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The Perils of Perigrine

By Derek Goddard-Nickolls

Brief Outline:

Perigrine or Peri as he is known, was created, like many other characters, as a result of a father wanting to educate and entertain his own children when they were not wanting to go to bed!

Peri was put away in an old filing cabinet until the first grandson came along...some 30 years later. He was found whilst clearing out the ‘old rubbish.’

Peri is a young sea Dragon who, due to a misadventure with a wizard, finds himself shrunk to a picture size. He has a series of adventures in various locations over 10 separate chapters and eventually finds his way home.

THE PERILS OF PERIGRINE

(His First 10 Adventures)

The Wizard’s Castle

The Enchanted Forest

The Enchanted Lake

The Enchanted Mountains

The Enchanted Sea

The Enchanted Undersea

The Enchanted Islands

The Enchanted Snowlands

The Scary City

The Return to Wizard Lake

Peri’s Dictionary

The Peri Song

Peri is a character created By Derek Goddard-Nickolls and is Trademark protected.

He is available for use and reproduction only by negotiation and agreement in writing with:

Derek Goddard-Nickolls PhD MBA FRSA

Profderek@gmail.com

© 2017



Chapter One:

The Wizard’s Castle

Once upon a time on a lonely seashore of an island without a name, a painter was just putting the finishing touches to a beautiful picture of the sea and the caves in the cliffs, when he suddenly saw a bigger wave than all the others come crashing onto the white sandy shore.

Riding high on the white frothy top of the wave was a big smiling sea dragon. He was all green and gold with his brilliant scales flashing in the red light of the evening sun.

The painter, who was really an old wizard, shouted loudly “hey, hey you there, can I paint you please? You look great.”

The dragon, whose name was Peri didn’t say anything at first. He just slowly started preening himself, picking off bits of seaweed and the odd whelk from his scales, then, he started posing for the artist.

Peri the sea dragon was, it seemed, a very vain dragon, who liked to be seen looking good!

He took a big breath, smelling the sea air, then Peri said “ok I’m ready now” but the wizard had already started painting.

At first Peri didn’t notice, when he did, it was too late.

The wizard had started painting with the feet and tail of Peri, but, as Peri was holding his head up high he did not see at first, that his feet, lovely shiny claws and his special tail were vanishing onto the painting.

A little reddish shore crab ran in front of Peri who looked down and saw NOTHING!

His feet had gone!

“Hey, Mr Painter, STOP! What is happening to me? I’m disappearing! Stop! Stop!”

The wizard smiled an evil smile, cackled loudly and laughed, waving his scrawny arms.

“Ha, ha, another one for my collection, I’ve got you now. There is no escape from my pictures. Ha, ha,” he cackled again then skipped and danced a bit.

By this time Peri’s wings and body were gone, there was just his head left hanging in the air with no visible means of support.

“Oh my goodness”, said Peri “I’ve disappeared! Where have I gone to?”

The wizard laughed again, and talking to himself as much as to Peri said “Oh ho, this is a real prize I’ve got here, a real sea dragon to add to my collection.”

Peri, at least feeling whole again, squeaked in a small voice from the painting saying “I’m not collectible, I’m a sea dragon and I want to be free again.”

“Unpaint me please!”

The wizard had been walking up the hill back to his castle with Peri under his arm. He went into a dark dismal laboratory and hung Peri on the wall, right next to the other paintings with lots of people and animals in. The paintings were very close together and all magic, so the people and animals could visit each other’s paintings.

Peri didn’t know that, so he was surprised when a small black spider with funny blotches all over him came into his painting and said…

“Sssch, don’t tell anyone I’m here with you.”

“Where is here?” asked Peri.

“You mean you don’t know you’re a prisoner of Magnus the Mage in his castle?”

“What’s a Mage?” asked Peri.

“Gosh, you’ve got a lot to learn in a short space of time!” squeaked the spider.

“A Mage is a wizard, a magician and a powerful one at that,” said the spider.

“He certainly is a mean old Mage” said Peri grumpily.

“Anyway, that’s not what I want to…”

“Why are you all blotchy?” asked Peri, interrupting. ”Oh I am sorry” Peri said, realising it was very rude to call the spider blotchy.

“Oh that’s ok, I’ll start again” said the spider.

“My name is Cedric, I am a castle spider but the wizard caught me the same way as you and I’ve been here ages. No one has managed to escape from the paintings, but when we saw you hung up, we all felt we now had a chance.”

Peri looked round from the painting and saw everyone in all the paintings looking at him. There were all sorts of people, obviously from all sorts of countries, and lots of animals too.

Now, Peri being Peri, was very vain, so now even though he was a very small dragon he still puffed up his chest and held his head up.

“Oh stop that,” said Cedric, “there’s no room for pride here.”

Peri, at first, felt a bit put out to be told off like that in front of everybody but then he looked at all the scared but hopeful faces and then realised Cedric was right.

“Sorry” said Peri, “carry on with your story.”

“Well” said Cedric, “Magnus used the ends of tubes of paint when he painted me, all the colours were all messed up and poor quality so I came out all blotchy.”

“Oh sorry” said Peri again.

“Anyway there is hope if you can help us” At that moment the spider dived behind Peri and bulged him out of the painting a bit.

“Hey,” yelled Peri, but at that moment he saw the reason. Magnus, grumpy old Magnus, had come back into the laboratory and started messing around with all his potions and bottles, mixing them up from one to another.

“I will find it” he said out loud “and you will all see me do it” he shouted to all the paintings. “I will make a potion that will get everyone and everything in the whole world into my paintings and then everything……”and he waved his arms around spinning madly…. “Will be mine…all mine” He shouted and ran out of the room again.

“Whew” said Cedric, “He’s crazy and dangerous when he’s like that. He’s ripped up whole paintings before.”

Peri, less bulgy now that Cedric had squeezed out from behind him said “Oh what’s the plan? I’ll help all I can of course”.

Peri was, admittedly, a little bit frightened but also a little bit proud of himself. Under his hot breath he said, “I can do this, I can help myself and everyone else too, and I CAN do this!

“Oh? I wonder what it is I’ve got to do”, he thought and suddenly realised he didn’t yet know!

“Ok, here’s the plan,” said Cedric. “Over there on the top shelf, in the corner, left of the window, there is a bottle marked “Never Use”. Well that’s the bottle you’ve got to get. If you splash that all over the paintings, we will all be free and back to normal.”

“Great” said Peri, “but I’m stuck here the same as all of you.”

“Yes,” said Cedric “we know, but that’s as far as the plan goes at the moment.”

Cedric’s shoulders went down. Peri’s shoulders and head went down, the sun went down, the light went down, everyone sighed and all their spirits went down too.

“Mmm, not much of a plan is it,” said Peri. “You’ll think of something” said Cedric, “you’re different, and you’ll do it.”

“Yes” said Peri determinedly “I will, I will think of something.”

“Good night, all”

Cedric scuttled off, back to his own little painting.

Peri, trying to imagine all sorts of ways to get out, didn’t know he had already gone to sleep, and was dreaming dreams of being a hero and freeing everybody.

But anything great and worth doing starts as a dream doesn’t it?

Peri snorted and grunted happily in his sleep.

The sun smiled its smiley face through the greasy, dirty windows of the dirty, cluttered laboratory as a new day dawned.

And as Peri woke up and saw the room in proper light for the first time, he thought “gosh this is more untidy than my bedroom. I am glad mum and dad can’t see it. Oh, I wonder if they are missing me.”

A big kick on his tail told him Cedric was up and about too, Cedric asked,

“Have you got any ideas, yet Peri?”

“Oh, yes, loads”, fibbed Peri.

“Well, what are they?” asked Cedric

Peri went a bit red in the face, realising he’d been caught out and said, “Well they are not really ideas yet, just sort of thoughts”

Cedric was just a bit upset; he stopped for a second to think before replying to Peri.

“Look Peri, one thing you have to understand here, is that we are all in this together. We need to be honest with each other, there is no room for you to pretend, or for lies here”

Peri had never been in a position like this before, so it wasn’t really his fault he didn’t know what was right and wrong. He suddenly realised he had new responsibilities and he had to turn his dreams into reality by taking action.

“Cedric, I’m really sorry, I guess I wasn’t thinking,” said Peri with his head down a little.

“That’s ok,” said Cedric, “we all do that from time to time, and I guess it’s the only way to learn isn’t it?”

“Well, it’s one way,” said Peri, more brightly.

Just at that moment, the sun which had moved around a little, shone some happy sunbeams onto Peri’s picture.

Peri got all warm and the paint got warm and just a bit of Peri’s wing and tail started to just peel off the painting, a little of the paint started to melt a bit!

“I’ve just had an idea” said Peri.

“All of you in the other pictures must make a lot of noise. You must pretend to be fighting and all that, ok?”

“Yes, but why?” asked Cedric.

“Well I think I can get out of the picture and get to the bottle, but we must keep Magnus distracted if he comes in, ok”

Of course just as Cedric was telling the other pictures the plan, Magnus the nasty Mage came crashing in, all grumpy and stumpy as usual.

He went straight to his bottles and potions and started muttering to himself.

Peri, meanwhile, was as quietly as possible trying to get his internal heat going, because as a dragon can, he could breathe fire, but he had to be careful not to set fire to his own and the others pictures.

Cedric whispered to Peri, “When do we start? Now?”

Peri, going redder in the face, nodded his head sideways and held up one shiny claw.

Cedric nodded back and held up two of his legs as though he was going to conduct an orchestra. Everyone was waiting, the room was tense, and it was the calm before the storm.

Suddenly Peri let out a big breath of very hot air and all the painting went hot and melty. Peri stretched and pulled and, yes! It was working; he came free from the painting. He couldn’t hold himself in the picture and plopped all the way down onto the floor, grunted, scratched himself, and dazedly looked around. Luckily the wizard couldn’t hear him as he was too busy messing around with his bottles, couldn’t hear him that is, until Peri started to straighten out and flap his crumpled wings.

The room went very quiet...and Perigrine was suddenly in the dark. He looked up and saw Magnus, the evil wizard glaring down at him, just about to pick him up!

At that moment, Peri coughed and the very small flame that came from his dragon nostrils, and scorched the end of the wizard’s fingers. Magnus yelled and jumped so Peri scampered between his old legs and ran towards the table.

As he ran Peri slipped in a puddle of water and went over and over until he bumped with a big crash into the table leg. He sat down again as the room seemed to be going round and round and he was seeing stars!

He had just a second to work out what had happened before the wizard ran after him. Peri went rushing off down one of the castle corridors; it was cold and dark and creepy and evil things seemed to come at him from all of the shadowy sides. Evil cackles and scary laughter echoed after him.

All of a sudden, oh no! He tripped!

He had fallen over the large metal foot of an old suit of armour standing on the side of the hallway. Peri rushed on and looking back over his shoulder, he saw the long handled axe, of the dislodged suit of armour, come crashing down across the hall just missing the old wizard’s head but not the tip of his long pointed wizards hat or the tip of his long wizards beard!

Peri said to himself “phew, that was close” as he looked at the axe head buried in the wooden floorboards.

Then he caught sight of himself reflected in the shiny ‘mirror like’ blade of the axe and started straightening his wings...he was as we know a very vain Dragon. Well a very small vain Dragon now.

Then the whole world went black again as the wizards hat came spiralling down and fell on top of Peri.

He went scampering off weaving down the hallway with the hat on him and not able to see anything, except just a glimmer of light way up where the tip of the hat had been cut off by the axe.

He was just getting worried again when he fell through a hole in the floorboards. It wasn’t a big hole, but Peri was very small, so the hole was big compared to him.

He tumbled down and down, coughing in the cloud of dirty old dust. There was just a little light coming down from the hole and one or two other cracks, all he could see were ...EYES, lots of eyes and they were all looking at him!

Even when Peri glanced up he could see one eye of the Wizard looking down the hole at him!

“Well”, he paused, looking rapidly around at the eyes “well what are you?” Peri asked.

“He he he!”.... laughed one of the biggest things and they all laughed to each other...”come closer and we’ll tell you” they chorused together very, very, creepily.

“No! No! I’ll just stay here, I think,” said Peri.

A small squeaky voice peeped round from behind the big eyed thing “don’t come closer, they’ll get you, like they got me...they are yukky GERMS!”

The big germ started towards him and all the others too, thankfully Peri had just spotted an old rusty nail sticking out of some wood, he jumped on it and leaped up and out of another hole which led back into the hall.

The big germ couldn’t stop as he was still being pushed from behind by all the other germs; he bumped into the big end of the rusty old nail with his nose.

“Phats not phunny” he tried to say with his bent nose and watery eye; all the other germs collapsed in a heap behind him trying not to laugh.

The wizard had given up chasing Peri for the time being, thinking that he would put a finding spell out later, but being an old wizard, he would probably forget, as some old people do. However he did remember to pick up the tip of his beard and the tip of his hat wondering if he could spell them back on.

Perigrine looked carefully around this time, before he went walking down the hall which seemed to go on forever. As he walked he found another gap in the wall where there was a tiny door.

There was a funny looking creature. It just seemed to have big eyes which had tears running down them making a puddle all around it. The creature was crying! “How long have you been here?” asked Peri?

“At least a day!” said the creature tearfully, “I was curious as to what was in here.”

“Wow, as long as that? What have you been doing?” asked Peri.

“Well ...well I’ve been crying, I think, most of the time,” said the creature.

“What’s the point in that?” asked Peri. “It doesn’t do any good and nobody could hear you.”

“You heard me!” answered the creature.

“Mmm, I suppose I did” thought Peri and told the creature so.

“You know the door is open and you can go out” said Peri.

“Yes, I mean, no, thank you but I think I’ll stay here for a bit longer” said the creature. “That way I can feel sorry for myself.”

“Oh, ok then,” said Peri really very puzzled. “Bye then.” The confused little green dragon left again and wandered further down the endless corridor.

The next door he came across was again just a little open so he peeped in, and, not seeing anything slid in through the door, his tail following him as it always did.

The room was all white. “There’s nothing in here at all,” he thought walking further in. Peri bumped straight into a white spider’s web belonging to a big pinky-white spider who came quickly towards Peri and spun a couple of webby loops around him.

“I’m very sorry to do this,” said the pinky-white spider “but nobody likes me because I’m all pinky-white!”

“Oh “said Peri...”ah...ah...AaAtishoo!” he sneezed as the web touched his still itchy nose.

As he sneezed, a big cloud of black smoke came whooshing out of his nostrils and...the pinky-white spider turned black!

“Oh thank you” said the spider gratefully. “Now everyone will like me, and you are my friend too, you can go if you want.”

“Oh thanks,” said Peri “I would love to be your friend, but ...do you think you could let me out of this web?”

“Oh don’t worry,” said the now black spider “it’s only a pretend web, I’m not very good at that either.”

“Oh” said Peri,” still struggling, “mmm, I think you are” he said.

“Oh wow” replied the spider, “you really are great, I can do real spidery webs too now, and you really are a great new friend.”

Peri blushed red and green with pleasure as he finally wriggled out of the web.

“Bye new friend” Peri called as he quickly made a sticky exit.

By now Peri was getting very tired. He was also beginning to wonder if he was ever going to get out of this place. Then he saw a round hole and thought well I have tried everywhere else I might as well try in here.

He stepped into the round hole and his clawed feet just wouldn’t grip and they scuttled away from under him and he slid down and down on his tail which was luckily still following him.

It was very dark, then, whoosh! All of a sudden it was very light and SPLASH, suddenly very, very, wet!

He bobbed up as he bounced off the bottom of what was the castle moat, really part of his own loch. Peri found himself being tugged rapidly towards a small boy sitting on the bank. The boy had a fishing rod and the line that was, yes, it was attached to Peri!

Hi, my names Jay” said the boy as he pulled the hook from under Peri’s chin.

“Jay? - what kind of name is that?” said Peri, his wings and pride all ruffled.

“It’s a great name, my mum and dad said it’s from heroes!” said Jay equally ruffled.

“What heroes?” asked Peri?

Well there’s Jason who led some Greek soldiers, and James one of Jesus’s followers and,” said Jay proudly, “There were also some English King’s and American Presidents named James which is like Jay.”

“What are they?” asked Peri.

“I really don’t know,” admitted Jay “but mum and dad say it’s a good name, and it’s my name.”

“Then it’s a great name Jay,” said Peri totally convinced.

Jay and Peri wandered off into the woods chatting together. Peri, because he was still only a tiny Dragon, could be heard asking Jay if he knew how he could get large again....

But that’s another story!


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