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Mon, 05 Mar 2012
The Strange Journey of Tuflongbo. And very strange it is too. xxx



dottido@hotmail.co.uk will reach me from wherever you are.


From Edward Lear's 1927

"A Book of Nonsense and other Absurdities

"When I set out on my long journey," said the Tuflongbo to the Fairy Queen, "I took the south road through Shineland, meaning to pass by the country of the Picknickers who work in the mines. But I gave that up because the Magpie I met foretold ill-luck if I went there, and leaving that route, I turned off to the west and travelled on till I came to World's End, which was bounded by a high brick wall. When I saw the wall my heart failed me, though at that very moment I was on the very eve of the proudest day of my life!

Over the wall grew a stout trailing plant, with a five-peaked glossy leaf, and clusters of dark purple berries; and up it I climbed till I had gained the top, and through tears of joy beheld a strange country stretching beyond.  As my eyes grew clear again, imagine my delight at seeing in the plain below me a vast body of men in blue aprons. What do you think they were doing ? Cutting up the old Moons and making Stars of them!"

      Here Tuflongbo paused, utterly overcome, but the Fairy Queen slapped him on the back and he came to, and continued his tale:

      "Yes, a band of men in blue aprons cutting up the old moons and making Stars of them! I was so lost in wonder that I remained for some hours spell-bound, and watching the process of conversion undiscovered; but at length one of the star-makers threw back his head, opened his mouth in a wide yawn, and I caught his eye. The only thing left for me to do was to bow and introduce myself as Tuflongbo, the great traveller from Shineland. He laughed and yawned by turns, as he tried to repeat tuflongbo; and then invited me to make a stay in his house, I excused myself as I had a long journey to make.Moon-cutters

      "At that the, the moon-cutters all threw their blue aprons over their heads and moaned aloud. So I hurried off as fast as possible, and travelled on till one evening I came to the shores of a vast sea, upon which no sail was to be seen. My heart sank as I paced the shore wondering how to cross the water; but at length I was relieved to see a lanky old man coming along with a bundle of nets in his arms. I began to question him excitedly about this strange sea and its far off opposite shores. He did not seem to understand at first, but then he replied, that if I crossed the sea I should come to the country of Applepivi.

      "But how am I to cross it?" I asked him.

      "Cross it? It is only three sights over," he replied.

      "Three sights over?" I repeated. "Will you be pleased to explain your meaning?"

      "Only this: Stand on the shore, look to the horizon, and jump - that is one sight. Pause, look, and jump again - that is two sights. Pause, look and jump again - that is three sights. And then you are landed in the country of the Applepivi!"

      "But how can I jump as far as I can see?"

      "Nothing simpler. Just watch me, and you will be able to do it. I will jump across to the country of Applepivi and back again in the winking of an eye,"

      "So done, so done! With one jump, he leaped to the horizon;  the second carried him out of sight; and before I had time to cry out, there he was again standing besides me. I then shook hands with him, thanked him for his jumping lesson, took off with a mighty spring - once, twice, thrice, and found myself safely landed on the snow-white shores of the country of the Applepivi!

Hanging on the trees"Yes - those three springs landed me sound in wind and limb on the snow-white shores of the country of the Applepivi, into which, before me, no traveller had ever gone. At first I could see no people there, but in fact the Applepivi had received warning of the coming of a powerful over-sea leaper, and had retreated to their houses, leaving the open country deserted. But I found a beautiful tree near the sea-shore, on the fruit of which I supped deliciously.

     "This fruit was large and oval in shape, the colour of it being a delicate brown, light as puff-paste. On breaking through the crust I found the inside to be luscious, sweet and juicy. The fruit grew in clusters of four at the end of each branch, and some trees were so heavily laden with with it as to be almost bent to the ground.

    "After I had eaten of this luscious fruit," Tuflongbo went on, "a drowsiness overcame me, and lying down under the tree from whose branches I had plucked it, I enjoyed a long refreshing sleep. I slept till morning and then rose, wondering where I was. Near me grew a tall plant, like a foxglove with purple bells, and I picked one long stem.  Carrying it I took my way through mazy groves of fruit trees and at last came suddenly, in an opening upon a cluster of round straw huts. Out of them poured swarms upon swarms of small people - the Applepivi, humming and buzzing angrily. I turned to fly for my life, and then thought better of it, and drew softly near them holding out  the stem with purple blossoms. After a moment of hesitation, one of the Applepivi darted upon the stem and thrust a round little brown head into the cup of a flower; after which the others followed.

     "Then I saw this curious small folk had tiny wings under their shoulders, and talked with a humming noise. The strange thing was I understood what they said. They first of all asked me my name, Tuflongbo," I answered, and I told them I came from a country across the sea called Shineland. 

Tuflongbo, Tuflongbo!

Back to Shineland let him go!"

 some of them buzzed in my ears. But one of them, who had been buried in my purple bell, came out of it and said, Foxgloves

"Let us hear a little more about it, Tuflongbo. What have you Shineland folk got to give the Applepivi?"

"We can give you moors of purple heather, and fields of bean-blossom," I said.

"But the rest of the Applepivi only buzzed the louder:

Tuflongbo, Tuflongbo!

Back to Shineland let him go!"

           "So back I came, over the sea of the three leaps, and over the wall of the World's End," said Tuflongbo, "and here I am."

     "Is that all? said Muffin. "I don't think much of that. As for your Applepivi, thats only another name for -----!"

"Shut up, Muffin!" cried the Fairy Queen, "It's supper-time, and I should like some bread and  honey, and apple-pie and cream!"

     So they had a jolly good supper, and when it was done the Fairy Queen told Tuflongbo to stand on his head. When the Fairy Queen took her last spoonful of apple-pie and cream, an apple pip that had by the cook's mistake, got into the pie, made her cough.

"Slap her on the back, Muffin!" said Tuflongbo. That made her Majesty monstrous angry, and she took the pip out of her mouth between her finger and thumb:

"I don't think your journy did you any good Tuflongbo. How much of what you told us is true ?"

      "Not a word of it, your Majesty," said Tuflongbo, with a grin: "I made it all up as I was eating a Ripston pippin after breakfast."

Little People

I have found quite a few reprints of stories about Tuflongbo, but I haven't come across it anywhere on the net. There isn't an authors name akin to this actual story and I can't find any images either, not from "The Strange Journey of Tuflongbo." But here it is and with a few pictures from other stories. 


Posted 17:53

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