If you read the previous chapter, you will remember that the good King Midas LeBottom gave me a most wonderful and magical gift: a Dragon's Eye. Dear Caesar Emeritus and I experimented lots with this wonderful silvery orb along the way. The good King Midas shared only enough of the Dragon's Eye's secrets to get us started...the rest was left up to us to discover--by our own request. Remote viewing, invisibility, voice-changing and language translation were but a few of the fabulous silvery orb's powers we learned to implement during our peaceful and pleasant journey. For safety and security reasons, I'm not going to detail here how to use the Dragon's Eye, nor disclose all of its powers (though it's quite possible some of its other powers will be revealed in future chapters).
After dear Caesar and I hugged and he returned to the Library Tree, we parted ways. He was quite anxious, of course, to begin examining (and experimenting with?) the herbs in his satchel that we had collected while in Flatlandia. For my part, I was very much looking forward to pranking my beautiful gatekeeper, Madeleine the Albino Peacock (Peahen) by way of my oh so magical Dragon's Eye. I was very smug as I reminded myself that all the technology and surveillance equipment Madeleine had brought our Xanadu Forest was no match for ancient magic.
Unfortunately, I had neglected to consider that Edwin the Bee might blow my cover. And He did, of course! Though I had used the Dragon's Eye to make myself invisible long before I approached my garden gate, He greeted me as I entered (which He almost never does!) my Sacred Garden gate, and He reminded me that being smug doesn't suit His children. He reminded me out loud, of course, so that Madeleine's attention and suspicion were sufficiently drawn...much to my chagrin.
I quickly decided to use the Dragon's Eye to change my voice while still remaining invisible to my beautiful gatekeeper, determined to execute my plan, despite knowing well she was likely too clever to fall for my intended ruse. Undeterred, I approached Madeleine's desk (Achilles' Last Stand) and stood before her unseen, as I stated in a low and dark sounding voice, "I am the father of all the kale that you have ever consumed, and I have come to exact revenge for the destruction of my children."
I could feel immediately that she wasn't falling for my prank, though I was surprised that she played along with me for a bit. "I see," Madeleine said calmly, and continued, "I offer no excuse, and am at your mercy, Mr. Father of all kale. I can only assure you that it was never my intention to cause harm to your lovely children. I only was ever hungry, and in need of their nourishment. Do with me what you will."
Why I stood taller, puffed out my chest, and squared my shoulders I'm not sure, since it was clear that Madeleine couldn't see me. But I did so, and I tried to sound extra extra ominous when I replied, "You chose your comfort above the life of my children. That I can never forgive. But I am not so cruel as you are. I shall spare your life for now."
I was about to command Madeleine that kale must never again be eaten in the Xanadu Forest--and especially shouldn't be fed to KeV (in the most evil Dragon's Eye voice I could muster) when Cousin Eddie zipped by in the remote control patrol jeep and shouted, "Hey, KeV! Nice to see you!" As I watched Cousin Eddie's little jeep disappear into the bushes, I uttered out loud (in my own voice) something I'll not repeat here. It was one of the rare occasions that I've used vulgar phrases in my Sacred Garden. Apparently, the invisibility of the Dragon's Eye doesn't work on Ravens. I made a mental note that Cousin Eddie and I would have to discuss this soon.
Truth be told, all of us in my Sacred Garden (even Edwin the Bee) had a great laugh after that, though I was disappointed that my prank was much less than successful. I consoled myself by considering that Madeleine was still unaware of the other powers my Dragon's Eye held. It was certainly better than her technology. "Fake magic," I called it to myself silently. And fake magic would always pale in comparison to the real magic I held within my Dragon's Eye. I felt sure of that. And I made myself visible to her again as she handed me the Garden Gate Activity Logs clipboard and asked me to sign off on the several pages worth I had missed while dear Caesar and I were in Flatlandia. After our good laughs, and my genuine acceptance of the situation, I was calm enough to exchange pleasantries with my beautiful gatekeeper and tell her just how wonderful it was for dear Caesar and I to share so many magical experiences with King Midas LeBottom while at his cottage upon Dew Mound near the center of Flatlandia. And I told Edwin the Bee that I loved Him. And I thanked Him.
After that I decided to visit the county clerk's office and see how Caw Caw Carl was doing as my assistant to the assistant county clerk. Caw Caw Carl was doing quite well, as it turned out, and I was more than happy to see him perched upon the perfectly replicated garden gate Cousin Eddie had made for him out of beer cans. He led me inside the county clerk's office, and he was genuinely pleased to hear what wonderful experiences dear Caesar and I had with good King Midas at Dew Mound. I had no particular reason, but I decided not to tell him about the Dragon's Eye.
What I saw upon Caw Caw Carl's desk, as I entered the office (which was formerly Madeleine's desk before she became my beautiful gatekeeper) truly surprised me: it appeared to be an elaborate and highly detailed diorama of my Sacred Garden--complete with properly scaled-down action figures of Edwin the Bee, Madeleine, Cousin Eddie, and myself. And yes, there was even a tiny Freddie the Frog upon a tiny dock looking over a scaled-down version of the Pond of Fanciness, complete with an accurately-scaled-down Island of Summer, which itself was complete with tiny tiny bushes and a chaise lounge that disguised what I HOPED was a non-functioning portal to a scaled-down Olympus.
Caw Caw Carl must have felt my sense of wonder, for he hopped onto his desk and spoke proudly with enthusiasm, "It was all Gemini Cricket cricket's idea! We found found the blueprints of your Sacred sacred garden in one of the file cabinet cabinets, and the rest as they say say, is history...sort sort of. Gemini Cricket cricket suggested this would be a great great way of learning to perfect my abilities as a gatekeeper gatekeeper. Isn't it grand grand?!"
I agreed that it was indeed a grand, grand, idea, and confirmed with Caw Caw Carl that the hidden tiny tiny portal on the Island of Summer wasn't actually functional. He believe believed it wasn't. That was good good enough for me just then. And I told him twice just how fabulous the diorama was. And I was doubly impressed with the detail of the super super tiny lily pads in the scaled-down Pond of Fanciness. I wondered to myself silently if the super super tiny lily pads made Nintendo sounds as the real ones do. And then suddenly I became completely calm. Completely at peace. Completely ONE with our beloved and strangely beautiful beautiful Xanadu Forest. I stayed there in the county clerk's office with Caw Caw Carl until we finally greeted my cousin the moon that smiled directly above us.
Life is beautiful beautiful. Always.
I'm a lucky and grateful dude.
Thank you for always sticking with me.
I love you!
Lovely of lovelies.