By Anna Blackwell (December 2018 to February 2019, age 11)


I woke up to find myself kneeling on the ground with my hands tied behind me.

"Uhhhh ... what happened? Where am I?" I said.

"In prison, that's what," said someone.

I spun around. "Clovis, it's you!"

"And its you, Rose," he said back.

"What are you doing here?" I asked.

"Same thing you are," he said.

I was puzzled. We talked and I discovered what had happened. After I had been knocked out by a rat, Clovis' army had started to fall back. Then the enemy started coming from the sky and in the chaos neither army knew who was friend or foe. In the confusion, Clovis sounded a full retreat, but was captured in the process and carried away along with me.

After Clovis and I had talked over what happened, someone came to the door. "Get up you plumb pies!" the newcomer said, opening the door.

Five armed small men came in. "Get up! Lord Garfield wants you in his presence," another of them said.

One of them grabbed me by an elbow.

"The Lord Garfield, the Lord Garfield!" I said. "I'll have something to say to 'His Highness'!"

Clovis and I were taken away. We were brought before Garfield in a very very strange room: instead of a ritually decorated hall, he was in the middle of a large space about  fifty (Season Folk) feet wide and seventy long; everywhere were strange plants.

"Welcome, what a present surprise," Garfield said in a sly voice. "Clovis, I had no idea you would be here, and this must be ..."

He stepped closer to me until I could smell his awful breath. "Rose, we meet again!"

"Yes indeed we do, Garfield-ey!" I said giving him my angriest look.

Garfield flung his tail in the air. "Follow me!"

As we walked I observed out the most hideous thing I'd ever seen: all of the plants were carnivorous plants and on every one hung a Season Folk body or two killed by each plant.

"You know,  really don't like it when people annoy me," said Garfield. "When they do they are given severe punishment. So, Clovis, I want you to call back all your troops and give me those two towns I want then I will let you go along with your 'friend' ... or you both with suffer horribly!"

I looked at Clovis. I could tell he was worried, but I knew he would not give up like this. No, not Clovis.

Finally, he answered, "say all you like cat, until your mouth falls off, but you'll have to do better than that to get the best of me!"

I saw a burst of anger explode in Garfield as he shouted, "take them to the Trumpet Pitchers!"

We were taken up a ramp that led to the top of the plant. I looked in horror at the abyss below. I had learned a little about Trumpet Pitcher plants in my school -- they kill their prey (bugs) by drowning it in a pond of water then digests the remaining soup. Garfield's henchmen pushed me and Clovis out on a plank. Garfield licked at the sweet nectar dripping off the Pitcher Plant.

"Prepare to become dinner," he said.

"What did he --" before I could finish, the plank disappeared and I fell. "AAAAAAAHHHHHH!"


I was so glad I had practiced hard at my swimming lessons that summer as I hit the water.

"Wait 'till I get my hands on you, Garfield!" I heard Clovis shout.

Garfield let out a loud laugh and left the room, along with his rats and small men. Now I knew Clovis and I were both stuck.

"We have to find a way out of here, fast!" Clovis said. "I know what Garfield's planning. Since I'm no longer at the head of my army, he will attack one of our great cities. If we don't hurry he'll kill everyone!"

I felt a jolt inside me, I wasn't going to let Garfield get away with this! Just then I felt something -- my medallion. I had forgotten all about it since arriving. I pulled it out. My first thought was that I could use it to climb out by using the carven sunbeams like spikes on it as a grappling hook, but then noticed that we had no rope and the walls were too slippery. Then, for the first time, I noticed a tiny button on the side of the medallion.

"Hey, what does this do?" I said, pressing it.

Suddenly a small dagger shot out of the medallion. In no time we had cut through the Trumpet Pitcher -- it must have been a very sharp blade to make such short work of that thick tissue.

"Hurry, we don't have much time," Clovis said.

"Okay, okay, give me a minute," I replied, trying to wring out my soaked skirt.

We grabbed our belongings and hastened to get out of that awful place. But we ran into a really bad problem ... we got out of the room with some effort, but found that the weather had turned much worse.

"Snow," Clovis mumbled. "Hurry, we have to see if my army still exists."

"Stop, we'll never make it there in time, and in this weather," I said.

"Listen, Rose, I'm a leader it's my duty to protect my people."

"I quite understand," I said. "But I have a better way to stop Garfield."

I let out a high-pitched whistle. Before I knew it, a score of Blackbirds filled the sky.

"Where did you learn to do that?" asked Clovis.

"He taught me," I said, pointing to a keen, tall Blackbird who had just landed. In fact, it was Raven, who I had met on my first adventure. "Come on!"

I mounted Raven and we were soon high up in the air, going in the direction of Garfield's army. I caught something out of the corner of my eye.

"Clovis, where are you going?"

"I'm going to find my army; I can't let others fight my battles," Clovis said, turning his bird back the other way. "With luck, they are still together and able to fight."

"Luck, you're going to need a miracle," I said.

Raven and I led the Blackbirds to Garfield's army. Unfortunately the snow grew heavier. I was lucky not to get frostbite because it felt like twenty below zero. Raven seemed to endure it better than I did. Soon I could see our destination. I knocked an arrow to by bow; it wasn't much further now. As soon as we were within range of the enemy I let fly. The birds swept down into the heart of the enemy. Three of Garfield's Season Folk fell to the birds' claws. I fired more arrows as Raven circled the enemy.

Shouts and cries rang in the air. The sounds of clashing of claws against shields and weapons seemed endless. Soon it seemed that Garfield was getting the upper hand.

Where is that Clovis? I thought desperately.

Several birds fell to Garfield's thugs. There were fewer than a dozen of us left. Suddenly Raven jerked, sending me flying to the ground. I quickly got up and grabbed my bow and arrows, then took to a rock. As I did so, I saw that Raven was still alive and on his feet. I let my arrows fly through the air and as I did so, I saw movement from the other side of the battlefield. Looking closely, I felt my heart leap up. It was Clovis and behind him were hundreds of Season Folk.

Soon his army had slashed into Garfield's army and the battle lingered on. The sun sunk into the west and the moonlight lit the ground. As I watched, Clovis, riding a white ermine, drew near Garfield. Sword and claw smashed against each other and blood splattered the ground. Just then Garfield jumped up knocking Clovis to the ground and choked his ermine to death.

Clovis, getting to his feet, stabbed at Garfield's flank. The evil cat let out a loud shriek at the blow of the sword. Clovis prepared to strike again but Garfield leapt out of the way. Garfield crouched low then leapt on top of Clovis with a cry.

"No!" I screamed as Clovis went down beneath Garfield's claws.

A second later I loosed an arrow and it flew through the air, striking Garfield right in the side. Then I collapsed to the ground and hot tears boiled out of my eyes.

When I got up, I ran through the battlefield to see if Clovis was still alive. When I reached his side I said, "Clovis, why did you --"

"I knew at the beginning this would end in death," he whispered.

"But you didn't have to be the one to die!" I said.

Clovis gave me a faint smile and grabbed my hand. With his last breath he said, "I have been, and always shall be, your friend."

After that, I never saw my dear friend again.

The battle was over and the army headed back to the village bearing the corpse of their leader. As for Garfield, he survived my arrow but was banished forever. When we got to the town I was so exhausted and famished I think I fainted. The town mourned for their leader the whole day. But since we had won a great victory, the next day there was much to celebrate.  Almost everyone I knew turned out for the party, including Henry'O, the squirrels, Raven, and many more.  There were steaming-hot soups, Season Folk-sized turkey, and the most fabulous desserts you've ever seen.

But I knew I had to return to my normal size, so after all the celebrating, on one snowy morning the Season Folk told me if I go to the middle of the yard and rub my medallion I would return to my normal size in no time flat.

Once back to normal size, I had to have a long conversation with my family who had no idea where I went. Soon everything returned to normal, but there are still some times when I sit by the window with my dog Snoozer on my lap and think about how both Clovis and I ended Garfield's War.



Unknown said...

so sorry about Clovis....another good story

emma said...

Amazing story!!! sad for Clovis though.

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