Algy is posting this illustration from his new book especially for all his dear friends in Berlin and other parts of Germany.

He is so terribly sad that a tiny minority of human beings seem to be such cruel monsters, and they make the world appear such a dark place. But Algy never forgets that the vast majority of humans are really kind – including so many of his dear Tumblr friends – and that there are far, far more people in the world who go out of their way to do good and help others than there are who deliberately do harm.

Algy hopes that even in these times of darkness, you will always see the light that continues to shine. Algy loves you all, and sends you lots of extra special fluffy hugs xoxo

[This illustration by Jenny Chapman is from Chapter 4 of Algy’s new book The Magical Midwinter Star.]

p.s. Algy apologises for using the “photographers on tumblr” tag for an image which is not photographic, but many of his German Tumblr friends follow that tag and he wants to make sure that they see this post 🙂

Adventures-of-Algy-271116.jpg

A pretty burn ran across the peaty moorland, close by the forest, and in places it had carved deep channels through the underlying rock, creating a series of miniature cliffs around enticing pools. It was far too cold to consider entering the water: despite the sunshine, there were still thin sheets of white ice in the shadier spots near the edges of the stream. But Algy found that it was very pleasant to recline on a flat rock in the sun, and watch the thousands of diamonds sparkling on the surface of the water as it tumbled over the pebbles and rough stone on its way down the hillside towards the sea.

Algy has been horribly shocked and deeply saddened by the terrorist attack in Brussels. It is impossible for a fluffy bird to understand how some human creatures can be so heartlessly violent and cruel. But as he perched beside the sea, wondering – like so many of his friends – how such things could happen, the sun suddenly emerged from behind a black cloud and lit up the dark rocks. In the burst of light and warmth, Algy thought of all his wonderful friends, and realised that the majority of humans were really good and kind. So Algy sang a fluffy bird song, praying that the good and kind would triumph and there would be far more fluffiness instead of violence in the world…

At times the world seems covered in darkness, and Algy knows that many of his friends are struggling against the darkness at this especially dark time. But light can always conquer darkness, so Algy perched on a rock by the wild ocean, gazing at a pathway of light, and sang some verses by Goethe for his friends.

Des Menschen Seele
Gleicht dem Wasser:
Vom Himmel kommt es,
Zum Himmel steigt es,
Und wieder nieder
Ewig wechselnd

The human soul
is like water:
it comes from heaven,
it rises to heaven,
and again it must descend to earth
in an eternal alternation.

Listen to this beautiful recording of Gesang der Geister über den Wassern by the Vienna Vocalists and the String Ensemble of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

[Algy is singing Gesang der Geister über den Wassern (The Song of the Spirit over the Waters) by the late 18th/early 19th century German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. You can read the full text of the poem in German and English,
but Algy feels that the English translation given there does not do
full justice to the original.]

There is rarely a dull moment beside the ocean on the wild west coast of the Scottish Highlands, and Algy spends many happy hours just watching the drama of the waves on the rocks and the play of light on the surface of the sea… from a safe perch!

The beach was flooded with stormy March light, and the dazzling surface of the water sparkled and shimmered like highly polished silver. But the gale-force wind howling in from the ocean was not to be taken lightly; it was vicious and cold, and Algy had to tuck himself tightly into a crevice in the rocks to prevent being blown away. With his feathers streaming backwards in the wind, Algy clung onto the rocks at each side and gazed out to sea, towards the black hail-clouds that were sweeping in rapidly from the west, and the blinding light which was flooding the beach from the south. Algy knew that very soon the brilliant light would be gone, and it reminded him of a poem by Emily Dickinson:

          A light exists in spring
           Not present on the year
          At any other period.
           When March is scarcely here

          A color stands abroad
           On solitary hills
          That science cannot overtake,
           But human nature feels.

          It waits upon the lawn;
           It shows the furthest tree
          Upon the furthest slope we know;
           It almost speaks to me.

          Then, as horizons step,
           Or noons report away,
          Without the formula of sound,
           It passes, and we stay:

          A quality of loss
           Affecting our content,
          As trade had suddenly encroached
           Upon a sacrament.

[ Algy is quoting the poem A light exists in spring by the 19th century American poet Emily Dickinson. ]

Algy was feeling very much happier, because at last he was in touch with all his friends again. The weather was calm for the moment, and as he relaxed on the battered bracken in the hazy winter morning, he imagined that the wide path of light across the water was connecting him with all his friends out there in the great, wide world :-))

Algy has missed you all very much, and he is truly delighted to be back xoxoxo

Algy moved to a new position on the riverbank, so that he could watch the dazzling patterns of sunlight sparkling on the water. In the distance he could see the mountains which hid the river’s many sources, but for the moment Algy was more interested in the play of shadows and light. It reminded him of a short poem, which he offers with his fluffiest thanks to all those kind followers and curatorial editors who reblog episodes from Algy’s Adventures. Your efforts too often go unacknowledged, but Algy deeply appreciates the way in which you help him reach a wider audience. Thank you all!

          If I could
          hold light
          in my hand
 
          I would
          give it
          to you
 
          and watch it
          become
          your shadow.

[Algy is quoting the poem Present Light by the contemporary American writer Charles Ghigna, who Algy understands has the good sense to live up a tree :-)]

p.s. Can’t see Algy? Look again 🙂

The autumn inevitably brought plenty of cloudy days, not to mention strong winds and rain, but at times the dark clouds had beautiful silver linings, and bright rays shone through them from beyond. When that happened, Algy just leaned back on the sand and gazed at the beautiful play of light which caused the whole sea to sparkle with diamonds…

Algy hopes that even on the dark days, your clouds will turn out to have silver linings, and rays of light will shine through to sparkle on you :-))

Algy understands that many of his American friends celebrate something called Thanksgiving today, and they take the opportunity to consider those things for which they are thankful.

After his excited splash in the sea, Algy very prudently clambered back up onto his lobster pot float, and began to paddle again. As the rays of the sinking sun lit up the water around him, Algy felt truly thankful for just being alive, for being surrounded by the amazing beauty of nature, and above all for being able to share his adventures with all of you. Thank you all so much for making this possible – and a very Happy Thanksgiving to all those who celebrate today xx