Old Sam & The Time Snakes

For more information on the background of story and drawings of The Adventures of Old Sam click here..

A new adventure of Old Sam

Good to see you here. Let’s start with telling you what happened last year. And tell you where Old Sam is and what he is doing in his special world.

Last year the Inktober adventure of Old Sam started in Riverland. There he met the Tree Fairy who was the only one still awake. Everyone was asleep, for a hundred days. The misty creatures made that happen so that they could kidnap Elly. They wanted to use the fog in her head to makes us all get lost. Together with Jack Squirrel they travel to The Misty Land where they want save Elly together with the help of the Owl and his Owl daughter.

They fall into a trap but manage to escape with the help of the sky horses. They wake up in The Castle of Lost Time where Madame Madeleine is queen of the castle. There they eventually save not only Elly from the fog in her head but also Clifford Kikker. Those two fall hopelessly in love with each other and are now forever on their honeymoon on the ship of Captain Redleg and Iezo the Parrot.

At the end of the adventure, our friends return to Riverland where everyone is still asleep. They sprinkle Madame Madeleine’s blossom tea in the river. Everyone wakes up again. Also Josephine, the black lady cat, who lives on the chimney of Elly’s house on the river. She and Old Sam really like each other and have been on an adventure together ever since.

They have now left Riverland behind them and Old Sam has shown Josephine all kinds of places where he has experienced adventures in the past years. Finally they have arrived in the forest where the tree of Old Sam is located. The tree that grew out of its tail in the first Inktober adventure of Old Sam. And that’s where this adventure begins.

Are you ready?

‘I’ll be happy when we get there,’ says Old Sam.

‘Me too’, says Josephine, ‘I’m very curious how well your tree sleeps’.

They are quite tired of the long journey and walk quietly along the winding paths to the place where the tree of Old Sam stands. The sunlight passes through the canopy and spreads a beautiful dancing light on the ground.

‘We’re here,’ says Old Sam, pointing his tail to a clearing in the woods. In the middle is a beautiful tree, surrounded by a lawn full of daisies.

Suddenly, the two hear a sobbing sound. They stop, look at each other and without words they decide to sneak on very quietly. When they arrive at the tree, they both peek very carefully around the corner. In the grass stands a beautiful pink bird. It looks like a flamingo but a very special one. She has beautiful yellow peacock feathers on her head and tail.

The flamingo peacock cries. Big tears are streaming down her face.

‘Hello,’ says Old Sam as he gently sticks his head around the corner of the tree, ‘why do you have to cry?’

The flamingo peacock is so startled that she flutters to the top of the tree in a panic.

‘We will not harm you’, says Old Sam and together with Josephine he looks up.

‘What are you doing here?’, the flamingo peacock squeaks.

‘I’m Old Sam and this is Josephine,’ says Old Sam,’ we’ve traveled a long time to get to my tree. What are you doing here?’

‘Oh I’m so lucky that I found you’, shouts the flamingo peacock, ‘you have to help me, they stole the magic crystal wheel and now the world is in danger’.

Old Sam and Josephine look at each other. High up in the tree, the flamingo peacock hops back and forth on 1 leg. Old Sam and Josephine climb up and settle together in the cat pit that has formed itself in one of the branches.

‘Do you want to tell me and Josephine what your name is and what’s going on?’, asks Old Sam.

‘I will’, says the pink bird with the beautiful peacock feathers, ‘I am Vera Flamingo Peacock. You have helped my sister from The White Lands, the Inca Penguin, to save the world. That’s why I know you’re the only one who can help us find the magic crystal wheel’.  

‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’, says Josephine, ‘what does a magic crystal wheel do?’

‘A magical crystal wheel helps to protect our world from evil. And especially against malicious souls. It is a wheel that revolves around a beautiful amethyst. When the wheel hits the stone, a spark is created. If the spark moves quietly, it is somebody with good intentions. If the spark moves wildly, it’s someone who has a bad spirit.

‘How can anyone steal something like that’, says Old Sam in a pensive tone.

‘Yes’, says Josephine, ‘didn’t the sparks tell you that someone with evil intentions was around?’

‘I didn’t let the wheel turn’, says Vera Flamingo Peacock as she lets her eyes and beautiful head dress hang sadly on top of her eyes.

‘Why not?’, Old Sam asks curiously.

‘I was visited by an important looking gentleman in a suit and I thought he could be trusted. So I didn’t spin the magic crystal wheel. When I went to get a drink he took the wheel and disappeared’.

A tear slowly spills down Vera Flamingo Peacock’s cheek.

‘Without the magic crystal wheel, my country is in danger,’ she sobs, ‘and when my country disappears, all life on our world disappears. That’s why we have to find it and bring it back. You have to help me, Old Sam.’

Old Sam and Josephine look at each other. What kind of adventure is about to begin this year..

Do you want to wake up with The Adventures of Old Sam in your mailbox? Register for my newsletter or follow me on Instagram and/or Facebook.

‘Calm down,’ says Old Sam, ‘of course I’ll help you. Especially when the world is in danger. But first we have to find out who stole the magic crystal wheel and where it was taken’.

‘Yes’, says Josephine, ‘did you have a look around to see if you saw that gentleman in a suit somewhere?’

‘I did go outside, says Vera Flamingo Peacock, ‘but I didn’t see him anymore. I went to the beach of the lagoon where I live. No man in suit to be seen.’

‘Was there nothing else to see?’, Old Sam asks, ‘or something that wasn’t normally there?’

Vera Flamingo Peacock thinks deeply. Her head dress almost falls over her eyes, that’s how deep her frown is.

‘Now that you’re saying it,’ she says pensively, ‘there was a strange boat in the lagoon. I’ve never seen anything like it before’.

Old Sam and Josephine look at her.

‘What did that boat look like?’ asks Old Sam.

‘It was long and grey’, Vera Flamingo Peacock, ‘a ship without a real deck, completely closed. With a high part in the middle, also completely closed. But with a small railing and a few thin long pipes.’

‘Ohhhh’, says Josephine, ‘I know what kind of vessel that is’.

Josephine had spent days on the chimney of the house she lived in, looking out over the river. There she had seen so many boats. Also very crazy ones, like the bathtub on duck legs of Jack Squirrel. And even the ship that Vera Flamingo Peacock describes.

‘Do tell,’ says Old Sam, who doesn’t like water that much. He prefers not to come close to too much water. That hasn’t worked out so well in the last few adventures alone. Deep down, Old Sam hopes that this won’t be another water adventure. He waits with excitement for Josephine’s answer. Vera Flamingo Peacock meanwhile hops with tension from one leg to the other.

‘Yes, tell us,’ she exclaims tensely.

‘I think you’ve seen an underwater boat’, says Josephine.

‘An underwater boat, say Old Sam and Josephine in one voice, ‘what on earth is that?’

‘That’s a boat that can not only sail above water but also under water’, says Josephine, ’that’s why it’s completely closed. Otherwise, you’ll all get water in. And with those thin long pipes that you saw, they can look above water when they are already in hiding.’

Old Sam and Vera Flamingo Peacock listen to Josephine with their mouths open. They have never seen a boat like that.

‘Do you know where those boats come from?’, Old Sam asks Josephine, ‘because if we know that, then maybe we also know where that mysterious man in a suit comes from’.

‘No’, says Josephine, ‘ but I do know someone who probably knows that. And you know them too, Old Sam.’

Old Sam looks at Josephine frowning. Then his eyes become big when he sees the light.

‘We have to go back,’ he says, ‘there’s only one crook who can help us. Come on, we’ll go right away.’

Old Sam jumps out of the tree and beckons Josephine and Vera Flamingo Peacock to follow him immediately.

‘Come,’ he says, ‘we need to get out and about quickly before he’s gone again.’

The three of them rush back through the forest of Old Sam. Running and flying, they are equal to each other in terms of speed.

‘I didn’t know that cats can run so fast’, says Vera Flamingo Peacock from the air.

‘I didn’t know that flamingo peacocks can fly so fast’, says Old Sam.

They all laugh.

When they arrive at the edge of the forest, they look at each other.

‘What now?’, Josephine asks.

‘Back along the river’, says Old Sam, ‘and let’s hope that Jack Squirre has not yet left for a new adventure.’

‘Yes’, says Josephine, ‘that’s the squirrel I was talking about too.’

Old Sam had found Jack Squirrel along with the Tree Fairy, sleeping in a bathtub on duck legs, hiding under a large tarp behind the house where Elly lived until she was kidnapped by the misty creatures. Together they had set out to save her. Jack Squirrel might be an old crook, but one with the heart in the right place.

The three of them travel further along the river, towards the house where Old Sam’s previous adventure ended. In the meantime, everyone is awake again in Riverland and it is quite busy on the water. Occasionally they secretly hitchhike along on one of the many boats, but only when they are tired. Most boats are slower than the three of them running and flying. So as soon as they are a bit rested again, they run and fly on until they are at Elly’s house.

The house looks deserted. Elly doesn’t live there anymore. She is on a eternal honeymoon with Clifford Kikker. Old Sam looks at Josephine.

‘I had forgotten that,’ he says, ‘so how likely it is Jack is still here when he doesn’t have to protect Elly anymore.’

‘Not very likely, says Josephine, ‘but there is only one way to find out.’

Perky, Josephine crosses the bridge to the house. Old Sam and Vera Flamingo Peacock follow. Together they walk around the house. Everything seems deserted.

‘We can take a look in the barn’, says Josephine. There is no one to be seen there either.

What now?’, asks Vera Flamingo Peacock.

‘I don’t know,’ says Old Sam, ‘now I have to think.’

‘Come’, says Josephine, ‘let’s do that from my chimney on the roof. Then you have the most beautiful view and who knows, maybe we will see an underwater boat and we will find out where they come from’.

Old Sam and Josephine start their climb while Vera Flamingo Peacock flies up.

‘Ieuwwww’, squeaks Vera Flamingo Peacock.

‘What’s up?’, Old Sam and Josephine both say.

‘There’s a weird thing on the roof here’, shouts Vera Flamingo Peacock, ‘please come here, there’s something hairy in it as well.’

‘Can you keep your voice down, young lady,’ the thing on roof grumbles, ‘I parked my bathtub here to avoid the crowds’.

‘Hooray’, old Sam shouts as he climbs up the last few meters with Josephine, ‘we have found you’.

Laughing, the three of them fall into each other’s arms.

‘What are you doing here?’, Jack Squirrel asks, ‘I thought you were travelling around the world together’.

‘We were, says Old Sam, ‘but then we met Vera Flamingo Peacock. She needs our help. The magical crystal wheel was stolen by a man in a suit who left in an underwater boat. And we hope you know where that boat went.’

‘Hello beautiful lady’, says Jack as he makes a graceful bow with his tail in front of Vera Flamingo Peacock, ‘yes, I know where these men in suits are going. We have a big problem if they stole the magic crystal wheel.’.

The threesome look exited.

‘So you know where we need to go,’ says Old Sam.

‘Yes,’ says Jack Squirrel, ‘just jump into my bathtub and untie the knot. Then we can go on our way and hopefully save the world in time.’

The three of them jump into Jack Squirrel’s bathtub. They cast off and with a big splash the bathtub jumps from the roof into the river with the crazy duck legs.

Jack presses a knob and the propeller blades begin to rotate. First slowly and then faster and faster. The bathtub comes up slightly and hangs just above the water. The duck legs start to take a run-up.

Jack releases the button and shouts: ‘Hold on tight. Here we go.’

The bathtub follows the river. Now that everyone is awake in Riverland it is much busier so occasionally Jack changes course. Fortunately, there is plenty of opportunity to catch up. Jack has just returned to Elly’s house. He has brought the owl and his daughter back to the lake where the entrance to the Misty Land is. This way they can keep an eye on things. The misty ceings are asleep and everyone agrees that this is the best for everybody.

‘We’re lucky that you were back,’ says Old Sam, ‘otherwise we would never have known where to go to find the magic crystal wheel.’

‘Well’, says Jack Squirrel, ‘it’s just how you look at it. I don’t know if you’re going to be very happy with the place we’re going now.’

‘Where are we actually going?’, Josephine asks.

‘We’re going to Ravenland,’ Jack says.

‘Ravenland’, Vera Flamingo Peacock exclaims in horror, ‘it’s very dangerous there.’

Terrified, Old Sam and Josephine look up.

‘Is that true, Jack?’ asks Old Sam.

‘Yes,’ Jack says, ‘that’s right. I’m not really looking forward to going there. But we have to. The big question is why a raven stole the magic crystal wheel.’

‘That is indeed the big question’, says Vera Flamingo Peacock, ‘but an even bigger question is where they have hidden it’.

‘They have hidden it?’, says Josephine in a surprised tone.

‘Yes,’ says Jack Squirrel, ‘ravens hide their loot. So it’s very important that we find the raven that stole the magical crystal wheel.’

‘Or hope that someone has seen where that raven has hidden the loot’, says Josephine.

Old Sam settles himself pondering on the edge of the bathtub. The wind gently spins his ears.

‘Well my friends,’ says Old Sam, ‘I don’t know what kind of adventure awaits us this year. Together we will hopefully be strong and smart enough.’

‘I hope so’, says Jack Squirrel, ‘but this is a dangerous adventure. I hope we don’t end up as raven food’.

Our friends continue on their way. Night falls and it gets quieter and quieter on the river.

‘It’s not such a good idea to sail on tonight’, says Jack Squirrel, ‘we will soon be in Inbetween Land and strange creatures live there. They don’t like it when you travel through their area at night.’

The company looks at him in horror.

‘Then we’d better find a place on shore to spend the night’, says Old Sam.

‘They probably have a few beautiful trees here to sleep in’, says Josephine.

Josephine had always slept on the chimney of the house where she lived. While traveling with Old Sam, she had discovered how nice it was to sleep in a tree. Vera Flamingo Peacock had also developed a penchant for spending the night in the top of a tree. This allowed her to keep a close eye on her surroundings and flee when danger threatened.

‘I see an open space,’ says Jack Squirrel, ‘let’s stop here.’

The bathtub turns towards the shore. The duck legs take a run-up and bring our group of friends with a jump on the side.

‘So’, says Jack Squirrel, ‘if you find a nice tree, I’ll find a good place for my bathtub. I prefer sleeping in there.’

So said, so done. Not too far from the river, our friends find a beautiful tree to spend the night in.

‘This tree looks a bit like your tree’, says Josephine.

‘Yes’, laughs Old Sam, ‘maybe a piece of my tree went on a trip and decided to live here.’

Vera Flamingo Peacock chuckles and says: ‘how handy it would be if you could transport yourself from Old Sam tree to Old Sam tree. You don’t have to travel those long distances anymore.’

At that thought, they all have to chuckle.

‘Come on,’ says Old Sam, ‘let’s go to sleep so tomorrow at daylight we can hit the road again.’

‘Just choose a nice branch to sleep on’, says Josephine.

Old Sam climbs the tree while Vera Flamingo Peacock flutters up. Suddenly they hear a lot of noise and Old Sam shouting ‘ohhhhh’ very loudly.

‘What’s up, what’s up?’, Josephine asks with a look of fear on her face.

‘There’s a bottle here’, says Old Sam, ‘it looks like a magic potion. Let me smell.’

Old Sam turns the cap off and smells.

‘Ieuw,’ he says, ‘it smells like some kind of spirit.’

‘A magic potion that smells like spirits’, says Jack Squirrel, ‘who would want to drink that?’

Suddenly our friends hear a huge rustle and crackle in the woods. Something is coming. Something big.

‘We have to hide’, Josephine squeaks.

Jack Squirrel and Josephine stand still, paralyzed in terror at the foot of the tree while Vera Flamingo Peacock is shivering on a branch in the top. Old Sam looks through the leaves and tries to catch a glimpse of who or what is coming.

Then the crackling and rustling stops. Our friends look at each other. What’s next?

Our friends carefully see two legs pushing the bushes apart. Two beautiful eyes peek through the opening and they catch eye of Josephine and Jack.

‘Who are you?’, asks the voice behind the beautiful eyes.

‘We are Jack Squirrel and Josephine’, says Jack, ‘we are here with Old Sam and Vera Flamingo Peacock.

‘Old Sam!’, the voice exclaims exiting, ‘really?’.

‘Really,’ says Old Sam as he jumps down in sight of the beautiful eyes, ‘come out, old friend, I’ve recognized your voice.’

The bushes give way and a beautiful little dragon emerges. With great leaps and bounds, she flutters towards Old Sam and spreads her wings around him.

‘Old Sam!’, she exclaims again delightedly, ‘I missed you. It’s been so long since I’ve seen you.’

She spreads her wings around him and the old friends embrace each other, laughing out loudly.

‘Do you know who that is?’, Jack Squirrel asks Josephine. Vera Flamingo Peacock flutters down to hear the answer.

‘I think so’, says Josephine, ‘I think it’s the little dragon that saved Old Sam when his tail grew into a tree’.

‘And the little dragon that helped the Mother Tree spread her family of trees around the world again,’ says Old Sam.

‘I’m already a fan of you,’ Josephine says, and she walks up to the little dragon to give her a hug.

‘How sweet’, says the little dragon and spreads her wings around Josephine. ‘Old Sam’s friends are my friends’.

‘What are you doing here?’, asks Old Sam, ‘and why is there a potion in this tree that smells like spirit?’

‘Oh, that’s not spirit,’ says the little dragon, ‘that’s a potion of fireworks. I need it to be able to spit fire again. Our dear witch, from our first adventure together, sent it to me. Together with this tree that looks like your tree.’

In awe, the company looks at the tree and the little dragon.

‘Why can’t you spit a fire anymore?’, asks Vera Flamingo Peacock.

‘I fell asleep on a boat that was here on the bank of the river. Suddenly I was in the water and the boat was gone. And from water I get a swollen tongue and I can’t spit a fire anymore.

‘Gone’, says Jack Squirrel with raised eyebrows, ‘a boat can’t just disappear, can it?’

In disbelief, our group of friends looks at the little dragon. What’s going on here..

‘It is possible’, Josephine suddenly says, ‘that a boat that just disappears. Do you remember what color that boat was?’

She looks at the little dragon.

‘It was a grey boat,’ says the little dragon.

Josephine jumps back and forth excitedly and exclaims, ‘You’ve been on the underwater boat.’

Our group of friends breathes a sigh of relief. That mystery has been solved. And they now know for sure they’re on the right track.

‘But what are you doing here?’, the little dragon asks.

‘Well,’ says Old Sam, ‘that’s a quite a story.’

Our friends sit together under Old Sam’s twin tree. Old Sam tells that Vera Flamingo Peacock had been waiting for him at his other tree and needed his help because a man in a suit stole the magical crystal wheel from her. The mysterious gentleman had disappeared in an underwater boat and so they had gone back to Riverland to visit Jack Squirrel in the vain hope that he knew where this gentleman was coming from.

‘And I did,’ says Jack Squirrel.

‘Yes’, says Vera Flamingo Peacock, ‘we now know that the magical crystal wheel is on its way to Ravenland.’

‘To Ravenland?’, says the little dragon with her voice full of horror, ‘ieuw, I don’t like ravens. They are always very unkind and always scare me away.’

‘I think you should go with us’, says Old Sam, ‘it’s probably no coincidence that the sweet witch put your magic potion in my twin tree here. We had to meet each other.’

Vera Flamingo Peacock, Jack Squirrel and Josephine nod in agreement and look at the little dragon.

‘Yes’, says Josephine, ‘you have to come with us. You can probably help us find the magical crystal wheel and save the world.’

‘If such a sweet lady asks me, I can’t help but say yes,’ says the little dragon.

And so a brave little dragon is added to our group of brave adventurers.

‘We have to go to sleep, says Old Sam.

‘Yes’, says Jack Squirrel, ‘that’s a good idea. I keep watch. You never know what might happen now that we’re so close to the underwater boat. And you never know what might happen so close to Inbetween Land.’

So said, so done. Everyone is looking for his or her place in the twin tree of Old Sam. Jack Squirrel puts on his night visor glasses and the others goes to sleep. Josephine and Old Sam lie together in the cat pit in one of the branches.

‘I just hope nothing happens tonight’, says Josephine.

‘Me too, says Old Sam, ‘I can use a good night sleep after all these encounters.’

Early in the morning Jack Squirrel wakes up Old Sam.

‘Come and have a look,’ he whispers, ’I feel like a lot of things are happening here.’

Old Sam nods and gently detaches himself from the lovely warm branch pit where he lies with Josephine.  He doesn’t want to wake her up.

They cross his twin tree to the branch where Jack kept watch.

‘Have you seen anything,’ Old Sam whispers in a questioning tone.

‘No,’ Jack Squirrel whispers back, ‘but I do hear a lot of things. Hissing sounds from the river. Clapping of wings. Rustling in the trees. But I don’t see a single living being. It doesn’t make me feel safe.’

Old Sam peers through the darkness.

‘Do you want to borrow my night visor?’, Jack Squirrel asks.

‘No, thank you,’ says Old Sam, ‘cats can see very well in the dark. But I can’t find anything either. Let’s be quiet and see what happens next.’

The two of them remain silent and let the sounds of the night take over the silence. The wind makes the leaves of the trees rustle. In the distance they hear an Oehoe calling. Did the clapping of wings came from an eagle owl? They look at each other and decide to remain silent for a little longer.

Light slowly returns early in the morning. Suddenly there is loud rustling. That can’t be the wind. Something seems to be whizzing through the air. That something lands on top of Jack Squirrel and Old Sam. Due to the sudden pressure, the branch breaks and they fall down.

The loud crackle makes Josephine, the little dragon and Vera Flamingo Peacock wake up.

‘What’s happening?’, the three exclaim terrified.

Old Sam and Jack Squirrel lie on the ground and appear to be covered with a blanket. A blanket with two eyes that looks both of them in the eyes.

‘What are you doing here?’, it says with a vicious voice, ‘are you after my stock of food? Well, you won’t get it. I’m sick and tired with you thieves.’

‘We don’t need your food,’ Jack Squirrel shouts in an angry voice.

With a smooth move, he jumps out from under the blanket and clenches his fists.

‘If you don’t let go of Old Sam, I’ll give you a slap. Or two.’

Old Sam has now managed to get back on four legs. It’s a weird sight. Someone clings itself tight on his back. An animal with two large round eyes, small ears and a very thick tail. A tail that resembles that of Jack Squirrel. Only the whole body is covered with .. it looks like a parachute. What a strange animal is this and will it let go of the Old Sam..

Jack Squirrel looks in awe at the strange animal. The animal looks back. It’s like they’re both looking in the mirror.

‘Who are you?’ asks Jack.

‘I’d better ask you,’ the animal parries, ‘why didn’t you just use your parachute?’

‘I don’t have a parachute,’ Jack says, ‘I have a bathtub on duck legs to get me where I want.’

‘A bathtub on duck legs? You have to tell me all about that.’, the animal says and gracefully it jumps off the back of Old Sam.

The group breathes a sigh of relief. Old Sam looks a lot more handsome without that blanket on his back.

‘Thank you young lady,’ says Old Sam, ‘do you want to tell us who and what you are. I can assure you that we are not after your food. We are in transit and only spend the night here in my twin tree.’

‘Gee,’ says the strange animal, ‘I’ve never been called a young lady.’

‘If you greet everyone as you just did with us, I can imagine not a lot will call you that,’ Jack Squirrel says with a grin, ‘but tell me, who are you? I’m Jack Squirrel.’

Surprised, the animal looks at Jack.

‘I’m Amelia Squirrel Earhart,’ she says.

‘No’, says Jack Squirrel in disbelief, ‘are you really a descendant of the Earhart family?’

‘Yes,’ Amelia says,’ I am. Take a look at this.’

Amelia proudly shows an insignia that she wears at the end of her tail. It shows a beautiful heart with an arrow and wings in a squirrel tail.

Jack turns to the group.

‘As a child, I was told that there is a family of flying squirrels somewhere in this world. I always thought it was a fairy tale. Until today. Now I’ve seen with my own eyes that they really exist.’

‘Wow’, says the little dragon that has come closer, full of wonder, ’that is really very special. Can I have a look?’

‘Yes,’ Amelia says, and she takes the badge off her tail and gives it to the little dragon. She can’t hold something so small with her paws and drops it.

‘I’ll pick it up and show you’, says Josephine, who has now also climbed out of the tree.

‘I want to watch too’, says Vera Flamingo Peacock and flutters down.

Our group of friends gathers around Josephine and Amelia Squirrel Earhart and looks at the special badge in amazement. No one is paying attention to what is happening around them anymore..

Our group of friends gathers around Josephine and the little dragon to admire the insignia Squirrel Earhart.

‘Very special, young lady’, says Oude Sam.

‘So you can fly too?’, the little dragon asks.

“Well,” says Amelia, “not really flying. It’s more like floating on air. Take a look.’

Amelia deftly climbs Old Sam’s twin tree, spreads her flying robe and jumps. The group sees her soar through the air to the next tree.

‘Gosh’, says the little dragon, ’that’s actually quite handy. I want to be able to do that too.’

She flutters to a branch at the top of the tree, spreading her wings and trying to keep them still as she paraglides to the next tree. But it’s not going well. Dragons are not made to soar through air. Our little dragon notices this too and she tries to correct her hovering flight in a panic. Of course, that doesn’t go quite right.

She barely misses one tree but she can’t avoid another. She bangs hard against it, tumbles down and takes everything with her in her fall. Bewildered, she is buried under branches, leaves and all kinds of yellow things at the foot of the tree.

Josephine jumps over to her and asks worriedly: ‘Did you hurt yourself, my friend?’

At the same speed, she asks Amelia, ‘What are these yellow things?’

‘That’s a lemon tree’, says Amelia, ‘as soon as they fall, I’m right there. I collect them for my winter stock.’

Josephine looks at her in disbelief.

‘So you can eat them?’

‘Yes,’ says Amelia, ‘I love them.’

The little dragon is still buried under the mountain of branches, leaves and lemons. She did hurt herself with her failed gliding flight. Something tasty sounds good to her so she grabs a lemon and takes a bite.

Oehhhhh’, she exclaims very loudly, ’that’s very sour.’

From misery she flutters hard with her wings and that hurts too.

“Oehoe, that hurts doubly,” she exclaims with tears in her eyes.

Still no one pays attention to what is happening around them. Until the sudden sound of the flapping of wings makes everyone stiffen with fright. What or who is coming..

With a loud ‘joohoo’ a bird lands in their midst.

‘Who called me?’ the bird asks.

In front of them is an oohoo, normally one of the largest eagle owls in the world, but this specimen is not. This is a cute apparition. On clogs. With brightly colored hearts. A scarf with cheerful flowers. And with a crazy hat on her head where her oohoo ears stick out.

‘Who called you?’, says Old Sam surprised, ‘no one in my opinion.’

‘Yes,’ says the oohoo, ‘someone called Oohoo.’

‘I think that was me,’ says the little dragon. She still pulls a sour face through the taste of the lemon she just bitten into. A tear wells down her cheek. As soon as her tear eds the ground, it turns into a beautiful dragon stone.

The oohoo hops on her clogs to the little dragon.

‘Ho ho’, says Jack Squirrel as he jumps in front of her, ‘first tell us who you are and what you are coming here to do.’

‘I’m Odette Oohoo,’ says the adorable apparition, ‘and I care.’

‘You take care of,’ says Jack Squirrel, ‘what or who do you take care of?’

‘Sometimes I provide joy, sometimes clear thoughts, sometimes soul stirrings and sometimes I take care of little dragons that have eaten from a sour lemon trees’, says Odette Oohoo.

‘Okay,’ says Jack Squirrel, ‘go ahead ma’am.’ And he steps aside.

Odette Oohoo walks up to the little dragon and conjures up a nurse’s suitcase from under her scarf.

‘So,’ she says, ‘I will make sure that you can fly again soon. I put that dragon tear in a special compartment in my hat. That will probably still come in handy. In any case, take a sip of your potion, because you can no longer spit fire from lemons. And you there, don’t stand there yawning so surprisingly. I think you have a mission and we have to go to Ravenland to find the magic crystal wheel. So be done with that ranting. I would like you to put Jack Squirrel’s bathtub in the water so we can move on.’

‘We.. can.. move on’, stammers Old Sam, ‘will you be joining us?’

‘Yes’, says Odette Oohoo, ‘I think our company is complete and we can move on.’

‘How would you know?’, Jack Squirrel hums as he walks to his bathtub.

‘A while ago I found a letter in my house,’ says Odette Oohoo, ‘in it a warning that the magic crystal wheel would go on a journey and that a group of friends was needed to save the world. At the time, I didn’t know what all that meant. I often get messages about the future. A matter of patience until it happens. I’ve been following you for a while and I think you’re that group of friends. So I’m happy to join you.’

She shrugs her shoulders and continues to take care of the little dragon’s wounds. Our group of friends looks at the chatty oohoo in amazement. What a wonderful appearance and what wonderful announcements she makes.

‘Eh guys,’ shouts Jack Squirrel, ‘I think we have a problem.’

He stands by his bathtub that they had neatly hidden.

‘It looks like someone has made sure we can’t go any further,’ says Jack Squirrel.

The bathtub is completely overgrown with Virginia creeper. A magic plant that grows very quickly.

‘I’m sure that plant wasn’t there yesterday,’ says Jack Squirrel, ‘someone must have planted it last night. That explains all those sounds we’ve heard. Come and help.’

Our group of friends comes to help Jack but no more movement can be made.

‘We’re stuck’, says Old Sam, ‘I’m afraid we can’t go any further.’

Our group of friends sits at the foot of the river and looks at the bathtub that can no longer go any further.

‘How do we get to Ravenland’, Vera Flamingopauw exclaims desperately.

‘Yes’, Josefien sighs, ‘who is trying to stop us.’

‘That didn’t tell my letter’, says Odette Oohoo, ‘but don’t mourn, there is always plan b in life.’

The group looks at her with wide eyes.

‘We can use my dragonstone,’ says the little dragon, ‘if I really want to be where we need to be, we’ll jump right there.’

A dragonstone makes wishes come true. This way you can wish to be with someone again. For example, the little dragon, together with the sweet witch, has found Old Sam in the adventure in which a tree grew out of his tail.

‘That’s possible, but maybe we should keep it until another time. Remember, plan b,’ says Odette Oohoo, ‘I think you spent the night in the solution.’

Now everyone looks at her completely curiously.

‘Yes, of course,’ Old Sam exclaims, ‘my twin tree. For example, our dear witch sent the potion here. There are probably more places where we can travel in this way.’

The whole company is jumping with joy. Fortunately, they can travel further.

‘Um, I don’t want to be annoying,’ says Amelia Squirrel Earhart, ‘but how does that work, traveling through trees?’

Everyone falls silent. Indeed, they don’t know how that works.

Odette Oohoo, meanwhile, is hopping from one clog to another. The crazy hat on her head wobbles along happily.

‘Hello,’ she says as she looks at Amelia Squirrel Earhart, ‘through you, of course. You can still float from tree to tree. Have they never told you what your family can do?’

‘Uh no,’ says Amelia, ‘my mother left me here as a child. She had to do something very important somewhere in this world. What that was, I don’t know. All I know is that I had to stay near this tree. But she didn’t come back.’

Sadly, she lowers her eyes. Jack Squirrel walks up to her and wraps his tail around her.

‘I can tell you what I know,’ he says.

‘Please’, says Amelia.

Jack begins to tell. ‘I think your mother was the first flying squirrel to cross The Great Water. And that she had already travelled very long distances many times before. There were also rumors that she had a secret mission. All I know is that she did indeed disappear. She hasn’t been seen to this day.’

‘Wow’, says Amelia, ‘but that doesn’t explain how we can travel from tree to tree.’

‘I think I have a suspicion,’ says Jack Squirrel, ‘come on, let’s all climb the tree. I think you have to think about the next tree and then jump while we hold your fly rug.’

So said, so done. Our group of friends climbs the tree and everyone is holding a piece of her fly rug. Amelia tries very hard in her head to think about the next tree but nothing happens. Desperately, she looks at the group.

‘It doesn’t work,’ she says, ‘I don’t see where to go.’

Josefien looks at her. She still holds the insignia of the Earhart family.

‘I just saw your insignia glowing a little bit when you were thinking about the next tree,’ she says, ‘I think you have to hold it a certain way.’

And she puts the insignia on the heart of Amelia Squirrel Earhart. It grabs into her fur and immediately begins to glow. A soft glow spreads over our company.

‘Think about the next tree,’ says Jack Squirrel.

‘That’s what I do,’ says Amelia. A big smile appears on her face and she jumps.

With a large pouf, our company disappears through a blinding hole of light to land in a twin tree somewhere else in this world. Everyone is so surprised by the unexpected journey that they struggle to keep their balance. With all their might they try to hold on, but that does not work. They fall from the tree on the roof of a strange-looking house and roll down into a lawn full of daisies.

Where are they?

‘Whioe’, Amelia Squirrel Earhart exults as she jumps back and forth excitedly, ’that was cool!’.

‘That was for sure, young lady,’ says Old Sam as he also jumps up and strips himself and Josefien of some twigs and leaves from his twin tree.

‘Well,’ says Jack Squirrel, who sees a little green, ‘this is a lot faster but I still prefer my bathtub.’

The whole company bursts into laughter.

‘Where are we?’, asks Vera Flamingopauw as she brings her beautiful headdress back into shape.

‘I wonder about that too’, hums Jack Squirrel, ‘I’ve never seen such a strange house.’

Our friends stop their activities and stare at the house. It looks very strange indeed. All the walls are crooked. There is no window to be seen and the roof is not straight. The front door leans over to the left. Stars frame the doorpost.

‘I know where we are,’ the little dragon exclaims excitedly, ‘I’ve been here before. But then the house wasn’t so strangely crooked.’

She flutters at the door and tries to open it. The rattling seems to wake something or someone up in the strange house. They all hear rumbling and then the sound of footsteps heading towards the front door. Then there is a loud banging on the door.

‘Who’s there?’, a woman’s voice shouts, ‘help me, I can’t get out.’

‘It’s me,’ shouts the little dragon, ‘patience, we’re coming to free you.’

She now beckons our group of friends.

‘Come and help,’ she says, ‘this is the sweet witch’s house. The witch who sent the potion through the twin tree.’

‘Jaaaaa’, Old Sam shouts, ‘I recognize her voice. We have to help her, come.’

The little dragon and Old Sam start pushing against the door. Jack Squirrel comes to help a shoulder but the door remains closed.

‘Yup’, says Odette Oohoo, ‘has anyone looked under the doormat yet?’

‘Under the doormat’, says Old Sam in a surprised tone.

‘Yes, keys often hide under a doormat,’ says Odette Oohoo as she walks up to the door.

Everyone steps aside and Odette Oohoo lifts the doormat. And really, that’s where the key lies. She picks it up, puts it in the lock and turns the key. Squeaking and grinding, the door opens. There is our dear witch. The little dragon flutters towards her and takes her in her wings.

‘Oh, how happy I am to see you again,’ she exclaims happily.

‘Yes, me too,’ says the sweet witch as she gives the little dragon a big hug.

‘And you too, Old Sam, ’tell me, who do you have with you?’

Old Sam introduces the motley crew to her. The little dragon is still jumping around her elated.

‘Why were you locked up in your own house,’ she asks the sweet witch, ‘and why is everything so crooked.’

‘Then you haven’t seen it inside yet’, says the sweet witch, ‘come and see what chaos it is there’.

Everyone shuffles into the cottage. It’s dark. The only light comes through the door. It is indeed chaos. Everything is skewed and lies across each other.

In the middle of the room is a large clock. With all images instead of numbers. The clock stands still with the big hand pointed at a door and the small one at the sign of a white raven. If they look closely again, we also see the magic crystal wheel and a black cat.

‘What happened here?’ asks Old Sam, ‘and what is that strange clock doing here.’

‘I was visited by a strange bird in a suit,’ says the witch. ‘He brought the clockwise and asked if I could run it again. When I unleashed my magic on the clock, everything started to shake and tremble and the door on the dial opened. The man in the suit climbed through the opening and slammed the door in the clock with a big bang. Everything was shaking to its foundations, the whole house was crooked and I couldn’t get the front door open anymore.’

Our group of friends looks at the sweet witch with open mouths. What a story again.

‘Mm’, says Vera Flamingopauw, ‘it’s a bit like my story. I was also visited by a strange bird.’

‘Tell me more,’ says the sweet witch.

Vera Flamingopauw says that she was visited by a weighty gentleman in a suit. And that she stole the magic crystal wheel while she was getting something to drink. That weighty gentleman disappeared with an underwater boat. As a result, Jack Squirrel knew that the magic crystal wheel had been stolen by a raven.

‘That’s why we’re now on our way to Ravenland’, says Old Sam.

‘Yes,’ says Josefien, ’to find the magic crystal wheel and save the world’.

The sweet witch listens to all the stories. Also how Vera Flamencopeacock, Old Sam and Josefien went looking for Jack Squirrel. And how they had met the little dragon, Amelia Squirrel Earhart and Odette Oohoo.

‘I have the idea that I also had a visit from that raven,’ says the sweet witch.

‘I have that idea too’, says Old Sam, ‘but why did he come to you? Maybe he also brought something from your house here’.

The sweet witch looks around. Her house is still in utter chaos.

‘I can’t see that,’ says the sweet witch, ‘then I have to clean up here first. If everyone goes to the side for a while, I’ll let go of a cleaning spell.’

She takes a bottle out of a bag in her skirt, wants to take the cap off and then stops in her movement.

‘This is a powerful spell so it can be a bit ferocious. If all goes well, there is a pile of helmets near the door. Just pick it up and put it on.’

Our friends go looking for the helmets and fortunately find them quickly.

‘Those are special helmets’, says Old Sam while looking at a copy.

On the helmet are all stories written.

‘That’s right,’ says our dear witch, ‘these are helmets full of stories*. Stories of young heroes who fight for peace and who tell their personal mission with these helmets.

‘Wow, how special’, says Josefien, ‘I will wear this helmet with pride.

Everyone nods and puts on their helmet.

‘Now it feels like we have a joint mission’, says Vera Flamingopauw.

Her headdress squeaks out from under her helmet on all sides and everyone stares at her with a smile.

‘We also have a common mission,’ says Old Sam, ‘we have to save the world. Hurry up, dear witch, we need to find out if that raven has taken something with him.’

The sweet witch turns off the cap of the bottle and a spell escapes. She turns it around her wand and swings it through the room. The spell jumps apart, skims past heads and everywhere it comes, it cleans up, straightens it and lights it lights back on.

Just as long as everything is back to the way it was.

‘So,’ says the sweet witch, ‘that’s better. You can take off your helmets again.’

The helmets are neatly stacked again and everyone looks at the sweet witch expectantly. She slowly spins around the room.

‘Now let me see what I’m missing,’ she mumbles.

Suddenly she stops. Her eye has fallen on an empty shelf in one of the cupboards. Her breath stops in the throat.

‘Oh no,’ she exclaims in shock.

Everyone looks at her with big eyes.

‘Tell, tell, what did he take with him’, says Old Sam.

‘The magic compass,’ says the witch sadly, ‘without it you cannot follow the raven through the clock. I suspect that’s how he returned to Ravenland.’

‘Well,’ says the little dragon, ‘then we’ll use my dragon tear and wish we’re in Ravenland.’

‘That’s not possible either’, says the witch, ‘even then you travel via Tussenland and there you need the magic compass. Without it, you get lost there.’

‘Why is it so bad to get lost in Tussenland?’, the little dragon asks, ‘you always find your way again?’

‘Not in Tussenland’, says the sweet witch, ’the strange spirits that live there take care of that. They want you to stay with them forever.’

‘Well,’ says Jack Squirrel, ‘if I don’t want to stay, I won’t.’

‘That’s easy to say,’ says the sweet witch, ‘but less easily done when they enchant you. Only with the help of the magic compass can you avoid the strange spirits. It shows you the way where the spirits can’t see.’

With those words, the sweet witch looks at our group of friends.

‘I’m afraid you can’t travel any further,’ she says, ‘without the magic compass you can’t go any further.’

Vera Flamingo Peacock lets the beautiful feathers of her headdress hang and big tears slowly run down her cheeks.

‘How are we supposed to save my country and the world,’ she exclaims sadly.

The little dragon wraps her wings around Vera Flamingo Peacock.

‘Don’t cry, girlfriend,’ she says, ‘I’m sure we’ll find a solution.’

‘Yes’, says Old Sam, ‘you have to. We need to find the magic crystal wheel. We must save the world from the great calamity that awaits us.’

No one notices that Amelia Squirrel Earhart is excitedly jumping at the edge of the group.

‘Yup,’ she shouts, ‘may I have your attention.’

‘Of course you can have our attention’, everyone says in unison.

Our group of friends looks at Amelia. What does she want to say?

‘Why are we so difficult?’, she says, ‘we can just travel on. What did I think I was wearing on my chest here?’

All eyes are now on the insignia that Amelia Squirrel Earhart has pinned to her chest. The insignia that eventually ensured that they ended up at the house of the sweet witch via the twin tree. Everyone takes another good look.

‘Damn,’ says Jack, ‘you have a compass in the insignia.’

‘Exactly’, says Amelia, ’this compass has ensured that I travelled here via the twin tree of Old Sam on the edge of Rivierenland, together with you. Even then we went through a kind of fog where I saw all strange shapes. Because of the compass, I knew which way to go to avoid the ghosts.’

‘Oh, how good to say,’ exclaims our dear witch, ‘I don’t have to think about what would have happened if you had bumped into each other.’

‘But that didn’t happen’, says Old Sam, ‘and we have a compass so we can move on. Let everyone get ready for the trip to Ravenland.’

‘Yes, but,’ the little dragon begins, ‘how are we going to travel? Do we go through the twin tree or through the dragon tear we have?’.

‘That’s a good question’, says Old Sam, ‘if it can be done via a twin tree, that’s nice. Then we can save the dragon tear for other emergencies.’

‘The only question is whether there is also a twin tree in Ravenland to travel to,’ Josefien notes sharply.

‘Mm, you’re right about that’, says Old Sam.

‘I did give a seed to someone who sometimes travels through Ravenland’, says the sweet witch, ‘we can only hope that we have succeeded in sowing it.’

Our friends have to take the gamble to travel to the next twin tree with the help of Amelia Squirrel Earhart’s fly rug. Everyone is getting ready for the jump. What will we find on the other side?

‘Is everyone ready?’ asks Amelia Squirrel Earhart.

Everyone nods except the sweet witch.

‘I’m staying here,’ she says.

‘No,’ the little dragon shouts, ‘why don’t you come with us?’

‘It’s full moon tonight,’ says the sweet witch, ‘and at full moon witches brew potions.’

‘Too bad you don’t come with us,’ says Old Sam, ‘what if we need your help to save the magic crystal wheel.’

‘You can always send a message through the twin trees,’ says the sweet witch, ‘come, friends, you have to go.’

The sweet witch puts the insignia of Amelia Squirrel Earhart on her heart. It grabs into her fur and immediately begins to glow.

‘Hold my flying robe’, Amelia shouts.

Again a soft glow spreads over our company. Amelia thinks of the next tree and slowly we see a big smile appear on her face.

‘Good luck, friends,’ the sweet witch shouts.

With a large pouf, the group of adventurers disappears through a blinding hole of light to land in a twin tree somewhere else in this world. This time, too, they are struggling to hold their own. They fall one by one from the tree to the ground.

‘Oehoe,’ shouts the little dragon, ‘that hurts.’

‘Yes yes yes’, Odette Oehoe simmers, ‘I’m coming, I’m coming.’

On her cheerful clogs with hearts she dribbles towards the little dragon.

‘Where does it hurt?’, she asks.

‘I fell on something hard,’ says the little dragon.

‘Oh my’, says Josephine, who has also rushed in. Together with Odette Oehoe they help the little dragon to his feet. They rub the sore spot and the pain disappears.

‘Where are we actually’, says Vera Flamingo Peacock .

‘That’s a good question’, says Oude Sam and looks around. They are standing in a forest. A forest on rocks. It is a miracle that trees grow on such a hard surface. No wonder the little dragon ended up ugly. The moon is hidden behind the clouds so our friends don’t see much. Then the sky breaks open and the clouds drift away. The light reflects on something that lies on the ground at the spot where the little dragon has fallen. Old Sam walks over and picks it up.

His breath stops in the throat. ‘Oh no’, exclaims Old Sam.

‘What is it’, Vera Flamingo Peacock  exclaims.

‘It’s the magic compass’, says Oude Sam.

‘Ohhh’, everyone exclaims.

‘At least then we’ll be in the right place’, says Josephine.

‘Yep’, says Jack Eekhoorn, ‘finally in Ravenland.’

Everyone jumps back and forth excitedly. They do not notice that they are being spied on. Two dark figures hide behind the bushes that stand between the trees. One big, the other a bit smaller. Both in black, so they hardly stand out among the dark rocks and trees.

‘Damn,’ one whispers, ‘they have found the magic compass that our brother has hidden here.’

‘Yes’, says the other, ‘what do we do now?’.

‘I loop in Raven Raven’, says the larger of the two, ‘do you keep an eye on those strangers’.

‘That’s good’, says the other, ’they can’t get out of here anyway.’

And with those ominous words, the larger of the two leaves his hiding place and carefully sneaks away to the edge of the forest.

Our group of friends have finally arrived at their destination and have no idea what to expect.

‘And now, Jack,’ Josephine asks, ‘where should we go now?’

‘At least out of this forest’, says Jack, ‘I think it’s smart to look for the port. Then we can see if we see the underwater boat there. I hope that we will discover who the raven is who stole the magic crystal wheel.’

‘And where he hid it’, says Vera Flamingo Peacock .

‘Good plan’, says Oude Sam, ‘maybe we’ll find clues along the way.’

Everyone is getting ready to travel further. Odette Oehoe has now patched up the little dragon after her fall on the magic compass. She puts her nurse’s suitcase back in her scarf and gives the little dragon another hug. He wraps her wings around her.

‘Thank you,’ says the little dragon.

‘Yes, I’d love to do it’, says Odette Oehoe, ‘but now we have to move on. Which way are we going?’

‘That side’, says Jack and he points towards a gap between the trees, ‘I see that it is a bit lighter there so hopefully we will get to the edge of this rock forest in no time.’

Jack Squirrel and Old Sam walk that way. Josephine, Amelia Squirrel Earhart and Vera Flamingo Peacock follow the two closely. Odette Eagle Owl and the little dragon at the back. They make their way through the trees, there is no real path. After walking like this for a while, all the trees start to look alike.

‘It’s funny that there are more twin trees’, the little dragon remarks.

‘Yes,’ says Old Sam, ‘I just don’t really know if it’s funny. I think it’s the same tree we landed in. Just look at the broken branches from our fall from the tree.’

Everyone stares at the twin tree. Old Sam is right. It’s the same tree. They have walked around and have not made any progress.

Behind the bushes between the trees is still the smaller of the two dark figures hidden.

‘You are in a magical time loop,’ he laughs to himself, ‘you will never get out of it.’

‘How is that possible’, Vera Flamingo Peacock  exclaims, ‘have we been walking in circles all this time?’

‘It looks like that’, says Jack Eekhoorn, ‘I don’t understand anything about it.’

‘Let’s go in that direction’, says Oude Sam, ’then it will probably be fine.’

Our group of friends makes a new attempt to get out of the rock forest. But unfortunately, even now they end up in the same place again. They plop down on the ground and look at each other defeated. When they are finally in Ravenland, it turns out that they are not getting any further.

‘What now?’, says Josephine.

‘Good question,’ says Jack Squirrel, ‘I have no idea.’

His eye falls on the insignia of Amelia Squirrel Earhart.

‘What’s wrong with that?’ he asks, pointing to the insignia. On the insignia is a heart with squirrel tails. At the same time, it is also a compass. The needle rotates continuously.

‘No idea,’ says Amelia, ‘I’ve never seen this before.’

Everyone looks at the spinning needle with amazement.

‘Is it perhaps enchanted?’, asks Vera Flamingo Peacock .

‘That could be,’ says Amelia Squirrel Earhart, ‘but that’s been the case since we’ve been here.’

Old Sam jumps up.

‘I have an idea,’ he says, ‘maybe the insignia suffers from the magic compass.’

Old Sam picks up the magic compass he has hung around his neck. It’s still closed so our friends can’t see what’s happening in the compass.

‘Open it up’, says Josephine.

Old Sam flips it open. Something falls to the ground but everyone’s eyes are on the inside of the compass. There, too, they see a continuously rotating needle.

‘They’re crazy,’ says Jack Squirrel, ‘and I suspect that’s because the magic crystal wheel is nearby.’

Our group of friends looks at Jack with open mouths.

‘Really’, Vera Flamingo Peacock  exclaims, ’that’s good news.’

‘Yes, it is,’ says Jack, ‘but not that these two drive each other crazy. I suspect we are in a magical time loop. And I have no idea how we can get out of that.’

‘Oh no’, Vera Flamingo Peacock  exclaims, ‘are we stuck here forever?’

No one looks at what has just fallen to the ground until a sudden movement catches their eye.

‘What is that?’, the little dragon exclaims.

A ball digs into the ground. Thin twigs come up. Leaves sprout.

‘Oh no,’ shouts Jack Squirrel, ‘that’s a Virginia creeper.’

They had to leave Jack Eekhoorn’s bathtub on the outskirts of Rivierenland because it was completely overgrown with Virginia creeper.  A magic plant that grows very fast and that someone had deliberately planted there to prevent our friends from traveling further.

Now they come into contact with this magic plant again.  And they are also in a magical time loop that they cannot get out of.

What should they do to escape disaster…

‘What should we do’, Vera Flamingo Peacock  exclaims.

The Virginia creeper has now reached her and is swinging around her legs. The other branches wind their way to the rest of our group of friends.

Jack Squirrel shoots into a tree and desperately tries to knock off the Virginia creeper. Amelia Squirrel Earhart spreads her fly rug and jumps from tree to tree in an attempt to stay ahead of the magic plant. In vain, Jack and Amelia are also wrapped up and have nowhere to go.

‘Run, Josephine,’ Old Sam shouts to his faithful companion. But it’s already too late. Josephine is also completely wrapped up by the Virginia creeper.

Old Sam jumps on the back of the little dragon.

‘Fly, girlfriend, fly,’ he shouts, ‘where did you hide the dragon tear?’

‘In the bag around my neck,’ she exclaims as she desperately tries to flutter up. The extra weight on her back of Old Sam makes it difficult for her.

In the meantime, Old Sam tries to get to the bag where the dragon stone is hidden. Only that stone can free our group of friends from this predicament.

Meanwhile, down on the ground, Odette Eagle Owl hops wildly back and forth and attempts to keep the Virginia creeper away by hitting it with her nurse’s suitcase. Meanwhile, she lets out Japanese-like cries. To no avail. Odette Oehoe is also wrapped up by the rapidly growing magic plant.

All the remaining Virginia creepers now turn their attention to Old Sam and the little dragon who try to fly away to stay out of reach of the fast-growing magic plant.

Old Sam is still trying to get to the bag with the dragon stone. Due to the wild movements of the little dragon to avoid the Virginia creeper, this takes a lot of effort. Slowly Old Sam gets closer and closer.

The moment he finally manages to grab the bag, the Virginia creeper also has the two of them. They are pulled down. The bag with the dragon stone shoots out of Old Sam’s leg.

‘Neeeeeeeee’, he shouts as he sees the bag with the dragon stone falling to the ground, ‘now we will never get out of here.’

Old Sam and the little dragon are now completely wrapped with the Virginia creeper. Slowly everything becomes blurry until they no longer see anything at all and lose consciousness.

The rock forest with the twin tree has now become the scene of the Virginia creeper. Everything is overgrown and there is nothing left to see of our group of friends. Is this the end of this adventure? Are they unable to save the world?

Old Sam is asleep. He dreams. About magical crystals, white ravens and the smell of cookies from Madame Madeleine from the previous adventure. His dream is accompanied by strange sounds and the shuffling of feet. Slowly Old Sam opens one eye.

‘I think he’s awake,’ he hears.

The sound of feet hopping is accompanied by the scratching of nails on the floor. Two dark figures slowly fill his field of vision. Old Sam also opens his other eye.

In front of him are a large raven and a small raven. His breath stops in his throat. It seems that they have found the ravens. What’s going to happen now..

‘Calm down,’ says the big raven, ‘we won’t do anything to you.’

‘No,’ says the little one, ‘we didn’t know that Virginia Creeper was hidden in the magic compass. Otherwise, we would have warned you earlier.’

Old Sam looks at the two of them. What’s going on here? The ravens have stolen the magic crystal wheel and now they are suddenly doing very nice. Old Sam doesn’t understand it anymore. Can he trust these two strange birds?

‘I understand that you are suspicious,’ says the big raven who sees Old Sam looking suspiciously, ‘but we really didn’t want to do anything to you. We were trying to protect you from the great disaster that awaits us.’

Old Sam doesn’t know what to think of this. After all, it is the ravens who have stolen the magic crystal wheel and thus endanger the world. Why do they want to protect him and his friends from the great disaster?

‘I’ve already told Raven Raven that you’re here,’ says the big raven.

‘Yes,’ says the little raven, ‘she and brother Raven will come. We’re really happy that you’re here.’

Old Sam thinks it’s strange. Meanwhile, he looks carefully around but his friends are nowhere to be seen.

‘You’re definitely looking for your friends,’ says the big raven.

‘Yes’, says the little raven, ’that’s fine, they’re all in the breakfast room.’

‘He’s not very talkative,’ the big raven says to the little one.

‘No,’ says the little raven, ‘let’s go to the breakfast room. Maybe a cookie from Madame Madeleine will bring back his speech.’

Madame Madeleine’s cookies have the ability to bring back memories when you dip them in the blossom tea. Why do the ravens have these cookies? Madame Madeleine is in charge of the kitchen in the Castle of lost time.

Old Sam doesn’t understand it anymore. Cautiously, he follows the two ravens to the breakfast room.

Is he really going to find his friends there or is it a trap?

Old Sam and the two ravens walk down a corridor towards a long spiral staircase. There is not enough space to fly so the ravens hop up the steps. Old Sam follows cautiously.

What will he find? And especially who?

They are getting higher and higher. Occasionally, Old Sam catches a glimpse of a building across the street. It looks like a tower. A tower that is strangely crooked. And which is connected by a bridge to the building where he is. It looks like he is going up the staircase in a tower as well.

Arriving on the top floor, they stop in front of a door. The larger of the two ravens pushes it open. They step into a large room.

Old Sam lets his eyes go around. On the left he sees a throne. Two thrones. A high throne and a low throne. On the other side of the room is a large opening. Behind it is the bridge that connects this tower with the other.

Old Sam sees everything except his friends. He gets upset.

Old Sam sits down and balls his cat paws.

‘I’m not going anywhere anymore,’ says Old Sam, ‘where are my friends?’

‘Ah, look, he can still talk,’ says the smallest raven.

The big raven lets out a scratching laugh.

‘How well,’ he says, ‘Raven Raven and Brother Raven can be here at any time. Then they can explain what’s going on.’

‘Where are my friends?’, says Old Sam again.

‘On the other side,’ says the smallest raven.

‘In the other tower,’ says the big raven.

Old Sam starts walking and at the edge of the opening he sees a strange light that envelops the middle of the bridge. Old Sam has never seen anything like it. Hesitantly, he takes a step towards his friends.

‘Beware,’ the two ravens shout in unison, ‘you can’t cross. There is a leak in the bridge.’

‘That’s right, Old Sam,’ says a warm female voice, ‘you can’t reach your friends. There is a time leak in the bridge.’

Old Sam turns around.

There is a white raven in the doorway. A beautiful appearance. In her hands the magic crystal wheel.

Right behind her is a black raven. A weighty looking gentleman in a suit. The magic compass on his vest.

Old Sam’s breath stops in his throat. There is the magic crystal wheel they were looking for and need to save the world from impending doom.

Yet the solution seems further away than ever. He stands with four ravens on the top floor of a tower in a foreign country and his friends are unreachable.

‘Don’t be afraid, Old Sam,’ says the white raven as she hops to the high throne, ‘the solution is closer than you think.’

‘Yes,’ says the weighty gentleman in a suit, ‘we’re glad you’re here.’

Old Sam’s eyebrows raise in amazement as he watches the raven in a suit follow her and sit on the small throne.

The large and the small raven also hop forward and moons Old Sam to take a seat in front of the two thrones. It feels as if he doesn’t have much choice so Old Sam sits down.

‘Why are you glad I’m here?’ says Old Sam, ‘it’s not like I had a choice.’

‘Oh,’ says the white raven, ‘you always have a choice. You could also have chosen not to help Vera Flamingo Peacock. But I’m glad you did. Fortunately, we had foreseen that well.’

Old Sam looks even more surprised. Is all this a preconceived plan?

‘What do you mean?’, asks Old Sam, ‘what did you foreseen correctly?’

‘That you would help Vera Flamingo Peacock to find the magic crystal wheel’, says the white raven, ‘but let me not forget my manners. I am Raven Raven, and this here is Brother Raven.’

The weighty gentleman in a suit looks at Old Sam and gives him a friendly nod.

‘Glad you’re here, Old Sam,’ he says, ‘your good deeds have reached us too, and we think you can help us.’

‘Help?’, says Old Sam in a surprised tone, ‘with what then?’

‘Our world is in danger’, says Raven Raven, ’there has been a leak in time.’

‘Yes,’ says Brother Raven, ‘and if we do nothing, there will soon be nothing left of our world.’

So that’s what Vera Flamingo Peacock meant when she said the whole world is in danger.

‘A leak in time?’, says Old Sam, ‘how is that possible?’

‘They are caused by the time snakes, says Raven Raven.

‘Time snakes, says Old Sam, ‘I’ve never heard of that.’

‘These are snakes that always want more’, says Raven Raven, ‘more, more, more. More food, more houses, more stuff. And therefore also more time. Because with more time, they can collect more.’

‘They find more time by eating whole worlds,’ says Brother Raven.

Raven Raven nods and looks at Old Sam with a sad look.

‘They have now arrived at our world. We had known for a while that they were coming. That’s why we had to be so careful to get you here. We wanted to prevent them from noticing your arrival here. Otherwise, they would probably have worked even faster.’

Old Sam looks at Raven Raven and Brother Raven.

‘That sounds serious,’ says Old Sam, ‘but what I don’t understand is why you need me here.’

Raven Raven looks at Old Sam, drops a silence and says, ‘All we know is that you play an important role in saving our world.’

Old Sam looks at the ravens in amazement. That sounds a bit mysterious.

‘How can I have a role in saving the world if I don’t know how and neither do you,’ he says.

‘We do know that you need the magic crystal wheel,’ says Brother Raven, ‘fortunately Vera Flamingo Peacock was kind enough to lend it to us.’

‘To lend’, says Old Sam, ‘are you going to tell me now that Vera Flamingo Peacock is in the conspiracy to get me here?’

‘Sorry, Old Sam,’ squeaks a familiar voice.

A beautiful headdress is the first to emerge from behind the throne of Raven Raven. The rest of the beautiful bird follows. Her tail dances behind. Vera looks at Old Sam guiltily.

‘The time snakes were really not allowed to know that we were looking for you to stop their plans. If they had known that, we wouldn’t be here by now. Then they would have been in a real hurry to come here to eat our world.’

Old Sam looks at Vera Flamingo Peacock with big eyes. This sweet pink appearance with beautiful peacock curls just turns out to have a double role in this adventure.

‘You could have just said it, couldn’t you?’, says Old Sam, ‘I really hadn’t told him.’

‘You have to forgive Vera Flamingo Peacock for not doing that’, says Raven Raven, ’the time snakes were too close and had really heard it. We wanted to prevent that.’

‘Well’, says Old Sam, ’that worked out well. Were there any other people aware of this plan to get me here?’

‘No,’ says Raven Raven, ‘although the sweet witch has helped us without knowing it by keeping the seed of a twin tree of yours next to the magic compass.’

‘So you took them with you’, says Old Sam.

‘Yes,’ says Brother Raven, ‘and I’m glad I did because it did help you find Ravenland.’

‘Why did you steal the magic compass from the sweet witch?’

‘I needed it to be able to travel from clock to clock,’ says Brother Raven.

He points to the large clock of the tower.

Suddenly a small snake shoots across the floor.

‘Ieuw’, Vera Flamingo Peacock exclaims, ‘what is that?’

‘Oh no, it’s a time snake,’ Raven Raven shouts, ‘Old Sam, do something. Stop that monster.’

Old Sam jumps up and runs after the snake. He gives it a tap with his paw as soon as he gets the chance. It bangs against the wall and shoots back dazed. Old Sam doesn’t think twice and jumps on top of it.

A loud ‘splash’ sounds and the snake shatters. All that remains is a puddle of strange-looking water.

‘So,’ says Old Sam, ’that’s one. But this probably won’t be the way to stop them all.’

‘That’s right’, says Raven Raven, ‘we need the magic crystal wheel for that. And your friends.’

Old Sam’s friends are in the other tower. The bridge that connects the two towers has a time leak. As a result, they cannot reach Old Sam’s friends.

‘Is there a way to close the time gap?’, asks Old Sam, ‘even if it’s only temporary.’

‘I wouldn’t know how,’ says Brother Raven.

‘Maybe I do’, says Raven Raven, ‘after all, we have the water of time here. What happens if we throw that through the time leak.’

‘Good question’, says Old Sam, ’there is only one solution and that is to try.’

Vera Flamingo Peacock flutters up and down elated.

‘What a good idea,’ she exclaims enthusiastically, ‘I’m probably going to warn them that they have to be ready to come to our side.’

Vera Flamingo Peacock flutters towards the time leak. On the other side, Josephine, Jack Squirrel, Amelia Squirrel Earhart, the little dragon and Odette Oehoe are watching from an appropriate distance. They can’t hear what’s happening on the other side of the time leak, so with sign language Vera Flamingo Peacock tries to make it clear what the intention is.

Meanwhile, Old Sam and Brother Raven collect the time water that lies on the ground. They walk with it to the time leak and Brother Raven pours it over the opening. A loud hiss sounds but nothing else happens.

Everyone looks at each other but no one knows what to do now. Suddenly they see Amelia Squirrel Earhart busy talking and gesturing with the company on the other side of the time leak.

Everyone there gathers around Amelia and grabs her fly rug.

‘No,’ old Sam shouts, ‘you can’t travel without a twin tree.’

But the group on the other hand does not hear it and continues with the preparations to make a jump. This time it is Odette Oehoe who pins the insignia on the chest of Amelia Squirrel Earhart. It grabs hold of her fur and a soft glow spreads around them.

‘Don’t, don’t do it’, old Sam and Vera Flamingo Peacock cry out. Brother Raven and Raven Raven have also stopped and are holding their hearts. The big and the small raven jump around like crazy and swing their wings.

To no avail.

They see the soft glow around the group brighten and a smile appears on Amelia Squirrel Earhart’s face. She jumps and with a large pouf the company disappears through a blinding hole of light.

With wide eyes and bated breath, the company in one tower sees the company disappear from the other tower. They’re gone. Feeling defeated, Old Sam turns to Raven Raven.

Then a loud pouf sounds.

‘It did work, it did work out’, Vera Flamingo Peacock shouts and flutters up and down overenthusiastic.

Old Sam turns around and runs towards Josephine.

‘I missed you,’ he says, holding her and giving her head rubs.

‘I missed you too’, says Josephine.

The other members of the company also greet Old Sam, Vera Flamingo Peacock and the ravens enthusiastically. They have now understood that the ravens have nothing evil in mind, but they are curious about the whole story.

‘First you have to tell me how you made that leap, young lady’, says Old Sam, ‘how can you travel without twin trees.’

‘I don’t need that at all when you’re around, Old Sam,’ says Amelia Squirrel Earhart, ‘I just thought about you and then I saw the path too.’

‘This story really shouldn’t get any crazier,’ says Old Sam, shaking his head.

‘About the last part of the story,’ says Jack Squirrel, ‘can you tell us what happened while we were in the other tower. Of course, we are all very curious.’

Old Sam tells what he has heard from the ravens so far. That the time snakes want more and more and that they were not allowed to know that his help was needed. And how they were lured to Ravenland. At the end of his story, Old Sam Raven looks at Raven Raven.

‘I think you should tell us why you think I can save our world and what role the magic crystal wheel has in it.’

‘I will’ says Raven Raven, ‘the magic crystal wheel helps to protect our world from evil. And especially against malicious people. It is a wheel that revolves around a beautiful amethyst. When the wheel hits the stone, a spark is created.’

‘We already know that’, says Vera Flamingo Peacock, ‘and also that it shows whether someone with good or bad intentions is standing in front of you.’

‘That’s true’, says Raven Raven, ‘but the magic crystal wheel can do more. Sending malicious people back to where they came from and making sure they never come back.’

‘Oh wow’, says Vera Flamingo Peacock, ‘I didn’t know that.’

Odette Oehoe jumps back and forth excitedly.

‘Now I understand my letter from the future,’ she exclaims, ‘It said that special sparks are created by crying in connection with the ground out of love.’

Everyone looks at her.

‘Explain, young lady’, hums Old Sam, ‘because I don’t understand anything about it.’

‘We need a dragon tear to make special sparks with the magic crystal wheel,’ says Odette Oehoe.

‘Oh no,’ exclaims the little dragon, ‘we lost the dragon tear in the rock forest when the wild vine took hold of us.’

Everyone falls silent. How are they supposed to solve this problem? Little dragons can’t just cry with love on command.

Everyone sits defeated on the floor. All the ingredients to save the world from the ever-increasing time-seeking time are there. Old Sam, his friends, the magic crystal wheel. Anything but a dragon tear.

Slowly tears well up in Josephine’s eyes.

‘Everything has been for nothing,’ she exclaims sadly.

‘Ohhh, dear friend, don’t cry,’ exclaims the little dragon.

She flutters towards Josephine and spreads her wings around her. But Josephine can’t be stopped and big tears roll over her cheeks. She is so sad that everything seems to have been for nothing.

Seeing somebody crying makes others cry too. Vera Flamingo Peacock and Amelia Squirrel Earhart also have tears in their eyes. They run together to Josephine and the little dragon and wrap their arms around the pair.

Fortunately, Odette Oehoe is there to take care of the tears. She conjures up a mountain of crispy cookies and delicious hot tea from her scarf.

There you are,’ says Odette Oehoe, ’the best remedy for crying.’

The little dragon cannot withstand so much comfort. A tear wells up. It slowly glees over the cheek of the little dragon. As soon as the tear touches the ground, the tear turns into a dragon stone.

‘You’re crying,’ exclaims Odette Oehoe.

‘I’m crying onion—owl,’ the little dragon exclaims sadly.

‘You cry,’ Josephine shouts, ‘oh dear dragon, you have cried with love.’

The little dragon only now really realizes what is being said. She jumps up and flutters up and down excitedly.

Jack Squirrel walks up to the dragon stone and picks it up.

‘You did a good job, young lady,’ he says, and he gives the dragon stone to Josephine.

‘Now we can make the special spark’, says Raven Raven.

‘And send the time snakes back to where they came from’, Josephine exclaims happily.

Josephine gives Jack Squirrel and the little dragon a hug and then walks up to Old Sam. She gives him the stone.

‘Thank you, dear friend,’ says Old Sam.

He looks at Raven Raven.

‘And now?’, asks Old Sam, ‘how do we know what my role is in this adventure?’

Our group of friends are located in one of the two towers of the Raven in Ravenland. By now they know that the time snakes are about to eat their world because they want more and more of everything.

It was a preconceived plan to lure Old Sam to Ravenland. The weighty gentleman in a suit did not steal the magic crystal wheel from Vera Flamingo Peacock at all. She gave it to him and then went looking for Old Sam. A plot to prevent the time snakes from discovering that they had a plan to save this world. If they had known that, they would probably have tried to get here even faster and our friends would not have been here anymore.

But Old Sam still doesn’t understand why he’s so important in this story. How can he save the world?

Old Sam looks at Raven Raven. Can this beautiful white raven answer that question and tell him what needs to be done now.

‘I can explain it to you,’ says Raven Raven as she walks up to a couple of large curtains hanging there, ‘but I better show it to you.’

Raven Raven pulls open the curtains together with Brother Raven. A beautiful tapestry emerges. No ordinary tapestry, but one in which all square pieces of fabric are sewn together by means of patchwork.

On each piece of fabric is a piece of the adventure that Old Sam is experiencing this year. How he returned to his own tree with Josephine, how he met Vera Flamingo Peacock, how they met Jack Squirrel, Amelia Squirrel Earhart and the little dragon and how Brother Raven delivered a letter from the future to Odette Oehoe to ensure that she also joined the company. They see how they ended up in Ravenland and now stand here in this tower.

‘This is really very special’, says Old Sam.

He walks forward to look at the next piece of fabric. He sees a black cat pulling a tinderbox out of a bag on the tapestry. That black cat is him.

The remaining pieces of fabric show very vaguely the contours of what happens next.

‘I understand that it’s better to show this than to explain it,’ he says to Raven Raven, ‘but why didn’t you try to take the tinderbox out of the bag?’

‘That didn’t work,’ says Brother Raven, ‘and as far as we know, you are the only black cat in this world with special powers.’

‘Well,’ says Josephine, ‘I’m also a black cat. I can try it too.’

She walks forward and sticks her paw in the bag. It doesn’t work. The bag is closed and does not open.

‘Mm,’ she says, ‘what happens if you try, Old Sam?’

Old Sam walks up to the tapestry and reaches with his paw to the stitched bag.

Everyone is holding their breath. Will Old Sam be able to open the bag?

Old Sam’s slides into the bag and he pulls out the tinderbox. Everyone breathes a sigh of relief.

‘I think we should hurry up a bit’, says Josephine, ‘I think our jump due to the time leak woke up the snakes.’

Everyone turns to the bridge. Indeed, they see a lot of time snakes waiting to eat our world. The first ones roll out of the time leak on both sides and slither towards the two towers.

‘Hurry up’, Josephine shouts, ‘before it’s too late.’

Old Sam takes the tinderbox, opens it and pulls out an empty cord.

‘The flint is missing,’ he exclaims.

‘No,’ shouts the little dragon, ‘I think you need a dragon stone as a flint.’

She points to the tapestry. The next piece of fabric now shows that the little dragon gives a dragon stone to Odette Oehoe and that she attaches it to the cord of tinderbox.

The little dragon quickly gives the stone to Odette Oehoe and with trembling fingers she ties the dragon stone.

‘Well,’ she says, ‘that I get to play such an important role in this adventure. I think it’s all very special.’

Despite the pressure of the approaching time layers, everyone still has to laugh a little. The funny lady on her beautiful clogs has nicely ensured that the most important ingredient to make sparks is there again.

When Odette Oehoe is finished, she gives the stone to Old Sam. He hits the stone against the magic crystal wheel. Nothing happens.

‘One more time’, Raven Raven shouts, ’the wheel must turn.’

Old Sam hits the magic crystal wheel a few more times with the flint. The wheel starts to turn, faster and faster. In the same movement, the wheel hits the crystal every time. That causes sparks. Sparks that seem to take on a life of their own. They dance through the air and move around each other.

‘What do they do?’, Vera Flamingo Peacock exclaims in panic, ’they shouldn’t dance, they should beat the time snakes.’

‘Maybe they don’t know what to do,’ shouts Jack Squirrel.

The dancing sparks whizz through space and the time snakes flap their teeth, ready to put them in our world.

‘Maybe we should show the sparks the way,’ Squirrel Earhart shouts, ‘come on, sweet little dragon, we’ll show them where they need to go.’

Amelia and the little dragon fly through the air and mingle in the dance of sparks. They find it mighty interesting that there are new beings in their midst.

With bated breath, our group of friends watches the dancing sparks.

‘Well, says Old Sam, ‘I’m curious if this will help to beat the time snakes.’

Our group of friends anxiously holds their breath.

Onze groep vrienden houdt gespannen hun adem in.

The little dragon and Amelia Squirrel Earhart fly through the air towards the time snakes and glide over them. The sparks follow.

As soon as the sparks fly over the time snakes, they stop in their movement. The sound of their snapping teeth is replaced by loud squeaks. One after the other tries to slither back to the time leak as quickly as possible.

The flying company continues until the last time has disappeared  into the time leak.

‘We have to close the leak’, old Sam shouts, ‘we need a spell’.

‘The sweet witch said we could call her when we needed her,’ says Josephine, ‘but how do we reach her. There is no twin tree nearby.’

Brother Raven clears his throat and pats his chest pocket.

‘I still have the magic compass,’ he says, ‘we can also travel by clock.’

Brother Raven points to the clock in the tower. It is as big as the clock in the house of the sweet witch. With all images instead of numbers. This clock also stands still with the large hand pointed at a door and the small one at the sign of a white raven. Even the magic crystal wheel and a black cat are on it.

‘I’ll go with you’, says Odette Oehoe, ‘if you go alone, there is a risk that the sweet witch will not be so sweet anymore after the chaos you left behind last time.’

Brother Raven guiltily lowers his eyes.

‘It was for a good cause,’ he says.

‘Yes, but our dear witch doesn’t know that yet’, says Odette Oehoe.

Brother Raven and Odette Oehoe get ready and walk through the door together. Everyone is anxiously holding their breath. Amelia Squirrel Earhart and the little dragon are still flying the sparks around the time leak.

‘I don’t know how long we can stop them,’ shouts Amelia Squirrel Earhart, ‘there are more and more.’

Everyone nervously keeps an eye on the magic clock and the time leak. After a few nerve-wracking minutes, the sweet witch suddenly steps through the door of the clock into the room. Brother Raven and Odette Oehoe follow.

‘Quickly,’ says the sweet witch, ‘show me where the time leak is before it gets stronger again.’

Everyone shuffles along to the bridge. The time leak is alive and seems to beat like a heart.

The sweet witch takes a potion from a bag in her skirt and removes the cap. She sticks her wand in the bottle and a spell grabs hold. She swings her wand towards the time slick. The spell loosens up and gets to work. It’s magical to see what happens. The spell completely wraps up the time leak and continues until there is only a very small ball left.

The sweet witch points her wand at the ball and shouts ‘Conjurus Infarctus’.

With a thud, the ball disappears. The time leak is gone.

Smiling, our friends fall into each other’s arms.

‘It’s time for a party’, Raven Raven shouts.

They sing and they dance and they eat until everyone is tired and satisfied and goes to sleep. Old Sam and Josephine climb on the roof of the tower and enjoy the view of the beautiful world in the moonlight.

Josephine sighs contentedly and looks at Old Sam.

‘It was a great adventure,’ she says.

‘It certainly was’, says Old Sam, ’there’s just one thing I don’t understand.’

Josephine looks at Old Sam.

‘What is that?’, she asks.

‘How we got out of the Virginia creeper when we were in the magical time loop’, says Old Sam.

‘Ah wel,’ says Josephine, ‘we don’t need to know everything. After all, we live in the Now and time has no meaning there.’

Old Sam sighs deeply and says, ‘There’s one other thing I’d like to know.’

‘And that is?’, Josephine asks.

‘Whether the readers of this adventure want us to end with ‘See you next year’ or with ‘It’s been enough.’

And InK is also very curious about that. And she’s also curious if you thought it was an exciting adventure this year. So curious that she also steps into this adventure. Together with Oude Sam and Josephine she sits on the roof of the tower and the three of them look at the reader and say in unison: ‘We would like to hear it!’

P.S. Helmets full of stories refers to an art project in which ‘young’ veterans are linked to artists. The veteran’s personal mission story is the source of inspiration for a work of art with imagination. In 20/21 they brought together 20 ‘young’ veterans and 20 artists for a substantial meeting. Their joint mission is to make visible the relevance of Dutch peacekeeping missions and their impact on the participating soldiers.

These encounters are also recorded by the photographer on duty, of which Milon Abrahamse Photography  is one of them. We sometimes spar about creativity and he inspired me to make this drawing. Take a look at his  social media and website for more pictures about the Helmets full of Stories project and other beautiful work.

Look for more info on https://www.helmenvolverhalen.nl/ and follow this beautiful project on social  media.