Tweebles in the Neebles
A Merlin Story
By John Pirillo
Tweebles played in the Neebles
His claws all ready to bare
Not a single monster met him
Or tried to take a hair
Merlin snuck up the side of the hill, trailing his mossy robe between his legs and just aft of him, causing quite a stir with the line of ants he was following. They weren't sure whether to follow him or eat him, but he was happy to oblige the food side of things by supplying them with droplets of honey he had squeezed from the apple tree at the base of the hill.
He had been following the colony of ants that were moving to a sunnier clime, away from the steady runoff of spring that always melted the snow at top and flooded their home cavities. The queen had told Merlin when he had introduced himself that morning that she was moving everyone to higher ground so the babies wouldn't drown.
He thought that was marvelous and offered to help. She had accepted and with Mother Tree and Father Tree walking on either side of him to provide shade, he had wormed his way up the hill shearing a clear path of earth for them to follow, and then with his juniper staff tamping it solid enough and smooth enough so that their tiny feet could make swift progress, because Father Tree had told him another storm was coming and they must make haste.
He never asked Father Tree how he knew about the weather, but he was always right. Merlin had told the queen ant and she had immediately ordered her court and followers to trail her as she began the Long Trek, as she called it, up the Rigorous Mountain, which is what it seemed to those minute little creatures of the earth.
It had taken much less time than Merlin had thought it might, but it still seemed long to a young child who was used to hopping and skipping, making flying clouds to zoom through the sky, and riding Minotaur and Centaur backs through fields off freshly blooming daisies of yellow and gold.
When they reached the top the advance scouts of the Queen had already begun the necessary burrowing to protect and create the new home, at first creating an outer barrier to keep out any other insects seeking easy prey, then creating an inner barrier where the warrior ants could defend the main entrance to the colony, complete with boulders (tiny pebbles) and spears (sharp shredded splinters), to hurl and combat any would be intruders.
Merlin used his earth magic to help them burrow deeply, while at the same time allowing them to seal any passages he made with their special fluids they exuded from their mouths as they shored up the sides of the tunnels that branched out into the small underground city that would soon be their permanent home.
Once Merlin had finished his magic and his protection of the small colony, he had headed back downhill to his home with Father and Mother Tree who quickly resettled their root feet back into the rich soil there for food and drink.
Merlin laughed when a flock of tiny butterflies, barely the size of his thumbnails hurtled past, their tiny voices singing to the raindrops that danced in and around them. Not one was struck, so clever were their maneuvers and their dives and rises. Merlin was impressed. He spent the better part of the rest of the day watching the flock hurtle in and out of the trees, finally settling in for the evening under Mother Tree's top branches, where she provided them extra shelter from the now very hard pelting rain so that they could survive the drowning rain that was now clamoring for more and more attention for the inhabitants of Merlin's valley.
A number of Minotaurs and their families sought shelter under the branches of Mother Tree and Father Tree who stretched their utmost to lengthen and widen their coverage for the creatures that were their friends and extended family. Soon the Minotaurs were joined by Centaurs and heir small foals who danced and pranced happily in the rain until the parents scolded them to shelter, knowing that more than hard rain was to follow.
And no sooner were they sheltered than strong lances of light ignited the overcast skies, shattered the quiet and struck the earth with sizzling blasts of light. Ka-Boom!
Baby Centaurs and Minotaurs began to cry.
Merlin became upset. He didn't like his tiny friends to be so upset. When the story increased in violence and a lightning strike barely missed Mother Tree and Father Tree, lancing into the ground barely three yards away, he decided he'd had enough.
He marched out into the storm and raises his arms, his juniper staff in his right hand. His eyes boiled with fire and brimstone...well, not exactly that bad...but mostly of power and magic and he spoke but one word.
The storm's bashing and battering that was threatening to blow everything wonderful away stopped so suddenly, that creatures hanging onto branches, stones and fallen limbs were suddenly dropped to the ground.
Merlin wiped some water from his eyes, tasted it and laughed. "Tastes good!"
Before he could say another word, he was joined by all the baby Minotaurs and Centaurs in a dance, splashing the mud puddles and puddles of pure rainwater that now abounded about them. In another few minutes the parents came out as well, looking up at the sky apprehensively, then smiling and happily looking at Merlin who was dancing with their children.
Father and Mother Tree caught the remaining wind through holes in their branches and made beautiful music that added to the frenzy of the dancing.
The whole valley joined in, with dancing rocks, trees, insects, birds, dragons, and other beasties we won't talk about now.
Merlin expected no praise and he got none. These peoples were creatures of nature, and expected nature to do whatever it darn well pleased, but they were grateful for his help and as he grew up and one day left the land of Fairie he would always find that he had friends to draw upon to help him in his hours of need.
But for Merlin the greatest moment of that approaching night was the Flight of Tweebles in the Neebles, a great flying chariot that carried the godlike being with his long flowing hair that was really the clouds in the sky. Tweebles feared nothing and nothing feared him, for he was the dawn of nature and the dusk of nature and everything in between was in his charge.
He flew across skies, his great claws of thunder and lightning, earthquake and avalanche, extended to fulfill the earth's demands so that all of nature could proceed according to the Great Plan.
Merlin finally tired of the dancing and sought the foot of Mother Tree. Father Tree raised a branch over him to shelter him from the still strong winds and Mother Tree enveloped him in a soft cloud of leaves, warming and drying his wet skin and clothing. In moments he happily drifted off into a deep slumber, dreaming of all his friends, large and small.