This story is contributed by Princess Angela ( email@example.com). It tells how Angela's CuddleCastle was built.
POOF! Princess Angela appears at the campfire and greets everybody with *hugs*'. She takes a warm fuzzy blanket from Stu, pats Ami, and passes around a huge thermos of hot chocolate (the kind that magically replenishes itself so there's enough for everyone)! Justice passes around his homemade cookies "Mmmmmmmm good!" Princess Angela settles down, smiles, and begins the much-requested story ... This is a story from the very beginnings of Cuddle Land. Nobody knows how Cuddle Land was created, but it is rumoured that certain magical beings had a hand in its creation. For why else would we have cuddly octopuses swimming in lakes, fuzzy animals living in the woods, and elves coming and going as they please? Look around you at the majestic mountains that keep away the cold pricklies. Breathe the clean air that clears your head of worries. Think of the clear, sparkling water in the lakes and ponds and rivers that wash away your cares. Try and deny that there is no magic here. One of the first groups of magical beings to live in Cuddle Land was the elves. They loved Cuddle Land from the moment they arrived. They explored the mountains, they swam in the lakes, they tended to the hurts of the animals living in the forests. They enjoyed their life here very much, and they still do. One day, humans came to Cuddle Land. And there was much rejoicing! The humans were kind creatures who took care of each other, and were very nice to everyone. They could see how special Cuddle Land was, and took great care not to harm their new home. But they couldn't see the elves! They could hear them, when they were sad. An elf would come up to a sad human and whisper nice encouraging words in the human's ears. And the human would feel better. But the elves would feel sad, because they wanted to talk to the humans and learn new games and share their chocolate goodies. So a group of elves gathered together, in the northeast part of Cuddle Land, and had a meeting to try and find a way to alert the humans to their presence. They sent up a huge hot air balloon with the words "HUGGY ELVES HERE!" - but the winds grabbed the balloon and took it over the mountains. The Elf Marching Band put on their bestest and brightest uniforms, and marched through Cuddle Land, playing happy songs as loud and as happily as they could. (Their favourite is 'The Liberty Bell March', which a lot of humans like too!). But the humans didn't hear their music. They asked the fuzzy animals of the forest to help them. So the fuzzy animals ran out to tell the humans about the elves - but the humans said, "awww, look at the cute bunnies/bears/deer/etc." and didn't hear what they were saying. So the elves decided to create a pool of magic, hoping to draw the attention of any humans that knew how to use magic. In a very special ceremony, they created the pool of magic. They disguised it as a goldfish pond so that any cold pricklies flying overhead would not be attracted to it. Cold pricklies are allergic to goldfish. Beyond the mountains, there was a human exploring the strange worlds that lay there. In her backpack she carried: Teddy, a Very Special teddy bear; a warm and fuzzy quilt, which she'd made herself; and a Book of Magic, given to her by an elf in a different world. She was travelling around, when she felt a calling - a magic calling. Following the call, the human crossed the mountain range and beheld Cuddle Land. She saw all the humans being nice to each other and smiled. What a wonderful place! "I think - I would like to be hugged too!", said the human, who was rather lacking in hugs. So she came down from the mountains and said, "Over here! I want some hugs! I'm right here!" She wandered around the humans - but none of them could see or hear her! None of the elves saw her either, because they were all gathered around the pool of magic, waiting for someone to approach. Feeling sad and dejected, the human wandered into the forest. She was feeling so sad that she didn't watch where she was going, and a branch struck her in the head. Now in terrible pain, the human crawled around the forest, desperately seeking shelter. She came out into an open area, by Snuggle Pond. She laid there for a while, gathering her strength. She took Teddy out of her backpack for cuddling. She took out her quilt for warmth. And she took out her Book of Magic. She consulted it, trying to find an answer to her predicament. She could still hear the calling, but she couldn't focus on its source through her pain. Bonnie Elf was arriving late to the meeting. She'd been taking care of a baby bunny that had gotten lost. Now that the bunny was safe with it's mommy bunny, she was walking towards the meeting when she saw the hurt human lying by Snuggle Pond. She ran quickly to the human, hoping to help in any way she could. She knew that the human wouldn't be able to see her, but she thought that she could at least Be There for her. To Bonnie's great surprise, the human lifted her head as best as she could, and said, "Oh, an elf! Thank goodness! I've had an accident, and I'm in terrible pain; could you help me?" "Help you? Why of course!" Bonnie took out her Elftrumpet and sounded the alarm. Quickly thousands of elves appeared and tenderly carried the human to the pool of magic. There, they soothed her hurt and made her a comfortable bed. Dippy Elf made sure that Teddy was with her the whole time. They brought her warm tea and buttered toast to fill her empty stomach. "Oh, thank you!" said the human. "I was feeling so sad and I was in such pain - I thought I was all alone!" "But how can you talk to us?" Don Elf asked. "We didn't think any humans could!" "Only humans who believe in elves can talk to them", said the human, before she fell asleep. "Of course!" cried the elves. "They have to believe in us! But - how can we make them believe in us if they can't see us?" "We'll ask the human when she wakes up", said Kathleen Elf, the oldest elf of them all. "But she can't sleep out here - it's going to rain later on and she can't get wet." "We'll build her a hut to protect her!" cried the elves. And so they did, being very quiet. "She'll need a kitchen to make tea and cookies in", said Bonnie, who was harbouring secret wishes inside. "We'll build a kitchen!" And so they did. Suddenly all the elves had ideas! "You know, humans really like fireplaces and rooms big enough for grand pianos ..." "She looks like the type who would really like a greenhouse ... " Dippy Elf picked up the Book of Magic to put it back in the backpack. Out fluttered pieces of paper, with strange lines and drawings on it. Kathleen Elf looked at the pieces of paper and smiled. "This human is a Dreamer as well as a Magic User - look, she's drawn her dream castle!" "We'll build her a castle!" shouted the elves, and so they did, again being very quiet. The next morning, the human woke up, still cuddling Teddy. She opened her eyes - and then opened them wider. Instead of waking up outdoors, she was in a room in a castle! "No elf has a house like this - where am I?" Kathleen and Bonnie came into the room. Bonnie served the human a good, hot breakfast while Kathleen sat down in a Comfy Chair. "Welcome again. I see that you're feeling better. We are all very happy to hear that!" "Where am I?" the human repeated. "Oh - er - ah". Kathleen looked a little embarrassed. "We were so glad to see you last night and we wanted to protect you from the rain that we - well, we built you your dream castle. We got a little carried away." "Obviously I got hit harder on the head than I thought!" the human exclaimed, looking around the room. Everything was just as she'd dreamed. "Doctor Elf says that you will be fine, in time," Kathleen said. "But you're going to be needing neckrubs for quite a while! The other humans in Cuddle Land will surely help you with that!" "But they couldn't hear or see me!" the human said. "I was trying to find out why in my Book of Magic when Bonnie found me." Kathleen picked up the Book of Magic, which had been lying on the night table. "Here it is, if you would like to continue searching for an answer." The human looked through various chapters "Knitting Mittens ... Swearing in Russian ... Chasing Cold Pricklies Away ... oh look! Here's a little spell that I overlooked - " she quickly said the spell. "Is there anything in there about how to help the humans believe in elves?" Kathleen asked. "I will introduce you to the humans - that is how we learn to believe in elves. I learned from a friend, and she learned from a friend, and so on ..." Dixie Elf came running into the bedroom. "They're coming! The humans are coming!" "Goodness!" Bonnie exclaimed. "I'll have to go to the kitchen and make up some more cookies!" And off she went, to the kitchen that she was already thinking of as hers! The human got into a motorized Comfy Chair with a padded headrest, which had been thoughtfully left by the bed. She saw the humans coming towards the castle, saying to each other, "I thought I heard someone in pain ... did you hear it too?" "They heard me!" The human smiled, a 1750 watt smile. "Let's go downstairs and meet them!" And so they went downstairs, where the human met the other humans, who gave lots of *hugs* and *cuddles* and *neckrubs* and made her feel lots and lots better. "What is this place? I never saw it before", asked one of the humans, sitting down at the grand piano to play a little classical music. "It's - the Cuddle Castle!" the human said, and smiled a 2000 watt smile, and *hugged* Kathleen again to say "thank you". And the sun shone on the Cuddle Castle as it greeted its very first day in Cuddle Land ... ---------:)--------------------[hugs here]-------------------------(:--------- Princess Angela smiles as she pokes at the embers of the campfire with a stick. "So that's the story of my Cuddle Castle and how it came to be. Some of you - well, most of you were not here in Cuddle Land when I first arrived. I had been trying to post and nothing was working. Then I was in a Real Life accident that left me with a concussion and neck pain, and I figured out how to post - and everyone was indeed kind and welcoming and friendly. "The elves have stayed around the Cuddle Castle - Bonnie has declared herself the Butlerette Elf and rules the kitchen! "My neck is practically healed now - but it's still a little sore and could use a massage, ah, thank you!" Dippy Elf approaches the campfire, carrying a huge tray of chocolate chip cookies. "Here, Bonnie sent these!" And there was much hugging and cookie munching and cuddling - which is the way life should be!
Angela Boyko ( firstname.lastname@example.org). Used with permission of the author.
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Last modified: November 05, 1998 by Locksley