Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Great Magician's Feather Pen: The Story of the Ink Fairies and the Evil Squid Ink

“I’ve run out of ink for my pen!” said the Great Magician of the Kingdom of Reynes as he dumped his ink jar. The Magician scratched his feather pen across the handmade paper, only to make a faded line. 

“Where are you, Ink Fairies?” he called out the window. “I need more ink. I have stories to write!” He looked at his stacked manuscripts sitting in his bookshelf, neatly bound with his leather and string. Like all magicians, the Great Magician had a special gift that distinguished him in the kingdoms—his was storytelling.

In fact, whether or not people knew it, he was responsible for writing all the stories in every kingdom of the world. 

After he wrote the masterpieces, the Ink Fairies took his work and put them in the Timeless Library, where all stories were saved despite space or time. Then, when an author or scribe needed a story, the Ink Fairies delivered the original book to their beside at night. 

When they woke in the morning, the stories had been inscribed in their memory through the Magician’s spell. Of course, only the Great Magician and the Ink Fairies knew this secret. If humans knew of the Magician’s power, they would be jealous and covet his magic, which they already thought was their own. 

“Here I am, sir!” said Pherenice the Fairy, who had heavenly blue flowers on her wings. “We worked all night on making a new batch of ink for you,” she said, dropping the latest batch of fairy ink on his desk with a thump. 

One after another the Great Magician checked off the names of the Ink Fairies as they delivered their full ink jars: Blossom, Cherry, Dewdrop, Euclea, Flutter, Glimmer, Moonshadow, Songbird, Twinkle, Veil, and Wonderspell.

“Fabulous!” the Magician said. “I have enough ink for my work next week, and all is well with the world.”

“Well, all is well almost,” Moonshadow said, who was so bright that she always had a shadow behind her.

“What is it this time?” the Great Magician said. “Let me guess! The Ink Press is broken again!”

“No . . . not exactly,” Cherry said. “It’s more like the Evil Squid Ink sent us a letter on seaweed parchment.” 

“What does he want now? Squid can stay at the bottom of Lake Doom; and stop trying to steal my stories!” the Great Magician said. 

“He’s always wanted your ink,” Blossom said, sitting on the Magician’s shoulder. “He can’t write stories like you!”

“I wouldn’t worry if I were you,” Dewdrop said, cleaning her ink bottle with her shiny wings.

“No, I would worry,” Euclea said. “The Evil Squid Ink is evil for reasons—he wants to take over the Ink Press.”

Flutter fluttered over to the Magician, handing him the threatening note on seaweed parchment, which he read:

“Great Magician: I am coming for you! I will take your Ink Press for my own. I am the Evil Squid Ink, and you are only a half-rate Magician who comes up with fairy stories that have taken over the minds of children and their parents for far too long. My ink will now be known throughout generations! Your Ink Press and Timeless Library will be mine! This is war. Leave the Kingdom of Reynes before I force you out with my Squid Ink Army. I am the one with the Ink. You’ve never been anything other than a plagiarizing fool. Truly, The Evil Squid Ink.”

“What shall we do now?” Glimmer said. “There must be a glimmer of hope somewhere. There always is . . .”

“We must secure the Ink Press,” Veil said. “And then we must prepare for a fierce and long battle.”

“I will call for the neighboring fairies to come to our defense,” Songbird sang, flying across the Magician’s office.

“None of that will defeat him!” the Magician said. “I must write what’s happening in a story, and it must get published in the human world, so they can know the lies of the Evil Squid Ink. It’s the only way to defeat him for good!”

“Then, he’d stay at the bottom of Lake Doom in hiding, fearful that the humans would destroy him,” Twinkle said, with a sparkle in her eye. “The story must make it to the Timeless Library by midnight of the last day of the month for it to be available to its author in this season. Otherwise, it has no chance to get published until next year.”

“This means that I have three days,” The Magician said. “I will need constant ink and no distractions! Then, you must deliver the story to the Timeless Library, and its author without delay! Telling this story is the only way to win.”

“Until you finish the greatest piece of fiction ever written, we’ll protect you!” Wonderspell said. “The Evil Squid Ink only wants to use the Ink Press and Timeless Library to promote his own meaningless and dark stories!”

“That will never happen, but we must deliver the story to an author who isn’t jealous of the Magician’s storytelling magic,” Pherenice said. “We’ll find the best author available and prepare to fight the Squid Ink Army.”

Day and night for the next three days, the Magician worked tirelessly on “The Story of the Evil Squid Ink.”

“More ink!” the Great Magician said, rubbing his sore wrist. “I must have more ink! Fairies! Where are you?”

In the meantime, the Evil Squid Ink descended on the Magician’s castle, throwing deadly ink bombs. As Pherenice delivered the jars of ink, the other fairies defended the Kingdom of Reynes from the evil Squid Ink Army. They sent fairy dust into the squid tentacles, causing confusion so they couldn’t throw the ink bombs.

Although the Squid Ink Army was relentless, the Ink Fairies didn’t back down, defusing the ink bombs before they could detonate and sending them back to the slippery squids. 

The Ink Fairies’ cleverness enraged the Evil Squid Ink, who wanted to kill the Magician. “I’ll settle this myself,” he said, growling. “The world will know my stories!”

As he made his way to the Great Magician’s chambers, the fairies fought him until he arrived at the wizard’s door. 

“I must finish this story!” the Magician said, placing his feather pen behind his ear. “I’m on the last chapter.”

He scribbled and scrawled as quick as he could of the horrors of the Evil Squid Ink, ending the manuscript with this sentiment: “And so the horrendous creature hid at the bottom of Lake Doom for the rest of time, never to use words against humankind. Instead, stories were only used for the good of men and women alike. The End.”

“Quickly!” the Magician called to the Ink Fairies. “Take my manuscript to the Timeless Library. Register it among the Books of Time, and then deliver it to its author and scribe among humankind. Hurry! There is no time to waste.”

As Pherenice and a group of fairies from neighboring kingdoms flew through the window to pick up the masterpiece, the Evil Squid Ink blew open the front door of the Great Magician’s chambers with an especially potent ink bomb.

“Fly as fast as you can!” the Magician said, sending the fairies on their way to the Timeless Library as the Squid Ink Army chased them with ink bombs. While the fairies took off, the Evil Squid Ink wrestled the Great Magician on the chamber floors.

“I will end your version of the story,” the Evil Squid Ink screeched, wrapping his tentacles around the Magician’s throat. 

“Never!” the Great Magician declared. “This is not your story to tell! I will not let you tell lies to the world.”

The Evil Squid Ink almost strangled the Magician with its arms until the Magician stabbed him with his feather pen.

“This pen is sharper than a knife!” the Magician said, as the varmint slithered into the hall, bleeding. 

Of course, the beast crawled away before the Magician could kill him, and it shrank back into Lake Doom with his army. 

“You got away!” the wizard said, stumbling into the hall. “I knew the only way to truly defeat you was to tell your story.” 

Meanwhile, Pherenice and the fairies expedited “The Story of the Evil Squid Ink” through the Timeless Library, registering it with a special code in a category all its own: “Stories that Save the Fate of Humankind and Their Children.”

Before the Evil Squid Ink could reorganize himself for another attack, Pherenice delivered the manuscript to the beside of Pen Jen, an American author who was well-known for her children’s magazine, Pen Jen’s Inkwell. 

When she awoke in the morning, she scribbled notes on paper by her beside and made an outline during breakfast. With the story at her bedside, the Great Magician’s spell overtook her imagination with vivid images and characters. 

“I’ve come up with the best story yet,” she told her mother on the phone. “There’s this magician with a feather pen, and he has ink fairies who give him magic ink to write classic stories for all humanity, and a squid that is jealous of the magician’s enchanted stories. It’s going to be marvelous! I’ll let you read it for typos when I have the first draft.”

By the time the manuscript was a published best-seller in New York City, the Evil Squid Ink was so afraid the humans would kill him and his Squid Ink Army that he stayed at the bottom of Lake Doom for eternity, never to threaten the Great Magician again. All the while, the Great Magician with the help of his Ink Fairies kept writing the stories that humankind loved. His magic feather pen had never been so delightful!

Copyright 2020 Jennifer Waters

Friday, July 22, 2016

"Cain & Abel," A GOSPEL SONG

Cain was able to walk in the garden, 
And able to eat from the trees.
He was able to drink from the river,
And able to work as he pleased.

But Cain killed Abel,
‘Cause Cain wasn’t able to love.

Cain was able to speak with the angels,
And able to talk straight to God.
He was able to dream of the heavens,
And able to give life a nod.

But Cain killed Abel,
‘Cause Cain wasn’t able to love.

He could have been,
His brother’s keeper.
Now his blood is on our hands.
Still no one understands,
His blood desires to have you and me.

Cain was able to seek new beginnings,
And able to stand in the light.
He was able to fight back the darkness,
And able to do what was right.

But Cain killed Abel,
‘Cause Cain wasn’t able to love.
He could have been,
His brother’s keeper.
Now his blood is on our hands.
Still no one understands,
His blood desires to have you and me.


Cain killed Abel,
‘Cause Cain wasn’t able to love.
But Cain killed Abel,
‘Cause Cain wasn’t able to love.
Oh, Cain killed Abel,
‘Cause Cain wasn’t able to love.

A restless wanderer he will be.
A restless wanderer he will be.
A restless wanderer he will be.
A restless wanderer he will be.

Copyright 2016 Jennifer Waters

Monday, July 18, 2016

Bubblegum Taffy Hot Pink High Heels: The Story of Time-Traveling Shoes

“I’ve got on my Bubblegum Taffy Hot Pink High Heels!” announced 12-year-old Aiyana Mitchell, sitting on the back porch. 

She lived in the suburbs of Philadelphia and spent one too many summer days at the swimming pool.

“My time-traveling shoes!” she declared. “I can close my eyes and travel to places in the future and the past!”

As she pulled the laces tight on her sparking pink heels, she thought of where she would like to travel for the first time. Of course, the pointy stiletto shoes were a special gift from her Aunt Olivia, who had outgrown time-traveling with age.

“These shoes are now yours,” Aunt Olivia told her niece. “Have the time of your life! I’ve traveled enough for now.”

As the story goes, the shoes originally came from an era of magic shoemakers in England during the late 1890s. She bought them on a trip to England from the Portobello Road Market without knowing their magic powers until she put them on her feet. Her aunt had used the shoes to travel to so many places that it seemed like she was on a constant vacation. 

The family always said that her aunt was full of stories, and none of them could be true, but Aiyana always believed in her excursions and loved receiving her souvenirs. Now she was about to try the shoes for the first time for herself. Since her aunt didn’t have children, she gave the shoes to Aiyana, as long as she didn’t tell her mom about them. 

“It’s better to stay in the present—forget about the past and wait for the future,” Aiyana’s mom explained, rolling her eyes at her sister’s imagination. 

Despite her mother’s warning, Aiyana wanted the adventure and mystery of the time-traveling shoes. So, she hid them under her bed in what looked like a beat-up old shoebox, and her mom never noticed them. 

Now that she was ready to use them, she decided that she’d better try traveling some place calm and serene. 

“How about traveling to the early 1900’s to a lake with a boat and a fancy parasol and swans?” Aiyana asked aloud. 

Although the present was full of sunshine and blue sky, she was eager to research the earlier era. So, she put on the shoes, clicked them together three times—saying the riddle that Aunt Olivia taught her to say for traveling back in time—while blinking her eyes twice and visualizing a scene from one of her favorite Impressionist paintings: “Two steps forward, three steps back!”  

When she closed her eyes, she was transported to the other century, appearing wearing a lace dress and sitting in a boat on a lake. As she gathered her bearings, she grabbed the side of the boat with her left hand. The parasol slipped from her right hand.

“Oh, no!” she exclaimed, startled by the swans in the lake. Then, the boat capsized, and she fell into the lake with a splash. 

“This really does look like a scene from a painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir,” Aiyana concluded, taking in the surroundings. 

Her once curly hair had lost its bounce when doused with the water from the lake. She felt like a fat sponge. In all the commotion, Aiyana’s time-traveling shoes slipped off her feet and sank to the bottom of the lake. 

“Now I’ll be stuck in the 1900’s forever!” she yelled, grabbing onto the side of the boat, kicking her feet. She pulled herself back up the side of the boat, sopping wet, and cried: “Someone help me get my shoes back!”

The lovely parasol floated on top of the lake as an upside-down umbrella across the rippling water.

“My lady! Let me help you!” proclaimed a proper gentleman in a striped, full body swimming suit, diving her direction. 

“I’m from the year 2020, and I lost my time-traveling shoes within a minute of being here!” she clarified for the man. “If you could dive to the bottom of the lake, and find the shoes, so I could go back to 2020, I’d appreciate it so much.”

“That is quite a story, young lady,” the man noted. “They must be your favorite pair of shoes to have such a story!”

“If you don’t find them, I’m going to have to scour the bottom of the lake by myself, and I can’t swim in this dress!” she worried. “And I will probably drown, trying to find my shoes! My mom expects me to be in the present for dinner!”

“Right away, madam! I’ll find those shoes. Then you can travel anywhere you want,” the man quipped, who looked a little bit like her Uncle Herb from the present. “I’m putting on my goggles, and I’m about to descend into the deep.”

As the man dove into the lake, Aiyana squeezed water out her lacy dress and paddled out to the parasol on the lake. 

When she raised the parasol, water dumped on her head, and she shook her head until she could see again. Then, the man swimming in the lake on her behalf popped his head above the water: “My lady, still no shoes!” He took a deep breath and went back underneath the water with a splash. A breeze blew over the lake. 

“Maybe I should have settled for the swimming pool!” Aiyana deliberated. “It might’ve been easier than all this adventure.”

From beneath the water, a hand arose with the Bubblegum Taffy Hot Pink High Heels, dripping wet.

“I found your lovely footwear,” the man celebrated, handing her the shoes with sand filling in the toes. 

“Thank you, kind sir,” Aiyana smiled, shaking the sand out of the shoes, and putting them back on her feet. “I’d rather live in the present. If I can come back to the past or brave the future, there must be a specific reason. I’m just so out of sorts.”

“Well, now you can go on your journey,” the kind sir proposed. “I’ll be swimming in the lake, if you return.”

Again, she put on the shoes, clicked them together three times, blinked her eyes twice, and this time repeated the riddle for traveling into the future: “Three steps forward, two steps back!” She visualized her mother’s swimming pool in her backyard.

With that, Aiyana returned to the present on the back porch in her Philadelphia home with her mother calling. 

“I’m so glad to be home,” she whispered, sighing with relief. “There really is no place like it!”

“Aiyana, come help me make dinner,” her mother prompted. “What have you been doing out there all afternoon anyhow?”

As Aiyana walked into the kitchen, she created a trail of footprints and a puddle of lake water that stunned her mom. 

“Did you just get out of the swimming pool?” her mom scolded her, wiping up the water with paper towels. “Please don’t tell me that you’ve been trying to figure out how to use those silly old shoes from Aunt Olivia.”

Aiyana ran upstairs to her bedroom before her mother could see her Bubblegum Taffy Hot Pink High Heels.

“Before I go time-traveling again, I need to ask my aunt for advice,” Aiyana considered. “It really has to go better next time. Maybe I should tie the shoes to my feet with ribbons. I’d really like to travel to all kinds of places, like the Roaring Twenties, the 50’s in America, the 1980s, the Renaissance, and future space travel. Time has no limit!”

With that, she put the shoes back into the old box underneath her bed and slipped on her flip flops—ready for the present. 

Copyright 2020 Jennifer Waters

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Sir Lion and the Lanky Giraffe: The Story of Roaring and Humming Out Loud

Sir Lion and the Lanky Giraffe were not exactly the best of friends. 

“I like to roar as loud as possible and scare everyone far and wide,” the Lion said. 

“Why do you like to do that?” the Lanky Giraffe said. “I like to hum, and when I hum,  

I am so quiet that everyone has to listen to hear me. So, they must stop making noise.”

“I’m the loudest! They will never hear your humming,” the Lion said.  

So, Sir Lion and the Lanky Giraffe went around roaring and humming. 

“Roar!” the Lion said in the loudest voice that he could possibly make.

Passersby shuddered and shook when they heard his gigantic voice. 

The Lanky Giraffe, who was able to twist his neck this way and that, got his head into everything, humming his heart away, much quieter than the Lion.

In contrast, people stopped and enjoyed his melodies, listening to every note. 

Then one day, when the duo was out among the bush, a poacher walked in the field.

He swung his gun over his shoulder, looking for animals to hunt. 

“Quick! Hide behind this tree,” the Lanky Giraffe whispered to Sir Lion. 

Since the Giraffe was tall and thin, he could blend in with the tree, but the Lion had a more difficult time, being chubby and round with a very full tummy.

Then, Sir Lion stepped on a branch that cracked and shuffled leaves. 

The poacher turned around, pointed his gun at the Lion with his finger on the trigger. 

Sir Lion was so scared of the hunter that he forgot to roar or even run. 

“Hmm, hmm, hmm,” the Lanky Giraffe hummed from beside the tree. 

“What in the world is that?” the poacher said, stepping toward the Giraffe. 

Before the poacher could say another word and shoot anyone in the bush, 

Sir Lion jumped on the man with a roar and devoured him in a heartbeat.

The Lanky Giraffe just kept humming, hoping that Sir Lion had learned his lesson. 

Sometimes, the quietest person in the jungle is the most powerful. 

Before you roar, hum to yourself to make sure you are heard.


Copyright 2016 Jennifer Waters

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

In the Fields of Boaz: The Story of Ruth

Once there was a woman named Ruth who lived in the land of Moab. She had married Mahlon of Judah, the son of a woman named Naomi. When the famine started in her hometown of Bethlehem, Naomi and her husband Elimelek thought Moab would be easier, so they moved there. 

After ten years in Moab and the passing of her husband, Naomi knew she could not escape her problems in Moab. When Ruth’s husband, Mahlon, died, she had a choice. She could stay with her Jewish mother-in-law, Naomi, or she could leave Naomi and search for a new mate. Now there was a famine in the land of Moab, so it was a hard decision, especially since Naomi’s husband and two sons had died.

When Naomi heard of how God had provided food for the Jews in Bethlehem, she decided to return there from the land of Moab. Since both Naomi’s son’s, Mahlon and Kilion were no longer alive, Naomi told Ruth and her other daughter-in-law, Orpah, to return to their families: “May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband.”

Because the Israelites didn’t usually intermarry with foreign peoples, Naomi worried that Ruth and Orpah would not find husbands in Bethlehem. So, Naomi kissed her daughters-in-law goodbye, crying. “Never forget me,” Naomi said. “I love you.”

Ruth and Orpah had converted to Judaism when marrying Naomi’s sons. “Wait,” Ruth said,” holding Naomi’s hand, clinging to her side.  If Ruth left with Naomi, she would be leaving her whole way of life in Moab, but Ruth clung to Naomi and knew she must be a faithful friend.

Instead, Orpah kissed Naomi goodbye and left in tears. “Go with God,” Orpah said to the two women and headed off to her old life. At the time, although Ruth and Orpah didn’t have Jewish children, Orpah had four warrior sons later in life, including a giant named Goliath. 

“If I don’t go with you to Bethlehem, you’ll surely die,” Ruth said to Naomi. “You’re too old to make the journey alone, even if it means I remain a widow.” 

“Oh, my daughter,” Naomi said. “Let’s make the journey together.”

Ruth said, “Where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.”

Despite any doubts, Ruth didn’t turn back after making this decision, and Naomi gave up trying to change Ruth’s mind. So, the two women traveled until they reached Bethlehem. When they arrived, the town was shocked to see Naomi with her new friend.

“Can this be Naomi? We thought she had died,” the townspeople said. 

“Yes,” she said. “As surely as the sun rises, I’m alive. This is my daughter-n-law, Ruth.”

As the barley harvest was beginning, the women made a new home on Elimelek’s land. 

“God will be good to us, Ruth,” Naomi said, preparing a morning meal for them both. 

Because of tradition in the land, Ruth gleaned the Bethlehem fields for leftover grain. After the harvest, the poor could glean the grain fields and vineyards. The custom allowed the needy to follow after reapers and pick up the fallen spears. As it turned out, Ruth was working in the field of Boaz. Boaz was a relative on Naomi’s husband’s side from the clan of Elimelek. He greeted the harvesters and overlooked his field. 

“Who is that young woman?” Boaz asked, looking at Ruth. 

The overseer said, “She is the Moabite who came back from Moab with Naomi.”

“Can I please glean your field?” Ruth said to Boaz in a soft voice. 

“Feel free to work with the women in my field, and do not fear harm,” Boaz said to Ruth.

“Whenever you’re thirsty, please, stop for a drink,” he motioned to her. 

Ruth bowed with her face to the ground, so thankful for his kindness.

“I’ve heard of what you did for Naomi after her husband died,” Boaz said. “You left your father and mother and homeland to come live with her.”

He looked at her with kindness, knowing she had suffered much for her choice.

“May the Lord repay you for what you have done,” Boaz said. “May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”

Then, Ruth shared mealtime with Boaz, eating what she wanted with some left over. She dipped bread in wine vinegar and feasted on roasted grain.

“Pull out stalks for Ruth from the bundles,” Boaz told his men in the field. “Make sure to treat her with dignity and respect when she’s working,” he explained.

At the end of the day, Ruth gave Naomi the grain that was collected. When Ruth told her that she had been gleaning the field of Boaz, Naomi praised God. 

“That’s the field of a close relative!” Naomi explained to Ruth. “I’m so relieved that you found a safe place to work,” she said. “Boaz is a kinsman redeemer with obligation to free a relative in serious difficulty.”

Among the Israelites, the kinsman redeemer often redeems property or a person, as a deliverer. “The Lord has not forsaken us, Ruth,” Naomi said, hugging her tightly. 

For the next few weeks, Ruth stayed close to the women of Boaz’s field as she gleaned. She gathered barley and wheat until the harvest was finished. As time went by, Naomi knew that Ruth needed a husband to fit in with the village life. Since Boaz was a relative of Naomi’s, she told her to approach him. 

“Put on perfume, dress in your best clothes, and go to the threshing floor,” Naomi told Ruth. Ruth did so and made her way to the threshing floor, praying in her heart. 

When Boaz finished eating, he lay down at the far end of the grain pile. Ruth approached him quietly, uncovered his feet, and lay down. During the night, Boaz was startled to find a woman lying at his feet. Ruth said, “Please spread your garment over me. You are a kinsman redeemer of our family.”

“All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character, but even if I’m a redeemer of your family, there’s another man more closely related,” Boaz replied. “He should be approached first before I agree to marry you. Sleep here tonight. In the morning, I will see if the man will redeem you from your troubles, or if I will.”

Ruth lay at Boaz’s feet until sunrise but got up before anyone saw her. Boaz did not want anyone to know that she came to him on the threshing floor. Before he went back to town, he poured six measures of barley in Ruth’s shawl.

“A wedding gift for Naomi,” Boaz said of his generosity. “Now run along home. Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day you shall rest.”

When Ruth went back to Naomi, she told her everything that happened. Naomi said, “Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens. For the man will not rest until the matter is settled today.”

Meanwhile, Boaz went to the town gate and found the other kinsman redeemer. With ten elders of the town present, Boaz explained to the man Naomi’s situation.

“Since Naomi is selling her family’s land, you are first in line to redeem it,” Boaz said.

At first the man said he would redeem the land, but he did not want to marry Ruth. The ungracious relative said to Boaz, “Buy it yourself,” and he removed his sandal. 

In those day, a sale was final if a man took off his sandal and gave it to another man. A shoe—a symbol of law—made it a legally sealed process. 

So, Boaz married Ruth as his wife, and she conceived a son. When the baby was born, Ruth, a happy wife and mother, named him Obed. Naomi loved to care for her grandson and thanked God for him. Obed was the father of Jesse, who was the father of King David.

As a child, David triumphed over a Philistine giant named Goliath, the son of Orpah.

Copyright 2018 Jennifer Waters

Friday, July 8, 2016


Some legends seem so real that they can capture lives and spark great loyalty.

Gwen the Alligator proudly tells visitors she’s named after King Arthur’s Queen Guinevere and recounts the valiant and perilous adventures of the noble king, his beautiful wife, the doomed affair between Sir Lancelot and Guinevere, the warring Knights of the Round Table, the traitorous Mordred, and Arthur’s fatal last battle. Though centuries have passed, young Gwen still holds hope for Arthur’s return, sure in her dream she will be his bride this time around. 

At Caerleon in Southern Wales, Gwen the Alligator who lived her whole life in the moat around castle Camelot, welcomes visitors to King Arthur’s realm for a retelling of the famous legends, including the quest for the Holy Grail. Gwen’s mom loved legends, tales, and folklore galore and named her newly hatched egg after Arthur’s Queen Guinevere.

Gwen tells visitors that Guinevere was beautiful, noble, gentle, and loved high tea. Tragedy struck when Guinevere fell in love with Lancelot, a knight of King Arthur’s Round Table, itself a wedding gift from Guinevere’s father. Lancelot was brave and loyal to Arthur, and Guinevere knew her romance with Lancelot was wrong but his valiant deeds to save her from death and danger made her fall in love.

King Arthur tried to ignore Guinevere’s unfaithfulness, but then he knew her adultery was destroying his kingdom. Arthur fought Lancelot for Guinevere, the Knights took sides and fought each other, eventually disbanding. After time passed, Guinevere returned to Arthur and was thereafter loyal to her rightful king. After the Knights of the Round Table fell, King Arthur asked his nephew Mordred to take charge of the kingdom when he had to travel. Mordred plotted an evil scheme to make himself king and take Guinevere as his bride. Guinevere refused Mordred’s offer and locked herself in the Tower of London so he could not get to her.

When Arthur returned, he fought Mordred to the death, but was himself mortally wounded. Both Arthur and Mordred died, leaving Guinevere alone. King Arthur’s tombstone read: “Here lies Arthur, King that was, King that shall be, and he is great because he fought against evil and kept the land free. He helped those in danger find jubilee. The Holy Grail was a sovereign quest, but now King Arthur is forever at rest.” Guinevere entered a convent, repented, prayed, helped the poor, and vowed to never see Lancelot again. After she died, the church buried her next to Arthur and they all lived on in mythology. 

Gwen the Alligator insists to visitors they’ll never be the same from having learned how she got her name and knowing that King Arthur is supposed to return one day. She explains that an alligator’s fate is a castle, not a swamp. Confident she is Arthur’s bride-to-be, a British alligator that will guard his castle and sing his legends until King Arthur valiantly returns, Gwen pledges her allegiance to King Arthur and the Holy Grail.

Copyright 2022 Jennifer Waters