How I got through there is anyone’s guess. Actually, I don’t even remember going there, I was just there.
I could see the Grinds through the Grand Gateway, decorated in gold and silver with jewels and crystals that could only appear in one’s imagination. (The Gateway, that is, not the Grinds!) Through the Gateway, the blue mushrooms looked massive; obviously – I say mushrooms, but mean toadstools. From this angle, though, they appear to be huge canopies, with the stones around them more like boulders.
Being this size is a bit dodgy, however. An ant the size of a truck busied itself by, luckily paying no attention to me whatsoever. I’m sure it glanced over in my general direction, but didn’t give me a second look. Ah well. Such is life, I suppose!
What did give me a second glance, rather unexpectedly, was a humungous butterfly. Somehow, it swooped me up with one of its legs, and carried me as it flew, in the typical haphazard way that butterflies fly. Up. Down. Left. Right. I really had to hang on for dear life.
The butterfly carried me away from the Gateway, and the Grinds, deeper into this strange place which I initially thought was the rest of England. How wrong could anyone be? The grass on the meadows was still green. The sky was still blue with wisps of white cloud dotted here and there. And over on the horizon, which seemed many miles away was the outline of a city, just the skyline barely visible with the haze from the brilliance of the morning.
The butterfly seemed to veer away from the direction of the city, and took me through a small wood (I say small, but the trees and plants and everything else in it were massive, compared to me and the butterfly.) The butterfly somehow avoided crashing into every single tree as it continued on its buoyant journey. It knew what it was doing (I told myself!)
Out of the wood we flew, and towards a ramshackle stone hut with the burning embers of a bonfire outside. A heavy wooden door was closed, and a small bell hung beside it. The butterfly gently let me off on the ground outside of the hut before flicking the bell causing it to ring a couple of times.
Without a second glance, the butterfly took off again, and vanished through the wood once again.
The odd thing about this place? The hut was my size. Smaller than a butterfly size. Normal hut size to me, but smaller than a butterfly – if you know what I mean.
The heavy wooden door creaked as it opened, and I heard a familiar disembodied voice declare “Howdy, pardner!”, shortly followed by the person it belonged to, Walpole E. Epstein. He walked through the door with his arm outstretched, ready to shake my hand. “Marty fine mornin’!” He said, with a familiar glint in his eye.
“Come in!” He beckoned, “Long time no see…”