Snippets from our Diary
The Will-O-The-Wisp
~ by Brother [ December the 21st ]
A wee while ago we shared some advice on what to do if you find a Ta'ygaird goblin in your house (click here if you'd like to read it) and many people told us that they found this information incredibly useful. And so, when some faeryfolk told us about a problem they are having, we thought we'd tell you a bit about their dilemma in the hope that it could once again prove to be useful and beneficial to everyone.

You see, according to human folklore the Will-O'-The-Wisp (who are also sometimes known as fools fire or ghost light) is said to be a mysterious light or glow that is usually found near small footpaths in forests or around moors and marshes. These lights are often accredited to bad spirits or wicked faeries. It is said that they would appear to people who are on their way home at night and then lead them from their path, deep into the darkness...only to extinguish their misleading lights, leaving these poor travelers miles from their path and completely lost.

However, this is a complete misconception and not true at all.

These mysterious lights are in fact little lamps or torches that belong to a wide variety of magical beings and faery folk who's hard at work getting the world ready for the next day. You see, while quite a few magical beings can see perfectly fine at night there's also many who need a bit of help (collecting left over moon shadows in the dead of night can be very difficult if you can't see what you are doing) and a little lamp is a great solution.

The problem is that people walking by on nearby paths would sometimes see these little lights, and since most people are quite inquisitive by nature they will very often leave the path and head over to the light so that they can see what it's all about.
The faery folk, who are at this point still hard at work and completely unaware of this oncoming expedition, will eventually notice a mysterious figure approaching from the distant darkness, which will send even the bravest among them running (or flying) in all directions. As you can imagine the person who was previously intrigued by a stationary light in the distance will be even more intrigued by these lights when they start moving, and nine out of ten times they will keep following them. The poor faery will of course see that the mysterious figure is still in pursuit and will keep running as fast as they can, all the time looking for a place to hide. When they do eventually find a hiding place, they will immediately extinguish the light and hide there until the scary figure goes away. At this time the poor faery will usually be miles from their home and completely lost.

It is therefore highly recommended, for the sake of everyone involved, not to chase any little lights you might find when you walk home at night. If you do happen upon some you can try to hum a wee little song along with the whistles of the wind...and if the lights are indeed faery folk at work you might just see them swaying along to the tune of your song.

A few of the sneakier goblins and pucks have recently found out that people like to follow little lights into the unknown and they started doing just this to play tricks on them. Ironically this means that the misconception about these lights being sneaky tricksters are now sometimes true.

A Midnight Noise
~ by Collie C. Flowers [ Noverber the 1st ]
A few nights ago, we were woken by a strange noise in our room. It was at the dead of night, pitch dark and other than the noise in question, you could hear a pin drop. We all sat in complete silence with our ears pricked up, keeping an auditory lookout for any more noises. And then we heard it again, it was a scratch-scratch sound coming from the wardrobe at the far end of the room. We could not see a thing but judging by the terrible racket it was making it had to be some kind of monster, and a large one at that! We all crawled deep under the covers, covered our ears and quietly hid away until the break of dawn (although there was a moment when Eric started snoring, but we quickly woke him up and reminded him that he’s too afraid to sleep a wink).

It felt like days, but eventually a bit of morning light found its way into our room. We cautiously crawled out of our cosy hideaway, quickly counted all our toes (as they are said to be a favourite midnight snack for roaming monsters) and as soon as the first ray of light crossed the floor all the way to the bedroom door we made a run for it, straight to brother’s room.

We told him all about the terrible noises and the monster that made them, but he wasn’t quite as convinced as we were that our midnight visitor was a monster at all. In fact, he seemed to think it might well be someone quite a bit smaller. He said we should always remember that “shadows and sounds can appear overly large and disproportionately loud in the wee hours of the night, and if you let your imagination run wild on the back of such misapprehensions, a gush of wind can quickly turn into a banshee’s howl”. But all the big words in the world would not change the fact that we know what we heard, and it was a monster for sure…we just had to find some proof.

And so, we went back to our room to investigate. It didn’t take us too long to find some tiny bits of wood underneath the wardrobe which led us to a little hole that was made in our secret snack drawer. This removed any doubt there might have been; there was a monster and it came to steal our cookies. The monster obviously made the hole in the drawer so that it can peek inside to see what treasures it holds, and it would come back over the next few nights and claim it all. We thought that this new evidence might well convince brother, but with our cookies at stake we could not afford to take any chances and had to find more proof, and we had the perfect plan to do that…

That night, just before we went to bed, we covered the entire floor with flour which meant if the monster sat foot in our room we’d have undeniable proof in the form of footprints (unless of course a light breeze passed through before we got to show it to brother). We agreed to all take turns staying awake, but Mika was up first and he literally gets scared of his own shadow and woke us for that very reason five times, so we decided it’s probably best if we all go to sleep and wait for the monster to wake us. And lo and behold, at around midnight it did just that. We could hear it move around behind the wardrobe and soon after that the dreaded scratching sounds started again. We left the curtains drawn, hoping that the moonlight could let us catch a glimpse of the dreaded beast, but we were all too scared to take a look and once again hid under the covers until the break of dawn.

The next morning, we bravely made our way to the wardrobe as soon as we were sure that every nook and cranny of the room was filled with sunlight, but when we got there we could not find a single monster track in our flour trap. We thought this quite strange until Mika pointed out it probably meant the monster could fly! We did however find some footprints that looked like they were made by mouse sized paws and figured they probably belonged to mister Curleywhiskers. He’s the wee mouse that lives in the hallway just outside our room and he probably also heard the noises and came round to investigate. We were very concerned for his safety and went to warn him about this roaming danger right away. He looked a bit worried when he saw us approaching but seemed much more at ease after we told him that we think our midnight visitor was a monster. We did find his reaction a bit strange, so we asked him why he wasn’t terrified to hear he almost crossed paths with a terrible monster. He started explaining his reaction with an impressive series of ums and ahs, before telling us that monsters are actually afraid of mice. And then he went on to tell us how he faced many monsters before and even offered to keep an eye on our bedroom door at night, and said if he sees any monster approaching he’ll chase them away…and he would be happy to do this for the mere price of a cookie a day. And so, from that night on, we’ve been leaving a cookie at his door and since then we haven’t been bothered by any midnight noises other that the occasional snore.

The Pumpkin Patch
~ by Collie C. Flowers [ October the 1st ]
It's October which is one of our favourite times of the year, and how could it not be with things like collecting gold and ruby leaves, playing conkers and of course Halloween. Oh, and don't forget the pumpkins! We just love pumpkins and recently discovered a wee pumpkin patch at the edge of the old ogre woods. We should probably not tell you about it because we're not actually allowed to go there (it's said to be haunted and no place for wee little picsees). However, everyone knows that the ogre woods only start at the edge of its shadows, and there are a few moments once or twice a month where its eerie shade doesn't quite reach this little pumpkin patch. This only lasts for a few minutes. Brother says it's exactly thirteen minutes, but however long, it was enough time for us to get our hands on three pumpkins.

We were very proud of this little autumn harvest and decided to compose and draw a still life with them. It all started off well but there was a lot of details to get right and we ended up working well past our bedtime to get it done, and eventually we lost track of time...until the clock started to knell a dreadful midnight bell. We've never heard it ring quite like this which gave us all goosebumps and shivers. But the worst was yet to come, because as it fell silent, it revealed a sinister laugh and we saw that our still life was no longer as still as one would expect! Turns out the pumpkins were just as haunted as the old ogre woods itself and they all became terrifying pumpkin ghosts at the stroke of midnight. In fact, they were so haunted that everything near them became haunted too (although the pair of pears seemed more frightened than frightening).

We did the logical thing and ran off with a cacophony of eeks and screams but soon realized that even though it was a very scary scene, it would make a fantastic colouring page for Halloween. So, we decided to be brave and finished the drawing from afar, and when the clock stroke one, we drew the last line and the ghostly scene once again became a harmless still life. Brother said he thinks we were all just spooked by a late-night sound and the rest was just imagination but the following night he agreed that it was probably a good idea to put the pumpkins in the hallway and lock the bedroom door until the next morning.

The Bughouse
~ by Collie C. Flowers [ September the 1st ]
We've been spending most of the past week indoors because it was just too warm to be outside for long. And on one of those indoor days, as we sat reading stories on the windowsill, we saw some bugs taking shelter from the sun in a shady nook. Normally we’d invite them all into the house, but since an incident earlier this year that involved a tiny horde of toads, we are no longer allowed to have more than 3 creepy crawlies in our room at a time, and so we decided to build the bugs a wee little house of their own where they could hide away from the hottest part of the day.

We got straight to work, with myself, Mika and Eric on interior duties, while Brother and Ingo built the structure and all the outside bits. They started by making a few little bug doors with an old hole punch and had the walls up soon after, which meant we could climb in and start our work on the inside. First we fitted a carpet which we made from some placemats and after that we fashioned a snazzy little sofa by filling a polka-dot sock with some barley corn (Don’t worry, we only take socks from the laundry if there is at least one more sock just like it left for our human beans). Next we taped a selection of macaronies and cannellonies to the walls for the wee bug bairns to play in and made some drawings of famous bugs from history in the spaces between these. Finally, when brother and Ingo fitted the roof, we painted some blue skies, clouds and a smiley sun and moon on the ceiling. When we were done, we invited brother and Ingo in to have a look at how cozy it was...but that proved to be a bit problematic because the wee bug-doors was sized to fit little bugs and not big brothers. At first this was rather funny until we realized that if they can’t get in, we can’t get out either.

We considered our options and thought about making it our forever home, but as soon as we realized that there is absolutely no way we could ever play a good game of hide and seek in such a small place all discussions turned towards finding a way out. Once again, we considered our options and concluded that we had but one choice and did something we wouldn’t normally do… We told Eric that under no circumstances is he allowed to do anything to the wall that would damage it in any way, and promptly turned our backs on him. Of course, by the time we turned around again a second later the wall was completely broken down and Eric was outside explaining how he has never been anywhere near the wall and had nothing to do with the fact that it appeared to be ever so slightly damaged. And since he just got us out of a rather tight situation, we agreed that it was probably true, and the wall has always been like this. We then all lend a hand to mend the wall, after which we took the wee bughouse outside and we’re glad to say they loved it and had no trouble getting in and out at all.

A hot summer's day
~ by Collie C. Flowers [ August the 1st ]
It's been very warm around here the last few days. Luckily, we’ve seen more than enough postcards to know that the best thing to do on a hot summer's day, is to spend it at the beach or on a boat while wishing that the recipient of the postcard was there as well.

Unfortunately, we were nowhere near a beach and we didn’t have a boat. We did however know where to find a nice big saucepan that we could all fit into and had it on good authority that it could float (we’ll leave the reasons we knew these things for another story). And so, we loaded it onto our wee little wagon and took it down to the canal that passes near our house, and before long, the HMS saucepan was launched on her maiden voyage. We were having a lovely time for a minute or two, but halfway through minute three we realized that a crowded metal pan in the scorching heat is not the most tranquil place to be, as some postcards might lead you to believe. We all started to fidget and bob about, which almost instantly caused the HMS saucepan to transform itself into an open top submarine, and as we swam to the shore, we all agreed that boating might not be for us.

But it’s not all as bad as it sounds, because the water cooled us down, and as we recovered our shipwrecked saucepan, we came to the realization that it would probably serve us better with water on the inside rather than the other way around. So we loaded it onto our wee little wagon once more, and wheeled it back home where it became known as the HMS swimming pool, until our human beans discovered it last night…which ties in with their story of why the kitchen cupboard had to be fitted with a lock.

Magic Beans
~ by Collie C. Flowers [ July the 1st ]
Last night we read a book about the Highlands back home in Scotland and when we woke up this morning, we were all feeling a bit homesick. And so, as we quite often do when we're feeling a little blue, we went to look for a distraction snack or two in the kitchen cupboard. While we were making our way up to the high shelves where said snacks are kept, Mika spotted a strange little raggedy bag that we've never seen before. We went to investigate and found that the bag was full of beans...and although we're not experts of enchanted pulses or other legumes, we do know that whenever you find a bag of mysterious beans, you should always check whether or not they are magic...and according to most faerytales the best way to do this is to plant them and see if anything out of the ordinary comes up.

So, we grabbed a few of the beans and went to plant them in the garden, and when we went back to check on them this afternoon we found a beautiful tall thistle growing on that very spot - or at least we think it was the same spot but we were too excited to check - for as soon as we saw those familiar prickly leaves with its proud purple crown, all our homesick blues just faded away...because as you might know, a thistle happens to be the national flower of Scotland.

And that made us think - If a couple of magic beans could make a thistle grow in the garden...then maybe we should take the whole bag of beans and plant them in the stables down the road because as you might know, the national animal of Scotland just happens to be a unicorn and we've always wanted to meet one...

Spring clean and shiny things
~ by Collie C. Flowers [ May the 27th ]
A wee while ago we decided to spring clean our wee workshop. It was quite a big job because we had to take everything outside so that we could do a thorough clean, but luckily our friends Edgar, Alan and Snow (who are two ravens and a white speckled crow) came around to lend us a hand...or in their case, to borrow us a beak. They were a great help with getting everything outside, especially when it came to taking things apart so that it could easily be passed through the narrow little window of our workshop...but when it was time to move everything back inside there was a bit of a mix-up and they ended up taking all the shiny things (like the metal parts of our clicky pencils and all the nuts and bolts from our drawing desk) back to their nest instead of our wee workshop where it belonged. We explained to them that we really needed all those bits and bobs for our work, and once we all apologized for our potential parts in the misunderstanding they returned it all and even helped us to put everything back together again (although one of the clicky pencils now needs sticky tape to stay together).

We felt quite bad that they had to give their newfound treasures back and asked if there was anything else they might like. They said they would really like something shiny and asked if there was any such thing that no one was using...maybe something you could see shimmering when perched in the tree outside of our human beans' living room window...and we could not believe their luck because there happened to be something just like that. We're not sure exactly what it was but our human beans kept a very shiny something on the mantelpiece and it was definitely of no use to them because in all the time we've lived with them we've not seen them take it out of the wee glass case it was in, not even once...but whatever it was, Edgar, Alan and Snow sure liked it a lot and were very happy to take it back to their nest.

Looking for Eric
~ by Brother [ April the 30th ]
We'ddd like to ask everyone to keep a wee eye out for Eric the goblin who's gone into hiding. You see, last night we went to investigate a strange noise coming from the kitchen and found him rummaging through the food cupboard. When we asked him what he was up to he told us he was also investigating a noise, but this was clearly a lie because his face was covered in cookie crumbs and he had quite a few pieces of macaroni stuck to his head.

Now as you might know, you can tell when pasta is cooked by throwing a piece against the wall and if it sticks, it's time to eat. And by applying a very similar set of rules you can tell that it's time for a goblin's bath when a piece of uncooked macaroni sticks to the goblin in question. Unfortunately, Mika made the mistake of making this observation out loud and the moment he uttered the word "bath" Eric made a run for it and has not been seen since.

There is of course no need to worry, this happens ever so often, and we usually find him soon afterwards, usually while investigating another noise coming from the kitchen. But he does sometimes hide a bit further afield, so if you happen upon a wee goblin with macaroni stuck to his head please let us know and whatever you do, don't mention baths.

Update: We're happy to say that we found Eric just a few days later when a trail of cookie crumbs lead us straight to his hideout, and after a wee bit of negotiation he agreed to take a bath.

~ by Collie C. Flowers [ April 1st ]
This weekend the clocks changed from wintertime to summertime here where we live and we decided to stay awake until the wee hours so that we can change all the clocks in the house. Problem is we forgot to say who should be changing which clocks, which meant all of them got changed quite a few times, leaving time scattered all over the house. And to make matters worse some of us (who might or might not be name Mika) got a bit over enthusiastic and changed all the calendars in the house as well.

It was fun for a while cause we could all sit in the living room and have a lovely breakfast in February and then walk over to the kitchen and enjoy a midnight snack in March...but it didn't take long for all of us to get the dreaded time-travel-tummy-aches and we decided it's best to change everything to the right time. It was tricky 'cause no one could quite remember what the actual date or time was but we do think we got it right in the end...and so we'd like to wish you all a very happy new year!

The time we met a tabby cat
~ by Collie C. Flowers [ February 27th ]
A few days ago we met a wee tabby cat in the park. She told us that she was lost so we gave her some of our cookies and helped her find her way back home. Later that evening when we got home ourselves, we told brother about our wee little adventure. He said he found it all quite curious 'cause "cats always know exactly where they've been and where they're heading"...but he must have been mistaken 'cause every day since then the wee tabby cat got lost again and by sheer coincidence she ended up in front of our wee window every single time. She probably couldn't believe her luck 'cause we were able to help her find her way back home every afternoon, sharing some snacks and stories along the way.

by the Picsees
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