A little background . . . 05/04/2011
Over twenty years ago, one of the Big Folk, - er, you humans, that is - contacted me in my home on the River Wey in Surrey, England. I was amazed and, I must admit, alarmed. While I tend to keep to my self, especially as I am getting on in years, I have always made it a point to avoid the Big Folk. As you must know by now, I am a member of what you would call "sentient animals". We just refer to ourselves as Animal Folk or just Animals (with a capital "A").
There are not many of us in the world. We are fewer than humans and certainly far fewer than the creatures that you ordinarily call animals. Our civilization was once mighty, and we ruled over all creatures, including humans. Some 7500 years ago, that came to a rather abrupt halt. Oh, it probably took a few centuries, but what is a few hundred years? Most of the Animal Folk live to be 350 to 375 years old.
Yes, we are quite different from humans, but if you have read about the Sacred Scrolls, you must know that already. And I should get back to the point, which was my amazement at being contacted by that human, Mr Forte. He was an Animal Talker, of course, like my old friend Milty. But that was not the amazing thing. No. More extraordinary than his finding me was the fact that he had found my original manuscript titled Nigel Booth and the Sacred Scrolls. It was my only copy, I had left it in safekeeping with Milty, one of my very few human friends. The only other copy had been given to a publishing house. Unfortunately, the manuscript was confiscated by Animal Intelligence.
Apparently AI did not want my story published. They wanted to cover the whole Labyrinth thing up, and someone like me did not stand a chance trying to reason with them. So, I hid the only remaining copy of the manuscript in Human Space, hoping AI would not look there. I figured that some day I would go to Alexandria and get the manuscript back. In fact Gertie and I tried to get it, but Milty, poor devil, had passed on, and the house where he had hidden the manuscript was sold, along with everything in it.
Who would have ever expected the manuscript to turn up at a flea market in Athens, Greece? And who would have imagined that one of the Big Folk would buy it and track me down? I certainly did not. So, when one of the Big Folk started poking around looking for Mucklethwaite Greene, I was, as I said, amazed and alarmed. I was content to lie low, but Gertie was intrigued. I guess that is what makes her a good reporter, (and first-class pain in the hind quarters). Anyway, it was a good thing, because she found out that this human had a manuscript and was looking for its author. It was a darned lucky thing, too, because if AI had found out first, we would have been sunk. Not only that, but that Big Folk would have been "seen to".
It was tough going at first. We did not know whom to trust, but little by little Gertie and I worked together with Mr Forte to revise the manuscript. We even tackled my notes for what happened to the Scrolls next. Only now were we able to get Bug Eyes published. If we are lucky, we will get the rest of the tale published, too. For now, the manuscripts are safe.
But enough of this. The weather is beautiful and the roses need trimming.