I have been writing stories (taradiddles) about the Dogs on the farm and have amassed fifteen so far in a collection that I call the Dog Tales. I have put some on Facebook but I would like to present the entire collection here now, three at a time, in their correct order. The first is about our hero Spike's interesting life and his arrival on the farm. Next is Alley Cat's arrival and number three is about the group Howl that Spike orchestrates. I hope you enjoy them.
A Taradiddle – the Dog Tales # 1
Spike – A Dog arrives
Sugfissel is a true multi-dimensional being. The part of him that resides in our dimension is not very impressive next to the totality, being just Sugfissel's stomach and tail, so that he appears to us as a Dog. A Bulldog named Spike. Being the stomach of a much larger multi-dimensional creature, Spike has a voracious appetite and loves to wag his tail. Having strong yet slightly known ties to the long-lived Sugfissel, who wanted a better life, Spike also wanted a better life, and tried many different things toward this end. He began his career working as a pet and was employed by two consecutive families before spending years exploring on his own or running and hiding as he tended to think of it. After numerous trials and tribulations he came to realize that Dogs have very little freedom in the mythical world of commerce and technology, so he decided to try the magical world instead. He didn't know you needed to have some magical abilities to enter, or to even know about the magical realms but being ignorantly steadfast, he continued undeterred. He was able to do this because, unbeknownst to him, he did have a magical ability, which must remain unbeknownst to us as well. At least until Spike finds out about it. Then we'll see.
Not knowing the magical realms, Spike entered at a random spot and found himself beside a small creek. Following the creek downstream he passed through a rather frightening Witch's Glamoury Wall, so he knew he was entering a magical place. When he came to a Fæirie Ring he stopped, and lay down for a while in the shade, watching for whatever might happen.
Spike could tell it had not been long since Fæiries had danced here, there being lots of glitter and sparkle about. On the other side of the Fæirie Ring he could see some fairly fresh piles of jeewizium tucked in corners and under ledges the way it does. He wondered if there were any dimensional travelers around to use it. Seemed odd to let it just lay there, even though most people can't even see it or use it. Haven't seen any jeewizium in a long, long time, he mused, enjoying the flashes and colorful auras that surrounded jeewizium. They were playing nicely with the glitter and sparkle of the Fæirie Ring. Even though he knew of jeewizium and the dimensions he would not himself ever try traveling them. Way too risky, especially since he was certain he would eventually find happiness here in this dimension. He wondered if someone would come around to collect the jeewizium and decided to wait awhile.
After sitting for a time, he started to feel drowsy and stretched out. He was fast asleep when a curious Duck came waddling up and stopped to stare at him. After a few moments she stepped closer, tilting her head with curiosity. Finally, when she was about twenty centimeters from his face and closing in, he opened his eye. The Duck squawked and jumped back as he scrambled to his feet.
“Who're you?” they both screeched in unison.
After staring at each other for a few moments Spike decided, since he was the newcomer, to speak first, “Well, uh, my name's Spike.”
“Gosh, you scared me Spike. I'm Lorna, Lorna Loon. I come down this way to float in Probable Creek,” she announced, glancing over at the creek.
“Oh. Probable Creek is it? It’s beautiful,” he said. “You live here?”
“Yeah. I'm the soprano with Piffle, who you've no doubt heard of. Big deal in these parts, so I am quite a . . .”
Lorna gazed at him through narrowed eyes for a moment before murmuring, “Oh it’s just some singing group.” Then smiling, she asked, “So what brings you to these parts Spike?”
“I'm looking for a home,” he said, “but I'm not opposed to Piffle, whatever that is, I mean I'm sure your soprano is for singing but I never heard of it so I . . .”
“That's okay Spike,” Lorna interjected. “Looking for home, huh? Whatya do?”
“Do? I'm a Dog. I guard places and bark at strangers.” She continued looking at him expectantly. “And, uh, well, I can sit.” He promptly sat down. “Oh, and I can fetch. Throw a stick!” he prompted. Lorna stared at him with her head tilted. “Okay, no stick. I can roll over. Watch!” He lay down and rolled over, then sat up, watching Lorna eagerly.
“Gosh. None of that seems very magical Spike,” she said with a worried frown. “You gotta have magic to be here you know.”
“Magic?” he said with a surprised look.
“Uh-huh,” she nodded. “You better come with me Spike.” She started toward the perimeter trail.
“Watch out Lorna! You're about to step in some jeewizium,” Spike called out.
She stopped abruptly, “You can see jeewizium?”
“Sure. Right there in front of you. Don't you see it?”
“Uh, no. I can't see it. Thanks for pointing it out,” she answered, walking around the spot he'd pointed to.
“Hey, no problem. That stuff's dangerous and I know of others who can't see it, so I speak up. Or bark up in the mythical world.”
Stepping away she gave him a curious look, then continued toward the trail. She led him down the perimeter trail to the mid-meadow trail then up towards Glad Manor. It was a long walk and he had many questions.
“What is this place?”
“It's a farm.”
“A farm? What's it grow? Jeewizium?”
“Gosh no, that stuff falls from the sky. Lillow and Ishmael gather it and store it at the manor. This farm, called Gladstar Farm by the way, doesn't really grow anything but we do make cheese.”
“Yeah cheese. We make some from Holly's milk and some Holly brings back from the moon.”
“Who is Holly?”
“Holly Cow. We'll be going up past her place, maybe you can meet her.”
Spike could feel the magic in the air and could see the evanescent colors that only magical places have, and he realized he was smiling. When they reached the mid-meadow trail they turned and followed it north toward Glad Manor. Spike could see a large barn-like structure to the right.
Seeing his look, Lorna spoke, “Its Holly's Palatial Estate. We'll be going right past it. I hope Holly's home.” Spike raised his eyebrows and gave her a curious look. “Oh, it's our gathering place. There's tea and biscuits and we like to just hang out there, you know?” Spike knew about just hanging out and nodded his approval.
As they passed the estate the front lawn became visible and Lorna was pleased to see not only Holly, but Ishmael, Ishytoo, Nonesuch and me, enjoying tea and chatting. We all stopped and stared at the Dog walking over with Lorna.
“This here's Spike,” Lorna said. “Met him down at the Fæirie Ring and I thought you all'd like to meet him.”
“Yeah sure,” I said, “Hi Spike! Nice to meet you, I'm Lillow.” This was pretty much repeated as Holly, Ishmael and Nonesuch introduced themselves. Ishmael introduced Ishytoo who was silent, staring transfixed at Spike.
“Nice to meet you.” Spike repeated to each of us, along with a grin and nod at Ishytoo. He was wagging his tail and with a smile added, “I like your farm here. It's beautiful!”
“Hey thanks.” I said, “So where you from Spike?”
“Oh just out in the mythical world, Gresham mostly. They say I appeared from a mist one day, others that I was born of a mother. I recall none of it, and only remember working as a pet for a Human family with three kids, then for another with two. It was a good life and I was loved, even though I was always restrained.” He looked sad. “But I appear to have some unusual qualities, the most troublesome being that I don't age.” We looked at him with wonder. “Or at least not as fast as others,” he continued, “I sure do feel older, I mean I've out-lived two families plus I've been exploring for a few years, so I expect I am pretty old, but I feel young and spry. Also, I am part of a multi-dimensional creature, Sugfissel by name. My understanding is that I'm the stomach and tail of Sugfissel so I have a nice appetite and a vigorous tail wag.” He smiled proudly.
“He can see jeewizium too,” Lorna said with a happy smile. She looked at me, “Oh, by the way, there's some down at the Fæirie Ring right now.”
I nodded thanks to Lorna for letting me know about the jeewizium then looked at Spike with pleased surprise. This flat-nosed Dog was getting more and more interesting.
“You just passing through?” I asked.
“I'm looking to find my place in the world, Lillow, a place where I can stay in peace,” he answered. “I'm homeless and unattached, both of which I have found to be unsuitable.”
“Gosh. Well you could stay with us, see what you think. It’s safe and secure and if you like it you could stay permanent,” I said. He seemed a nice enough guy, and his abilities intrigued me. I had a feeling there was more to this Dog than meets the eye, so I was pleased when he smiled and sat down.
“Thanks. Yeah I think I would like to stay awhile.” Wagging his tail he asked, “Can I have a biscuit?”