The third of the ‘thinzers’ written by Harpo tells the story of the young jesterbeast pictured below and features the incredibly regal Quing of Blossom Castle. That’s her below the jesterbeast.
In that long ago time, fair and true, Blossom Castle was a marvel of blooms. A riot of rainbow ivy swarmed its walls and towers. Its entrance was a bound timber gate carven with fanciful leaves and flowers. The pink walls were high and linked the great circle of towers. Inside, the garden beds of the courtyard terraces rose in layers, stacked, up and up to the Gemstudded Pod. Water flowed from terrace to terrace in tiny falls. Carven Dragon Fountains, with jewelled eyes polished to gleaming, gushered plash and burble. The sweet scent of nectar perfumed the air. Zagger red and filter blue, sunyolk yellow and blinding white, flowers massed in hordes unbroken, overflowing every terrace. Ripe orange. Bold purple. Rashes of pink. Gem Studded Pod? A smoothly dome perching on the topmost terrace. A twining path from the bound timber gate led up and up to stone steps, neatly joined, which in their turn climbed to the door of the Gemstudded Pod. Emeralds, diamonds, sapphires, it’s true. Stars, moons and sky depicted. Glitter. Flash in the sunlight. Above the door spelled out in rubies was ‘BLOSSOM CASTLE’. Lovely runes. The door was made of battered silver and pummelled gold. The Quang, Regal in his pummelled silver garb, and the Quing, Royalty Defined in her battered gold array, stood in Receptive Glory in front of the Goldsilver Door.
“I believe it is rude. I said so before, and yes, weighing it and pruning it again, yes, I do believe that it is rude,” said the Quing, tapping her pale blue nose three times with a pale blue finger to emphasize her point.
“Rude? Rude? Hardly the word. Twigwhackslap, the better. At any rate, by any length of stem, a thorn in the eye,” said the Quang, nodding, nodding, nodding.
“We have blossomed well enough without a jest, have we not?” asked the Quing, directing her query to a high distant cloud. Fair and true, by any measure, she raised her face skyward to speak.
“The bud has bloomed. No going back,” sadly stated the Quang, shaking his head. “Look, Petal, the gate, it opens.”
Truth. The bound timber gate was pushed open by a pair of stern-faced gate guarding fleckrunners, a signal for every door in wall or tower to be thrown open. A stream of all the creatures and citizens and guests of Blossom Castle flowed out to take position along the twining path up the terraces to the neatly joined stone steps. Stonejagglers, nestlers, kitchen staves, leaftrimmers, soilsweeps, waterdrippers, younglings and oldlings of every stripe and wiggle, a few miffens, a visiting roamer toting her shuttleloom, two water wizards carrying starred pouches, several varieties of fleckrunner, a bevy of weeders and tenders, and assorted others lined up efficiently and craned necks of various lengths to get a glimpse of the high cobbled road leading to the bound timber gateway. What were they trying to see? The Royally ordained procession returning.
Led by the haughty Zheeon in his battered silver and pummelled gold Robe of State, the nesters marched, left, right, left, their flutes, pangros and ziler held at rest. The sober fleckrunners brought up the rear, carrying the rainbow quilt. What of the monstrous jesterbeasts? They bounded and bounced, springing flips and making faces. Now on the road, now off. Now ahead, now behind. And all the while chirping like skybirds, beeket or hemrunner. Through the open gate they came. Every eye was on them. All mouths were shut. The Quang and the Quing, unmoved, wore frowns. Ziv AND Harlo hopped onto the head of Oppo AND Shell, balancing there on one well-clawed foot. The pair of them grinned, flashing their fangs. They stuck out their long green tongues. Way out. Their creamy green goggle eyes flicked around and flicked around more, taking in all of the colorful gaffus. They trembled in joy and clacked their fangs. The crowds lining the twining path turned mutely for instruction to the Quang and Quing.
“Jesterbeasts,” snapped the Quang.
“Welcome,” snarled the Quing.
As the Quing snarled, Zheeon reached the gate and marched through, followed by the nesters and the fleckrunners. The group halted at a nod from Zheeon. The nesters raised mallets, ziler and flutes. Zheeon nodded again, back and front. The nesters played. They wove a tune, and as they wove, they parted to let the fleckrunners pass by. Zheeon raised six of his hands and swept forward up the twining path. The fleckrunners, almost sneering, but not quite, trailed the haughty crump. Along the path all eyes could not refrain from staring at the bulge of something concealed in the swaying rainbow quilt.
“Well. Zheeon, show us the bud,” said the Quing, after raising a blue hand to quell the music.
“Yes, do. It may be weedy, weedy rude, you know,” said the Quang.
“A full blooming glory to be praised!” sang out the front face of Zheeon. Crump spin.
“Success and happiness!” added the back, now front. Crump spin.
“What good fortune!” gushed the front. Crump spin.
“The egg has hatched,” happily smiled the back, now front. Crump spin.
“No need to wait for a harvesting. We…” began the front.
“WHAT?? HATCHED!! Uproot yourself, Zheeon. Step aside,” interrupted the Quing.
“Fleckrunners! Wither away. Leave the quilt,” ordered the Quang.
Zheeon stepped aside. The fleckrunners dropped the quilt and turned away, suppressing yawns. The Quing and the Quang, hand in hand, descended the neatly joined steps. The Quing nudged the quilt with a battered golden satin slipper. The Quang did the same with a pummelled silver boot. The folds of the rainbow quilt fell away, and there sat the newly hatched jesterbeast youngling.