tap upon his crooked gate, and so it was they bided with him in the surrounding warmth of his inglenook, with the most joyous of merriments and the rendering of pixie songs from within the deep hollow of his olden birch.
Then said Sandy, “These wings are not as spry as they used to be,”-- complained he after placing a tired and weary world to slumber, under the enchantment of his fairy magic.
“They look strong enough,” cheekily replied Kazmar, “it’s always the legs which go first.” “Oh,” replied Sandy, “if you only had wings…you would know my sorrow.” – and then as they bantered back and forth, they yet again burst into great laughter, and then after a spell of wild musings of adventures most fantastical, and especially now after their spiced punch had failed them, as they thus raised their tankers for the last and drained their few, remaining, precious drops.
When therefore Kazmar revealed unto Sandy and made his request, “It is a golden child that we seek, the loveliest of wee blossoms in the garden of man’s babes. Oh, pray do tell that thine eyes have spied one such as these?”
Then answered Sandy, "Mine eyes have beheld the glory of the babe you seek, come follow me and I will show where even now doth beauty sleeps.” Then faster than a sprite is drawn to mischief, with but a stomp of Sandy’s foot they appeared within the kipping child, Elspeth’s bedchamber, which hailed she from the northerly Isle of the Gaels,” A fair choice, indeed…an angel’s kissing spring, "Remarked Kazmar “ A most beautiful lass!” -- and Squeakpeep agreed, “ None fairer in all the seven realms,” he replied. And no sooner did Kazmar un-pouched a pinch of the glittery dust from the inwards of his whimsical bag, and then Oh, ever so carefully he sprinkled it upon the child’s golden tassels, and thus they flourished as thickly full as a weaver’s loom spilling over even unto the floor.
The Squeakpeep dreweth he forth from his dainty cummerbund a pair of the most bedazzling shears, as even now the very air hummed around them in its excitement. For they too was as Author’s Excalibur hammered upon Wiemus the elder’s forge. For he as all woodland elves were tinkers in the art of that most infrangible metal…of Avalonian Amalgam. Then nextly as they serenaded her with a Tiddlywink’s lullaby Squeakpeep said with a smile as sweet as honey,” Snippity ...snippity…whiskery cheeks…the king will be very pleased with me.” -- and this, of course, was more aimed as a friendly barb to prick Kazmar, for in his morning hast he had completely forgotten to shave himself, and as Tiddlywinks would often say, "The thought had slipped and stumbled and never again sprang.” -- as now Kazmar’s little face was all a bristle with the very finest of flowery fuzz, and did he not look cross at Squeakpeep for making such a spectacle, as he now flushed bright as a strawberry…if not the rosier for such was his temper at times. However, Sandy’s temperament was world renowned, for once under the behest of pilfering Jack the burglar, Rip Van Winkle stole his muchly prized and bejeweled bowling pin, and thus when Sandy had caught up with him, he caused him to molder within his slumber for more than a hundred years or more, before again the sleep fell from his misty eyes, and thus once more stirred they with wake.
Then with the dexterity of fingers so nimble and the steadiest of hands didst Squeakpeep reap their barber’s harvest, as now Kazmar Oh, so carefully spooled the golden twine by the yard, carefully working it into Squeakpeep’s haversack, until surely it seemed that it should burst from its seams, but, alas, its magic thread would not yield.
Indeed, it was a sack which could never be filled; it could gobble a whole world and still find room for one more, for such was its hungriness it seemed.
But then most frightfully what a yonder eye could never see was there the blackest of secrets buried in the darkest of hearts. Now how could they have ever known that their every move was being methodically observed from afar, by steely eyes as burning through their dark prison where nightmares dwell they, waiting ever so patiently as a trap to spring upon their innocence.
For it was he, Mortimer the sorcerer, the shadow king and bringer of bad dreams. That dread lord of Nod whose eyes now weighed heavily upon them, as he gazed into the mirrored reflection of Palentine’s tear.
A seamless, crimson claret fallen from the eye of the fire serpent now marooned in Mortimer’s dark realm by a cosmic storm… was he not blown astray from his heavenly course, and hence held he as prisoner for his mystic sight into Avalon and the lower rondures of lesser man.
Now with crystal’s perfect clarity it was clear that Mortimer had set alight avarice’s consuming flame deeply within King Fuzzywhazzles’ tiny heart. And did not he blow upon its embers and it blazed forth to set them now all upon Mortimer’s dream quest. A quest which would soon break his captivity and flesh his shadow in skin, so he could walk forth into the realms of light.
All but required he now was the child’s golden twine, unbroken it must be and sown throughout the hem of the mystic horses manes, which, of course, required a Tiddlywink’s finesse, or the magic would be spoiled and the thread lost. Then hearing something sinister jostling in the corner the three were unnerved, as now Squeakpeep quickly buttoned his haversack, and then out the window they sprang with Hemlock just behind them running on all fours as some ravenous beast.
Then descended he with grimmest brow all armored and protruding with gristle bone, in a putrid cloud of stinking rot fastly upon poor Squeakpeep, now seizing him by the scruff of his neck, and thus divesting him most cruelly of his muchly treasured haversack. Now then Hemlock snarled and said as to gratify his dark indulgence, “Revolting creature reeks of honeysuckles and puppy dog’s breath!” and then he meant to pluck his tender limbs as the newly pedals of a young flower…one by one and enjoying all the more if he only squirmed.
But then thanks be to the angels which abided around him, didst he Squeakpeep, as he dangled there amidst the heavens and the earth with his shears still firmly held in his hand, shouldest he then with but a quick snip, as quick as a thoughtless whim he freed Hemlock of his most rancid pinkie, instead.
Now dispossessed of his digit it was as if Hemlock held the wrong end of a firebrand, and thus flungeth he little Squeakpeep and smote him hard against the twisted knot of a sturdy oak. Then Hemlock glared he a cold, impenitent stare upon Squeakpeep’s still silhouette amongst the fallen leaves, as he thenceforth raised his heel towards him, without a dram of remorse as to grind him unto the very dust from which he arose, but then heard he his master’s call as a dog being summoned, his words rang bold as brass within Hemlock’s pointed ears, as Mortimer then warned,” A thousand desolations shall be yours…mine hand is set against thee if you heedeth not my cry. Return…return now I commandeth thee and your life shall be your own reward.”
Then withdrawing his leathered foot Hemlock obeyed, and thus as the lank shadows of noon he shrank away and disappeared were as even an eye could not see.
Then nextly stricken with much worry Kazmar and Sandy hastened to the aid of their breathless friend, with still his eyes lifelessly transfixed heavenward lost in the sullen, night sky, as then most mournfully they began to tenderly pat him…beckoning him to say something silly as they prayed his heart would again be warmed with life, and even though, despite their pleadings his breathe shouldest not return, and thus pined he Kazmar now most achingly as he lamented and said,” Oh, as I liveth, please say your spirit hasn’t departed from thee. You’re ever much more than a brother, for we’ve faced all things together as friends can only do. What is a needle without its thread, we go together as sweet biscuits and plum pudding…you can’t have one without the other. What am I to do without my dearest Squeakpeep?” -- and as Sandy and Kazmar leaned upon each other in their grief, they then beheld what was to be a twinkle in Squeakpeep’s eye, and so he wiggled his nose and then blinked he a great blink, and thus spoke he to the relief of all and said,” It’ll take more than an ole oak to crack this hickory nut,”-- as he pointed to the top his head. Now with more harm done to his pride than body and so happy they were, that is, of course, until a certain thought reoccurred, and thus said Kazmar in his anguish, “Oh calamity, our vow to the king has been broken! We’re undone…nothing now but sorrow and woe!”
Now sadly there was nothing in which they could do for their magic could only be used once…one child, one pinch, alas, it could not be done a second. And then so sadly with pierced hearts, as ran they though betwixt their lungs with a fiery lance, they now most unhappily had to bid their friend Sandy farewell, and thus they most sadly parted with an embrace, for, of course, Tiddlywinks knew not of handshakes, for this is how they greeted each other and said goodbye since times earliest beginnings. And then with muchly reluctance was there not to be a quiver in Kazmar’s hand as he struck the oak and dreweth his finger across it, and, alas, when the circle was made complete their eyes again beheld the beautiful mists of Avalon, and so said he Kazmar to Squeakpeep,” Children of woe are we without a king.”
Perhaps,” replied Squeakpeep,” there is a curative to what ails us?” “Yes,” thought Kazmar aloud, "let’s seek out Angus’, Abbot’s father, his counsel has never led us astray.”-- and so they hurried with all their feverish might to their little cobb, and thus found they Abbot minding the plow whilst Angus was tending the mattock, and before they could catch their breath was then heard the thunder of war echoing across the boundless, emerald plain where now a great column of smoke was buttressing the sky…proceeded as a braising pot of lighting and cloud beneath its bright anvil. “It is the knights of Avalon,” declared Angus, “pledged to protect the horses with their very lives. Something is amiss, we must pony the dray at once and behold this sight!”
And as they made their way with Kazmar and Squeakpeep, the fierce battle cries ever so slackened and slowly waned, and grew they evermore silent, until, alas, its dreadful drumming ceased and was henceforth heard no more, and then as they crested the finale hill of blackened, scorched earth still a-swirl with embers alight, and would not then their hearts soon falter uponest that very spot in which they reared, for such was the horribly scene which laid down below, for most sadly, nay, not a single knight was left standing, nor their king, nor his brave sons which proudly rode out before them, now strewn and mingled they all were with the imps they slain, which will now and forevermore remaineth in their quiet repose…and what just lay beyond was all the horses of Avalon stripped of their most precious manes.
“There’s an ill omen brooding in the sky,” mourned Angus, "Behold, the end of resurrections…the sun shan’t be reborn. Abbot my child, I never thought there should come such a time as this…the age of darkness has befallen us…the sun sets for the last, we shall not fell its warmth again.”
For all well knew the horses were the very source of the sun’s power, but then through Abbots many fervent tears he seen, that, in fact, a lone stallion remained, wildly striding he back and forth upon a far hill through the whirling smoke and flaming cinders adrift, and just above circled Abner the fallen king’s painted falcon.
When Angus stretched forth his arm and entreated Abner, and so he alighted and perched upon his wrist, and therefore Angus beseeched little Kazmar and Squeakpeep and said, "Go forth and warn Wiemus and all his woodland elves. Pronounce the summons… have them ready themselves for battle…the imps mustn’t proceed no further than this hill.”
And thus Angus placed them astride Abner, and then he ever so hastily sent them off and prayed,” Be thee as lightening across the sky!”
And as they had taking their winged flight, they were no sooner aloft when they beheld Bumpus, Wiemus’ captain seated upon Whoonang, his spangled marten leading a large contingent, all now bristling for a fray they were and moving swiftly towards The Great, Emerald Plain. Yea, alas, for the great and terrible word of the defeat of the knights of Avalon had already spread even unto their doorway, and then as they had not an instant most fleeting to spare Kazmar and Squeakpeep motioned down to them to follow as cried they aloud and said,“ Only one horse remains! Hasten thee…are all will be forever lost!”
Now then when Hemlock returned with his prize Mortimer flew into a rage seeing that his tally was short and said he, "You err you blunderer I must have all the manes or its power is useless to me just as you are!”
Then Hemlock hissed and cunningly replied,” Oh, please forgive me my impatient master for I’m but a mere mortal and prone to failure, if you grant me more power perhaps I can serve thee better?” -- and thus Mortimer detecting his greed responded,” Depart thee hither, Urchin , go back, go back I say and bringeth me the last horse!” -- and then as he looked into Palentine’s tear he exclaimed,” Time, time, Oh precious time I see a plot forming against me!” – as he beheld Wiemus and his brave elves approaching The Great, Emerald Plain to save the last horse of Avalon from his merciless blade.
Then with a furious clap from his furrowed hands Mortimer declared,” Trifling bugbears,” -- and then commanded he and ordered Hemlock,” Gather the legions and prepare the nimbus ( which was the very doorway of their murky world even unto all the seven realms ).
Then Mortimer cloaked himself with the unfinished robe of the horses mantle, as to shroud himself from Avalon’s sun and avowed he,” I will lead forever-nights final assault…unplug your pointed ears and render unto me your dagger, for I sense a mane needed to be cut.”
“Your wish is my command, Oh, Great One.” replied Hemlock with an insipid grin, and thus as they began to disembark, Wiemus’ elves had already arrived, and now wedged betwixt the two armies was the last horse of Avalon, with the little Tiddlywinks still soaring high above upon Abner, and thus said he Squeakpeep,” Strings and springs, Kazmar, those imps look mean!”
And feeling he a great blameworthiness Kazmar sullenly replied,” For certainly as something as slight as we, we have surely been a burdensome millstone full of worry and strife.”
And as Squeakpeep nodded his head in agreement and said he, “Sometimes big things or found in the tiniest of bundles…we certainly can pack a wallop can’t we?” And as they were wielding about their wild circuit far above, Mortimer then affronted them all with an insult as he observed, "What is this, a paltry, few rodents, a buzzard, and a sprog? -- referring to little Abbot, of course. And then continued he and further said as if one abuse wasn’t enough,” Oh please, don’t sic your mice on me,” and then a glowering Mortimer bellowed he with a shout,” Destroy the vermin!” -- and the imps attacked.
And so the retched scene played samely as before with the imps commanded the field, for they knew not the tenderness of gentle mercy, for solely born they were for butchery and in this they had no equal…they were beyond ruthless. However, the imps had never afore encountered foes as formidable as the elves, nor their fearless martens which were exceptionally vicious towards those in which they hadn’t acquired a special fondness for.
Indeed, they had a nose for cruel spirits in which they very much detested, and would not this make for the greater sport for them…indeed, they were most doughty in their bold daring. And for a short season they were able to stave off the imps vastly numbers, but, alas, they were as the grains of sand bounding the sea so many they were, and yet so few of them, and should not their fate be soon sealed as the Knights of Avalon which cameth before them.
When then Kazmar and Squeakpeep sensing their great peril, for as they had the broadly vista of a crow’s eye over the whole, horrid affair, and hence Kazmar commanded Abner and said he,” Wingeth downward just above their grasp!” – and thus he obeyed as they lowly swooped and began they to glitter the imps with their magic dust, and henceforth a great commotion arose amongst their ranks, as their eyes becameth as shrubbery all fastened shut, now rendered sightless by their lashes, and thus they began bludgeoning each other with their truncheons and iron cudgels, in this their now blinded confusion for such was their perplexity it was.
And then most frightfully Mortimer seeing his finale chance seized he upon the last horse, and roared as a young lion in his triumph and said,” Aw, the first slash runs the deepest…nothing there but marrow and bare bone I see. Verily, my dreams shall becometh your nightmares, as surely as I blot out that ruddy, infernal flame which laurels the darkness with its most abhorrent stain!” -- and with an evil smile he cut off the last mane, thrusting his dagger towards the heavens…striking at the very sun as he cursed for such was his embitterment.
When then suddenly amidst their rank furor a skilled arrow stealthily pierced Mortimer through the very crux of his fetid heart…his evil core…and then as he reeled and fell mortally wounded to the earth, as if dealt he the deadliest bolt by Jupiter, and thus his last words were, "Sic transit Gloria mundi ( Thus passes the glory of the world ) I had it in my grasp…it was all mine and now it’s gone. Oh, travesty…the death of dreams…the death of worlds.” And spoketh he no more, and thus the imps retreated back through the gateway of their nimbus never to returneth again for such was their thrashing.
Then to the utter surprise of all, it was Angus which dreweth his longbow against Mortimer, now dealing his death blow upon the dark lord, and, alas, was giving Abbot no regard as he thenceforth ran and slumped he down upon the last fallen horse, sobbing inconsolably, as even now the sky began to darken, and thus a cold wind began to bloweth in the once fair kingdom of Avalon, and every last soul apart from the poor child had lifted their eyes towards the sky to glimpse the sun for one last time.
Yea, it grew darker…darker still, until, alas, no one could see a thing. And the only sound which could be heard accompanied by the mournful wind was Abbot weeping and saying, "I could not save thee, I failed you, I failed you all. Avalon is cast into darkness because of me. I wish things could be the way they were. "And thus after a lingering spell of still quietness should then everyone’s eyes detect the faintest of sparks, and henceforth a wavering gleam of golden light, hovering as a cloud above them. Now as it grew stronger and stronger still, until, alas, no one spoke a word as if they were holding their breath as the watched the flickering light. When than that which was unforeseen the cloud exploded into an aura of brilliant color, which ripped through the darkness, and therefore their forever-night was lifted. Then as the sun once more took its rightful place in the sky, and most happily yet again they beheld Palentine blazing his course athwart the heavenlys, for now free he was from Mortimer’s cruel bondage.
And still very much sadly unaware he was, as all the while poor Abbot continued weeping into the darkness of his closed hands…when should he not then perceive something nuzzling about the fringe of his fleecy hair, just beneath his woolen cap, and upon turning his brackish eyes towards that warm softness, his tears of sadness soon turned to tears of joy, for as now all the horses of Avalon were in encircled around him.
As all the fallen knights and their king and his sons were most proudly encompassing them about too, just as all the virtuous which fall that day had likewise joined them thus forming a great host, for now all was alive and well they were…not a single bruise was to be spied upon them. And in all fairness and truth being the greater part, what nobody could have ever possibly known was that Abbot’s tears fell upon the last stricken horse, and, therefore, his love healed it, for that was the source of their true power…loving the world as the very sun itself. Indeed, for there is no grander power than a selfless tear shed in love …nay, neither enchanted stone nor metal canst ever match, for it is beyond such lowly trifles, as far the sun is pitched above the earth. Now let it be known that the word of this great and wondrous victory soon spread throughout the whole of the kingdom, as Abbot became one of many heroes of Avalon that day, and henceforth no one ever scorned him again, and so it was that wherever he went the sun always shined on him. And too…less not to be forgotten was Kazmar and Squeakpeep once more restored to their wee, little king, for such was their faithfulness and courage, and Awww…finally, alas, all was at rest…for Avalon was yet safe again, under the brightness of its sun.