the Ogre, the harp and the eagle
There were hundreds of rose bushes, some red, some white, in the Ogre’s garden. And scattered here and there were little pots of white paint left there by the Playing Card Painters. The last time they were here, they remembered how the painters had been painting the red roses white, as Olaf the Ogre hated the colour red.
Larry and Harry ran quickly between the rose bushes to get to the front door without being seen. Looking down at their onesies they realized that now they were also splattered with white paint, fresh from the rose garden. They both shrugged and walked up to the huge wooden door, carved with elvish runes and fairies frolicking among the flowers. At the left hand side and at about their height was the cat flap. This is where the Ogre’s Cheshire Cat would come and go. The Fantasy Forest cat was nowhere to be seen, luckily. They managed to squeeze themselves through, landing in the Ogre’s hallway. Everything was quiet! Looking up they could see huge wooden furniture scattered about and they could smell something rotten! They felt so small and everything else so big.
They tiptoed over to the large table in the middle of the hallway and hid beneath it with their backs to the square wooden legs. Their hearts were pounding and their eyes wide as they listened for the sounds of the Ogre, as he approached them.
“Fee, fi, fo, fum! Fee, fi, fo, fum!” Sang the Ogre as he stomped into the hallway, his long arms swaying beside his slimy green body. “Fee, fi, fo, fum”, he sang again as he sat down with a thump onto the chair beside the table. His droopy tummy was lolling about like several slithery puddings, one on top of the other. The two girls could feel the vibrations of his movements and smell his terrible breath. From their hiding spot beneath the table they could just see his gnarled, fat, three toed feet – and the swampy stench from them was even worse than his breath. “Gross”, whispered Harry holding her nostrils shut with finger and thumb.
Larry gestured wildly for Harry to be quiet and put one finger to her lips, shaking her head from side to side. She peeked out to see what was happening and heard another thump as the Ogre pounded something onto the table with a loud TWANG. Larry jumped back in fright.
“Play”, bellowed the Ogre, and then they heard the sweet song of the magic harp, like the tinkling of hundreds of tiny bells. The air was filled with her soulful music and the Ogre promptly fell asleep and began to snore!
Larry and Harry crept out from under the table and looked up at the ugly creature, his one eye shut, and his mouth open with long tendrils of saliva dripping down his double chins. Signaling to each other, the girls climbed to the top of the table and crept over to the harp, still playing sweetly.
“Can you help us please Harp? We need to find someone to fix our costumes! We need to get back home soon, can you help?” Said Harry and Larry together.
The Harp’s song changed temp and as she did so, the notes of the melody sprang out of the strings on little black spindly legs, gathering into an army of crotchets and quavers on the table before them. The music picked up the pace and the notes formed into groups, spelling out words that the girls could read.
C-A-L-L S-K-Y-B-A-S-T-I-A-N T-H-R-E-E T-I-M-E-S
The two girls looked at each other and smiled, calling out the name Skybastian in unison, once, twice, three times. They both knew of the powers of this great eagle – he was their totem. With a whoosh of wings, the great sea eagle, Skybastian flew in from the open window above them, and landed expertly on the table top.
The Harp’s music changed again and the notes reformed into
F-I-N-D F-I-N-K-L-E-B-L-O-O-M S-E-A O-F T-R-A-N-Q-U-I-L-I- T-Y
The music got louder and faster!
Olaf the Ogre started to stir, raising his long green arms out in a stretch. His one eye blinked open and he sniffed the air. “I smell the blood of human child”, he growled. “You won’t escape” he bellowed as he picked up his enormous nail studded club. He began pounding the table and growling again as the nails got stuck in the wooden surface. Luckily for the girls, the harp and the eagle, the Ogre’s eyesight was not good.
Larry and Harry dashed over to the eagle and they climbed aboard onto his back, just as another thump shook the table. The club came down with a THWACK and stuck firmly this time. The harp was now playing a frantic song in a panic and everything began to shift and swirl as Skybastian took off in flight. The long scabby arms of the Ogre were reaching out to grab the bird as he felt the rush of wind from his wings. He swatted at the eagle as if it was a fly. Pandemonium again! The eagle shrieked as he felt the Ogre’s hands clawing at his feathered tail.
With one mighty surge, Skybastian flew out of reach, dropping a few of his tail feathers onto the Ogre’s head, along with a dollop of Eagle poop, straight into the Ogre’s one eye, SPLAT!
The Ogre was momentarily blinded.
The two girls hung on tightly as Skybastian flew them safely out of the castle window. He soared gracefully above the rose garden, down the grassy path, through the gateway and straight through the giant mirror sticking up out of the glassy landscape. He did an elegant two point landing on the wooden platform at the top of the bean stalk and looked back at the girls on his back with his beady eyes. Cocking his head to one side as if to say ‘where to next?’ “We must collect Barry! Please fly us down to the bottom of the bean stalk first”, said Harry, pointing down.
It took a moment for the eagle to understand and then they were off again. Skybastian swooped down the outside of the bean stalk, his wings within centimeters of the branches and leaves. It was a very grand swoop and in no time at all they had reached the ground.
“WAARRGGHHH”, yelled Barry as she saw the huge bird descending from the sky. She had only just woken up that very moment.
“It’s okay Barry. It’s us!” said Larry, looking down from the feathered neck of the great eagle. ‘We’ve escaped from the clutches of the Ogre and now we are going on another adventure”.
“Where are we going now?” asked Barry.
“We’re off to find FINKLEBLOOM”. Said Harry.
“At the Sea of Tranquility” said Larry.