Updated: Feb 9
Field Notes from Diamonds Hadder: On the topic of Klipso and the Paper Cage.
When I arrived at Kilwaughter Castle I was young and always felt out of place… a stranger of sorts amongst the things and people I encountered. Zabble did his best over the years to make me feel normal and blend into the crowds but it was obvious that I didn’t view the world through the same eyes as everyone else, no pun intended. There was a lot of confusion and misunderstood pain in me… a longing and yearning to understand why I was who I was and where I came from. I seemed to find solace in the gardens of Kilwaughter… often crawling out of bed in the wee hours of the night with Ezra and sneaking out to the Klipso ponds on the northern side of the gardens. Many a night we sat there with the frogs and dragonflies under the stars and I seemed to enjoy that… it calmed me anyway. I’ve always had a connection with the animals around the castle and it’s obvious to me that I could pick up on something about them… almost sense their feelings and thoughts. I can’t explain it but it was always evident to me. It might sound strange, but I took a liking to a frog that made a strange humming sound, similar to the Warmoths hum. In time I began mimicking the sound and it seemed to calm my temper and give me a little taste of peace. I think he liked it too as we would go back and forth humming as though we were talking about a million different things about our day. For years this was a weekly routine with me and Ezra and my little garden friend.
One day while returning from town with Zabble I happen to notice a large flock of Emperor geese roaming the gardens in quite a frantic stir. Emperor geese are not really something you see on the grounds and I thought it rather odd… so I decided to investigate… upon reaching the Klipso ponds I felt a strange emptiness…. The Klipso Pads were tattered and sunken and everything was destroyed… still wet Emperor footprints were everywhere as though they had quite the feast… all frogs were missing and most likely eaten. In the background I could see and hear the emperors hissing and squaking defiantly on the garden grasses… with fat bellies. It seems silly now, but at the time, I had a rather touching connection to that frog. I cursed the geese of course and tried to convince Zabble that we have them for dinner… a thought that Zabble did not find very amusing. I cried a few nights but came to terms with it as a 6 year old must. For the first several weeks following the incident.. Me and Ezra returned to the Klipso ponds each night thinking maybe my little friend might be there humming to me but he never appeared again. This was the first real connection I had to the gardens and it was hard on me to think it gone. As a young child that connection and time represented so much more to me… it was a safe place where me and Ezra didn’t have to try to fit in and it was a relationship that although might seem insignificant to most, as a 6 years old, it was everything to me. And so I learned that things come and go and that the time you do have, well, you should cherish it when you can with who you can.
One day a few months later, on the 7th anniversary of me arriving at Kilwaughter, Zabble called me into his chambers and presented me with a gift. I thought it be just another silly scroll, as he seems to think I enjoy reading about spells as much as he does. I do not. He laid a paper down on the table and then backed away…. With a silly grin…. I was expecting perhaps there was more to the package but he just sat there grinning… he seemed rather pleased by himself and I think maybe he was looking for a pat on the back… We both sat there for minutes in silence till I finally said,….. “and?”
His grin suddenly lost its curl as he looked at the paper in wonder.…. And then quite suddenly there was a pencil drawing of water on the page… although the water was moving…. How strange and bizarre …. and lily pads drifted by as though drawn in real life but moving…. and Vern Dragon flies.... How astonishing I thought…. An animated paper world of its own…. A pond…
"How amazing Master Zabble! Thank you!" I said, "How on earth did you do that?"
“That’s not all Little Hadder, keep looking”.
No sooner than the words left his lips a tiny pair of eyes poked out from the pencil water line… penciled eyes from a frog… my frog or one that looked just like him of course…
“Dear Lord Master Zabble.. what have you done?"
As I finished my sentence the frog jumped from the paper and onto the desk… the pencil lines turned to color and flesh and bone… or at least the appearance of it… making a illusionary watery mess of the desk and Zabbles scrolls… which sent him into a frantic reflexive paper rescue mission. Ezra turned her head to the side as though she was confused but somehow working out what she was seeing… her ears perked up as well.. if she could speak, she would be saying “What the?” and then boom, the frog leapt over her snout back into the paper in a big pencil lined splash. She nearly fell on the floor trying to escape it’s launch only to quickly gather herself and start smelling the paper to investigate… with a few grumble grumbles and small moans and grunts as if to say “Do it again, do it again!!”.
“What is this I said?”
“Little Hadder, I made this for you… to remind you that although we lose things in life… the memory of them never dies and with a little magic and wonder you can always call upon that place that gave you joy and hope. It’s my gift to you now. A little familiar friend to hum with forever. Death is just a silly made up word Little Hadder, the memories we have are alive and well but simply in between time and space. I hope you remember that. Far less important things have decided the fate of the world Mr Hadder. I lost a few grey hairs with that spell… but I thought it would serve you well someday. It could and it just might save your life.”
Zabble had a strange smirk cross his lips as he said this, tapping his head, which usually implies something that only he understands.
“I don’t know what to say, what an amazing gift Zabble, Thank you, I suppose I’ll call him Klipso.”
I rolled up the paper and took it to my room and that night me and Ezra listened to it hum while we fell asleep… I drifted off to... “It might save your life…. It might save your life“ … that Zabble, always so dramatic.
PS. Off topic: If your still here… there might be a preliminary video on the front page for the Stargazer song… maybe.