We slept very well in our cozy little camper last night. Of course, the fact that I conjured up a very soft and downy featherbed, a two-person bathtub, and a breakfast of crepes and fresh fruit just added to its charm.
So now we sally forth to see what delights this charming town has to offer. It’s supposed to have a famous open-air market in the square, so that’s where we are headed first.
Sigyn is beside herself! This farmer breeds an extraordinary sort of reindeer, one with a long and silky coat that he sells as fleeces or which his wife spins into yarn.
They have brought one of the beasts with them and Sigyn is losing no time making friends. I suspect we will be tarrying here for a while…
Look, Sigyn! This next stall seems to carry a lot of merchandise that looks like your friend Muffy.
Pick her out a nice souvenir and I will magically post it back to her. (I’m not trusting anything to Fed Up and Exhausted!)
Ehehehe! I should have known!
We may have been deprived of seeing glass in the museum, but if there are glass paperweights or snowglobes anywhere, you can be sure my beloved will find them! That gingerbread fellow is almost as tall as you!
Oh, now isn’t that cute?
Sigyn says this mug reminds her of the Terror Twins back home. She wants to know if I miss them. Sweetie, last night’s dinner was the first I’ve had without cat hair in months. No, I don’t miss them. But I do wonder if Taffy is still sleeping on the human female’s head, the way I’ve been teaching her? (I don’t have to actually be present to annoy the human female!)
I must admit to enjoying the movie. Sigyn liked the costumes. I liked the snark.
Now all of us, including the friends the humans met up with earlier today, are supposed to go eat dinner. The rendezvous place? One of the fun Japanese stores. It is much like the one in the big city to the west.
It is full of things Sigyn wants to make friends with.
I know you want to take the puppy home, sweetie, and having one more animal to shed on the human female’s clothes is an appealing prospect, I grant you, but it wouldn’t get along with the Terror Twins.
Yes, you are right. This dragon would not shed–at at least not hair. And I can see that though he looks fierce, he is just a big softy.
But how big is he going to grow? You need to think ahead. Once he’s the size of a house and the neighbors start complaining, you’ll be sad. That’s right: give him one last hug and tell him goodbye.
That was close! I thought for a minute we were adding a dragon to the family. Sigyn, are you about ready to go eat? Sigyn–?
Where did Sigyn go?
I should have known.
Sigyn has been adopted by a family of pandas. She says that she doesn’t want to bring one home with us, because it would miss all its brothers and sisters and cousins, but she wants to know if she can come back to visit every now and then.
I think that could be arranged…
Looks like we will be eating with sticks again. Oh, goody. (I can do it, but ramen is splattery, and my cloak has enough problems already.)
Ehehehe. I’ve arranged a little surprise for the human female. She was in the mood for chicken ramen, but ALL the ramen on the menu is pork belly! (That’s what you get for dragging me to a place that makes me eat with sticks.) So sad! Looks like it’s veggie ramen for you!
And all the dumplings for me!
Well, I’ll share with Sigyn, of course. But none for the rest of you!
Nom nom nom. Tummy’s full now. Since I missed my movie nap, I think I may sleep all the way home. (Which is just as well, as the conversation is sure to be 100% pens.)
An unusual game has just been brought out, one the human male received for his just-past birthday. It involves trying to balance various animals on a plinth. The animals are all angle-y and intriguing.
You just met that bear! You don’t know if he’s friendly or not. And maybe he doesn’t like hugs.
I do not trust the eagle-condor-vulture thing, either.
Back, winged fiend! I know she’s snack-sized, but restrain yourself!
The octopus, however, is very friendly— and quite good at shaking hands.
This beast seems tame as well.
What’s it called? “Warthog?” This must be the human female’s game piece, yes?
Sweet Glittering Bifrost! What is that?!
The game rules identify it as a Mythical Omni-Beast composed of some aspect of each of the others. It has warthog tusks, a shark fin, the toucan beak, bear paws, and so on. It’s a good thing it appears to be gentle, because Sigyn is thoroughly smitten.
No one knows what this piece does.
Looks like the humans have managed to get the shark, the warthog, and a crossing symbol onto the plinth. And a Sigyn.
Ah! Now it all begins to make more sense.
The plinth is magic, and each animal piece has a small spell attached. The magic can communicate with a computer so that the animals become part of a narrative on the screen.
The object is to keep all the animals alive by “feeding” them “energy” with the polyhedral pieces that must also be balanced on the plinth.
The “cross” game piece does just that–it crosses two of the animals currently on the plinth.
Which is how we managed to make a Ruffled Swinejaw…
I will admit, this is amusing. It is giving me all sorts of good ideas for beasts I could engender to form part of my army.
So far, the humans are playing in what they call “co-op mode”, in which they all join efforts to stack as many animals and generate as many bizarre mutants as possible. That is all well and good, but where is the competition? Where is the striving? I think we need to invoke Battle Mode, where a card deck comes into play.
That way, I can play cards like this:
Truly! I think I have found MY game!
If there’s anything Sigyn likes more than colorful things, it’s fuzzy things. Today, we seem destined to run into both.
These little asters may look daisyish and harmless now,
but when they’re done blooming, the fluffy fruiting heads will spread these plants all over the neighborhood. It’s a full-time job trying to keep them out of lawns and gardens.
This bluestem grass has much the same dispersal strategy.
I’ll have to make sure some floofs find their way into the human female’s hair and socks.
By Fenrir’s Woolly Winter Underwear! What have we here?!
Ah, I see now. It’s one of those weather-prognosticating lepidopterans. Supposely, one can tell how severe the winter is going to be by the proportion of black to rusty brown in their coats.
Judging by this nearly-all-black one, we can expect a damp and chilly winter with…
…a ninety percent chance of snuggles.
The human female has determined that it is a good time to go visit her sister and her sister’s family somewhere out in the west (waves hand vaguely.) Their mother, whom I actually like, will also be there. Sigyn and I have decided to tag along, since the presence of that remarkable woman means that there will probably be some very good food.
We are in the airport of the Somewhat Bigger City to the West, with some time to kill before the flight leaves. This is still a wild and savage place, home to a rare breed of fierce, long-horned cattle.
All of whom are putty in Sigyn’s lovely little hands.
There also seems to be an infestation of these strange, gray, hard-plated beasts.
The armor’s impressive, but they don’t seem to be very bright.
Ah! They are calling our flight. We’re off!
Well, the human female has always been a little off, but now we are going on a plane.
We are still walking. There’s a little more grass, here and there, but still nothing to eat or drink.
More worrying is that I seem to remember that this realm—whatever it is— is full of dangerous creatures, several of whom tried to make a meal of my beloved the last time we were here. I wonder if we shall encounter fierce beasts again?
Name him and he shall appear! Ugh! What is this slimeous thing?!
No! Sigyn! Don’t touch it! It might be venomous!
Oh, it’s friendly? Okay, but still–be careful! You know that slime doesn’t come out of velvet.
By Jörmungandr pointy teeth! I remember this armored killer! Last time we encountered something like this titan, it did in fact try to eat my Sigyn. We escaped only by outrunning it, which isn’t as easy as one might think. It’s ponderous and slow, but very determined and taking big strides like a chelonian juggernaut.
Wait, what? Get down from there!
Sigyn?! What were you thinking? That thing could snap you in half like a stalk of cute red celery!
Sigh. Sigyn relies entirely too much on her ability to charm animals of all sizes. But perhaps this time we can use it to our advantage. If this thing has to drink sometime, perhaps we can hitch a ride to someplace more hospitable.
Great Frigga’s hairpins! It is nearly Yule-tide again. How did that happen? I turn my back for one minute, and it’s time for all of the tinsel and wrapping and fa-la-la-ing again. Didn’t we just DO this?
The mortals are out and about with the intent to purchase giftimentos for their kin. Sigyn and I have tagged along. Sigyn, because she just adores this time of year; me, because I don’t trust her safety to the humans, not for one second.
I will admit that this market is somewhat less boring than some I have been in. It appears to have little what-nots and edibles from all over Midgard.
Also some shady-looking characters. Sigyn, do you really want to be trying to make friends with these canines?
I mean, dogs in sweaters—with eyeliner? That’s just not normal. And those eyes that are facing one another? Both blackened! Obviously, these two are brawlers. You’d do best not to get mixed up with them.
Oh, my. Yes, my love, that is a lot of poofy hoofstock. All decked out for Yule in peppermint tassels and ribbons.
And they appear to come in both chocolate and vanilla.
And to be sweet-natured.
Sigyn, is there an actual animal under all that floof?
Odin’s Eyepatch! A foul thunder-lizard has appeared!
Unhand my sweetie this instant, you villainous theropod! If you so much as scratch a single one of her corset grommets, I will END YOU.
It’s right behind me, isn’t it?
to be continued…
We are visiting the home of some of the humans’ friends. (I know–it always surprises me too that they have any!) It is quite a nice house–plenty of light, big rooms, many mirrors in which to admire myself.
Sigyn! Look at this! The owners have installed a frankly fantastic indoor jungle gym. Let us try it out! I want to check out the view from the top.
The ladder’s a little steep. I don’t blame you for taking a little rest halfway. Do you need a hand up?
Fandral’s mustache! The view really is great from up here! I can see all the way into the two-story foyer, and Sigyn is checking out the spacious kitchen from afar.
How do you want to get down? We can go back down the ladder, or try this nifty escape rope.
The humans are quite excited about the house’s large chamber upstairs with plenty of room for playing games with lots of people. That’s all well and good, but I think this secret tunnel with cozy room for just two is a much better feature.
And look at this! When one tires of all the ladder-climbing and balcony-peering and rope- swinging and tunnel-hiding, there is an extremely comfortable circular hammock in which to recline.
Perfect place to relax!
Yes, all in all, I can unreservedly approve of this fine construct. I shall have to convince the humans to install something similar in their house.
It might take up the entirety of the female’s “craft room,” but obviously, this takes precedence. How can she deny Sigyn and me all the healthful climbing and swinging and resting we could do? It’s not as if the human female is going to finish any of those craft projects anyway…
And how could she deprive Sigyn of the wonderful friends that naturally flock to such a superior edifice!
I should have known these two would show up. Steve is just too goody-goody to pass up something as wholesome as skating, while Stark can’t stand not being the center of everything.
And T’challa, the Black Panther. Yes, yes. Come on in. Might as well.
Muffy seems happy to see him, at any rate.
Ehehehehe! Is it mean of me to get a chuckle out of the fact that Steve is something of a klutz when it comes to ice skating?
Oh, Sigyn, just leave him. It won’t hurt him to flounder for a bit. Breeds character.
Sigyn? Are you enjoying yourself? You are? Good! That’s all I wanted. Just a quiet afternoon…
Sleipnir’s fetlocks! We’ve got more company! Attracted, no doubt, by the helpless wounded-seal wallowings of clowns and supersoldiers. Gungnir’s inside the house, Thor doesn’t have Mjolnir handy, and looks like Steve didn’t think he’d need his shield! Sigyn, get behind me–!
Sigyn, wait! What are you doing?!
Whew! I always forget just how good she is with animals. Ride on, beloved!
You’re surely the queen of the rink!