Saturday, January 08, 2005

Michelina, Monkey, and the Two-Dimensional Knights. Painting by my friend Jamie Tolagson, from our collaborative children's book, Michelina, With Pictures.

"Having descended the tree, the creature presented a strange sight. He was as tall as a man, and neatly dressed in pleated cotton trousers and a brightly colored leather jerkin, but his features were not a man’s, but a monkey’s. Sad intelligent dark eyes peered from a face covered in thick, cinnamon-colored fur, and a long furry tail protruded from the back of his trousers. A polished wooden staff was hung from a wide leather strap slung casually over one of his shoulders, and a long enamelled sword case was carefully tucked into the knotted rope belt that girdled his waist.

'Are you a spirit?', asked the knights. 'One of the undead?'

The strange creature shook his head. 'I am Monkey,' he said. He reached inside his jerkin and withdrew a polished black laquer locket. Inside it was a photograph of a solemn-looking man dressed in warrior’s clothes. Even though the man and Monkey did not look like one another, Michelina, Lady Genevra and the knights instantly saw that the man and Monkey were one and the same.

'I was once a samurai,' said Monkey proudly, 'a warrior sworn to defend his lord. No man could match my skill with a sword or a staff, for since childhood I have trained in the secret arts, so that I can move silently as a mouse across a carpet of leaves, and fall from a roof without injury, and shatter bricks and beams with my hands.'"Posted by Hello

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