Buckle up bonnie lassies and fellas, tis’ good that we share a tale in the hall today with meat between our jaws and ale in our bellies, aye.
Kiss yer pardners as AfroSays
I am Toodulo and it’s nice to meet you. I am dah tallest lad in all Charming, as tall as a cow. I’ve got pretty long ears and dah largest blue eyes, but I’m not dah only one with these last two – tis’ dah way we all are.
Charming, she’s a small town and we all know we, to think it well, we’re all one big familee.
In Charming, we mostly make our living from beauty, them travel catalogues say we are quaint art village hidden in dah purple hills, lapping lazily on dah sea water. ‘though, dah catalogue is right about dah town itself, it says nothing about dah people. Of kerrs, yer can imagine all dah very strange people that would call an art village thurr burrough – dah gypsy, dah lover, dah effeminate, dah old painter with dah suffering marriage, dah penniless string plucker, dah fat singun’ lady, dah happy-go-lucky dancing couple, dah little genius fella, dah cantankerous fire-eater, dah black clown, dah collector plus obsessor with a plucking purse of gold coins, plus plus. We at Charming are nothing like so, nothing at all.
From cottage to cottage, on every cobblestone street, in every back alley where a thieving orphan or two might make bed and especially in dah Town Hall where you’d see us all gathered on days we make tah be merry, yer’ll notice something strange and unsettling, I tell yah. There is only one face in Charming and that is dah face we all share.
My fadahr and my modahr are brodahr and sistahr and so were dah parents of them. On dah occasion where this is cannot be, dah would be a cousin available to build a home with. No outsiders can settle in Charming, i tell yah, and no member of dah family ever leaves. All our cottages are built exactically likewise – green mud walls and sun-yellow thatched roof with two windows out front and out back. All our clothes are dah same too: dirty wooly sweaters, brown and green checkered long johns and bunny slippers. Although, we all are artists of different kinna sorts, we’re all dah same person. You can’t live in Charming if it ain’t yer surname.
Dah travellers-through are used to dah way we live. They never stay more than a night at Molly’s inn for potatoes and nightsack; they as well are wanting to leave inna quickin’. They never stop coming though, for we paintings, we stone work, we wood work, we jewellery, we fashion, we books, we food, we music bottles, we shows and anything else they could be hoping to make a fortune from in dah big world.
Them travellers-through, they pay us in inspiration, for we have nothing of needing save that. They tell us stories of how things are, about thurr families, about thurr villages, about cities as big as ten towns put togedahr, about othahr ways of life, othahr creatures, othahr fashions, othahr songs, othahr shows and we are usually satisfied. Them tales helps us to create what we are not needing but they are mighty liking. On dah next trade day, yer can be looking to find statues of winged men as tall as houses or clothes that are too small for our little ‘uns. Yer would be finding paintings of men with hair on thurr faces and cows with six legs. Tis’ what makes living in Charming so wonderful – discovering othahr parts of dah big world in every home.
I make music bottles, I trap me merry voice in a green flask and yah can listen to it if yah put yerr ears close’nugh. One bottle, one song. Once you let dah song out, yer can’t put it back in. Me wife, who is also me sister, she makes fashions. And though we all wearing similar johnnies, dah travellers-through, they love Binnie’s fashions. Mah Sonny, he can make a painting of running cows, aye, and he can make yah hear them footsteps thumping on the field, fast and strong that yer gonna be looking around for a stampede. I love it here with my lassy, Binnie and my sonny but sometimes I’m thinking if I want to travel the big world for myself and see all these wonderful things fer meself.
If I journey outta Charming, I’d be the first lad to do so, aye!
But if I journey outta Charming, the familee’ll never let me back.