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Fraggle fic: The Minstrel's Path

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Fan Art' started by Slackbot, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Heavens to Murgatroyd, it's another chapter of...

    The Minstrel's Path
    Part 10
    by Kim McFarland

    *****

    It was a world carved out of soil. The tunnels were not solid, reliable rock, but earth, packed hard and reinforced with stones and wooden structures that looked like huge Doozer constructions. The ground was perfectly flat, packed down by the tread of thousands of Fraggle feet, even on the outskirts of the colony. Here and there the tunnel bent to accommodate tree roots.

    This colony was close to the surface. Cantus and M'rray, traveling together, had followed the path that M'rray has plotted on his maps. Eventually they had gone past the maps' range, and were now seeing sights that they had only heard of in legends, including startlingly bright sunlight shining down from above. When they had investigated, they had seen an incomprehensible sight: distance, unfathomable distance in every direction, with wavery grasses and occasional taller things sticking out of it. Above, mottled blue and white, and something so bright they could not look at it. It had unnerved both of them. They had not understood why such strangeness should be so upsetting, and they quickly decided that they should listen to their instincts and remain in the safe underground tunnels where they belonged.

    After going off the maps Cantus had taken the lead, and M'rray guessed that the Fraggle was following his nose. Heh, Fraggles had good noses for that. Somehow they had avoided significant dangers and setbacks thus far, and had found more colonies. Most were Fraggles, but there had been Pisca and a few other species. Nearly all of them spoke Cantus' language. M'rray was getting lots of practice, now that he had nobody to speak his own language with.

    When they heard voices Cantus raised the Magic Pipe and began to play softly.

    *

    Every Fraggle colony had a central area where everyone could gather. It was the social center of the colony. This colony was constructed much like a rabbit warren, made up of tunnels and rooms dug out of the soil. Because earth was not as stable as limestone, the Fraggles had left the columnlike tap roots of the trees above them alone when they had made this chamber, and had woven other living roots into a kind of ceiling. The walls were carpeted with various plants that had strong root systems.

    The Fraggles looked over, startled and confused, when the strangers entered. Their instincts warned them that strangers could be enemies, the hill must be protected! But they came in weaponless and playing music, as if the possibility of harm had never occurred to them. Unable to decide what to do, the Fraggles let the strangers—one a rather odd-looking Fraggle, the other an alien creature—walk in unchallenged.

    Cantus and M'rray walked over to a thick, horizontal root that had, from the look of its polished upper surface, been used as a seat by many Fraggles. He and M'rray sat, playing a gentle tune, while Fraggles gathered around, murmuring curiously.

    Cantus finished the tune and lowered the pipe. He said, "Greetings, fellow Fraggles. I am Cantus, and this is Murray." M'rray nodded. "We have traveled far, playing our music for the people we meet. Now we wish to play for you. Please, gather your people so they may all listen."

    The Fraggles paused. Then some left, going out the round tunnels leading out of this chamber. Others walked some distance away, supposedly going back to what they were doing before but, M'rray could see, also keeping an eye on them. He murmured to Cantus, "This is strange."

    "The acoustics are unusual. Hardly any echo. It must be the earth and plants," Cantus observed.

    "Right, right..." M'rray said.

    Cantus waited. He and M'rray had been visiting various colonies, and for each one they played their music and Cantus told them of their kinship with the world through song. Their audiences always listened appreciatively to the music, and politely to his words, but the message wasn't sticking. M'rray wasn't bothered about that; for him it was enough to share music. And, yes, Cantus agreed that that was good, but he knew he had more to give. He had to try harder.

    *

    Soon the central cave was filled with Fraggles. To M'rray's eye they seemed to be caught between interest in their visitors, who had walked in as if they belonged, and caution, because these were unknown people, and one a strange, non-Fraggle being. Earlier in their travels this would have worried M'rray, but now he knew that if their audience wasn't afraid or hostile—and none had been so far—they were safe.

    Cantus said, "Murray, may I borrow your guitar? I want to sing."

    "Sure." M'rray handed him the guitar, and accepted the Magic Pipe.

    Cantus said, looking at all the assembled Fraggles, "Thank you for coming to hear me. I hope that you enjoy my song and remember its message."

    Me, not us, M'rray noted. Hmm. Well, Cantus did have something new planned, so M'rray would find out what it was when the rest of the audience did.

    Cantus played a lively, up-tempo introduction. M'rray was startled. Cantus usually played gentle, soft music.

    Cantus sang,

    "Please hear what I am singing now and hear my words, though strange and new
    In the world outside your tunnels there are people strange but still like you.
    We have traveled through the caverns, we have traversed many tunnels
    Divided by wide rivers and connected by thin runnels.
    The folk who live throughout the Rock may look like you and they might not,
    We differ in our bodies but we are the same in mind and thought.
    We must greet them as our brethren, we must meet them with our song.
    We must fill the stone and air with music to which we all belong."

    Cantus stopped playing and asked, "Do you believe me?"

    "Yes!"

    *

    M'rray was shocked. He had watched the faces of the Fraggles while Cantus had been singing. Normally Fraggles looked relaxed as the music flowed through them, refreshing as a spring breeze. But these Fraggles had seemed… blank, as if the song had stunned them. Yet they had absorbed his message, and now believed Cantus. After all his efforts, he finally made people believe his message! They believed so much it was alarming.

    For the rest of the day Fraggles had been meeting with Cantus. They sang with him, praised him, promised to carry his message. Cantus, of course, was pleased. As the day wore on M'rray, appalled, took the Magic Pipe and guitar and left the main cavern.

    *

    That evening Cantus found M'rray at the tunnel leading out of the colony. Cantus looked disturbed. He said, "Murray, what happened?"

    "I ask you that," M'rray responded.

    Cantus shook his head. "I thought that I wasn't trying hard enough, and that was why people didn't believe me. So I did—and now they believe me too much!"

    "What a problem," M'rray said drily.

    Cantus sat down and lowered his head into his hands. "They believe, but they don't understand. They believe without thinking. That's not what I wanted, Murray."

    "How did you do it? You used magic?"

    Cantus flinched from the accusation. "No! The only magic I have is in that pipe. I simply… convinced them."

    Cantus realized what he had done. When a Fraggle sang, there was no barrier between his heart and his words. What a Fraggle sang was that Fraggle's truth. Other Fraggles knew that on an instinctive level, and believed him. Cantus had put too much force into his song, and had, without meaning to, mesmerized them, giving them no choice but to believe him. He had bypassed their brains and shot his words into their hearts.

    M'rray saw flickers of emotion chase across Cantus' face. When the Fraggle looked up, he said, "I need the Magic Pipe."

    Silently M'rray picked it up and held it out to Cantus. He took it, drew in a breath, and blew.

    It played a discordant squawk.

    M'rray watched as Cantus stared at the pipe in surprise and dismay. The Fraggle was silent for a minute. Then he said, "Excuse me," and got up and walked away, leaving the pipe behind.

    *

    Several hours later M'rray was becoming worried. Cantus had walked off, abandoning M'rray and even the Magic Pipe. Was he just going to walk away from the mess he'd created?

    M'rray didn't think so. Cantus would come back for the pipe. There was some sort of mystical connection between the two, and M'rray doubted that Cantus would willingly give it up, even as upset as he was. But M'rray wouldn't give it back to him until he promised to make good. Both the pipe and guitar in hand, he got up to go looking for his friend.

    He turned a bend, and found Cantus sitting there, chin in his hand, the tip of his tail sweeping slowly back and forth. Startled, M'rray said, "You didn't go far."

    "I only needed to be alone with my thoughts," Cantus replied.

    "And?"

    "Can I borrow your guitar again?"

    Not the pipe? Wordlessly M'rray held out the guitar. Cantus took it. Together the two went to the central burrow.

    *

    Cantus sat on the same root as before. He did not need to say a word; the colony's Fraggles gathered around, eager to hear him. When he raised the guitar to play it they went quiet. Into the breathless silence he said softly, "Listen."

    He began to play, and sang,

    "Is song a boon?
    A song is just the words
    Of those who've sung and heard
    Another's tune.
    Though patter may persuade
    Those words, when they are weighed,
    Fade too soon.
    What right, I ask, have I,
    To ask you to rely
    On words that I supply?
    Only you can find
    Your own truth,
    Seek and you will find
    Your own truth.

    "What is the truth?
    It lies behind your eyes.
    It's found within your mind.
    Seek it and you will find.
    The innocence of youth
    Can lead one far astray,
    So quick to lose one's way.
    Do not believe in me,
    For you each hold the key.
    Listen to my last plea—
    Your eyes alone can see
    Your own truth.
    Open your eyes and you will see
    Your own truth."

    He played more of the tune on the guitar. He glanced at M'rray, who raised the Magic Pipe and began to play along. Their music joined together, soothing and melodious.

    *

    After they finished the colony's Fraggles, a bit disoriented, began to murmur among themselves. The spell was broken. He no longer had any hold on them. They would be confused for a little while, but there was nothing he could do about that. It was not his place to give them answers they had not asked for.

    "I think it's time to leave," M'rray said quietly.

    "Yes," Cantus replied.

    The two stood. Cantus was about to start forward, but M'rray elbowed him. When Cantus looked over M'rray held out the Magic Pipe. Cantus took it, and returned M'rray's guitar. Gingerly Cantus raised the horn and played a single note. It came out bright and clear as spring water. Relieved, Cantus began playing a tune as he walked, and Murray accompanied him.

    Of the Fraggles they left behind, one watched the two go. Her mind had cleared, but she still believed. She would think about it. Hopefully that they would return some day.

    *****

    Fraggle Rock, Cantus, and Murray are copyright © The Jim Henson Company and are used without permission but with much respect and affection. The overall story is copyright © Kim McFarland (negaduck9@aol.com). Permission is given by the author to copy it for personal use only. Cantus' songs can be sung to the tune of My Eyes Are Fully Open from Gilbert & Sullivan's operetta Ruddigore and Is Life a Boon from G&S's The Yeomen of The Guard. These songs are in the public domain, not that that applies to filked lyrics.

  2. Slackbot Well-Known Member

    A few program notes for this chapter:

    I must be up-front about one thing. I am not a poet or lyricist, and I never pretended to be. I could excuse the wonkiness of the songs in this chapter as being symptomatic of Cantus' youth or his trying too hard, but the fault lies with me. Sorry, Cantus. I failed ya.

    I am a huge Gilbert & Sullivan fan. The patter song that Cantus sings goes to the tune of My Eyes Are Fully Open from G&S's operetta Ruddigore. Sure, I could have filked the better-known I Am The Very Model of a Modern Major-General, but that's been done to death. If you'd like to hear the original, here it be:

    Be glad I only filked one verse! Reading three verses of that particularly rapid, unintelligible patter would have been brutal. Anyhow, I envisioned his delivery less staccatto and more energetic, the way he sang Music Makes Us Real (Ping!)

    The second song goes to the tune of Is Life a Boon? from G&S's The Yeomen of the Guard. Here 'tis...

    Cantus wouldn't get all operatic, of course; I hear him singing it more in the style of Lose Your Heart (And It's Found).
    The Count likes this.
  3. The Count Moderator

    So that's what you get when the minstrel attempts a convincing without the proper backup singers to keep him on track.
    But he did realize his mistake, and cleaned up the mess, and the pipe plays for him once again.

    Thank you for posting, I trust you'll reveal who that burrow Fraggle was in due time.
    *Leaves some Halloween chocolate.
  4. charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    It's interesting to see Cantus realize the power that music has, and the care he needs to take with that power. Luckily the magic pipe helped him learn that lesson early on.

    Thanks for sharing!
  5. Slackbot Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure whether the pipe refused to play for Cantus, or whether Cantus lost his confidence and couldn't play. Either way, the result is the same. He couldn't go on until he corrected the damage he's done. He needed some humbling anyway.

    By the way, I grew up in a household of musicians. My mother plays flute and piccolo, and my father plays English horn...and oboe, the instrument they use for Cantus's pipe. I wasn't 100% sure of that until I played a snip for my mother, and she identified it as a synthesized oboe. (I'm so used to hearing it live that the synth version sounded strange to me.) If I'd watched FR as a kid I'd have asked Dad to play some of the music, and he would have. Anyhow, an oboe is a horn, so more than half the time I write "Magic Horn" instead of "Magic Pipe," and have to correct it in the second draft.

    Heh, you noticed the Fraggle at the end. Don't worry, she'll turn up later. You can probably guess how.

    BTW #2: when describing the Fraggle warren, I was thinking of Watership Down. This colony calls itself Fraggle Hill.

    The power of music... Y'know, if Cantus was more ambitious he could seize power pretty easily. Just convince people to follow him he'd soon have an army of zealots. It's a good thing the Mysterious And Invisible whatchamacallit is a good judge of character.

    Wonder what would happen if Convincing John tried to pull his schtick on Cantus? Irresistible Force, meet Immovable Object.
  6. Slackbot Well-Known Member

    <OrelPuppington>Doop dee doop de doop de doo!</OrelPuppington>

    *****

    The Minstrel's Path
    Part 11: Sanctuary
    by Kim McFarland

    *****

    Cantus and M'rray heard the rushing water before they saw it. It sounded huge and powerful, bigger than any underground river they had yet seen. When they were close they could smell it too. Besides water, they smelled something else they could not name. Even the air felt different somehow.

    This came at just the right time. They needed to fill their dry canteens, and it had been days since they had swum and their fur felt grimy. They followed the sound to its source, a huge cavern with what at first looked like a vertical river at one side. It was the biggest waterfall they had ever seen, and it appeared to be glowing with its own light. They could see no sign of what was behind the falling water. Where it pounded the pond beneath it raised mist.

    The cave was full of green. Mosses covered damp stones, ferns sprung from cracks in the rock walls, and other plants grew from small pockets of soil or waved in the current.

    Cantus set his backpack and pipe on the ground, went over to the edge of the waterfall, and peered up. M'rray did too. They both saw, far overhead, the blue of aboveground and the bright thing they could not look at without pain. It shone down the waterfall shaft, illuminating it.

    Despite the force and noise of the water descending out of the unknown, the cavern exuded an air of peace and safety. Fresh water flowed, nourishing the profusion of plants…not that a too-long-dry Fraggle would notice much more than the water, M'rray thought. He looked in, and under the rippling surface he saw long, thin shapes that might be mistaken for water plants, except they were not fixed in one place. Cantus dove in and the fish darted away, startled.

    M'rray walked into the water. Every Fraggle colony they had visited had some sort of swimming hole, and the water in those was slow and tame. He had missed feeling the pull of a real current. He dunked his head under the surface and looked around. At the bank there were overhangs, perfect for fish to hide in. Cantus was swimming in the waterfall-churned froth.

    M'rray broke the surface and wiped his eyelids, then sat on a rock in the shallows, just his head and shoulders above the surface. Buoyed by the water, he relaxed and, for a little while, turned off his mind and just felt the welcoming coolth of the water.

    Cantus swam under the waterfall. There was a hollow behind it, a small pocket where he could sit against the stone, looking at the backside of the waterfall. It was dark here, but the water still seemed to shine. He scooted forward and tilted his head down. The water pounded on him, firm but not too hard, like a massage.

    M'rray opened his eyes and looked around. Cantus was nowhere to be seen, which meant that he must be in the waterfall. Swimming was the one pleasure in Cantus's life besides music, M'rray thought. And if he mentioned that to Cantus, chances are the Fraggle would find a way to link it to music somehow. M'rray stood, then worked his way to the shallows, moving slowly and shuffling his feet along the bottom to create a minimum of disturbance. Under one of the overhangs he had noted before he saw a slowly moving fin. He reached into the water, downcurrent from the fish. He moved his hand forward, touching the fish's underside very lightly with his fingertips. The fish remained in place as if it noticed nothing. When he reached the gills he grasped them and lifted the fish out of the water.

    *

    When Cantus emerged from the waterfall, refreshed and relaxed, he saw M'rray feeding a campfire on the bare, dry stone a few paces from the pool. He had caught a fish and spitted it on a stick. Cantus was glad that he had not seen that. He did not object to M'rray's diet; one must eat what one was made to eat. Even the smell of cooking fish didn't bother him. However, he preferred not to watch his friend catching and killing the creatures. He looked around the cavern, then dug up some roots and washed them off in the river. He found some edible greens and fruit and carried them back to the campfire.

    Cantus put the fruit, a double handful of red spheres, on the rock between himself and M'rray. The Pisca took one and began eating it. Cantus wrapped the roots in leaves and pushed them into the coals at the bottom of the fire.

    *

    M'rray ate the fish right off the stick. Cantus raked the leaf-covered roots out of the ashes, unwrapped them, and ate them and the greens he had found. Both shared the fruit. When they finished Cantus said, "I wonder if this is what we should be doing."

    "Resting, eating, and getting clean?" M'rray replied.

    "No, this journey. I thought I could spread the word and unite the rock with music, that that's what I was given the Magic Pipe to do. But so far I've made no difference at all. The one time I made a change, it was for the worse."

    Poor guy, he really had taken that hard. That had happened days and days ago, but it was still eating at him. True, he'd done something appalling, brainwashing the whole colony, but he'd immediately released them again, so no real harm had been done. M'rray had already had that conversation with Cantus—more than once, in fact—so he said nothing, but patted Cantus's shoulder.

    Cantus looked at the Magic Pipe. Softly he said, "I'm missing something. I don't understand."

    M'rray said, "Listen."

    Cantus looked questioningly at M'rray. The Pisca, imitating Cantus, said "'Listen.' You say that when you mean 'listen to me.' What do you listen to?"

    Cantus tilted his head questioningly. M'rray continued, "You found your truth. You want to tell everyone. But they don't believe. Cantus, it is your truth because you found it for yourself. You can't make others believe it no matter how much you preach."

    M'rray's tone was gentle, but his words were harsh. "Listen," Cantus murmured, this time speaking to himself.

    M'rray continued, "You told me, first time pipe was offered to you, you said no. But you came back and listened to its music. When you were ready, invisible thing offered it again, and you took it. It didn't argue or preach or convince. It let you make yourself ready."

    It had planted the seed. Cantus thought, you can't force a seed to grow, no matter how hard you try, in the wrong soil. Anyone could have heard the music and come to investigate; it hadn't called to Cantus only. But he had been the one who responded. He loved music enough to search for its source, to step outside the safety of the colony. Was that why he now had this pipe? He had thought that he had been chosen, but had he chosen himself instead?

    M'rray said softly, "You promised to take the pipe around so it will learn music from far away. Maybe you should learn too. And maybe there are people out there for you to teach, but you need to find them."

    "Or they'll find me?" Cantus replied, looking at M'rray with a small smile.

    "Yeah. And for everyone else, there's still music. To go visit other people, play music for them, listen to theirs, is that a waste of time? And they will see and think, people from far away, people not like us, but people. Maybe they will learn just by seeing that. We did."

    Cantus smiled. "I've been trying so hard to find meaning, and you make it so simple."

    "You look hard, I look simple," M'rray said with an answering grin.

    Cantus drew in a breath, then let it out again. "I think you're right, Murray. It said that this would take my life. It may have meant my whole life. If that's what this journey will take...I can think of worse ways to spend my time."

    "I guess it chose the right crazy Fraggle after all."

    Cantus gave a little laugh. "Murray, I want you to promise me something. As long as we travel together, always be this honest."

    "You couldn't stop me," M'rray replied, grinning.

    Cantus thought, he couldn't see the path ahead. It wasn't like a map; he couldn't plot out the route he would take and select his destination. He would give himself to the journey, and see where it would take him. He picked up the pipe and began playing. All around them, flowers began blooming, as if blessing them.

    *****

    Fraggle Rock, Cantus, and Murray are copyright © The Jim Henson Company and are used without permission but with much respect and affection. The overall story is copyright © Kim McFarland (negaduck9@aol.com). Permission is given by the author to copy it for personal use only.
  7. charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    It's nice to see that M'rray is able to help Cantus through his crisis of confidence and help him recommit to the future of the journey. Cantus is lucky to have a good and smart friend like M'rray.
  8. Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Thanks. Yeah, Cantus may be gifted and motivated, but he does need someone with a different point of view to give him a bit of perspective and keep him grounded. At least until he finds his groove, and probably from time to time thereafter.
  9. Slackbot Well-Known Member

    I had to take a little break from this, get some perspective and write a story that will not end up on this forum except maybe in excerpted form. Maybe. But, never mind that, here's...

    The Minstrel's Path
    Part 12
    by Kim McFarland

    *****

    It was a dark and drippy cave. The stalagmites were smooth and wet and fluted like old candles. Cantus and Murray heard water plinking onto stone and plonking into pools.

    They had been traveling for some time now. Two winters had passed. They had gone far beyond the range of Murray's maps, and they had soon given up trying to map their path as futile. Yet, despite their wanderings through uncharted territory, they were not lost. Somehow they found their way around, often without knowing where they were headed. Sometimes Murray tried to figure that out, but never for very long at a time.

    They had visited many Fraggle and several Pisca colonies, and a number of other types of people. In each place Cantus they would listen to that colony's music and get a feel for its culture. He would join in their music and, if they were interested, play songs from elsewhere. And if they asked, he would tell them of his travels and the other people he had met.

    Few asked.

    Sometimes Cantus felt disappointed, but he hadn't gone into another funk. He had gotten used to the idea that he had more learning to do than preaching. He hoped that the ideas he was planting now in the colonies he visited would grow over time, that people would grow curious about their neighbors. Until then, he was enjoying the journey for its own sake.

    All this was fine with Murray. This journey was an adventure, and a pretty cushy one. No dread monsters to defeat except the ones that occasionally mistook them for food, and Cantus had showed him how to bluff those off by acting fierce and making a lot of noise. The territory could be challenging, but they rarely ran across anything really treacherous, and thanks to their lack of a fixed destination they could simply bypass obstacles. His main duties were singing, playing the guitar, and keeping Cantus company. As he enjoyed music and liked Cantus, it was a good gig.

    Murray spied the strange formation first. It looked like a flat shelf made of something thin and shiny. It ran along a cave wall above head height and led through an opening into a brightly lit area. He pointed it out to Cantus.

    Cantus said, "Look at the light."

    Murray saw what he meant. "It's horizontal."

    The ambient light within the caves came from ditzies, tiny creatures that lived in the air and gathered around colonies of creatures. Their light shone in no direction; it was simply there. The shelflike creation and the artificial light had been built. By who?

    The opening was high up, and even if they could get to the shiny shelf they'd never be able to crawl through that hole. They wandered around the area, listening for sounds of activity and looking for likely passages. They found what they were looking for in the form of a small mound of mushrooms. Cantus picked one up. Its stem had been neatly cut. He sniffed it, then nibbled it experimentally.

    Murray made a face. Fraggles readily ate those mushy things, yet they turned up their beaklike noses at fresh fish. Go figure. He said, "What about it?"

    "This is fresh," Cantus said. He looked up. There was an opening partway up the wall. It was unusually regular, and light shone horizontally out of it.

    "Someone's throwing out mushrooms? They must be intelligent," Murray remarked. "I'll take a look if you give me a boost."

    Cantus nodded and laced his fingers together in front of himself, making a stirrup of his hands. Murray, the lighter of the two, set one foot in that, and Cantus lifted him high enough to look through the hole. Murray hauled himself up the rest of the way.

    After a minute he stuck his head back out of the hole. "You're not going to believe this. Come up." He reached down.

    Cantus took Murray's hand and climbed up. Murray helped pull him through. The ground inside was higher than the tunnel outside; the hole was flush with the ground. They crawled through a short tunnel.

    The cavern they emerged into was well lit; there must be many beings living here for the Ditzies to be so active. At first they thought that the interior was crystalline. But the straight lines and flat surfaces were not like any crystals they had seen before. The light came from small bright things around the cave, like tiny fires, but they did not flicker. Looking down, they saw mushrooms of the same kind that they had found outside the passage, and, closest to the structure, stems that had been cut through. Moving within and around the structure were small green beings.

    "Looks like a hive," Murray murmured.

    "Listen."

    Murray looked at the structures and the creatures. They were moving as purposefully as ants, or, he thought, cave beetles building their nests. As they did they made a sound…Not just a sound, he realized with amazement. It was a song, with words! The creatures were working together to build something, using a song to set the rhythm. Murray said, "These are people!"

    "Yes," Cantus said.

    "They're smaller than rumble bugs."

    "Lately we've seen many things for the first time."

    Murray gave up. Cantus refused to be startled by strange beings. They sat by the wall of the cavern and watched the little creatures as they removed one section of their creation and replace it with another, seemingly identical piece. When they had maneuvered it into place using a crane they connected it using tiny tools that spat sparks.

    They finished their task, and the chant ended. They rode to the ground on small platforms attached to the sides of the thing they had been building. Cantus raised the magic pipe and began playing the tune of the work chant.

    That got the full attention of the little workers. They turned and stared at the two visitors, murmuring among themselves. Then one called over, "What do you want?"

    Cantus stopped playing and said, "We are visitors from afar. We would like to visit. If you wish, we will play music for you."

    That answer caused definite consternation. Funny, Murray thought; usually people opened up to that kind of statement. These creatures had obviously expected a different answer. He asked, "What do people usually want?"

    One said, "Pick heads, crampons, levers, pitons. Tools."

    "You make tools? Who do you make them for?"

    "You're not from around here, are you? We make them for the Fraggles. Where else would they get them?"

    Murray glanced at Cantus, who was listening with interest. Then he asked, "What are you?"

    "What are we? We're Doozers, of course! We make and build things! What are you?"

    Cantus answered, "We're Minstrels. We wander through the rock, playing our song."

    Murray added, "Think of us as tourists."

    "Are you sure you don't just want pickaxes?" The Doozer asked nervously.

    "We have our own," Murray said, and took his out of its loop on his backpack.

    The Doozer came over and examined it. It exclaimed, "This pickaxe head is old. See this mark?" The Doozer pointed to something on the underside of the head that, to Murray's eyes, was indistinguishable from the other scratches on the tool. "It was made cycles ago. But it's in good condition, no metal fatigue. How long have you been using it?"

    Murray looked at the tool. "I don't know. It's the one I've always used."

    "And your grandmother, too," the Doozer remarked. "Come with me. But—" he looked at Cantus suspiciously— "don't dance around or act crazy until you leave."

    Murray stifled a snicker. He'd pay to see Cantus cut loose like a normal Fraggle. Cantus assured him, "I will control myself."

    The Doozer led the two through a passage that was roomy for a Doozer into a large, round cave. It looked to have been formed out of a bubble in the rock. It was hot in here, and the light was reddish. Both were explained by the vat of glowing, volcanic-looking orange-red in the center, surrounded by stonework and, at a safe distance, Doozers and their machines. The Doozer said, "Here is where we work metal. It comes out of the rock itself, and we purify it and shape it into tools and building materials. Don't go close to that. It's hotter than one of your campfires!"

    "So this is how it happens," Cantus observed, interested. He had seen raw metal in the rocks, and Fraggles had a few metal tools and items, but he had not known how things got from one state to the other. Then he remembered something, and took an item out of his pocket. He showed it to the Doozer. "Did you make this?"

    The Doozer looked at a bar of metal curved in the middle so its ends were parallel. A flat, thinner piece protruded from the center. "What is this?"

    "It's a jaw harp." Cantus put the bar in his mouth and twanged the flat part.

    The Doozer stared, unimpressed by the weird boinging noise. "What's it for?"

    "It makes music," Cantus replied.

    "You call that music?"

    "Yes. What do you call music?"

    "Come with me," the Doozer said.

    It led them into another room, which was mercifully cool by comparison. There were racks of wooden boxes along the walls. Each one was carved with words or images. Representing what? The contents, of course, Murray thought. The Doozer said, "Open one."

    Cantus glanced around. A box that looked as if it had flowering vines twining around it caught his eye. The blooms were carved in bas relief and painted with jewel-like colors. He lifted the lid. A textured metal cylinder glinted within. A soft purring sound started, and the cylinder began to move.

    Cantus watched with amazement as a sound like bells came from the box. The cylinder turned slowly—and, Cantus saw, the texture on it was a pattern of raised spots which plucked strips of metal as they passed under them, making them ring. He watched and listened as the sprightly, energetic tune played. It lasted for several minutes, then the cylinder was still.

    Cantus closed it with a quiet click. Grinning proudly, the Doozer said, "I'll bet you've never seen anything like that before!"

    "A machine that makes music. No, I never have. Are all of these the same?" He gestured at the shelves of boxes.

    "They're all different tunes," the Doozer said.

    "Why do you capture music in a box? Where is its life?" Cantus asked.

    Indignantly the Doozer said, "Capture music? Dozens of Doozers worked to make every one of these boxes. Its life is in the work they put into it. Because of these we can hear tunes by Doozers hundreds of cycles ago as if they were right here! This is their legacy!"

    Cantus was quiet for a moment. Then he said, "Yes, I understand now. This is how you share and preserve your music."

    "That's right," the Doozer said, mollified.

    "May I hear more?"

    "Well…sure."

    *

    Cantus and Murray spent hours in the music box room, listening to randomly-picked boxes. Doozer music, Murray noted, tended to be bright and uptempo, with occasional marching songs peppered in. Murray found them interesting. Cantus obviously liked them, but beyond that Murray had no idea what was going on in the Fraggle's head. He would open a box and close his eyes as if absorbing the music, or he would watch the workings of the machine. He said nothing.

    News of the friendly invasion quickly got around the Doozer colony. Workers coming off shift went to the music room and found two creatures listening to their music with all signs of respect. They wondered what had led them here, and argued over whether the orange one was a Fraggle. He looked like one, but he was much too calm and well-behaved.

    When the latest box finished its tune and Cantus closed the lid, Murray nudged him. When Cantus looked over Murray nodded, glancing to the side. Cantus looked back and saw all the puzzled Doozers watching him. He said, "Thank you for sharing your music with me. May we play for you?"

    The Doozers, startled by the idea of a Fraggle talking to them, rhubarbed among themselves. Well, that wasn't a veto, Murray thought. They sat on the floor—it seemed more friendly than towering over the Doozers—and Cantus drew the Magic Pipe. Murray readied his guitar, hoping that Cantus knew what he was doing. The music in the Doozer boxes was not like Fraggle or Pisca music.

    Cantus began playing. Murray was startled. The tune was nothing like the music that Cantus usually played. It was lively and energetic, with a strong rhythm that Murray picked up on with his guitar. Cantus was playing Doozer music. Murray didn't get Doozer music, but he could follow Cantus' lead.

    The Doozers were amazed. The Fraggles they made tools for made the most cacophonous noise when they sang. No Doozer would call that music. In fact, it was their opinion that only Doozers were capable of real music. But these creatures could play wonderfully, even if their instruments were alien.

    *

    The concert lasted for some time. Doozers got off shift, and Doozers had to go on shift, and others brought their children to listen. Cantus was enjoying himself, Murray could tell. What the heck, it was always fun to play for an appreciative audience.

    Eventually, though, Cantus lowered his pipe. He said, "Thank you for lending me your ears."

    "What are ears?" asked a young Doozer. The others stared at her, surprised. She had spoken to a Fraggle!

    "What I hear with. Surely you have ears."

    "We hear with our antennae," she said.

    "Then thank you for lending me those," Cantus said.

    As the concert was obviously over, the audience began to wander off. The Doozer who had first spoken to them said, "I guess I didn't introduce myself earlier. I'm Comb. Comb Doozer. Um, can we put one of your tunes in a box?"

    Cantus replied, "If you remember it."

    "If you played it again, we could transcribe it."

    Cantus said, "The music we played was improvised. Such tunes are as ephemeral as ripples in a pond."

    Comb struggled visibly with this idea. Murray guessed the Doozer was thinking What a waste! But the Doozer rallied and said, If you played another improvisation, we could transcribe it as you play."

    "Then you may," Cantus said. "But first, one very important thing must happen. One vital ritual my friend and I never forego."

    "What is that?" Comb asked.

    "Supper. It's been a long time since lunch."

    "Oh, is that all?" The Doozer said. There's a cave right near here where Fraggle food grows. I'll show you how to get there."

    *

    The cave was a veritable garden, with fruit and edible succulents and mushrooms and other edibles. It had a clear pond but, to Murray's dismay, no fish. But he could eat almost anything a Fraggle could eat, so he didn't go hungry.

    They had their dinner, then lay back on the rocks to rest. It had been a busy day. Murray said, "Boxes with music inside. It seems like magic."

    "Who's to say it isn't? Doozer magic."

    "Machinery isn't magic. It's just clever."

    "Perhaps," Cantus said. "Yet to one who didn't understand it, it would seem to be magic. Perhaps magic is simply anything we know is true, yet don't understand how."

    Murray glanced over at Cantus. The Fraggle was lying back, eyes closed, looking indecently comfortable. "Maybe it is."

    *****

    Fraggle Rock, Cantus, and Murray are copyright © The Jim Henson Company and are used without permission but with much respect and affection. Comb Doozer and the overall story are copyright © Kim McFarland (negaduck9@aol.com). Permission is given by the author to copy it for personal use only.
    muppetfan24/7 and DrDientes like this.
  10. The Count Moderator

    What a nice distraction to find presented for us. Doozers! So there's your explanation for how the Fraggles got their metallurgical implements. Smelting magma forge and musicbox hall of records. Would Comb end up as an ancestor to Reed? But best of all was Cantus's explanation of what magic is. Thanks for sharing, and I hope you're able to write what you want for your other fic. :busy:
  11. Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Yep, I've figured that there is at least one Doozer colony whose occupation is making metal tools. Why make them for Fraggles? Same reason the Fraggle Rock doozers build constructions for Fraggles to eat. It's what they enjoy doing; it gives them both pleasure and a sense of accomplishment. And maybe that molten metal bubbles up of its own accord, and the Doozers have to use it or it'll overflow. Anyhow, there's a tool source, and the Fraggles spread the tools throughout the colonies. Fraggles give freely, after all, and the ones nearest the colony will always have plenty on hand.

    Comb as an ancestor to Reed? It's not at all hard to imagine. Reed might well have come from this colony. :busy:

    Heh, I think that Fraggles chalk anything they don't understand up to magic. That would include many natural events, such as the change of seasons, as well as supernatural events such as the Rock changing configuration or a Fraggle being able to fly (three times). Cantus has started thinking outside the box, or rather looking at things from outside. Wonder where that will lead? ;)
  12. The Count Moderator

    Well, you're the one writing it, so if anyone would know where Cantus's new radical thinking will lead it should be you. Doozers building tools and musicboxes because it's what gives them pleasure and achievement, there's something just right about that sentiment. Glad to read your stuff, thanks for posting.
  13. charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    I have to echo what the Count said, I really like Cantus' definition of magic. It's something he's definitely experienced throughout his life; how else to explain what music does to him and the relationship various species have with it?

    Thanks for posting!
  14. Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Thanks, guys. I'm getting to tie a lot of my musings about the Fraggle universe into this story, since it's about a mysical character who is discovering the world in his own way. He cannot leave the magic because magic flows through the world. It makes makes flowers bloom, it helps guide his steps, it...will play a bigger part in the chapters to come. And I don't consider it a spoiler to say that Fraggles' ability to not only put their feelings into song, but to do so spontaneously and in groups, is pretty magical, isn't it? Magic links the minds of beings. It unites the rock.

    You've probably guessed where I'm going with the Doozer music boxes. ;)

    (Why is there no Cantus smiley? Do I hafta make one?)
  15. The Count Moderator

    I'm guessing yes. You could always campaign for an official one, with whatever representative emotion suits the minstrel best... But since you already have a custom one of Jan, then it'd be easier for you to make/use a custom one of Cantus also.

    *Campaigning for Uncle D as "maniacal".
  16. Slackbot Well-Known Member

    I actually have five Janken emoticons. Grinning, love, laughing, sticking tongue out, and sad.

    I made a lot of character emoticon sets--you can find many of them on Deadjournal and some of the other LJ knockoffs--and I even made one set of Gawky Bird emoticons. So, I guess I ought to just bite the bullet and make Cantus. What mood goes with him? Enigmatic, of course!
    charlietheowl and The Count like this.
  17. Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Dangit, there's always something I forget to mention.

    Cantus's's's comments at the end are a homage to Clarke's Third Law, which states that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. I've kept this in mind while writing about Fraggle Rock. But not only as applies to technology; since magic is part of their lives on a daily basis--how else could a trash heap come to life, or tunnels open spontaneously or send you all over the world from deep underground?--Fraggles accept things they don't understand and chalk them up to magic. It seems likely that critters who never even invented the wheel (well, okay, they never figured out what to do with it) would consider machinery more complex than a waterwheel to be magical. Unless the Fraggle is Traveling Matt, in which case it must be a creature.
  18. Slackbot Well-Known Member

    As the days grow shorter and colder my chapters grow longer and...hotter?

    *****

    The Minstrel's Path
    Part 13
    by Kim McFarland

    *****

    It was a warm summer day. It was, in fact, the longest day of the year, the summer solstice. Some Fraggle colonies celebrated the event. However, the majority were too busy to pay attention to the solstice because midsummer was the Fraggle breeding season. Every Fraggle colony had a festival of some kind for the celebration—and creation—of new life, and compared to that a day that was merely long paled in importance. Cantus and Murray had been traveling a circuit of colonies for years now, and had made a point of seeing each colony's midsummer.

    Cantus enjoyed these festivals. Every colony had a different way of commemorating the season. For some it was a private event be shared with one's very close friends. Some made a big party of it. Most fell somewhere in between these two extremes. Whatever the case, the Minstrels were welcome at this time. They might play music to add to the festivities, or they might merely amuse the children of the colony while the adults were busy.

    This colony's midsummer was pleasant and informal. They had a low-key party for the whole colony over the space of a handful of days. People set out their best food for all to share and exchanged little gifts like special delicacies and knitted socks, and of course they sang and played and, every so often, went off for a bit of privacy.

    Cantus and Murray finished playing a song for which the colony's Fraggles supplied the lyrics. It worked everywhere: suggest that the song they would play would be this colony's song, and play a bouncy tune. The Fraggles would supply their own lyrics, and Cantus and Murray would learn something about the colony. This song was received with so much gusto that Cantus had begun to wind it down because he was tiring. But then other Fraggles had grabbed their own instruments, so the song continued. Cantus heartily approved.

    Now the two Minstrels were sitting at the edge of the stream that flowed through the cavern. They had eaten and sung, and were in the mood to be quiet for a little while. They watched and listened as the Fraggles sang, and danced, and splashed about, and burned off the nervous energy of the season. They made their homes on little coves off the main chamber. The entrances of a few were covered by cloth hangings; they would not be disturbed.

    Murray murmured, "The silly season."

    "Isn't it wonderful?"

    "Trust a Fraggle to say that," Murray teased.

    "We take our silliness very seriously."

    "Sometimes I think silliness is sacred to Fraggles."

    Cantus thought about this. He asked, "What is sacred?"

    Murray paused. How like Cantus to turn an offhand remark into a philosophical issue. But the resulting discussions were interesting. "Important. Worth respect. Numinous."

    "Numinous?"

    "Pisca belief. We think that there's something outside of ourselves that makes the world go."

    "Perhaps there is."

    "Numinous…well, that's a feeling you get when you see something that seems like part of what makes the world happen. Something sacred. It makes you feel small, and maybe a little afraid, but it's not a bad feeling, because you know that whatever it is, it's agood. Like being a baby in your father's arms. He's so much bigger than you, and more powerful and wiser, but he'll keep you safe and help you grow."

    Cantus nodded thoughtfully. "What makes the world go?"

    Murray shrugged. "Who knows? We don't. We just believe that there's something there because the world's so well arranged."

    "I believe something like that. I like to think of it as the world itself. It lives and breathes and shelters and feeds us."

    "As if the thing that moves the world isn't separate from the world itself? Like a person isn't separate from his own body? I can see that."

    Cantus said, "I'll make a philosopher of you yet."

    "Please don't! You need someone to translate for you when you get too abstruse."

    They shared a grin. Murray asked, "Is that what Fraggles believe?"

    "That's what I suppose. Most Fraggles don't give much thought to the abstract. Who has time when there are songs to be sung, food to be eaten, games to play, and water to swim in?"

    "Et cetera," Murray remarked, watching a pair of Fraggles cover another tunnel mouth with a hanging, then duck in behind it.

    "I think the whole world is sacred."

    "Everything?"

    "Everything."

    "Your big toe?"

    "It certainly is, to me."

    Murray shook his head and grinned. "Silly Fraggle."

    "Silly is good," Cantus said calmly.

    A pink female Fraggle came over some minutes later and said, "May I speak with you, Cantus?"

    He looked up at her. She was a friendly acquaintance; they'd had pleasant times in many past visits. She usually had a yellow child attached to one hand. Now she was alone. She seemed uneasy, and was trying to conceal it. "Of course." He got up.

    They went off a little ways. He said, "What worries you, Tchia?"

    She smiled sheepishly. "I'm not worried. I want to ask a favor of you."

    But her hands were clasped together, and her tail was twitching. "Then ask," he said kindly.

    She said, "My season is almost upon me. Would you join my Midsummer Ritual?"

    For a moment he was too surprised to reply. Seeing his stunned expression, her heart sank. She wanted to say something, to back off, or try to convince him, but she couldn't speak. She could only look back, hoping.

    Gently he told her, "I am a wandering minstrel. I must travel through the rock. I cannot stay."

    I didn't ask you to stay! But she wouldn't argue the point with him. That was a no, and she had to accept that with good grace. She said, "I understand. I won't bother you again," then turned and left quickly, before he could say any more.

    When Cantus returned and sat back down Murray saw the disturbed expression on his face. Something had happened. But among Fraggles privacy was a matter of courtesy, and never moreso than at this time of year, so he did not ask.

    *

    Later that day a Fraggle girl, old enough to be on her own but too young to participate in the season for another few years, sought Cantus and Murray out. She asked, "Can I play with you?"

    Cantus smiled. Every time he came here Brio asked to play music with them. She showed improvement every time. And lately she had been asking about the other places they had visited. He said, "Of course."

    She smiled happily and took out a flute. She held it out to him and said, "I made this myself."

    He took the flute. It was made of a smooth, straight section of bamboo, and decorated with shallow carvings that removed the top layer to expose the lighter wood beneath. She had put some work into this. He gave it back and said, "It looks lovely. Why don't you begin?"

    She waited until Murray and Cantus were ready with their instruments, then played a slow, pretty tune. They listened for a moment, until they got a feel for it, then joined in.

    It was a pleasant, meandering piece they played together, flowing here and there like a stream until it ended in the still water of a pond. When they finished Cantus said, "You're coming along very well. When did you make your flute?"

    "I cut the bamboo and made it this spring. But I planned it in winter."

    Cantus nodded. Murray was impressed. She'd only been playing it for part of a year? She was getting good.

    She said, "Someday I'd like to see the other colonies you go to."

    "You would," Cantus mused, a thoughtful look on his face. "It can be a long and difficult trek."

    "I can learn how," she replied.

    Murray stifled a grin. He liked her. She had guts.

    Cantus said, "There are things that cannot be learned to be known. Are you willing to face a challenge?"

    "Yes," she replied.

    "Then meet me when the caves begin to darken and I will test you. Bring a lantern."

    *

    Well before the appointed time Brio was waiting for Cantus, radiating both eagerness and nervousness. He said, "Very good. Come with me."

    He led her and Murray to a cave outside of the colony. It was moderately large, with little tunnels feeding into it, blowing wind around the stalactites and other formations. Water dripped and a small waterfall splashed down a wall before plonking into a stream.

    Cantus said, "To truly be one with music you must open yourself to it wherever it may be found. You must learn to do the most important thing: to listen."

    "Listen to what?" she asked.

    "Everything." He gestured around, indicating the cave. "Starting with this cave. Listen to its song."

    "For how long?"

    "Until you have heard it."

    She looked puzzled, but said, "All right."

    Cantus said, "We will leave you here. You will be safe."

    The two Minstrels left. When they were out of the cave Murray said, "What're you up to?"

    "She has potential. I want to see how much."

    Cantus headed into another tunnel that led upward. Murray followed. It led into an opening high up on the same cave. They could see down, but the shadows would hide them from view. Murray said, almost soundlessly, "Oh."

    "If we speak softly, the sound won't travel," Cantus murmured.

    "Mmm."

    *

    They watched for a while. She wandered around in the cave. Sometimes she played a brief passage on her flute, too quietly for them to hear. Murray had to ask, "What do you expect her to hear?"

    "What she hears. And I want to know what that is."

    "Right." When Cantus didn't want to give a straight answer, it was useless to try to pry one out of him. He changed the subject. "What happened today with Tchia? Or should I not ask?"

    Cantus was quiet for a bit. Murray was about to take back the question when he said, "She asked me to share her Midsummer Ritual."

    "So? That's hardly the first time."

    Cantus didn't answer. True, he was usually invited to celebrate midsummer in the colonies they visited. Fraggles were, after all, very friendly and hospitable. They often invited Murray too. Murray politely declined; he didn't find Fraggles interesting in that respect. However, the Midsummer Ritual…she had, in effect, asked him to sire her child.

    Such a request was only made after careful consideration. The decision was always made well in advance of the season, so the mother-to-be could abstain from drinking the yellowflower tea that prevented her from conceiving. She would ask a mate, or a member of her family circle if she was part of one, or a close friend, well in advance. It was an honor to be asked to contribute to the next generation. Such a request was not made lightly, and was never denied.

    Usually.

    Why had she asked him?

    Murray watched emotions chase across Cantus' face. He wasn't going to get an answer. He said, "I'm going to get some shuteye. Wake me when you get sleepy."

    Cantus nodded.

    *

    Brio stayed in the cave. Well into the night Cantus, feeling himself fading, wakened Murray, who took over the watch. Come morning she was still there. Cantus was surprised. He asked, "Did anything happen?"

    "No. I'm going get some sleep. Wake me for lunch."

    He really did look worn out. Unlike Fraggles, Pisca could stay awake in the dark. He must have been up all night. Cantus had expected Brio to leave in the night, at which point they would have returned to their bedrolls. Cantus left Murray lying in the tunnel nook and went down into the cave.

    She was sitting, her back against a column, her legs drawn up and her arms around them for warmth. She lifted her head and blinked sleepily as he approached. He asked, "What have you heard?"

    "A lot of things. But I don't know if I've heard the cave's song," she said, sounding worried.

    "Play for me what you have heard," he said mildly.

    She looked around herself, then said, "Um, I can't, not just with a flute. Can I get some things? I'll be right back."

    "I will wait."

    She scampered off. Soon she returned with several of the other instruments she had used in the past. She put them down and picked up her bamboo flute. "There's the wind. When it blows around, it sounds like this." She played a soft, low note, then wandered up and down the scale before letting it trail away when she ran out of breath. She put that down, then picked up a board with several cords strung tightly between nails on either end. She picked up a stick with another cord tied to its ends, so tight the stick bent, and said, There's this sound too." She drew the cord attached to the bent stick across the other cords, producing a low, mournful sound. She pressed her fingers to the cords, raising their pitch to a high squeak. "Bats."

    Cantus nodded. "I see."

    "And this too." She picked up a pair of cymbals and tapped together, making a bell-like sound. "The water dripping off the stalactites."

    "Very good," Cantus said.

    She confessed, "I heard those things, but I didn't hear the cave's song. I could make a song of those, but I can only play one thing at a time. And that wouldn't count anyway. Would it?"

    "A place's song is made up of everything that is in it. Right now, that includes you and me. Let us listen, and play what we hear."

    Cantus closed his eyes and listened, the Magic Pipe in his hands. She started to ready the cord board, but decided that percussion would compliment his playing better. When he began playing, he started with the notes she had originally played on her flute. She chimed in with the cymbals, tapping them with a soft ting to add accents.

    The tune they played was short, but long enough. Cantus said, "You have done well. You have listened as well as heard. You have far to go, but you have taken the first step."

    "What is the next?" she asked.

    "You will know it when you have reached it."

    Brio accepted that. Cantus, she knew, liked to keep people guessing. She would keep practicing.

    *

    They returned to the Central Cavern. Brio made a beeline for food. Cantus acquired a piece of flatbread with fruit and nibbled thoughtfully. One could listen to tastes as well as sound, he thought.

    He spotted Tchia. When she saw him looking at her she tensed visibly. He approached her and said, "May I speak alone with you?"

    "Yes," she said, although she looked like she would rather do anything but.

    They went into a side tunnel. He said, I've seen many things in my travels. I've seen things that you would not believe if you saw them, such as the end of the rock and the fire that burns in the air above it, too bright to look at. I've seen wood and metal that sing. But I can still be surprised. I can even be so startled that I behave unkindly without meaning to."

    She shook her head. She didn't know what to say.

    Gently he asked, "Why did you ask me?"

    She said, "I have no mate, and I don't want one. I want another child…and I admire you. After the last time you came by, I decided to ask you. I didn't think you would mind. I didn't even think it would surprise you."

    "It did. It is an honor I have never been offered before."

    Surprised, she said, "Never?"

    He shook his head.

    She asked hopefully, "Are you…rethinking your answer?"

    "If you will forgive my foolishness, I will not make the same mistake again. Is there still time?" he asked softly.

    "Yes," she said.

    Her smile left nothing to be said. She took his hand shyly. He clasped it back and sang to her,
    "Play me down on the ground,
    Song comes gliding in the summer breezes.
    Raise me high in the sky,
    Song comes drifting through.
    I say one, two, play me, do,
    Let me sound as sweet as you.
    Play me wide, play me long,
    Let me be your song."

    *****

    Fraggle Rock, Cantus, Brio, Murray, and Let Me Be Your Song are copyright © The Jim Henson Company and are used without permission but with much respect and affection. Tchia and the overall story are copyright © Kim McFarland (negaduck9@aol.com). Permission is given by the author to copy it for personal use only.
  19. The Count Moderator

    That's just the pick-me-up I needed in the wake of all the craziness going on around here lately, bad rampant craziness, not the good kind like what Fraggles usually indulge in.

    Cantus: "Silly is good."
    You get extra points for one of Jim's classic quotes.

    *:D at Brio making her debut in the fic and her minstrel test.

    *Applauds at the inclusion of Let Me Be Your Song as Cantus consented to Tchia's summer festival request.

    Again, thank you for posting something that made me smile today.
    *Leaves a mug of hot chocolate. And no, it's not ice cold lemonade.
  20. muppetfan24/7 Well-Known Member

    I agree with The Count. We do indulge into the craziness the Fraggles don't really have.

    I agree with Cantus. "Silly is good! Fraggles love silliness."

    Even though Fraggle colonies celebrate their festivals on a cold season. The one season that I am familiar with is "The Festival of the Bells", but that would be around modern time of the Fraggles with Gobo, Red, Boober, Wembley, and Mokey.

    Overall, it is ah yes great to have Slackbot updating again.

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