Reading by john peel (unicorn...)
Lionel Lark was an alchemist by profession but he loved to quest.
Li and Mole were a romantic pair. Li, with his many-coloured Zodiac coat flapping about as he
rode the Dawn Wind.... Rubbing his rimless spectacles, he lectured Mole in his larkish manner
about the mythical Lilly Pond and its latitude and longitude, and goofing sometimes, and mentioning
the Hyperborians, the frozen folk who lived behind the North Wind.
At eight 'o-clock, he scribbled little spells and directions on a dried mushroom parchment and Moley
got proudly into his pigs-bladder balloon. Lionel took off, at first a little shakely, but soon as swift as
the lordly eagle, The Emperor of the Sky-skinned Airships.
Bopping through the morning clouds, Kingsley rocked to and fro, now and again straightening his
course by adjusting the misty spider's-web rope which was harnessed around Lionel's little puffed-out
chest. They made a wonderful sight, these animal Wright Brothers.
A lonely elf crunched the autumn leaves and solemnly dictated to his mouse scribe long, winding spirals
of wonderful runes which, in our heavy translation would awaken Ra at midnight, or unhibernate a legion
of poley Albino-eyed Hedgehogs or even cause a chasm on the Deeply Swirl of Foxnecks to drown a
blessed water lily. Pan be praised for elfish ability to know about wisdom and to use it wisely. The elf's
autumn feet hidden in rose-pettled, pointed shoes walked into The Mighty Grove and his never-ending
stream of merriment soared and gushed niagarally through the Wonderful Kingdom. But even as quick
as it came, it had ceased. His wise eyes became beacons of true light.
As the piggy bundle tumbled from the blessed heavens, the leaping elf hastily harnessed his beloved, tame
nightingale and made for the point of ejection with a heart of many carats. Entangled in thorns and briars
was Kingsley Mole.... his snout sticking high in the splendoured air, tents of zodiac folds cascaded over
Lionel's larkish dome. Despectacled, he moaned into Kingsley Mole's eyes and cursed all flying machines
doomed to rely on the ficklety of piggish bladders. The two saddened creatures trundled from their rose-bush
prison and lay scarlet and fatigued in the escaping afternoon.
The handsome, elvin figure soared through dusking skies and upon landing, kissed the proud brow of his sky
steed and called a greeting to Mole and Li. After tea from acorn cups and slices of blueberry pie, the handsome
elf told all the large legends that he knew about the perilous pond and its scaley protectors. Also of its healing
ability and how one draught of pond dew could put forests of tangling tufts on the baldest badger or field mouses'
heads. After glow-worm talks and plans for the quest, the elf led the tired companions through the foreboding
fairy wood until the reached a large, beautifully-worked leather fencing boot, which had a door in its heel.
"My great grandfather," the elf said, as Lionel commented about image engraved on the door knob.
"An alchemist you know," said the fairy one.
"Mmmmm," said Li suspiciously.
They were made very comfortable in beds of great expanse, spider web sheets, and towers of warm, wooly moss
blankets... and, as always in an elvish abode, dreams of the gentlest texture.