Story: Lucille the Innocent Minded Street Thug – 25/08/19

Lucille the Street Thug was used as sparkling bait. In her resplendent sequinned outfit and sparkling with jewels on every finger, she drew the attention of the rivalling, warring gang members in the hours of late. When they would be drawn to her attractive appearance, and pulled into her welcoming presence, Lucille’s gang members were waiting, with baited breath, for the others to drop to their knees, now as quivering cowards, intimidated and frighteningly scared. All it took to quell their false bravado was a few words – “Get down now!” and a levelling of a magical yo-yo near the gang leader’s nose. For this object was known to cause a great catastrophe, if one was to unfurl the entire string, it would emit a nasty scent in the eyes, and squeak with the loudest of swings. The decibel of this noise was terrible, such a horrid ring-a-ding-ding. With demon eyes, the rivalling gang members would glare at Lucille, for tricking them, drawing them in, into a situation which for them could cause great ill moments and a vapid chill, as they understood, inherently knew that they would never forget her face, she was on a list that was not wise to be listed on, it was dangerous, the consequent chase would never be her thrill.

But why had these gang members been lured in by Lucille? What could they possibly provide, when they had nothing upon their persons, or so it seemed, until, they were made to empty their pockets, remove all their layers, and now in their underwear, the clothing revealed Lucille’s gang members’ true desires. There, before them, lying innocently on the damp ground, were rounds and rounds of ammunition and bracelets, rings, necklaces of pure 24 karat gold. The leader had the most of it, draped around his waist, a chain secured, then hanging from the links were chains of gold, thick links of them, and he had always believed this method of disguising would never go to waste. Silly him, and silly them, they had spread the word around of their good fortune with too many members of the streets, a secret can only remain a secret if it is infrequently or never told, these members should have listened to the understanding that silence is gold. While the search was underway, revealing now nuggets of gold sewn within the hems of their shirts and pockets and slacks, Lucille stood stoically behind her leader, watching carefully, observing the facts.

The truth was that she didn’t like being so deceiving, deceptively undertaking dangerous missions such as these, if she had been in another vicinity or country, she would have felt safer because afterwards she would be permitted to leave. Her face would not be placed upon any mental kill list, and her life would be safe. But the more that she lured different gangs in the neighbourhood, no matter how often she changed her wig colour or makeup or outfit, she felt the rush of danger in the air, and truth be told this was not a sensation of which she cared. She longed for her days when she was younger, not walking around the streets, having been dragged into this lifestyle by the leader, her boyfriend, Little Ol’ Pete, he didn’t seem to understand her hesitancy at being the apparent prize, of the hungry victims’ wandering eyes.

Did you think she enjoyed walking around barely dressed? With her man seemingly caring about her welfare, when she knew otherwise, she knew best? How could he watch her approach these men without care or safety for her, nor concern, why, she could unexpectedly be attacked, and then wouldn’t his aching heart then learn? She knew she had to leave this scene, quickly, quicker, before she became less free, less herself, attacked and made to suffer inherently, due to the actions which seemed to be her own, but were in actual fact the orders of Little Ol’ Pete. He said he loved her, boy, did he not show this as truth, but she was not strong enough to walk away when she knew nothing of freedom, how to grasp it, take it, taste it, within her view. She was the only woman in this gang and while she was afforded the luxury of her other gang members giving a damn, she disliked the attention because she knew it was only for her visual appearance, not her interior, and this shallowness caused her great apprehension.

She made a decision and planned to leave at twelve midnight on the hour, returning to the gang’s share house with the excuse that she had a headache and needed to rest, she couldn’t handle the current mood, the fervour. For her group was excited by the next attack, where they would thieve the belongings of another gang, the next suburb over, and then that would be that, but this time was different, they had planned it without the need for Lucille, so she was permitted to return home, and rest with great zeal. The reality was she would be on the next train to the furthest town in the province, St. Bastaile, with her safety, her mind would be at rest, permitted to heal.

Hurriedly she threw her belongings into a duffel bag, she didn’t reach for the gold and jewels in the safe like others would if they were to desert this house, and prove their essence as being utterly devious, terribly bad. She threw a trench coat over her outfit to protect her modesty and at the train station not draw any eyes, and with that, she escaped with a run, high heels clicking, as she sprinted away, the approaching sounds of cars did not frighten her, nor dismay.

She would never be found again, she changed her appearance too much, lived a secure, quiet life and such, until she grew old, always wearing her jewels as a reminder that too much wealth could made one far too greedy for power.

By now, she was a grandmotherly woman with two granddaughters and a grandson to love, and they loved playing dress ups in her costumes that she told them were from the dance troupe that she used to perform in, and would later own. Such a little white lie, she believed, to throw them off the scent of other untruthful things, and with a smile as her granddaughter Priscilla wore her favourite pink halter, she reminisced about that night she escaped and was permitted the opportunity for freedom, safety, and the chance to grow older. Never did she wonder again about Little Ol’ Pete, he never loved her truly, only used her as a lure, and treated her unfairly, as though she were a mere floozy. She knew better, and the life that she had made for herself here, the life that she owned, was far more precious than anything he could have promised her, this was exactly what she had known.

© 2019 Alice Well Art. Lauren M. Hancock also known as Alice Well. All rights reserved. 

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Story: Patricia the Snow Bunny With A Hidden Agenda – 23/08/19

Patricia the Snow Bunny’s company was in great demand. She was eloquent, witty, sophisticated, gentle, she knew she was highly requested to be at functions, intimate dinners, group gatherings, parties, wherever she could be, mixing with women bunnies and men. With her presence the room was lit up, the others almost star struck, and with her flirtatious banter, her witty charm on the hour, she spoke of politics, feminism, the economy, she was well versed in many topics that could be discussed and mentally and verbally devoured.

Whenever Patricia made her plans to holiday in Mount Hotham, she packed her suitcases full of books of great knowledge, old and current newspapers and journals, and a wealth of information to share with the lot of them. For Patricia was not only charming, she was wise, she loved to share her education with the public domain, it made her feel appreciated and lively, so very alive. For there was nothing more satisfying than sharing a good old yarn with a collegian graduate, or a journalist who was here for a rest, therein they could exchange and share knowledge, their lives currently social, she was sparkling at her best.

What Patricia was most known for, though, was being outspoken of the moral crimes occurring in the Tunsidrab, a land far off, near South America, where buildings were dark, lonesome, appalling, and their interiors were incredibly drab. Therein lived the exiled refugees of the country just near to their door, they had been persecuted and unfairly tried for imaginary crimes by their tyrannous government, and thrown out into the desert scene land of Tunisidrab to fend for themselves. Packed into the buildings like sardines they were. Patricia was most passionate about assisting these poor people, she was hoping to allow them asylum, for each individual. In this country of her freedom and equal rights, they would surely flourish and grow in society with a sense of strength and determination. However she needed to create ties with dignitaries, prime ministers, secretaries, and the like, and during her socialising at Hotham she managed to perform this without being noticed of her motives by them.

As Patricia’s charm was overwhelming, it was most certainly her strong point, something worth mentioning and saving, and henceforth she was able to get in the ears of the other important bunnies, women and men, telling them the sorrows of the Tunisidrab’s tribe quietly, again, then rephrased, emphasised again. Soon they all were aware of their plight, this they knew firmly and well, and when Patricia announced that she was wanting to gather a stockpiling of rations to deliver via plane and helicopter to them, there came a whooping, a hollering of public approval, her thoughts began to thicken, to gain wind, to set sail. Next move she knew would be to woo Jerry Springfard, the International Secretary, to travel to far off lands and create firmer ties with other dignitaries, and with this Patricia was greatly pleased with herself, for she was performing what was most important for her in her life – to save others with her ambition and effort, and make it look like it was a breeze.

So as Patricia continued to socialise, during her holiday, she pulled out papers, journals, and other holders of facts, allowed her conversational partners to surmise, for themselves – this was important – that they came to their own conclusion, that it would be best if they donated to the charity of Patricia’s choice, in order to assist the asylum seekers to be approved by the majority of the gathered group here and then. For what these well known politicians and highly ranked officials did not know was that they were slowly being manipulated by this snow bunny, for a good cause though, but slowly, more and more the seeds would be reaped, of which she had sown. She would quietly lament of their fight, she would wail of the conditions in which they lived, and by the end of the evening, everyone was discussing the very same thing. How there must be a change, the government must take action, do this again and again, until all refugees had been flown out of that desert setting and taken to their own sense of freedom.

There was no point in leaving them there, baking in the dry desert wind, suffering without the majority of the world’s care, for their government had suppressed the information regarding the exile of the large group of their citizens, almost the lot of them, and soon it would be time for their government to come to justice. Patricia spread the word, for she knew of the situation from her journalist father who was stationed in Bosteroo, a nearby country, who would trek toward the clan of people daily to make sure they were okay, despite their paining.

Because of her wit and her style, Patricia won them all over, they were lulled into a sense of security, quickly, not in a while, and then promises of pledges, and new charities being formed, and all hum to do it was a wonderful moment, for this precious clever bunny girl. By the end of the each evening, a committee had been formed, with a president, a secretary, and someone to take the future minutes when they held a meeting with their board. In the future they would discuss how quickly they would and could be able to save these disadvantaged peoples, and integrate them into society, where they would be known as being of the same stature and equality as the citizens who had been born here, migrated here, lived, born, and living life as they grew old.

By the end of the snow season, Patricia’s dream had become complete: all displaced refugees from the tiny country had been placed within planes, jumbo jets, and been sent to a land of greatness, where we live so free. They were so grateful to be given this lease on life, this second chance to grow from strength to strength, live a life of safety, and become like Patricia, their hero, more knowledgeable and wise, and at the monumental banquet where the new citizens of this land were brought, wined and dined and celebrated, their hearts swelled, their eyes widened and grew damp, they knew that they had received such a gift, from a little bunny who knew how to properly and tactically present the saddening facts. And they all thanked her, swarming around her, holding her in their arms in a bundle of love, they would never forget what she had done for them, she had provided them a life that, without her, they would have never experienced or had dreamed of, let alone known.

And as for the rouge country, the brutish government of Tunsidrab, their official members would be rounded up and brought before a formal panel, a version of a royal commission, where their crimes of this world would be held before them, their guilt was so obvious, so strong, now became so well known, that never again would they be permitted freedom within this world. Instead they would be locked away, it was them now tried and punished, but for actual crimes, naught of their pleas would be listened to, nor bargained, they would be punished forevermore, behind the jail’s walls would they live, rot and die.

The world felt so certain that imprisonment was the right thing, moral and correct, of this they were sure, their fates were delivered and signed by a judge of the greatest achievements to speak, his utterances were never ignored. His final words of the case had been these: “Beg you not for your freedom, for you have consistently lied through your teeth. Learn for yourselves inner peace and pray for forgiveness, for we cannot provide you with these. I find your entire government guilty, on all accounts, be certain to ruminate about what you did to your people who, to you, were originally so devout. Imprisonment for life.” And his gavel had met the wood twice. Silence, then a moment of positive and passionate outcry.

© 2019 Alice Well Art, Lauren M. Hancock, also known as Alice Well. All rights reserved.

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Story: The City of Neon Lights Hides Something Deep Within – 22/08/19

The city of neon lights welcomed deceptively. Visitors travelling from near and far could not shield their eyes from a welcoming so bright, a manner so garish, upon the eyes it was presented somewhat violently. The lights flashed on and off, their pleasing colour scheme dancing in the eyes of the visitors, like flame to moths, and into the entranceway they explored, into the darkness of the unknown. What would the darkness behold, the neon lights only partially and eerily lighting their way, weaving through tunnels and roads and laneways, dotted with houses looking exactly the same. There seemed no one here to be seen, it was as though it was a ghost town, so who were the neon signs being lit up for, it was unknown to those visitors, their confusion could be cemented, it could be assured.

So they wandered the streets slowly, taking in the brightness, the signs declaring “Money money money”, and “Tap dancing lessons daily”, and “Enter here for some existential fun”. Another spouted the words “Do not dare proceed, begin to run”. At the sight of that neon light, the travellers became rigid, what could it be warning them from, why did the sign’s poster want them to leave? Surely there was nothing bad behind that house’s closed door, and understanding they should probably not explore they still stepped forth a few steps, then a few more.

“Hey, what do you think we should do?” asked one male traveller worriedly. Another smiled bravely, courageously, and said, “We should definitely explore, it is what will cause my heart to be pleased!”

“But, we shouldn’t, it’s bad,” the former counteracted.

“Phooey!” another called out, “let us do what we wish to do with this.”

And into the doorway they went, bowing slightly as the doorway was low, and covered with a smattering of old cobwebs of lurking large spiders and thick layers of dust particles, they travelled the darkened corridor, coughing and wheezing all the way, hoping for at least some future neon lights to soon light their way. Soon they reached their apparent destination, the room was small, wider than they expected for a house that appeared so small initially, but exploring the room now was of most import, there was surely something special about this area, it must be the truth, there must be something dangerous to view. They sat and closed their eyes now, ruminating on what they might find upon opening their orbs, and suddenly they heard a deep throaty growl, and of this the mostly excited travellers felt well pleased and wanting to see and hear more! A gravelly sounding rumble in the throat and a clearing of thickened phlegm, and now opening their eyes hesitantly, not certain what they would view, there was a gargantuan, a monster right before them. His eyes were bloodshot red, his pupils pin pricked, his hair severely cut, with green skin and terrible breath from abscessed teeth he was more disgusting than any other being in many ways, then he sniffed thickly, the sound of rapidly moving snot. He coughed carefully and levelled his gaze with the most excited traveller in the room.

“Excuse me, lady,” he said, “Could you please spare me a pot of lemon, honey and tea? My throat is now as dry as dry as can be.” Her expression was startled, eyes widened like saucers, was this monster calling upon her for chores for this hour? With his polite request she didn’t know what to say, how to take it, but certainly he didn’t behave anything like a monster who looked like him, nothing like how she would have expected. She was sorry to express to him that she indeed had no access to pots of tea, but changed the topic of conversation quickly, and with ease did she. 

“Why are you hidden here, guarded by the neon sign, telling visitors to stay away when you are simply lovely and happy, so utterly vibrant on this day?” 
“Sit down,” urged the monster, “And I will share my tale.” Thus, the travellers sat upon their bottoms, crossing their legs as though they were in primary school again, and remained silent, listening for the tale to be revealed, it would surely be well outlined to them.

And so began the monster’s tale of heartache and intrigue, of meeting the wrong woman monster, the wrong teacher, the incorrect master, he spoke of how much bad luck did he have to experience, in his life of such an up and down rollercoaster, for his lifelong work of inventing he’d only received a pittance, and his patent had been incorrectly filed and he’d lost control of the ownership of his prized invention. It was intended as his main source of future income. As each saddening fact was revealed, the travellers felt their hearts ache, and their understanding of his life become ingrained in them, they could actually feel his sorrows and his aching and how he felt and thought when the events were unfolding or being undertaken.

Finally the monster said that he had been placed in this guarded room not for his safety, but for the outside world, for the Others, because he was far too intelligent, too superior, to be mixing with these non-monsters. The humans didn’t wish to be exposed to his intelligence because what came with it was the bad luck that was somehow interlinked, and being in the same vicinity as the humans, they believed the transference of the intelligence with bad luck was imminent. So they kept him within this tiny room until they could extract his knowledge and talent, and leave him with nothing, other than bad luck as his fact.

“But, Monster! How unfair is this! You cannot be punished for being smart, for having a well wired mind, this cannot be, this completely breaks my heart!”

“Ah, but the humans think it is right, it is so, here I will live until I die, my body will then rot and then go. Deeply saddened by this mental image, the travellers decided to break Monster out and here of their plans they could envisage, they would drag him through the tunnel slowly – it was almost not wide enough for him – and out and into the dangerous City of Lights would they bring him, only temporarily. Then he would be brought out away from the deceitful Welcoming sign, and taken into the fields, the hills, where he could live, finally being truly alive. They would take him on their worldly travels, they had nothing to fear, not even his bad luck, for that was for superstitious individuals, such as the ignorant, cold hearted people, in the City of Neon Lights where he was gladdened to have departed. It really should have been called the City of Broken Dreams, but at least the humans weren’t visible in the streets, ready to counteract Monster’s presence with a fight, this city was nothing like what it initially appeared and seemed.  

© 2019 Alice Well Art, Lauren M. Hancock, also known as Alice Well. All rights reserved. 

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Story: Dragon the Maddened Punk Rocker and Roland the Skilled Tiger – 21/08/19

Dragon the Maddened Punk Rocker held endless sold out shows. Wherever his voice would crackle and growl, endless dragons and other appreciative figures would go. They loved his deep throaty talent, his ability to generate energy from the crowds, but most of all they appreciated his vocal percussion, he was skilled at what he could do, this he was endlessly told. Crash bang here and crash bang high-hat there, the percussive effects he could showcase without concern, effort or care. He was self taught of this skill, he never needed his very own drummer, for he was a drummer punk dragon unlike any other.

However, what Dragon was also equally known for was his ability to rock, he’d thrash and throw himself around the stage, throwing his segmented Mohawk hairstyle to and then fro, he was such a lively entertainer, a great performer, he could generate the very essence of what was deemed as punk rock. Despite him having styled his Mohawk to within an inch of its life with basically hair superglue, it was still movable, and this he despised, he wanted a hair stylist who would know what to do. Basically, he had been doing his hair and makeup all on his own, and one day he realised, to himself, that he could afford to have his own stylist and makeup artist, all for his own. He was a millionaire many times over, why was he doing his own styling, it was outrageous, it was crazy, it was simply embarrassing.

So he placed an advertisement in the paper, as Dragons are wont to do, calling forth a stylist and a makeup artist for a client who he simply described as “well to do”. He knew not to use his real name, nor to make mention of his own occupation at all, because he didn’t want to attract those wanting fame from his presence, he wanted those humble, and willing to perform the best of their work. He found three potentials: one called Amy, a shy lizard who had a great hairdressing portfolio, then Sandy, who was more focussed on making him endless coffees and providing compliments that made him roll his eyes and want to send her away with her little famous dreams, scurrying off home, and finally, the perfect candidate of them all, Roland, the tiger who was skilled with makeup and hair, who seemed to know it all.

During the interviewing process he had had bad feelings, of course, about Sandy, she was seemingly only interested greatly in the job now that she had met Dragon and knew how famous was he – and potentially how famous she could be, Amy was rather bland in her personality, she lacked the fierceness he wished his staff to have, but Roland was perfect, they chatted about music, percussion, hair gel and styling mousse, and everything from here to there. They actually got on like a house on fire, and of this Dragon was forced to admit, that Roland was everything he could want and expect to prepare him for his nightly shows, making his image into that of a punk dragon king. He asked Roland to style him as a test, and perfectly made up was his segmented Mohawk, it was presented as its very, utmost best, and then and there he was hired, the others would be called by his secretary, informing them of their negative news of that hour.

So now Dragon was free to rock, never bothering his head about whether his hair was falling side to side nor splitting apart, he could expressively percussively sing, throaty rumbles, clever rhymes, tunes, and Roland, of him, he was taken everywhere around the world where he loved to experience the cities outside of the borders and then within. On the tours that Dragon would like to take, he found out more about Roland’s habits, his dreams, his soaring feelings about punk rock, and other things, such as his dislike of dried fruits, especially dates. For they stuck in his teeth, and made him feel greatly at unease, but this information is useless to most people, it does not inform of much, nor please.

So we move on to discover that Roland was a talented singer, he was classically trained, most especially in opera. He had been trying to find his feet, his way, in the classical world, whilst chasing his other dream of hairstyling and makeup artistry and it so happened that the ad to him had called, the simply written advertisement calling for someone of his skill set, to showcase his talents, techniques he knew best. Then it seemed fate that he was paired, working for, rather, a dragon of immense fame and incredible skill, it didn’t matter that he was of a different singing style, what mattered was that he was within the right ilk. He could practice his arts and so too learn from Dragon, from observing his own unique style of art, his music he soaked up every night from the side of the stage again and again.

And finally one day he admitted to Dragon that he was highly skilled at vocals, being classically trained. With shock, a startled Dragon said, “Let me hear your voice, it must be showcased!” And with great nervousness, Roland opened his mouth, and out came a melody so delicious and skilled, the surrounding beings’ hearts melted, their minds screaming for more, of his voice they became devout. The listeners wanted more and more, and with each vibrato, trill, turn, arpeggio he would sing, oh, how the surrounding world shivered and shuddered, he was that amazing. Dragon made certain to incorporate Roland somehow in the show, his talent would not be wasted, no, he would not allowed it to be breathy, breathed out, he would not let this tiger go. When it came to Roland’s debut night, Roland understood that he could not allow anything to cause him a fright.

“Just calm yourself,” he said, “Allow yourself to think pleasant thoughts in your head.” With a beating  chest he thrust himself forth on the stage, and percussive mixed with operatic style was then presented for the listener’s minds to be heard, interpreted, and saved. How they whooped and hollered, they had never heard of anything so innovative, so amazing, so different this was from what Dragon usually presented, his normal sound, it was like two musical lines were clashing but weaving, and so eloquently the differences were as they were being presented deeply and shrilly. One melodic, the other crash-clash, and an operatic finish, from tenor to falsetto, Roland had performed his best. Dragon the Punk Rocker was over the moon, their duet should be featured every concert from then on, Roland was now known of as incredible, amazing, he would famous so very soon.

But he shied away from the crowd, felt it too overwhelming and cumbersome, perhaps he would sing behind a curtain, this is what he had decided, until he could grow less awkward, of being ogled and stared at. He was a shy young thing, and he wasn’t used to the raucous environment, from the sidelines he was happy to have his time spent. So Roland had had his few minutes of fame, perhaps one day he would grow courageous again. But for now, he was happy to be behind the scenes and tend to Dragon’s makeup and hairstyling, this was enough of his chosen talents that the world would be seeing. Occasionally though, he sung the duet with Dragon, from the sidelines though, he was an unknown tiger to the lot of them. To the concert goers that had viewed his debut, they remembered him fondly, but never knew of which way he had decided to go, to pursue his chosen truths.

© 2019 Alice Well Art, Lauren M. Hancock, also known as Alice Well. All rights reserved.

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Story: The Frog King Kisses Many – 20/08/19

The Frog King had kissed many princesses in his time. None were to his liking, his tastes, the flavour of human was too overwhelming. He had no idea why he was required to couple up with a human being, when of his own species he felt an overwhelming inkling, a great fondness of feeling. It had somehow been programmed into his royal family that he was to rule the Primitive Pond Kingdom with a regal lady, not his frog princesses that he witnessed each morning playing with tadpoles so merrily. He felt an inner angst when he walked by them, in the heart of the pond’s town, he was regal himself, majestic, well grown, he was strong enough to be firm with the rules, make them unfold. But he couldn’t go against the manners of his sovereign state, he knew he had to conform, lest the kingdom fall into ruin, saving it from mortification and embarrassment, it would be too late to relearn.

Every morning, he was required to parade to the Crossroads, where there was a chair, a small table, and a little umbrella, the frogs called it a Dating Brolly. Here he would sit, for hours on end, meeting human princess after human princess who would apply to be seated with him, but then – when they leaned in for the inevitable kiss, which should alter the right one into a hopeful Princess Frog or Queen, he could not help but pull away, disgusted of this practice he was, of this be assured. Leaning in closer, their lips made a smmmmack! And no transformation ever was there, this was a blatant fact. Now Frog King had to deal with saliva upon his lips, wiping away the remnants of their unwanted kisses, and then oh wait, would you look at the time, it was nine o’clock – or some such – he would claim he had another engagement at a quarter past nine! And toddle away with the brolly would he, wherever he desired to go, feeling the heavy breathing behind him of the human princesses who downright refused to go, they stalked him, they followed him, displeased with him, yet desiring him, they simply would not take the obvious hint. So with a great bounce and a hip-hip-hippity-hop Frog King would be gone, of their presence disappeared, completely flown.

Despite his high intelligence, Frog King didn’t seem to completely compute or accept that he could alter the rules of his neighbourhood, that he could rewrite the laws, make them plain and easy to see, that this current Frog King could decide to be single and no longer forced to mingle, he would not be required to kiss many who waited each morning in a desperate, heaving, heavy breathing crowd, for goodness sake’s he now realised that he had kissed some more than three times on consecutive days! It was difficult to keep track of the women when he was utterly bored and still lonely, their company was nothing of interest to him, for their human lives were tedious to hear of, and complete garbage, useless baloney! Even when the thought faintly crossed his mind that he could change the world, make it more positive for him, more divine, he dismissed the thought as soon as it appeared, he did not wish to displease his great uncle, who he most certainly feared.

Uncle Scott was large, he was robust, he was strong, and Frog King knew he wouldn’t hesitate to clip him across the face if he even breathed a word that was wrong. He claimed he was over protective of his nephew, but the truth of the matter was, he was decidedly jealous that Frog King was the King, and an uncle was all that he was. It was a terrible thought to have, to hold, that being the uncle of a wondrous being, disciplined frog was not good enough, that he was desperate for to provide him a serve, whenever he could justify this it would be done, and soon of this ultra disciplinary life Frog King wanted to run!

As he passed the tadpole area of the pond one day, dismayed at the upcoming events of his morning he was swayed toward a cute little group of youths, blue in nature and swimming consistently in their group, now one led the others, and follow did the rest, such a delightful view. Then Frog King noticed a little damsel dressed in a vintage dress, white, and cream with brocade lace, hem down there, and corset up to there, with cascading brunette curls framing her face. She looked delightful, so charming and when she opened her mouth to speak, to greet, she sounded so insightful and enticing, she was such a living dream. They stopped and chatted for a while, apparently she did not know of his ranking in the great kingdom of his world, and this he found utterly refreshing; she knew that he was simply a beautiful moment of truth in a first place sash, they could barely contain their excitement at their immediate connection that Frog King decided to do his dash. He would not hold himself liable to the throne’s rules anymore, he would take this damsel on a date, one that he actually wanted to partake in, be on, and they would have the most glorious time and then some more. And even if Uncle Scott would not approve of his new lady friend, he did not care, he would simply glare and stare, and take the physical serve.

But to King Frog’s great surprise, Uncle Scott was not upset at all, in fact he welcomed the damsel, named Lilac, into the family home.

“Come wine with us, come dine with us,” he welcomed her, and with a smile, he explained why he had been so hard on Frog King all the while. It was out of complete frustration at the rules dictated to him for his nephew left by the former king in his will, that would mean Frog King was forced to marry a human princess, even though she would be inclined to perhaps make of her king into a juicy, leggy meal. The former king had been of the incorrect understanding that a Frog King’s kiss would transform a lady into a royal froggy lady to be seen and heard the pond all over, and Steve couldn’t deviate from that formal will. The former king had been  misled by words whispered by human ladies as he had passed them in the marketplace, he had believed the things they’d said.  

As Frog King had discovered, none were transforming, not any, none of the others, and the fact the he had found an interest in this new lady friend made Uncle Scott so happy he wanted to call the world over, announcing the words to be transported upon the wind, in their clouds they would sail, there they would sing. But devious was Scott, he knew of a loophole in the will, if Frog King ended up with another native frog, Scott would reign true leader, just as he wished,his ambition would prevail. When it came to the throne or true love, months down the track, Frog King was willing, more than happy to give up his throne, for his damsel who was never, ever distressed.

King Scott ruled over the pond with a stern nature and a forcible fist, but the animals and frogs were allowed to live rather independently, and some even wished to continue to coexist. All became regimented and well until one afternoon a human princess attacked him, grabbed forth his face, and kissed him until he became violently unwell. When he came to, he opened his eyes to sternly glare and viciously seethe, but sitting there in front him was the most beautiful of froggy things. A lady, a real stunner, her eyelids flickering at him lazily, he could barely believe his eyes, here was his new, real life Froggy Queen.

© 2019 Alice Well Art, Lauren M. Hancock, also known as Alice Well. All rights reserved.

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Story: Egbert the Excitable Echidna Soars in Leaps and Bounds – 19/08/19

“Weeeee! Look at me!” called Egbert to his friends, one, two and three. He was spinning on his feet, pirouetting as elegantly as could be.

“You go, ‘Bert!” called Lucy.

“Yeah, keep going!” cheered Brody.

“Why do you always have to be so showy?” groaned Danni. Danni was the moodiest of the four, she didn’t want to join in to the cheering antics at all. She didn’t like encouraging her friends, only wanted to be miserable and moan, this was the life of Danni, who didn’t want to know anyone at all. In fact, the only reason she was there in the group was because the others had taken pity on her, her internal anger often lead her to self combust, and they wanted her to learn to be friendlier and trust. But here she was, as always, breathing heavily, sighing strongly, upset that she was not being attended to, and that Egbert was the one being observed in a manner very happily and lightly. What did she expect, being morose, how could others look upon her with joy, and most of all she needed to understand, that to be approachable one needed to be open and willing to share, speak well of others, and perhaps occasionally lend a helping hand.

“Never mind her,” Lucy muttered under her breath, and she continued calling, encouraging her friend Egbert as he performed the movements of his ballet scene’s choreography. He had been working on this for more than two months, every spare second, every spare minute, he was practicing, rehearsing energetically, his excitability calling, he would leap, prance, breathe deeply, gasp, for his ballet dancing took precedence in his world, to gain a place in the National Ballet Academy it was a dream he would work to make truth, to unfurl.

A slight problem with Egbert was that a lot of things made him excitable, and this had a tendency to take attention away from his goal, provide many distractions, such as that ladybug he found behind his ear, he would name her Philippa, and provide her a terrarium home, or the colours painted on the wall of the alleyway, he would stop to admire them for an hour on his way from secondary school to his home, or the blades of grass, so tufty and firm, he would play with them, giggling, with his claws pressing them to and fro so firmly – he was easily distracted, and this was a problem to him. He knew how to be focused, and he tried his utmost on being like this with his choreography, his routine so well developed and fantastic, but he had to draaaaag himself away from the distracters, in order to refocus.

It wasn’t his fault, he had been diagnosed with a condition years prior that deemed him as having problems with his attention, deficits from this, a disorder, but his mother wouldn’t provide the pharmaceutical medication as she wanted to heal him holistically. She provided him salves, natural tablets, herbs and all, to rectify the problem, and initially it proved to be useful to him, in every mental zone. His attention soared, his eyes were pin pricked focused, he could dance for hours and it wasn’t a problem.

But then something happened, his mother lost faith in her cause, to provide him natural remedies, she simply gave up, and upped and left the mission, hiding in her bedroom hole. Word flew around the community that she was suffering from depression, but she didn’t want to be seen, looked at, viewed by anyone, not even a doctor, she just wanted to rest and sleep, then wake, repeat, sleep, again. So Egbert was left to his own devices, he treated himself the best that he could, it turned out that his best wasn’t enough, he needed to educate himself of the remedies, and do this soon. Surprisingly, his friend Danni, showed an interest in this topic, it was strange, given that she was morose about basically everything she encountered, and together they set out, procuring all research they could possibly find, dumping the literature in a corner, they sat together, and began to furiously read, through the pages they dived.

“Hey, would you look at this?” uttered Egbert excitedly. “Look at this information, this plant, it’s a dandelion, perhaps it has a place for solving?” Then his eyes flittered to another page, darting left then right, then now to another fact!

“Egbert!” Danni exclaimed. “We need to focus!”

After reading solidly for three and a half hours, Egbert and Danni were far less wired, they had lost the focus they had previous harnessed, and now their eyes were becoming heavily lidded.

“Let me fetch you a drink,” she said slyly, and with a secretive smile, Danni darted out to the kitchen, to view was on offer, what was available. Not seeing the ingredients that she would need, she quickly darted out to the Australian natives in the backyard, gently waving in the breeze. Collecting what she needed, she prepared a herbal tea, and providing it, steaming hot, to Egbert, she carefully observed him. He sipped cautiously, carefully, so as not to spill it upon himself, and tried to ignore the strange taste it had to itself. He could not stay silent, he didn’t know what this was, but whatever it was, it wasn’t making him in any way, shape or form excitable, and he wanted to know, why, because!

“It’s a mixture I made, an antidote, a potion, from the information we’ve saved, and look now! Your eyes are focused again!” With happiness, he felt himself aligned, with everything he needed, he now wanted to dance for hours, to fly! But when he rose, he didn’t even want to try, he just wanted to focus on other things, for a while.

“Hmmm, this is in an interesting problem, an unforseen moment, with no explanation,” Danni said, stroking her chin. “We want you focused, but we want you about your dancing excited still to be!” And with this, she consulted the yellowing pages of one book, parchment paper, as old as could be, no one need know where the pages were from, where they have been taken, now free to be viewed, and to his tea she added a sparkle from her fingers, click, with a smile, and with a final sip, Egbert was excitable and focused, for all the while! Now with this antidote, his condition was controlled, he needed not pharmaceuticals, or the missing natural remedies his mother used to make for him when he was younger, and now that he was old, and wiser, and with Danni’s assistance, she guided him, medicated him, and their friendship became firmer and more consistent.

They saw each other more often than usual, they spent time together in his breaks from dancing in the stairwell at school, they confided in one another, and wouldn’t you believe it? Danni was miserable only with a group of others, but one on one she was confident, friendly and all knowing. She simply had had secret issues with being bullied in primary school, that she didn’t like being around more than one person at all. And now that both their problems, for Egbert and Danni were addressed and out in the open, they had the freedom to pursue their dreams.

Egbert obtained the place he most desperately wanted in the National Ballet Academy, in his audition he danced through the air, flitted so freely. No one could have believed that an echidna would careen so eloquently, and he had everything to prove to the panel members that his skill was there, beamingly, to be seen. Danni buckled down, and began studying incredibly hard, at understanding the principals of using vitamins and herbs, and other natural products, and she realised that she had a great passion for pursuing and researching these things.

She set her sights on becoming a natural doctor, she accomplished her dream of obtaining a place in a naturopathic college, and for the next three years she studied heavily. By the time the three years were up, Danni graduated with honours, presenting her thesis to the honoured animals and natural healers of the outback, and Egbert was known of by all, a household name, an elegant creature in the Natural World Ballet. Their other two friends had fallen by the wayside when Danni and Egbert had decided to knuckle down and become more studious, although still successful in their own right, their friendship group was no longer in sight. Danni and Egbert are married now, three kids with great minds, they live together, a natural healer and a ballet dancer who was more of an excitable flier, and of their lives, none in the outback can compare. All of this began from being a little more excitable than the others, and a female echidna who decided to try, to dare.

© 2019 Alice Well Art, Lauren M. Hancock, also known as Alice Well. All rights reserved.

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Story: When The Wind Changes – 18/08/19

Nana playfully grabbed my nose as I made a cheeky face.

“You know, Alice, if you continue doing this, your face will stay the same when the wind will change!”

Nonsense,” I replied emphatically. “That is nothing of the truth. I’ve made faces for years now, and there is nothing to show that what you say is proof.” Nana shrugged now, with a wise expression in her eyes. “I don’t know how else to tell you this, but you’ll figure it out deep inside.” And returning to making her home made cabbage rolls did she, smiling to herself, occasionally grinning freely.

Nana was a trickster, she was hilarious and loved to prank. She gave me a mouse for my fifth birthday, presented in a box apparently procured from our local bank. I had been so excited, thinking I was set to receive a money box filled with coins, notes, and other treats, but open the box, and jumped out, what did I see? My future pet, Charles, in all his beautiful glistening capacity. I’ve had Charles for two years now, according to my morose brother Sturt he has not long left to live, the end of his life is not far off, soon he will go. When Sturt says such things, I scold him and make a prolonged mean face, I poke my tongue out, bulge my eyes, and wait until he does say, “Stop that, Sis, you scare me so!” and then upturned my mouth becomes, I have achieved my goal. Off I would trot to achieve another task, off to another task I would run.

I’d heard from others that when the wind changed your altered facial expression could stay the same, but I did not believe it, I welcomed the common sense telling me otherwise, the rationale in my mind, my intelligent brain. For why should I, would I, believe that some occurrence such as this was possible, I’d never seen or heard of anyone else who’d been frozen. This notion was surely impossible!

My favourite face was poking out my little tongue, like a clever happy gecko on his morning run, and then crossed my eyes as tightly as I could, I’d walk around the school yard and playground, bumping into things and people, feeling as happy as I could. It gave me great joy to be silly, and Nana, my darling Nanni, was surely only tricking, this was my understanding.

But then one day, I was pulling a grotesque face, mouth twisted into a snarling opening, eyes rolling here and there, searching for something, and then a gust of wind blew from behind me, near pushing me forward into a nearby tree, and it felt so beautiful, wonderful, that gust, that I went to laugh with great delight and glee. But there was a problem, I couldn’t move my face! It was as though I was frozen here upon an expression in a book, a certain page. I tried to mould my face smoother with my hands, wipe out the wrinkles that came with scrunching my face upon command, but nothing! Not even my eyes could stop rolling and searching, there was nothing I could do, despite me considering everything. Hopeless, hopeless, I felt, I wished I had listened to Nan, my dear loving Nana who was trying to obviously help the best that she could, and with her words floating in my mind, I travelled back to my home, to hide from the world, forevermore I would, never resurfacing ever, not even from time to time.

I stared into my reflection in the mirror. I was an abhorrent sight. I was grotesque, horrid, how had I allowed myself to permit this to occur, simply because I believed Nana’s words warranted no truths, and arrogantly I had pushed them aside. I pulled out book after book, frantically searching for an antidote, a reversal to my truth, and suddenly, after three hours of perusing, I knew what I could do. Apparently I needed to reverse the occurrence by wishing for something the opposite of abhorrence, something filled with beauty and that I could present with utter assurance, then entering a dream-state of mine, I became in the right frame of mind to be sure of this. I closed my rolling, now paining eyes, and heavily focussed on what I wanted to happen, the expression that I wanted to come undone, and thinking of Nana’s smiling face, I proceeded to let the process happen, a wishing, wishing from afar. I pulled out my electric fan and began to let it run, an artificial breeze, the air produced was a replacement for the natural breeze that made me look like this. I muttered special words under my breath, I chanted for change to occur, making these words, wishes,  stronger and stronger until I could believe, and then suddenly my face slackened, and I felt myself become me once more, with a great sigh of relief, I exhaustedly threw myself to the floor. One look in the mirror confirmed my delighted truth, I had returned to myself, my face was presented its usual view.

These days I listen to Nana’s advice now, no matter whether she playfully or seriously presents it forth to me, for she is much older, and far wiser, than I could at this age hope to be. I still poke my tongue out at her, don’t get me wrong, I haven’t ceased being a child, but I only perform my expressions for a second, I don’t allow them to remain long enough for a change in the wind or clouds. I have learned my lesson from the frightening event that had occurred, and as with all lessons in life, they needed to be appreciated as worthy moments, and in my memory the feelings and event are stored. I’ll be as wise as my Nan one day, and I’ll hopefully show my grandkids the way, but until then, I need just be myself, and listen to wise advice provided from trusted others, and nobody else.

© 2019 Alice Well Art, Lauren M. Hancock, also known as Alice Well. All rights reserved.

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Story: My Talented Dancing Cat-Roo, Solly – 16/08/19

My cat Solly is one unique girl. She can stand on her haunches, and dance in a twirl. She can boogie each step, along to the beat, she has every dance move within her belt, twinkle toes, paws and feet. Within her skilled capacity, translated through her talented feet, for Solly’s hind legs were more human-like, longer and wider, allowing the ability to walk easier, heavier and lighter, as I speak. She was able to creep upon tippie toe, she was able to thump, thump, thump, wherever she had decided to go, and then prance and prance and twirl, one step, two step, three step, four, she began a group dance upon the outback’s grassy floor. I giggled to myself, at viewing her antics, she was so clever, her personality so bright and fantastic, how lucky I was to have found her, when I went pet shopping on a whim, this wonderful combination of cat and kangaroo, of whom everyone in the neighbourhood did speak.

For Solly was a popular girl, she taught dance class to the other animals and creatures, boys and girls, it did not matter which breed or animal they might be, she always adapted the dance moves to suit the others’ dance skills and capacities.

“Pump it, pump it!” she urged them, encouragingly. From the front of the class, she observed her groups of twos and threes, all up today she had eighteen in attendance: a mixture of a family of duckies, rodents, raccoons, a single unicorn, and a giraffe and an elephant. The elephant was the most uncoordinated of the group, he kept stepping on and over his large dance shoes. So embarrassed was he that he decided to cease, he thumped upon his bottom and dragged the shoes from his feet. The shining unicorn noticed his turmoil, and crept over, threw a hoof over the Elephant’s shoulder and I quote this: “It’s hard, I know, but you can do it, I’ll show you how!” And with that, a little flint of trust shone in Elephant’s eyes, small, yet there, almost clouding his need to weep, uproariously cry. He pressed his feet back into his shoes, and allowed himself to be led by caring Unicorn, back to the groups. And although Elephant had the equivalent of four left feet, or so it seemed, Unicorn was patient, and allowed him to chase his inner dream, of being a beautiful ballet dancer, flying, sailing through the air, but first he needed to get his 1, 2, 3, 4’s correct, before he could even think of beginning to soar.

My cat-roo Solly noticed Unicorn’s attention on Steve the Elephant, and loved how caring she was, even though she had not been asked to assist, undirected to Steve, no purpose given or meant, and it was Unicorn’s great kindness that touched Solly’s heart, and pushed her into thinking that she should take Unicorn on as a dancing teacher counterpart. So quietly she made her way over, and requested permission for her assistance, Unicorn was jubilant, so surprised, she could hardly believe the luck she had been sent! Unicorn had always dreamed of being a teacher, just unsure of which teaching discipline to chase in future studies, and now being presented to her was an opportunity of great magnitude and self-discovery!

Happy together, working together, sharing thoughts and learning from each other, the dance school grew larger and larger until she needed room to fit Elephant’s entire family, who came every session, hearts filled with ardour. Word had spread like wildfire of Solly and Unicorn’s talented capacities, and parents flocked with their children and other next of kin, to view this, witness this, this world renowned school to be experienced and seen. They became so well known that they were looked upon as the number one school of the dancing world, and how wonderful was this for my cat-roo who only used to purr, slink and meow.

And how so very proud I am of Solly, my little cat-‘roo, each night I thank her with a lullaby and soliloquy until she dozes gently, then travels to her dreams gentler soon. All such beauty my dear pet has created, without a finger lifted from me. Why, all I have to do is view the worldly nature and professional power of her and her partner’s work together with ease. What a proud happy owner, am I, my heart will never cease to feel so proud and utterly free.

© 2019 Alice Well Art, Lauren M. Hancock, also known as Alice Well. All rights reserved.

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Story: The Redemption of Lucy the Unaware Rodeo Bull Rider – 16/08/19

Lucy was known as a great bucking bull rider.

Lucy was viewed as a mighty talented girl. She rode bucking, raging bulls with the utmost of grace and style. She had practiced upon a robot bull for many years, beating all the participants from the crowd with the greatest of ease. Only once did she fall, at the beginning of her training, but she quickly corrected her error, she no longer needed help rising from the floor, her embarrassment soon unheard of, she was skilled in her own future saving. Her sense of balance startled the world and caused others to be extremely enthralled, and so too caused a paling to the complexion of her competitors, in a bloodless manner that was remarkably draining for all.

On December the 16th, 2015, it was the World Bull Rodeo Championship. Although ranked the very best, her nerves were getting the better of her; she didn’t wish to demonstrate skills poorly, to be viewed of as something less when she knew she was more. Because, this bucking bull had a mean reputation, he would buck and thrash at every occasion, his efforts were worth gold, and the viewer would be terrified for the riders, the perils were so visually told, the dangers mortally magnified beyond any sense of redemption for young and old.

Lucy the Rodeo star crept into the stadium, into the bare field, and mounted the held bucking bull whose patience had long worn thin the older he had grown, for these events that he was made to participate in, made his blood boil and his anger run hotter, he wished for nothing more than to attack, attack, the arrogant, selfish riders. Because no one ever considered the feelings of the poor bucking bull, how he felt, how he liked or disliked being roughly ridden so, it was all about the rider, showcasing their cruel power, and amusement borne of the abuse of the raging bull who, in the foreseeable future, was probably next in line to be someone’s dinner. This bucking bull wouldn’t allow this rider to get away. Not now, not ever, not even on this special day.

Toss and turn did Lucy this day, thrash and unfortunately thrown from the bucking bull’s back and gashed in the side, felled by the bull’s sharpened left horn, the pain was tremendous, felt as though it would forever remain, never be gone. And now medics rushed onto the ground for Lucy to be saved, from being further gouged and trampled on a day that was meant to be hers, labelled a winner and champion always.

In hospital she sat upright in bed, contemplative, thoughts wandering inside her head, as to how to grasp the notion of the sport which she had been involving in for many years. She now was trying understand the game from the viewpoint of the bulls, to get inside their heads, and assess how they felt about being used as animals for cruel entertainment by humans who really possessed no sense of consideration, only wanting to abuse and misuse.

Why would an animal enjoy being riled, upset beyond their means for undertaking a forced riding to be seen? Being forced to want to throw off an unwanted being, stuck upon their backs, for as long as could be? How utterly insulting, how cruel, how unfair, to possess these great majestic creatures, fierce beasts, without a second’s thought for their mental care. Surely upsetting a bucking bull too many times could result in a type of insanity, then, oh look, who was now on the plate for dinner or lunch? Or simply rid of, now useless, the rider now happily joyous, oblivious, having won, proud as punch?

At that very moment, Lucy decided to retire, from this cruel sport that she realised was no longer for her. And the moment she made this decision, she felt stressors release from her, what a breather, and mental pain and anguish which she hadn’t known existed simply flitted away as though in a breeze.

Once having left the hospital, all healed, her side with a large scarred reminder of what it meant to take on a bull who was of a strength, to beat, almost too impossible, she set up a fund called “Save the Captured Bucking Bulls At Last”, and felt it was created not a minute too soon. She advocated for their freedom, a life of far less sorrows and great irritations, and when asked if she understood she was being a hypocrite, she laughed, waved these critics off, and said, “You really are lost in your dreams.” For she was the one making the difference, rectifying the flaws, the former errors in her life, and so she rose so very high, taking on the world with her charitable, proactive style. So many bucking bulls did she free from a life of turmoil and forced mental disease, they were now sent to pasture, to live so freely.

© 2019 Alice Well Art, Lauren M. Hancock, also known as Alice Well. All rights reserved.

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Story: A Hungry Little Mouse – 15/08/19

There was enough to feed three, two times around!

Open my eyes and what did I see? A glorious chunk of cheese hanging from a line, staring right back at me! I could not believe my luck, upon discovering this find, for I had been participating in a game of Mice: Three Blind. This involved myself and my two brothers wandering around the forest and its deserted road, with eyes firmly shut, only words could we form and to be told that this type of game was very dangerous, lest we walk into trees and animals looking for us to eat, above and beneath the forests’ surface. But this was exactly what I was looking for, not some victory in a silly childish game, where we would win by calling out repeatedly and determining one’s distance from another, essentially repetitively calling out the others’ names. I was too old for this, I was always hungry anyway, and discovering this jackpot of a prize would allow me much delight, I planned to disguise it and be on my way. Then I could eat it however I wished: raw, sliced, fried, filleted, diced, and such delight I would garner from this, my unexpected prize.

I admit I had cheated, by opening my eyes, but I could not help it, my nose had sniffed strongly, detected a tasty treat so wholly. And with a quick peek then a startled wide eyed awakening, I had realised that the cheese surely needed saving! I mean, who allows cheese to hang from a string? It is rather macabre, a sight to be viewed in a Hollywood Halloween film. The death of a cheese from hanging from a noose, how horrid a sight, I must assist it, of this image it must be vamoosed. And delicately, though with great excitement, I did attempt to disentangle, my prize winning portion, of the black type vintage, but the technique required me to be faster, much more nimble. Although, in doing so, I could risk breaking my portion apart, spreading upon the ground in dirty inedible chunks, this would not be right, I would not allow it so, I quickly and succinctly broke the string into fraying pieces, and now the cheese was upon my hands, not broken on the ground.

With utter glory, I placed one corner into my mouth, it tasted wonderful, I allowed a chunk down south. And another little nibble, and then there were three – “Brother, brother, what have you found us??” a sibling called out to me with glee. I groaned inwardly, exhaled loudly, visibly, “How could you sneak up on me when you weren’t calling me, and when you were not meant to see?” My brother Hank shrugged, and Bert to the right of him smiled for a while, and said, “Wherever you are, we will always sneakily be.”

My two brothers explained how they’d initially discovered the cheese chunk, but uncertain were they of removing it without damaging it, this motion they had not been able to ascertain, to allow the cheese’s shape to last. So, they hid around the corner, waited for me to stumble upon the scene, and watch carefully as I would dismantle their current edible dream. I thought it ridiculous that they had assumed that there was a high chance I would stumble upon them so soon. But then the truth of the matter is that I did in fact arrive, despite the jungle and deserted road being so large, and of my brothers usually being extremely difficult for me to discover whilst they would hide.

So, reluctantly, I decided to share with my lunch and cheese dinner, it was large enough of a portion for us to enjoy as three lunches and dinners. However the question remains as to who left this portion of food, hanging upon a tree for us as though a trap, though with nothing to capture us, how strange was this fact? Perhaps it was another kind animal who knew that of our game Mice: Three Blind that we played often throughout our day, that he or she provided a little cheeky sneaky treat for us to all enjoy. Maybe one day the provider will show his or her face, and together we can dance around a wheel of cheese, celebratory, a great prance for the day.

© Alice Well Art. Lauren M. Hancock, also known as Alice Well. 2019. All rights reserved. 

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