Our dear little Giraffe, having landed herself in the Land of Everfog, had been stunned with the sudden knowledge. Armed with absolutely nothing, not even a tapioca leave over her head, she had with her, only her Spots and memories of the Sun and the Rain.

However, this story is not about our dear little Giraffe and we shall leave her for a moment and get back to the Land of Mushrooms.

Now, after ages innumerable, for time was inmeasurable in the
Land of Mushrooms, Cows and Spider started wondering about Giraffe. They had let her go. But yet, it has been too long that there was no news of her.
Very soon, Cows and Spider started to get worried. Seriously worried. Giraffe never had much sense of direction in the first place, and also, being sweet and innoccent by nature, Cows and Spider were getting really worried about Giraffe falling prey to some of the more sinister beings from the Rest of the World.
Cows and Spider thus set off looking for Giraffe.

As they started towards the Rest of the World they saw Parcetemol rolling along.
"Have you seen Giraffe?" were the first thought bubbles that greeted Parcetemol from Cows and Spider.
"The last time i saw her was ages back. She bounced past me distractedly, asking 'what is time?'. A long time back. A long time? Time? What is time? Time.." Parcetemol replied in confused thought bubbles and by the time he finished his last thought bubble, Parcetemol had forgotten about Cows and Spider and went rolling along, mumbling thought bubbles to herself, "time, what is time? Time? Time?"

Not able to get anything else out from Parcetemol, Cows and Spider thus moved on.
As they continued towards the Rest of the World, Cows and Spider saw Pig circling his nest, trying to get the most comfortable position to get to sleep. Cows and Spider walked nearer and found Pig also mumbling some thought bubbles to himself distractedly.
"Where did I come from? Where is the
Land of Mushrooms? Where will I go to when I sleep?"
"Have you seen Giraffe?" anxious thought bubbles arose from Cows and Spider.
"Giraffe? Arh yes, Giraffe. Where do we all come from? Where did the
Land of Mushrooms come from?" and nothing else could be gotten from Pig.

Not being able to do anything else with Pig, Cows and Spider continued on their journey. Not far from Pig, Cows and Spider saw Chipmunk (for Chipmunk was a good friend of Pig and they were never very far away from each other).
"Chipmunk! Giraffe knew you well! Did she tell you where she was going?"
"Giraffe! Dear little Giraffe. Arh yes, Giraffe. Where are we going henceforth?
Land of Mushrooms? What is over the Edge of the World? What what what what what what what?" the excitable Chipmunk started to get extremely hyper again.

"Alright alright, there there there. It's ok." Cows and Spider did their best to get Chipmunk calm down again.
When Chipmunk has calmed down sufficiently and Cows and Spider felt it was alright to leave him alone, they started moving on again.

They proceeded more quickly after this for they were getting more and more anxious. Also, they did not meet so many beings of the Land of Mushrooms at this Part of the World.

One bright and Sunny day, Cows and Spider woke up and prepared to start on another day's journey when they crossed the path of a little brook. As they were crosssing the brook, Spider suddenly felt a little tremor under her third leg on her left. She peered into the water and to her surprise, a voice greeted her.
"Hail Spider! What bringest thou on this journey?"
Spider's shock was not small. She jumped up and splashed water not only on herself but all over Cows as well.

"What..What..Who are you?" Spider's shock was not only at the voice in the water, but that there is a speaking voice, for recall that in the Land of Mushrooms, the inhabitants communicated with thought bubbles and slabs of stones.
"What are you looking for?" the voice continued asking.

Spider recovered from her shock after a while and replied (in speech, not in thought bubbles since Spider and Cows did not originate from the Land of Mushrooms and were capable of speech, only they never use it anymore in the Land of Mushrooms).
"We are searching for Giraffe. Have you by any chance seen her around?"
"She's got a terrible sense of direction you see, and it's been a long time since we parted company and we've not heard of her since." Cows added.

"A long time you said." the voice sounded.
"Yes. A long time and we are getting really worried."
"A long time." the voice sounded more insistent.
"Yes! Have you seen her?" Spider did not have much patience.
"Time. All around us. Yet, what is time?"
"We're looking for Giraffe! Not time!" Spider was practically fuming now.
"What is time?" the voice was not daunted.

Cows suddenly saw a little streak of light somewhere in this argument and laid hooves on Spider's shoulder.

"Wait." Cows communicated to Spider in thought bubbles.
Then Cows spoke. "This was one of the questions Giraffe was asking as she set of in search of Beet-in-Oven! Have you seen her?"
"I'm glad you remembered that. Then Giraffe's wanderings has not been in vain."

"Where is she?" Spider was still indignant.
Patient Cows however, suddenly asked, "Who are you?"

The voice suddenly grew much sweeter and magical. More than any other voice Cows or Spider have ever heard.

"I came from far away. Where i lived together with the Sun. But i came down for a while to give Giraffe a little lift. And now I'm waiting for my beloved Sun to bring me back again. I missed him so much. But I'm glad you two crossed my path before I go."

After a long pregnant pause, the voice continued.

"Giraffe was a little fuse in this Land where nothing ignites. She ignited herself, knowing there's not going to be a way back anymore, and she went around the Land spreading her spark. But it will take more than a spark to ignite many inhabitants of this Land." the voice sighed.

Cows and Spider were still dumbstruck. They seemed to understand something, yet they do not understand yet.

"Giraffe has asked many questions, and she has found the answers for them. Now I'm going to ask you one question. Just one. And I hope you can find out the answer. What lies over the Edge of the World?"

Cows and Spider looked at each other. True, they were always curious about that, but like the rest of the inhabitants of the
Land of Mushrooms, they have never had the courage to peer over the Edge.

"When you find that answer, you'll be a step closer to Giraffe." the voice sounded more magical and more sweet.
"And now my work here is complete. I'm going back to the Sun. He has missed me badly too. I am the Rain." and with that, all was silent save for the murmurings of Rain moving in the brook.

Cows and Spider looked at each other in amazement. Giraffe? What does this mean?
Finally, Spider said tentatively to Cow. "I think we should make a journey home."
"To the Edge of the World." Cows understood.

Thus Cows and Spider started walking back home, to their red mushroom with white spots, at the Edge of the World.
When they were quite near the Edge of the World, they passed Weasel who appeared deep in thought. "Hey Weasel! How are you?" Cows asked, attempting to be friendly. However, Weasel did not even seem to hear and continued sitting on a rock, staring into air.

With a shrug of shoulders, Cows and Spider continued on their way.
They plodded on, the eight legs of Spider and the many hooves of Cows making constant and resounding thuds on the stony ground.

After a long journey and ages innumerable, for time was immeasurable in this
Land of Mushrooms, Cows and Spider finally reached the Edge of the World.
"Shall we have a long hibernation in our Mushroom first?" Cows being so tired out they could barely lift their eyelids.

"Just a little while more! Let's go to the Edge of the World first." Spider persuaded, for although Spider was tired as well, she was relatively less so than Cows since she only had eight legs to move while Cows had many many hooves.
"Well, alright then." good-natured Cows agreed and plodded on with Spider to the very Edge of the World.

When Cows and Spider got to the Edge, Cows suddenly stopped and pointed a trembling hoof to the left. Spider followed the hoof and saw, to her surprise, a lone tapioca leaf flapping in the wind and a little hoof print on the ground.
They rushed over immediately and stopped by the hoof print. Not being able to control themselves anymore, they broke down and wept. Tears of sadness at the lost of Giraffe; tears of anguish at themselves having let Giraffe start on her journey; tears of loneliness and self-pity at themselves, having to face ages forevermore without Giraffe.

In the midst of all their tears and howls, a deep strong voice suddenly rang out.
"Why do you weep my friends?"
The weeping and howling immediately stopped. Just. Like. That. And Cows and Spider craned their necks trying to find the source of the voice. The tapioca leaf? Cows and Spider blinked, and stared.

"Yes, yes, it's me. Here. Can't a tapioca leaf have a deep strong voice?"
Cows and Spider blinked again.

"Rain has told me, you are trying to find Giraffe, yes? Anyway, how do you like Rain? She's nice isn't she? I used to think she was too avant-garde for my taste, but well, my Sun loves her. And after a while, I realised she's sweet and nice too. Oh, where was I? Oh yes. Rain. She said you were looking for Giraffe."

Tapioca leaf took a deep breath and continued, "Giraffe went in search of many things, yes? Well, do you know I sheltered her when Rain came down? I tried to keep her Spots dry. Oh, where was I? Oh yes, Giraffe. She went in search of many things."

Cows and Spider were blinking and staring so hard in turns it seemed like the whish of eyelashes could be heard. Was this tapioca leaf a bit unbalanced up there wherever his mind was, or was he telling the truth?

"She went all around the
Land of Mushrooms, questioning, searching. It was Beet-in-Oven who first awoken the spirit of questioning in her. Ah..the power of music. Incidentally, do you know, in my other incarnation, I play really beautiful music? Ah well..anyway, where was I? Oh yes. Giraffe. She started questioning. Do you remember the questions she asked?" finally, Tapioca Leaf paused at this point and waited for Cows and Spider to answer.

Stunned, Cows and Spider looked at each other. They had remembered Giraffe asking, but it was so long ago (or was it?) and they did not really keep it to mind.

"We did remember something about Beet-in-Oven. Giraffe wanted to look for him." Spider volunteered tentatively.
Cows nodded, and added, "We can't really remember the questions Giraffe asked, but when we met Rain, she asked us one question. She asked us what was over the Edge of the World. What is over the Edge of the World? Can you tell us? Rain said we'll be one step closer to Giraffe when we've found that answer."

"The Edge of the World. A good question. Very befitting for Rain. But there will be no coming back once you found that out. Do you really want to know? Think about it with care." Tapioca Leaf sounded solemn.

What do you mean? No coming back? No coming back to the Land of Mushrooms? You mean there is some place out there outside this Land? Is that where Giraffe went to? Where is she now? Why can't she come back?" Cows were full of questions.

"That is a path few people can trod. That is a path destined for a few. Giraffe is one of them. She has searched, and she found. I cannot tell you where she is now for our slabs of stones with our stories may be under different hands. Giraffe did not find Beet-in-Oven. His was on a different slab of stone. But Giraffe found her own slab of stone. That is all I can tell you. Now do you want to go looking for your own slabs of stones?" Tapioca Leaf sounded kind now, and concerned.
Cows and Spider were silent for a while. Then Cows spoke. "You mean we may not be on the same slab of stone as Giraffe? Or with each other? We won't be able to see each other forever then!"

"I wouldn't count on forever." Tapioca Leaf replied. "You may realise that forever may be just a mode of thought, yes? And yes, you may all be on the same slab of stone, or you may not. That I cannot tell. So have you decided?"
Cows and Spider looked at each other and communicated in anxious, intense thought bubbles. After a long time (or it may not be too long after all since over in this Land, time was immeasurable), Spider finally turned to Tapioca Leaf and said, "Your offer sounds tempting. But I think we cannot agree. You see, we love each other so. It is dreadful losing Giraffe and we wish we could get her back. But you cannot promise that and we do not want to lose each other as well. So I think we have to say no to what you offered us."

"Yes. Well I expected you will give me this answer. You were destined for this. It was just my little wish, a hope beyond hopes, that you might overwrite the hand that wrote you on the slab of stone. Oh well, we all follow different paths. Go. With all my blessings. And do not stop searching and questioning. You have been granted a little peep into the secrets. Continue sowing the seeds, even if it is only here in the Land of Mushrooms." With a final waver, Tapioca Leaf fluttered over the Edge of the World, leaving Cows and Spider alone, facing the lonely hoof-print.
The silence seemed too sacred to break and Cows and Spider stood still, not moving even a single eyelash.

There are some whose destinies are to roam and search. And there are some that are to stay. Yet others may be given a chance to choose. But there is a purpose to whatever that is being chosen. Our stories have all been written with a purpose.


To fully understand this story, we need to go back a bit to the story of Cows and Elephants in the very beginning. A pity the stories wasn't written by the author and so she does not have the privilege of putting it up on her blog. However, she will try her very best to give a gist of the stories in the hope of helping all you out there understand the ramblings of dear little Giraffe.

Everything began once upon a time in the Land of No Return where Cows met Elephants and fell in love with each other. Things proceed such that when Elephants left for their own Land of Everfog, Cows just had to go in search of them. Thereby ended the first story and Cows found Elephants and they lived happily ever after.

However, the happily after was but a new beginning of joy, a new beginning of life, a new beginning of adventures, and also a new beginning of conflicts. And one fateful night came the huge row between Cows and Elephants which started a cold war. Now of course Cows and Elephants did not really hate each other for it would be too terrible to imagine a world which is so. They just happened to have a major conflict and stopped all their telepathic messages between each other. To avoid other confrontational conflicts, Cows and Elephants started penning their thoughts on a huge slab of stone at the centre of Everfog, with apple trees to the East and a vinyard to the West of it.
Cows and Elephants love stories and they started distracting themselves with their common love - Stories.

The Land of Mushrooms was a completely silent land and the inhabitants lived happily in the barrrenness of sound. Giraffe, Sheep, Chipmunk, Pig, Spider, Rabbit, Squirrel, Snake, Goat, Potato, Carrot (which Rabbit does not consume because residents of the Land of Mushrooms do not eat their neighbours), Moon, Broom, Teabag, Eyebag, Bottle, Parcetamol, etc. were all inhabitants in this obscure land. To cut a long story short, a Box dropped into the Land of Mushrooms one day and surprised one of the inhabitants, Giraffe, with the wonderful myraid of sounds it could produce. Lemon Tea, Mole's Heart and finally Beet-in-Oven mesmerised Giraffe with the wonderful sounds they managed to coax out of the Box. However, one day, sadly, Beet-in-Oven, perhaps being overbaked, died, and bizarrely metamorphosized into a herd of Cow corpses. With a kiss from Giraffe, Cows started breathing again and Cows and Spider returned with Giraffe to her red Mushroom with white spots and resided comfortably together, leaving the Land of Mushrooms peaceful again in its Silence.
Hereby ends the first two stories ever woven of the Lands and it is here where our story continues.

Now readers who have been familiar with the happenings in the Land of Mushrooms would know that the previous episode with the Box ended happily with Silence reigning forever more. However, it is but a fallacy to believe in happily ever after stories. Unless you are a little kid who has not yet learnt to read, perhaps you may still indulge in these fantasies; but when it comes to that, if you have not yet learnt to read, then you will not be able to read this anyway. So let us get back to the events that happened after Silence continued reigning in the Land of Mushrooms.

There was Silence all over and this Silence lasted for an innumerable eon of time, for time was immeasurable in the Land of Mushrooms. Giraffe however, is a singularly restless animal and very soon, she started to miss the poignant and soulful humming of Beet-in-Oven's bouncings on the Box. Even the constant companionship of beautiful Cows and Spider could do nothing to satiate her inexpressible hunger for Beet-in-Oven, and Giraffe spent many an hour sighing away in the corner of her red Mushroom with white spots or peering over the Edge of the World, hoping for a sign of Beet-in-Oven.

Oh Giraffe's woes, her sorrows if I were to describe, would fill a whole library with scrolls but ah well, this isn't a story on that, so it shall suffice to say that Giraffe was sorrowful beyond the boundaries of sorrowfulness and woeful beyond the boundaries of woefulness.

Giraffe of course, is never one to sit on things, for as mentioned earlier, she is a singularly restless Giraffe. After whining and sighing and getting all the attention she wants from Cows and Spider, Giraffe decided that she should start on her quest for Beet-in-Oven.

But where has Beet-in-Oven gone to? All Giraffe knows was that Beet-in-Oven bizarrely metamorphosized into a herd of Cow corpses that fateful day and nothing else was ever heard of him anymore.

Giraffe, never one to be easily contented, searched high and low for the answers. She wandered all over the Land of Mushrooms, asking the same questions in dejected thought bubbles to everyone she met.
"What makes the World run?"
"Who created the Land of Mushrooms?"
"What lies over the Edge of the World?"
"What is time?" (for recall that in the Land of Mushrooms, time was inmeasurable).
"Where did Beet-in-Oven go?"

Giraffe met and asked many inhabitants all over the Land of Mushrooms: Chipmunk, Crow, Pig, Ant, Sheep, Goat, Turnip, Weasel, and of course she asked Cows and Spider as well. But no one ever had the answer. No one in the Land of Mushrooms seem bothered by these important questions at all! Giraffe continued wandering, feeling more and more dejected and lonely but never giving up.
Giraffe wandered further and further and soon, she stopped going back to her home in the red mushrooms with white spots for it was much more easier to move as she goes along, over the Land of Mushrooms, rather than have to go back to her own mushroom at the end of every single day.
Cows and Spider were of course upset that Giraffe stopped coming home. But Cows and Spider loved Giraffe, and they knew, this was what Giraffe had to do and their part in this was just to let her go.
Giraffe wandered on. She was tired, lost, dejected, and her questions remained unanswered.

One day, Giraffe awoke and prepared herself for another day of search when far away at the Edge of the World, some storm clouds gathered. The clouds got bigger and heavier and darker and very soon they were advancing towards where Giraffe was, moving rapidly towards Giraffe from the Edge of the World.
In a short time, the clouds were directly overhead and with the sound of thunder, Rain started pouring. What a storm it was. Rain came down in torrents, falling with a vengence seldom seen in the Land of Mushrooms.
Poor Giraffe. Cold, soaked to the spots, hungry and lost, she huddled more closely under the tapioca leave she was crouching under.
The thought bubbles kept playing and replaying.
"What makes the World run?"
"Who created the Land of Mushrooms?"
"What lies over the Edge of the World?"
"What is time?"

"Where did Beet-in-Oven go?"

Suddenly, a disembodied voice sounded somewhere near her. Giraffe jumped violently, splashing water all over herself.
"I know the questions you've been asking. I've been looking for you all this time."
"Who are you? How did you know?" the thought bubbles came fast and furious.
"I'm all around you now. Do not hide. Can't you feel?" the voice sounded gentle and sweet.
Giraffe was stunned. "Rain?"
"You've found me at last." the voice sounded so soothing, sweet, so laden with emotions, almost as if she was there waiting and wishing Giraffe would find her.
Giraffe dazed, could only sit with the tapioca leave draped foolishly over her head, listening.

"You've been all through the Land of Mushrooms searching. It's been hard on you all this while. But I had to let you do it. You were destined to do it. To sow the seeds all through this land. Someday, someone will catch hold of one of the seeds and they shall tread the same path as you did, scattering more seeds over this land."
Question marks were popping out of Giraffe's thought bubbles.
"You do not understand yet. But you will very soon. Now do you know what lies over the Edge of the World?"
Giraffe could only shake her head. She, like the rest of the inhabitants of the Land of Mushrooms, had never been brave enough to peer over the edge.
"Not everyone is destined to go over the Edge of the World. But this is a destiny you cannot escape from."
Giraffe sat mutely listening as Rain continued.
"Now Beet-in-Oven has gone past the Edge of the World, a journey taken by only a precious few. You were wondering where the World came from. Come, let me show you."
Giraffe nodded dumbly and followed.

Hereby followed the worst Rain the Land of Mushrooms ever experienced. For the next few days, or was it weeks, or years, who knows, for time was inmeasurable in the Land of Mushrooms, Giraffe followed Rain, seeking, understanding.

Finally, the Rain slowed to a drizzle. The voice, as sweet, as magical as the first time Giraffe heard her, whispered. "The time has come now. I have shown you many secrets. Now you have to decide, are you willing to trust me and go, over the Edge of the World and beyond?"
Giraffe knew what she would answer. This was the answer she has been searching for so long. She took a deep breath, and formed the nicest, clearest thought bubble she could. "Yes!"
All at once, the Rain cleared and the Land of Mushrooms resumed its peace, exactly the way it had been for time inmeasurable.
Not exactly the same actually. For somewhere near the Edge of the World, we see a lone tapioca leave flapping dejectly on the ground. Not too far away are a pair of lone hoof-prints, their story being left there forever.

Giraffe felt a lightness she had never felt before. Rain whispered, "Goodbye, in this place, you will never be able to hear my voice again. But you will remember forever, all these things I've shown you. Even though you can't hear me again, always know that, I'm here watching."
Suddenly, there was a burst of Sunlight, and hand in hand, Rain and Sun held a rainbow over Giraffe. Giraffe felt a warmth seep through every single Spot on her and knew, this warmth was to stay deep in her heart.

All of a sudden, the lightness stopped. Giraffe found herself on an empty plain with apple trees to the east and a vinyard to the west. Right in the middle of the apple trees and vinyard, lies a huge slab of stone. Giraffe shook her head violently to clear away the heaviness she suddenly felt and bounced towards the slab of stone. There were a whole bunch of engravings on the stone and Giraffe started reading.

Day 1

Dear Cows,

There is no point in this non-communication. Oh, it hurts, hurts too much. But neither of us will give in - why? Let us distract ourselves by focusing on our common love - Stories - Shall we?

Forever lovingly,





Elephants... Of course, we will forgive you for we do not have the heart not to. Pray thee, do not ignore us again, for the pain was too much to bear.

With a kiss from Giraffe, the Cows��� hearts started to pump again and blood flowed throughout their bodies. Cows and Giraffe, as well as Spider, returned to the Land of Mushrooms and resided comfortably and permanently in the red Mushroom with white spots. The Land of Mushrooms was again peaceful in its silence.

As Giraffe finished the last line, she sat in astounded silence. The Land of Mushrooms, Cows and Elephants, and Beet-in-Oven??? Could this be true? Was she a figment of the imagination of Cows and Elephants on this slab of stone and nothing more? What was she?
Giraffe did not even have the strength to move away and she sat by the huge slab of stone. Rain's words came back to her. "When the little ants come waking up and starting to think about where they come from, what would they find? If one day you find that what you've always imagined came alive, would you still dare to imagine it?"
Beet-in-Oven was not here after all. Her red mushroom with white spots would remain forevermore on the slab of stone for time inmeasurable. But she would never be able to go back anymore. Giraffe looked up and saw the Sun in the sky, sending his warmth to every single Spot on her. In the distance, Cows and Elephants were advancing towards the plain from the vinyard.


Here is a story that happened long long ago, when fairytales still happened and the World was flat and the Sun travels across the World from one end of the World to the other.

At this time there lived, at the Edge of the World, a dear little Giraffe. Living at the Edge of the World had its problems. For one thing, Giraffe tended to drop things about - she was never a neat giraffe - and hence her things frequently fall over the Edge of the World. The Edge of the World also happened to be very far away from the Rest of the World and Giraffe never had much visitors. Giraffe also needed a long time to get to the Rest of the World and hence Giraffe was frequently late as well.

Giraffe loved Spots and had always dreamed of having beautiful Spots. In the days when fairytales still happen, spots were difficult to get and were really difficult to maintain well. Some might have one or two random small spots, others might get a few of different colours, yet some might have uneven spots, or worst of all, there were some who could not get any spots at all. But our Giraffe here dreamed of having some really beautiful Spots, quite evenly spaced, and homogeneous in the colouration.

When Giraffe was young and knew nothing about the dangers lurking around the World, Giraffe did not have the spots she had this day (not that Giraffe is very much older now). But Giraffe always wanted Spots. Good, beautiful Spots, not just any spots like the others.

She searched high and low around the World, roaming from the Edge of the World to the Rest of the World. One day, Giraffe found a Lion with the most beautiful spots she has ever seen. Knowing nothing about the dangers of the World, Giraffe gathered up her courage (for she was a shy and sweet little Giraffe, whatever she may appear on the outside), and approached Lion for his secret to beautiful Spots.

Lion indeed had some pretty charming Spots seldom seen in any part of the World. And Lion was proud that Giraffe saw his beautiful Spots and was charmed. So Lion took Giraffe home and showed her how to get beautiful Spots.

Now Lion also saw that Giraffe, being the sweet dear little giraffe she is, could possibly be a good one to boast of his Spots to. Giraffe was loyal and faithful. And Giraffe would work to her death for something she believed in. Giraffe, knowing nothing about the dangers lurking around the World, was trusting and believed the best in everything.

So Lion started showing Giraffe ways to get beautiful Spots. Giraffe listened to every single bit of advice and worked harder than anything. Soon, Giraffe started to have some Spots! At first, they were not very beautiful. Some were bigger, some were smaller, and there were green ones, red ones, even purple ones (Giraffes do not like purple). As Giraffe continued working on the Spots, they got nicer and nicer. Most of them started turning into some shades of brown and they also evened out over whole of Giraffe.

Everytime Giraffe went back to the Edge of the World, she would faithfully carry out the instructions Lion taught her. And everytime Sun passed overhead and saw Giraffe working hard on her Spots.

So it happens like all other things, Giraffe's Spots got more and more beautiful as she faithfully carried out all the instructions Lion gave her. But at some point, there seemed to be a lull in the Spot-growth. Giraffe was perplexed. She did everything faithfully, but there just seemed to be something missing. At the same time, Lion, seeing that Giraffe did not look as beautiful as he expected her to look after all this time, lost his interest in showing Giraffe ways to beautify and maintain Spots.

Now Giraffe started to get confused. Did she do something wrong in her Spot management? Or did she miss out some steps? Or perhaps she was just too stupid to be able to grow beautiful Spots. Poor Giraffe became extremely depressed. So depressed she did not continue maintaining her Spots for a long time.

Years passed. Giraffe, now slightly older and wiser than she was before (not that she is very very much older), longed for beautiful Spots again. This has always been Giraffe's Dream and Dreams do not die in the World during the times when FairyTales still happened.

Giraffe, being older (not too much older though) and wiser now wondered about going back to Lion. Would he be able to show her how to get beautiful Spots? Giraffe, confused, talked to her friend, Weasel. Weasel was a spotless animal, but he liked good Spots too and so was able to give Giraffe some advice. Then Giraffe asked Cow about the secret of her Spots, and she asked Chipmunk, and she asked Pig. She was sad and she was confused.

One day, as Giraffe was out on a stroll around the Edge of the World, she met a Potato. Potato started talking to Giraffe and she was surprised because for one thing, Giraffe never knew Potatoes could talk. And for another, Giraffe never imagined Potato could talk about Spots! So Potato talked and talked and talked and then potato mentioned a certain elusive being in the World at the times when FairyTales still happened, Owl. Potato encouraged Giraffe to look for Owl as Owl perhaps was more experienced in the type of Spots that Giraffe wanted. (Of course, Potato did not exactly put it this way, telling Giraffe that Owl was more experienced, but at this time, Giraffe, being older (not very much older) and wiser, understood).

Giraffe hence packed the few things she might need and set off to find the elusive Owl. After days of walking and wearing her hooves thin, Giraffe finally found Old Oak Tree with a bough cut off. Apparantly, Potato told Giraffe that Owl could be found here. So Giraffe, screwing up all her courage, knocked on the Old Oak Tree. To Giraffe's delight, a little panel opened on the side of Old Oak Tree and Owl invited Giraffe in. Giraffe and Owl had a long chat, and to Giraffe's delight, she could still pursue her dreams of Spot-growing!

Owl said, "Perhaps you should find another one who can teach you other Spot-growing ways"

Giraffe, "I do not know who"

Owl, "Who do you think have nice Spots?"

Giraffe, "I haven't come across many nice Spots"

Owl, "Do you know the Sun?"

Giraffe, "You mean the Sun who rises over the Edge of the World everyday?"

Owl, "Yes, and he has some Spot-growing methods I heard"

Giraffe, "Will the Sun want to show me his Spot-growing methods?"

Owl, "I'm sure he will, I'll help you ask"

So Giraffe went back to her home at the Edge of the World, happy and excited. Owl flew to the Sun and asked about Giraffe and her Spots and Sun said, "Oh, I've seen Giraffe many a time, trying to grow her Spots. I would not mind helping her."

And thus began Giraffe's second attempt at Spot-growing, this time with the Sun. Sun knew Giraffe was a sweet dear little Giraffe who was willing to put in all she had to get beautiful Spots and so the Sun tried his best to help Giraffe. Giraffe was slow at times, and made many many mistakes in the instructions the Sun gave her. But the Sun tried to be patient with her for he knew that Giraffe would hide in her house on the Edge of the World, never to show anyone else her Spots if she felt that she had failed again.

Now Lion happened to hear about Giraffe and her second attempt at getting beautiful Spots. Lion was proud and hurt that Giraffe did not ask for his advice again and so he wanted to sought Giraffe out. Giraffe, however, being the sweet and trusting little Giraffe she was, was keen and eager to let Lion see her new Spots she had grown in the few years of absence.

So it happened that one day, when Giraffe wandered to the Rest of the World and met Lion, Lion asked to see the Spots that Giraffe has gotten. Giraffe, though she knew that her spots were not very beautiful yet, was happy to show Lion all that she has. Now when Lion saw Giraffe's spots, he started telling her, "I think this Spot looks really weird here, oh, and this one is the wrong shade of colour. Oh, you should not crowd too many spots around here, that's ugly."

Poor Giraffe suddenly felt that her Spots were all wrong! Perhaps she should not grow anymore Spots? She does not know. Perhaps Lion meant the best, for he knew how to grow nice Spots too, or did Lion feel upset at Giraffe? Giraffe felt that she had let the Sun down too for he spent so many hours watching over her as she tries to learn the many ways of getting beautiful spots. Giraffe is confused. And Giraffe feels too stupid to continue growing Spots.

And so the story ends here. It is not a story with a happy ending. For Giraffe does not know what to do here. Dreams do not die in the times when FairyTales still happened, but Giraffe is confused. Will Giraffe's Dream live on?


Once upon a time, a very long time ago, in the world of ColouredWaters, there lived an ancient mariner. He was a courageous and adventourous mariner, braving all the waves and storms and waters of unknown lands, journeying further than anyone has ever been before. His whole life was on the little boat he called his home. The little things he had, a few pieces of clothing; his reading glasses, though our ancient mariner never learnt to read; a walking stick cut from the bough of an old oak tree; a pretty little bowl rumoured to be given to him by a certain pretty woman who passed his life once; a yellowed letter in a box made of beechwood. These were his valuables he treasured more than life which he kept safely in the little cabin in his little boat he called his home.
Now our ancient mariner prided himself in being the first to journey to waters deep and unknown, to lands far and wide. He would never turn away from unplotted terrain, from waters unexplored.

One day, which began like all other days, the sun of ColouredWaters rising out of the waters, chasing the little orange moon down back home. The ancient mariner arose with the sun and smelt the air of ColouredWaters and saw this new sea which shone a hue of pale mauve. The ancient mariner stood at the stern of the little boat he called his home, thinking. Was he thinking about the pretty woman who gave him the pretty little bowl, or of the yellowed letter in the box made of beechwood, or of the part of the sea which shone mauve, we do not know.
As the boat drifted past a certain part of the sea which shone a hue of pale mauve, the ancient mariner looked down through the clear waters and saw, of a beautiful land far beneath. Unseen by any other eyes of man before the ancient mariner, this was a world where things were one. The seaweeds had the consciousness of the fishes and the turtles knew the sand that lay deep beneath this part of the clear sea that shone mauve. There was no other, no unknown, no you or me. All was one, a single consciousness, a single thread of cognizance in this place where the sea shone a hue of pale mauve.
Down in the depths of the water the ancient mariner saw a fish swim past. A fish with the thread of consciousness of the sea anemones, and the silver sand, and the waters of the sea which shone a hue of pale mauve. The ancient mariner stretched out his hands and caught this Fish which swam in and had the consciousness of the waters in this part of the sea which shone a hue of pale mauve, and Fish was put into the little bowl rumoured to be given to him by a certain pretty woman who passed his life once.

Every new ocean he went to, the ancient mariner would take some water from the sea and put it into Fish's bowl. The waters changed from blue to green to yellow, to red, purple, turquoise, violet, mauve, olive, orange, but they never mixed.
Every new drop of water into Fish's bowl brought Fish new knowledge, new colours from far away waters she once knew as home. Every single time a new drop of water was added, Fish would tell the ancient mariner new stories. Stories of the lives and peoples of far off lands. Stories that were touching, stories that were exciting, stories too marvellous for words. And every time the ancient mariner hears a new story, he would grow a little. A little richer, a little wiser. A little more into the world of ColouredWaters.
Once when the ancient mariner added a drop of cyan water, Fish told him about the world of a princess who has never found Love because she had been holding Love too tightly and never giving Love a chance to roam and be found.
Another time when the ancient mariner added some pearly coloured water, Fish talked of a dying old man on his rocking chair, smelling the last rose of summer, knowing that there will never be a next summer for him.
When a drop of green water was added, the tale of a soldier fighting for all that he had, his country, his home, his freedom.
A violet drop, a young man losing his wealth but finding truth and kindness in return.
Turquoise, magenta, olive-coloured, yellow, pink, blue. A young lady stepping out of her ivory tower for the first time; a newly married couple having to part; a second chance given to a sinner; a little boy breaking the toy train he loved most; a mother by the deathbed of her child; an old woman sitting by her door for years, watching the world pass by.

Soon Fish's bowl was full of all sorts of different colours, all the colours of the rainbow. And the stories that Fish told enlarged the ancient mariner by a little and a little and a little. The world of ColouredWaters was getting closer and closer to the world of the ancient mariner.
Fish had to go back to the seas one day. That became clearer the closer the world of ColouredWaters got to the world of the ancient mariner. But the ancient mariner could not let go. He loved Fish too much. And Fish loved in return, and never mentioned her own world in the seas of ColouredWaters.
Fish hoped one day, her stories would bring the ancient mariner's world so close to the world of ColouredWaters that Fish would be with ancient mariner even in the deepest seas of ColouredWaters.

Years passed. The ancient mariner was still sailing the seas with Fish in the little bowl rumoured to be given to him by a certain pretty woman who passed his life once. The boat was still the same, the little cabin in the little boat the ancient mariner calls his home. But the ancient mariner had a few more lines to his face and his hand perhaps trembled a bit more as he guides the little boat he calls his home under the stars of ColouredWaters.

One day, which began like all other days, the sun of ColouredWaters rising out of the waters, chasing the little orange moon down back home.
As the ancient mariner sailed towards a certain part of the sea which shone a hue of pale mauve, he seemed to remember something. A memory of a story long ago. Was it of the yellowed letter in the box made of beechwood, or the little bowl rumoured to be given to him by a certain pretty woman who passed his life once, we do not know.
Suddenly, the ancient mariner's hands trembled, and slipped, and the little boat he called his home steered towards a rough patch of rocks.
The little boat the ancient mariner called his home, gave a jerk, and an ear-splitting crash, over the seas which shone a hue of pale mauve. With the jerk, the little bowl rumoured to be given to him by a certain pretty woman who passed his life once shook and fell off the niche on the shelf it stood for years. And with it, the water with colours of the rainbow, and Fish, her consciousness with the certain part of the sea which shone a hue of pale mauve.
The fall struck a hole in the little bowl rumoured to be given to him by a certain pretty woman who passed his life once and the crash struck a hole in the little boat the ancient mariner called his home. As the water poured out of the little bowl, the ancient mariner could only watch as Fish gasped desperately for air. He was sad. Sad that the end had to come like this. That he could not let go before. But Fish knew. Fish would be one again with the seas which shone a hue of pale mauve. But she could not tell the ancient mariner.
As Fish gasped for her last breaths of air, water gushed into the little boat the ancient mariner called his home.
Fish was gone. The water continued gushing in. The ancient mariner thought of the princess who never found Love, of the man with the last rose of summer, of the soldier fighting for all he had, of the fear in the heart of the sinner, of the many many stories the seas brought to Fish.

Then the ancient mariner knew. The water continued gushing in, lifting the lifeless body of Fish and the ancient mariner knew.
With a smile, he loosened his hold on the stern of the little boat he called his home. With a smile, he let go. And the water continued gushing over him.