The first thing Nana does when she is awake it to go across to that window and listen carefully. She makes sure that there is some music playing someplace in Triflora so that Trouble doesn’t get a foot into the Day. Trouble is allergic to Music.
The second thing she does when she wakes up is to listen for the sound she loves. The Children. The Children live on the 2nd floor from the Top of the Tower. Right underneath Nana.
These are the Children who will always be Children. The Children who will not grow up. The 2nd Floor from the Top of the Tower is their home. They can come and go. They can fly out the windows. Its an ENORMOUS floor. The Children take care of themselves on the 2nd Floor from the Top because some of them have been alive for a very long time and know just what to do.
The 2nd Floor from the Top is a wonderful Place. Nobody on the 2nd Floor thinks that Children need to be treated like babies all the time.
The 2nd Floor Children play all over Triflora in the daytime and at night they all come home and Nana and the Spiders weave a protection all round the 2nd Floor from the Top.
Sometimes, the Children have overnight guests. The Guests are safe there in the Tower – all night long.
Just yesterday, a strange little fellow was washed up on the rocks at the back of the Tower. He had tiny wings and a pointed face. Every big person scared him and he started to tremble and shake.
Only the Children could calm him down. He wouldn’t even let Jenny Wren near him.
The Children took him home for the Night. They fed him on Honey and sweet apple cider and wrapped him in blankets of Spider Silk. He hasn’t spoken one word but when they woke this morning, he was sitting on the windowsill and singing a strange and beautiful song that smelled of the Perfumed Sea.
The Minders live on the Ground Floor of the Tower. Nana has rather a lot of Minders but they don’t all stay in the Tower at the same time. Loony Len plays the Lute. He sits just inside the Front Door, playing his Lute or drinking soup. Loony Len does not look like a Minder. He looks like a Baddie and he talks like a Loony. He wears a pointy hat with a very long feather in it and the tightest pants in all Triflora.
Loony Len is one of the best of the Door Minders. He notices all the details of the Beings who come in the Front Door. So – when Legless Les came a-knocking, Loony Les was watching him closely. Poor Legless Les. He had a skinny black cat with him. EVERYONE knows that Nana will NOT have Cats in the Tower except on Party Day. Les tried to trick Loony into getting drunk but Loony is not someone you can trick. There is no way he is letting Legless Les into the Tower.
Nana spends most of her morning up in her Rooms. With eyes as old and wise as hers, she can watch the Parade passing a very long way away. In the Mornings, Nana has a very hot bath and dresses in her black dress and boots. Then she sits and waits on the Rooftop for her Gatherers to bring her all the News. The Gatherers do NOT come through the Front Door. Each Gatherer has a special way of getting into the Tower.
Young Caperlee gathers the news from the Mountains.
Young Caperlee leaps so far that he plain bounces from the nearest Mountain Top straight onto Nana’s rooftop even with a baby goat over his shoulders.
As soon as Nana sees that Baby Goat she sends them down to the 4th Floor.
THE LEAST, THE LONELY AND THE LOST. THE SICK THE SAD AND THE SORROWFUL go to the 4th Floor.
Young Terrence is in charge of the 4th Floor. His ego is pretty big and he thinks he is extremely important. He even wears a Crown. The thing is – his heart is as big as his EGO and his Brain is mighty big as well.
Terrence knows just what to do for THE LEAST, THE LONELY AND THE LOST. THE SICK THE SAD AND THE SORROWFUL.
He knows just what to do for a little mountain Goat.
OTHER GOOD BOOKS TO READ.
Now that I know Saffron is somewhere up the Creek and now that I know that just about everybody and everything is looking for her, I need to do some Detective thinking. I think I will visit with Bobby Boy. He lives just near here. Signed, Poppy.
Here I am in Bobby Boy’s home Up the Creek. It’s a very pretty place BUT everything is RED and Gold and Orange. EVERYTHING.
I have only met Bobby Boy at the Party for No Reason At All. I have NEVER been to his home before. I thought he was just one of the Children but more and more Little Ones are coming outside and they ALL HAVE RED HAIR just like Saffron.
Even the Old Hen and her Chickens have red feathers. Signed, Poppy.
Hi! Its Poppy here. As soon as I saw that this was the famous Redland and these were the Redlander Children, I KNEW Saffron would be here someplace no matter what her first Idea was. There is no way she would leave all these children who were so much like her. I have my own red wig and when I have it on, I can think just like a Redlander!
I looked around to see who might be keeping a secret and straight away I saw Mandarinea and Rougine.
|Mandarinea and Rougine have a secret but Rougine is not very good at keeping secrets.|
Mumma Blaize asks Rougine about Saffron.
Redlanders are VERY good children but they DO get Ideas and they DO find life very
Redlanders LOVE adventure and this can get them into difficulties.
I think I am getting very close to Saffron now. We think she is a bit young for the Secrets of Redlands but it looks like she has found her own way to the Crimson Sea.
|Saffron, the Lobster and Redland Roger at the edge of the Crimson Sea with Sun rising.||
You see – all Redlanders have Hidden Powers. That’s why Saffron has always loved playing at the edge of the Water and why the Shell is blown when she is in Difficulty.
Redlanders are just like Ordinary Children except for their bright red hair. But when they touch the waters of the Crimson Sea at the edge of Redlands, they become Mer People.
When they touch the Land of Redland, they become children again. Signed. Poppy.
Saffron was very happy to see me and she told me about all her interesting adventures. Now that we know where Redlands is, we can come and visit anytime. Redlanders sure know how to have Fun. No wonder Mumma Kate has red hair – most of the time.
I think Saffron and I had best go home to the Village now. Its been a BIG day. Case Closed.
Signing off, Poppy. ( Chief of Detectives.)
So that was the day that Saffron met the other Redlanders. The Ferry People sent a big sailboat to take Poppy and Saf home to the Village. It really was an adventure.
Mumma Kate said that Saffron could have got into real trouble out there by herself but Saf said
That’s ridiculous! I am fine !
And indeed, she usually is JUST FINE.
Poppy says sometimes
You might be fine, Saffron, but my hair is turning grey before I even turn 9 years old!
OTHER GOOD BOOKS TO READ.
Well ! Well! They are even more beautiful than last year !
When the Water People come, Triflora stops still and everyone breathes in deeply.
Surely nothing can be as wonderful as the Water People singing and playing.
As for the People of the Water Worlds, they LOVE the PARTY FOR NO REASON AT ALL. Beings from Water all over Triflora come. The Beings of the Creeks Rivers and the Beings of the oceans and seas, the lakes and ponds all come together. The Party Place is set up perfectly for the Water People.
The sound of their singing is a very mysterious thing.
It seems to come from far away and from close to you.
It seems to come from under you and over you.
It is like the most perfect wave in the ocean.
It is like the highest waterfall and the widest river.
It simply bubbles with joy and magic.
There are more beings in the Water than most people have ever dreamed of.
Nerissa’s people came up from the Well. As you know, they can live on Land or Underwater.
It so happened that Alyx was at that very moment, leaning over the edge of the Well and looking for Water as she so often did. She was singing the Water songs and didn’t know how it was that she knew ALL THE WORDS and ALL THE TUNES.
Suddenly, she thought she saw something move in the Well and leaned far over the little wall to see what it was.
Whoops! She tumbled way down into the water and almost landed on Nerissa’s Party People as they swam to the top of the Well. Everyone was very surprised.
Alyx had never seen people who looked quite like her. Alyx had NO idea that she could breathe underwater. She had never tried it before. Not even once.
Nerissa’s People were not expecting a Sea Shellian child to tumble on top of them on Day 2 of the Party.
Alyx looked around and thought to herself;
I have found my home.
THERE IS NOTHING, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING QUITE AS WONDERFUL AS FINDING YOUR REAL HOME.
Day 2 is a great day at the Party. Its SINGING DAY.
And it’s the day to meet old friends and make new friends.
The trick is this : no talking allowed. No barking, yelling, miaowing, chirping.
ONLY SINGING ALLOWED TODAY.
Singing Day spreads magic all through Triflora. If Trouble were thinking of stirring itself up, it would not be on Singing Day. The Music is EVERYWHERE. Cassandra’s Pigs sing while they’re working. The children sing to the ducks and the ducks sing to the children. Up on the branch, the Brownie sits very quietly. He is going to sing but he knows the children and the ducking will be rather surprised. Brownies are very small indeed – but their voices are HUGE. Not their talking voices !
Their Talking Voices are just ordinary Brownie Sized Voices – but their Singing Voices are as big as mountains. Deep as the deepest seas. Wide as the Widest River. The problem is that Brownies just LOVE to sing. It won’t be long before he starts. His voice is very beautiful but he doesn’t want to scare the Children or the Ducklings.
He especially doesn’t want to frighten Alyx. He thinks Alyx is the loveliest thing he has ever seen. The Brownie LOVES the blue dress she is wearing today.
He likes it when she laughs and he likes it when she sings.
He does not like it when she cries and sighs and looks sad. She does that a lot. Noone knows where Alyx comes from. They all love her but they don’t know where her home is or what kind of Being she is.
If the Brownie could find out, he would. If he could make her smile forever, he would. Alyx doesn’t know about the Brownie who follows her about and looks everywhere for her home and family.
She certainly will find out that he’s there once he starts to sing.
One thing the Brownie has noticed is that Alyx is always near the Water. Any water. She likes to have her feet in the Water. She did see him once when she was younger. She had gone out onto the ice looking for water to put her feet in. Alyx got so tired and cold that she sat down on a stone and cried.
The Brownie was so worried that he turned the stone into a nice hot cake and then took her back to the dry land of Triflora.
He has an idea about Alyx but he is not sure just yet. He is hoping and wishing that something special might happen at the Party, once the Mer People arrive.
I will give you a clue. See what you think!