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Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Adventures of Grace and Magee in Ravenswood Forest

Grace decided she and Magee would take a short cut through Ravenswood Forest on their way home.  They had been at Emma Jeans' for the day.  Grace had been warned many times to avoid the forest, especially near dusk.   It was only mid afternoon, they had plenty of time. The forest is one of enormous trees, magical meadows and The Great Magnolia Swamp.  There are rumors that the forest is full of magical creatures and the swamp has a swirling current that eventually carry you to Granny Day Swamp.  Grace decided this was silly, she had been in the forest hundreds of times with Sue and never saw even a bug.  But Magee, lets just say he looked twice at every stump and twitched at every noise.  They ran along the lush paths, taking in the beauty and quietness of the forest.  Magee was fascinated, he found himself wandering off the path to look closer at the trees and stumps.  Grace was aware time was passing, it seemed to be taking longer than she expected to find the swamp.  She had not mentioned to Magee the short cut entailed taking a small boat across the  The Great Magnolia Swamp.  At last, the meadow clearing, Grace could see the great swamp and there floated the little boat.  Grace ran to the end of the dock and jumped in the boat. Oh no, much to Grace's horror the boat started to float away.  She put her paw out to grab the end of the dock but missed.  Magee was now running as fast as his little legs could, but he wasn't going to be able to make the leap.  The current was too strong and Grace was heading out to the middle of the Great Swamp.  Oh Magee was wishing he hadn't done so much wandering.  Grace was beside herself, what was she to do.  Magee was scared, night fall was fast approaching.  Magee just sad down, overwhelmed with sadness.  Magee could hear voices.  A deep voice "come over here little buddy" and a squeaky voice "don't be afraid".  Were they talking to him?  Much to his surprise there was one of the fascinating stumps, and this one was talking. Swirling about his head was a round fluffy mouse, a mouse with wings.   Magee was now being comforted by Mr. Stumpy and Miss Flutter, two of the many magical creatures of Ravenswood Forest. 

Magee watched Grace slowly float out into the middle of the Great Magnolia Swamp.  It was quickly growing dark and cold, Magee could no longer see Grace.  Magee finally mustered up his courage to go over and speak withMr. Stumpy, while Miss Flutter nervously buzzed around.  Mr. Stumpy told Magee to spend the night in the boat house, he knew from watching that there were soft sacks to sleep on, warm blankets and lanterns.  Mr. Stumpy sent  Miss Flutter, to squeeze through a floorboard crack, opening the window for Magee.  Magee cautiously jumped through the window.   Magee was relieved  the boat house was just as Mr. Stumpy said, but Mr. Stumpy forgot to mention there was a spare row boat.  Magee's spirits soared for he knew in the morning he would set out crossing The Great Magnolia Swamp in search of Grace and home.  
 Miss Flutter told Magee that she would go with him in the morning to guide him across the great swamp.  She knew her way and had many friends along the way that would be able to guide them through Ravenswood Forest.  She knew as they travelled they would need to be smart and steer their tiny boat carefully through the swirling currents.  They needed to be sure they were not heading toward Granny Day Swamp. For even Miss Flutter feared Granny Day! 

Magee woke bright and early anxious to get started.  He quickly noticed
Miss Flutter was no where to be found.   Oh, he had a bad feeling.  He 
could not open the boat house doors, alarmed he went back out the window. Only to find Miss Flutter with Alvin and Barrows.  Alvin a breathtaking owl, and Barrows an enormous bear, Magee waited until Miss Flutter invited him over. Magee was terrified, he had never met an owl or a bear, and only feared the worst.  Alvin jumped all about talking the whole time, and Barrows gave Magee a giant hug, squeezing the air right out of him.  Relieved, Miss Flutter explained Barrows had found them a small boat with a sail, as the boat house doors were jammed shut.  Alvin told them the fog would not lift until around noon time, that was still several hours away.  He told them to head toward the two large pines in the distance.  They marked the opening in the Great Magnolia Swamp.   Barrows had found them a small lantern so Alvin would not loose sight of them in the fog.  Alvin would fly overhead.  The wind was light the journey across the Great Magnolia Swamp would last several hours.  After passing through the opening, they will spend the night at Peter's Pulpit deep in the heart of Ravenswood Forest.  Magee is desperately hoping Grace will be waiting at Peter's Pulpit.  Magee doesn't want to face Granny Day without Grace.  

The journey across the Great Magnolia Swamp had taken longer than Magee and Miss Flutter anticipated.  They lost sight of Alvin several times during their journey.  The fog had become very thick, they had no choice but to drift aimlessly hoping the swirling currents would take them toward the great pines.  Miss Flutter was becoming nervous feeling she should take a quick spin overhead to see if she could locate the great pines through the fog. Miss Flutter was worried she would then loose sight of Magee.  She had to brave the fog.  Up she went, to her surprise they were just about there, but storm clouds were mounting.   Magee and Miss Flutter were relieved to be slowly drifting by the great pines.   Miss Flutter knew exactly where they were. They had entered Briar Swamp, Peter's Pulpit, where they would spend the night, was at the far end.  Magee was so hopeful he would find Grace waiting at Peter's Pulpit.  Suddenly, Miss Flutter, started making an amazing twirling noise calling out to Mr. Stumpy.  Miss Flutter was hoping to hear his roar in return.  There were Mr. Stumpys all through Ravenswood Forest, all looking to guide lost travelers.  Grace had had a rough journey across the Great Magnolia Swamp.  She had not been as lucky as Magee and Miss Flutter.  She crossed the swamp at night where she ran aground on Raccoon Ledges.  Her little boat was badly damaged.  Grace was terrified,she would not make it past the great pines and be lost forever in the Great Magnolia Swamp.  Fortunately, her little boat had an engine that didn't give out.  Grace made it to Peter's Pulpit where her little boat sank.  As she was swimming ashore, to her surprise she saw Mr. Stumpy, oh she was so relieved.  He said "shhhh, Grace do you hear a familiar barking"  Grace listened so carefully, hoping somehow it was Magee, all of a sudden she realized it was Emma Jean.  Oh how her spirits soared, she told Emma Jean all about her journey so far and how little Magee was lost.  Emma Jean was calm, having complete faith that Magee would make it across the Great Magnolia Swamp.  Emma Jean had met Miss Flutter one time when she had become lost, she was confident Magee would meet up with her.  Patiently they waited.  

After the excitement and relief of finding each other Miss Flutter and Grace realized they needed to find shelter soon, it was growing card and foggy again.  Miss Flutter suggested they try to make it to the Mosses, they had a home deep in the forest where Peter Pixie lived.  Miss Flutter let out one of her trilling noises and to everyone's relief was met by Mr. Stumpy's roar.  Off they went.  Magee was struggling, his little legs were exhausted and he was so hungry.  Miss Flutter flew ahead following the periodic roars from Mr. Stumpy.  She met up with Peter Pixie.  Miss Flutter was thrilled to see he had started a fire and was cooking dinner for the weary travelers.  Magee was quick to lay down in the soft leaves of the forest floor, while dinner was cooking.  Miss Flutter spoke with Peter and Mr. Stumpy to see what they thought the safest and quickest route would be for the weary travelers.  Mr. Stumpy thought the safest route would be the Dogtown Road, he was concerned that they avoid the Moraine Farm.  If they followed the Dogtown Road they would find their way through the meadow of poppies and shrooms.  It was a beautiful meadow, Peter was excited they would be taking that route, so he decided to accompany them.

Emma Jean decided she would head out early before Grace and Magee.  She knew Sue was terribly worried about Grace and Magee.   After a restful night Grace and Magee set out for another day of adventure in Ravenswood Forest.  They ran for what seemed like forever throughout the deep forest.  Finally the forest opened up where they found themselves at the base of a steep hill.  At the top, to their surprise and relief was the meadow of poppies and shrooms.  Yes, it was beautiful.  The poppies danced about in a gentle breeze and glittered like diamonds in the sunlight.  But to Grace's horror there were enormous mushrooms everywhere.  She had not realized when Mr. Stumpy spoke of the "shrooms" he meant mushrooms.  She immediately spoke to Magee, he had had a bad experience with mushrooms.  Magee was on top of the world, jumping and running about through the poppies nipping at Grace every chance he got.  Back to his silly self.  Grace on the other hand, had a m mission and that was to find home.  At the bottom of the meadow sat Miss Flutter with Peter Pixie.  They thought this would be a good rest stop for Grace and Magee.  Miss Flutter wanted to talk to Grace about where she should go from here.  Miss Flutter had heard Mr. Stumpy's roar, heavy rain was approaching.  Peter Pixie reminded Miss Flutter that Old Appleton Farm would be a good overnight stop for Grace and Magee.  The farm had been abandoned years ago, and the Hooties had moved in.  The Hooties were a friendly, overly chatty family of owls that loved having visitors.  Grace thought the plan sounded terrific.  She and Magee set out after a brief rest.  They needed to move right along there were only several hours of daylight left.

Grace and Magee made it to Old Appleton Farm just as the rain began.  Grace was reluctant to enter the farm, it was not what she expected.  The farm was like a castle, but it was falling down.  they had no choice, in they went.  Sure enough all the Hooties were home.  There was paper everywhere and as they flew around the paper flew around.  Strangely, candles were lit and there was a blanket off in the corner.  Grace and Magee snuggled up for the night.  The Hooties wanted to hear all about their journey.  There are the twins, This and That, they sat on the book stand above Grace.  What one didn't think of the other one did.  Snowy sat in the window, muttering to himself.  Then there was Mr. and Mrs. Fluff and their daughter Poofy.  Poofy seemed to be having a hard time staying awake.  Mr. and Mrs. Fluff wanted to know all about their adventure across the Great Magnolia Swamp as Alvin was Mrs. Fluff's brother.  Bright Eyes was sitting on the edge of the desk and seemed to take such pleasure in catching all the flying papers.  Barny, the imp of the group, huddled under the desk, frequently nibbling on Bright Eyes' toes. Lastly, there was Screecher.  His name suited him well, every so often he let out this screech that raised the hair on Grace's back.  Screecher and Miss Flutter were teaming up a little later to see what the safest route would be for Grace and Magee.  If the weather held, Grace and Magee should make it home tomorrow.

Grace and Magee woke up to a gorgeous morning.  Warm and sunny with a gentle breeze.  Miss Flutter and Screecher had spent the night flying through Ravenswood Forest.  Following the Dogtown Road seemed the safest route.  They had come across Mr. Stumpy and Peter Pixie, they were also going to follow Grace and Magee.  If all went well and there was no wandering off the trail, they would be at the entrance to Ravenswood Forest in several hours.  Magee was so excited he could hardly control himself.  Grace knew all the familiar markers to look for.  Grace would follow the orange markers on the trees and the various Babson Boulders.  They had been traveling for several hours now and Grace had noticed Miss Flutter was no where to be seen.  She was a little concerned but they had reentry passed the Hermit's Plaque, so she knew they were headed in the right direction.  Suddenly, there stood Sue her best friend, and their mother.  Magee was wild with excitement.  Grace could not believe Mr. Stumpy, Miss Flutter and Peter Pixie, Alvin and her beloved Emma Jean were all waiting for them with open arms.  Sue greeted them with treats, hugs and kisses.  Magee couldn't wait to get home to tell Sue and Millie all about their adventure in Ravenswood Forest.  Grace would remember the friends they made forever.  

Magee, Emma Jean and Grace
http://shop.scrapbookgraphics.com/Lorie-Davison/  All of the above photo manipulations contain
various digital elements from kits made by Lorie Davison