914 – Beaver Bard Studios | Otter Things 10
The powers of a Platypus and a River Dolphin will help you self soothe knowing that deep in the swamp all will be well.
EPISODE 914 – Beaver Bard Studios | Otter Things 10
[START OF RECORDING]
SCOOTER: Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and friends beyond the binary, it's time for the podcaster who…I don't know, I'm looking at a bird that a listener made for me; Asian Honeywell. A bird on a keychain…a bird on a keychain made of yarn, and I'm holding it in my hand just like I hope whatever I can hold whatever's keeping you awake at night in my hand and let it float away. Actually, I think it was purchased, now that I'm thinking about it…on a trip. But either way, I've got a bird. Not a real one, though, in the palm of my hand. I hope that…this is the…what time is it? It's time for the podcaster that repeats metaphors to help whatever's keeping you awake fly away. It's time for Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep.
INTRO: [INTRO MUSIC] Hey, are you up all night tossing, turning, mind racing? Trouble getting to sleep? Trouble staying asleep? Well, welcome. This is Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep. We do it with a bedtime story. Alls you need to do is get in bed, turn out the lights, and press play. I'm gonna do the rest. What I'm going to attempt to do is create a safe place where you could set aside whatever's keeping you awake whether it's thoughts, things on your mind, thoughts you're thinking about, thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, changes in time or temperature. Let's see, things you're thinking about, repetitive stuff. Things from the past, present, or future. Sometimes my brain repeats itself in podcast intros and at night. Actually, I don't want to get into that, but that is one kind of dreaming I do. I was doing it last night.
Repetitive, dreamy problem-solving; that is something that doesn't keep me awake. It's trouble getting to sleep, trouble staying asleep there. But it could be physical sensations, feelings. Whatever it is that's keeping you awake, I'd like to take your mind off of that. Let's see…yeah, I'd like to take your mind off that, I'd like to keep you company and help you fall asleep. That's my goal. The way I'm gonna do it is I'm trying to establish a safe place where you feel comfortable, particularly if you're new, or re-establish it if you're a regular listener. I'm gonna…yeah, try to establish that. I'm gonna try to smooth it, I'm gonna pat it, I'm gonna rub it down, I'm gonna send my voice across the deep, dark night. I'm gonna use lulling, soothing, creaky, dulcet tones, pointless meanders, superfluous tangents…yeah. Superfluous tangents, sending my voice across the deep, dark night. Oh yeah, repetitive stuff.
But I'm really here to keep you company and take your mind off of stuff while you fall asleep. If you're new, I guess I'm a little bit…tonight I'm a little bit…my brain's a little bit foggy. But so, here's the thing; if you're new, I'm glad you're here. If you're wondering what's going on or when I'm gonna get to the point or any of that stuff or you're feeling skeptical or doubtful, welcome. You're in the right…if you're feeling skeptical, you're in the right place. I don't know how many…what the statistics are in skepticism. You say well, this is how many things skeptics agree on. They say well, not much. I'm skeptical about those numbers, Scoots. I'd say well, I got no…no wonder you're skeptical. I don't even have any numbers. But one thing that people…they're doubtful, I'm gonna get…I'm trying to think of a joke and a way to actually tie this in in a useful way.
But if you're skeptical, many, many…I'm skeptical and many, many of our regular listeners are not only skeptical in general; they were skeptical about this podcast and doubtful about it. If that's your thing, of course you're gonna be skeptical or doubtful. What do you mean, you're gonna put me to sleep? When are you gonna get started? What are you doing? Why is your voice so creaky and dulcet? What are creaky, dulcet tones any…I say yeah, those are legitimate concerns, totally. I'm not being sarcastic. This is shared by most regular listeners of this show. Let me address a couple of them. But one, I'm glad you're here. I'm glad you're doubtful. That means it's important to you, so that's good. Oh yeah, so a lot of people share that. A couple of things to know, yeah; one, this is a podcast you just barely listen to. You don't really need to listen to it too much or pay attention.
It's a podcast you kind of…just passively listen to it, just like when you're pretending…again, we're here in a safe place so we could talk about this, just like when you're pretending you're listening during the day. Even less effort than that, 'cause you don't have to hide it. You mean, I can pretend to listen…pretend to listen without pretending to listen? I say, yeah. How about that? You finally get to…the cover is taken off of the…when you put your covers on, you could pretend to listen without pretending but in a way that has pretend, that's kinda fun. You say wait a second, you lost me there, Scoots. I'd say well, I'm doing my job, then. But what I mean is, during the day…and I'm good at this unfortunately. It's a strategy I've used my whole life. You say uh-huh, you make a lot of eye contact, you try to use good body movement. You can sense my body movement even there. Uh-huh. Oh, yeah. Oh boy, you're kidding me. Really?
Okay. Then what happened? Mm. Oof. Okay. Oh man, she didn't know. Oh. Well, I could see that. I could see how you'd…so that's a…it takes some…it takes other skills but if you're lying in bed with me, I don't…I'm glad you're not listening to me. You can cut all that other stuff out and then have the good parts of pretend. When you're playing kid stuff, you say uh-huh. Oh boy, Scoots. Oh, boy. Pointless meander…oh, oshkosh b'gosh. Uh-huh, Scoots, uh-huh. Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Now, if you have a partner or somebody that snores a lot, what if you start doing that? Uh-huh, mm-hm, oh boy. Yep, mm-hm, uh-huh. Just listen to me like that for a while. They say, what are you doing? You say, I'm…I don't know, I was asleep. Was I snoring? They'd say no, it sounded like you were saying uh-huh, uh-huh. Well, I don't know; I was asleep, so maybe that's how I snore. I don't know.
Then just wait for them to…that's a little bit passive, but you could do that. If it's gonna help you…it's soothing. Can you hear me relax? Oh, boy. Oh, you're relaxed, huh, Scoots? Uh-huh. Okay, you doing a podcast intro? Uh-huh. What are you gonna do…okay. Uh-huh, uh-huh. Yeah, okay. Uh-huh. What was my…? Oh, you don't need to listen to me. That was my main point. So, if you're new, one thing; don't let…you don't have to listen. You could just barely listen in a very loose, unfocused way. This is also…I guess it's irony; the podcast does not put you to sleep. It's here to keep you company while you fall asleep. I'm here to walk at your side and tell you a story or just go on and on with an intro as you drift off. That's the reason the shows are about an hour, is you have plenty of time. You could fall asleep whenever you fall asleep. If you can't sleep for some reason, I'm gonna be here.
I'll be here keeping you company to the very end. It's a podcast you don't need to listen to. It's a podcast that doesn't really put you to sleep. More, it keeps you company and then you fall asleep. Those are two things you might need to know. What else do you need to know? What else? Oh, structurally; this is another thing that can throw people off. Structurally the show is different, too. It starts off with a greeting; ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and friends beyond the binary. Then it goes to a…that's so you know you're welcome. This is a spot where you're welcome. I'll try to create a safe place. Then there's business, business about six minutes…I don't know, I'll say eight minutes. That's what keeps the podcast out twice a week. Then there's an intro which is around…from around minute six to eight to minute twenty, twenty-two.
The intro is what we're in the middle of here, which it's where I over-explain what the pod…for a new listener, you say what are you doing? The first time most people listen, that's one of the things they say. What is he doing? Uh-huh, uh-huh. Actually, what are you doing? I don't know. I don't get this. This is supposed to put me to sleep? This is a very, very common theme. You say, when's the pod…I thought you were gonna talk about recipes or something. [00:10:00] When are you gonna get to the…I say well, I get there eventually. But first, I want to explain to you what the podcast is and what to expect. That takes, yeah, about a third of the…you say okay, so explaining to me the podcast takes a third of the podcast? I'd say more or less. Sometimes maybe twenty-five…yeah, somewhere between 25% and 33%, I would say. Maybe even sometimes 35%. I'm not good with percentages but I can see it on a progress bar.
So yeah, that's the intro. So, the intro is…the business throws some people off, but the intro really throws people off because they…one, a lot of people think it's just part of the business, but it's…I'm in the business of putting you to sleep and taking your mind off of stuff. I'm in the business of making content that you don't need to listen to, so it's…it can be tough at first 'cause you say okay, I don't understand how to do that. I say, I get it. Your whole life, you've been told to put some…if you're gonna pretend to listen, you better pretend you're listening instead of…go ahead, pretend to listen. This is not stuff we're raised to do. For some reason, we live in a world where we're raised to pretend to listen to people instead of playing pretend to listen, which is more fun and very soothing. That's why the intro can throw people off but it's also just 'cause it takes forever and you feel like well, is this ever gonna get started?
I say well, when you're asking that, on the second or third time you listen to the show, you'll realize oh, that's part of it. It takes forever to get started. But for a regular listener, what can happen is after you listen for a little while, you say well, you know what I'd like to do is start the podcast while…before I even get ready for bed, when I'm sitting on the couch with the lights down. Or you say you know what? I like to get in…comfortable, get in bed, and then press play. Or for some people, they say well, I like to start it at 3:00 a.m. when I wake up. Or some listeners listen back-to-back-to-back-to-back episodes times eight or nine or ten. You'll find what works for you. There's about 2% of people that just skip ahead. They start the show at twenty, twenty-two minutes, or they listen to story-only episodes on Patreon 'cause they just want…they don't want the intros.
There's also a percentage of listeners that only…either only hear the intro or listen to all-intro episodes on Patreon over and over and over. Or there's listeners that listen to the same episodes, so there's so many different ways you'll eventually find, and then maybe you'll adjust and change how you like to listen to the podcast. Maybe; maybe it won't work for you. But the intro is kind of a part of that. It's part of your…ideally, it gives you a chance to wind down and get some distance from the day and start to pretend, pretend that you care about what I'm talking about. In any other context, that would sound nearly obscene, right? But in this context, you say go ahead, pretend like you care what I'm talking about. I hope you barely care what I'm saying. That's how we practice caring around here and it's the truth. The regular listeners are laughing because they know that's where the heart of this podcast is, and the soul of it; is like, I care enough that you don't need to care.
You could just say uh-huh. Oh, Scoots is gonna…uh-huh, uh-huh. That's the intro. Then there's business 'cause that's just how the structure of the business is. Then there's the episode. Tonight, it'll be some recipe stuff. We'll go virtually shopping. Then there will be some thank-yous and goodnights. That's the structure of the show. What else do you need to know? Oh, the reason I make the show is because I've been there, like I said; tossing, turning, mind racing, trouble getting to sleep, trouble staying asleep. All those things. If I can help you, it would be my honor 'cause I know how it feels there in the deep, dark night. Like I said, lately…or at different times, a lot of the time, one of the things that happens for me is this repetitive dreaming stuff and I don't want to get too deep into it.
Sometimes it's like, things are going good and then lately…then some part of my subconscious or medium-conscious is trying to solve these problems, but it's never in some…these are like the dreams you'd…it's in a gray zone. But there's nothing exciting going on and I don't even know…it's like rote tasks. That's what it is. My brain was doing it last night, very much like filing. But it wasn't; it was trying to solve some bigger problem. I said holy cow, can we…did we get that figured out? I woke up twice. One of my strategies…not…doesn't work for everybody, but lately is get up, go visit the WC if needed but even not, just go for a walk and look out the window or something, then get back in bed. I call it a reset. Sometimes that works. You could put on the podcast or maybe it's already playing, so then you could start listening to me again.
But one of the reasons I make this show is 'cause I know how it feels, and it's frustrating sometimes. It's frustrating to even have to do a reset. You say what about that other person? They sleep through the night, every night. But not for some of us. It's not easy. If I can help with that, it's my honor. The other reason I make this show is 'cause you deserve it. You deserve a good night's sleep. You deserve a safe place and if…I can't provide that for everyone but if I could provide it for you, I'd be great because you'll get the rest you need. You can fully live your life or a little bit more fully. You can be rested. That's a beautiful thing. That's another reason I make this show, 'cause I say well that's…that would be pretty nice, helping somebody else out. I know how they feel. Their life will be a little bit better, the world will be a little bit better. You deserve it. That's why I make the show.
Now, it doesn't work for everybody but thousands and thousands and thousands of people have said give it two or three tries because it takes some getting used to 'cause the podcast is so different. I don't say that 'cause I don't win either way. I don't gain any benefit from people listening to the show. It's like, people that are involved with the show. The only reason I want you to listen two or three tries is to see if it helps you or not, 'cause those are real people that keep the show going, are the people that…it's like a two-way street. Don't worry about it. I'm not trying to get you to listen to more podcasts for my benefit other than if it works for you, it's great. Then if not, you say well, I tried it and I still don't like Scooter. That's a common reaction, too. You say, but then I checked out Sleepy or Sleep Cove or Get Sleepy or Miette's Bedtime Stories, my friend Harris' Sleep Whispers.
I checked out another…it's Empty Bowl, and that worked for me. So, you could try that, too. I guess that's it. Yeah, give this show a few tries. I really hope it can help you. I really appreciate you checking the podcast out. I really yearn and I strive to help you fall asleep. Thanks again for coming by, and here's a couple ways we keep this show going for everybody. Thanks.
Alright everybody, Scoots here, and it's time for our episodically modular serialized story, Otter Things. That's O-T-T-E-R…Otter Things, T-H-I-N-G-S. It is a series but if you listen to it out of order, I think this is the tenth episode. The first nine episodes could be like those Star Wars movies, right? You say no, no, no, the regular…the Star Wars movies that have numbers. Not the other ones. Sorry, I didn't mean to mix you up there. But you'd say oh…let's say your first Star Wars movie…you haven't seen one. You're just a kid, like I was. My parents said you're too young to see those Star Wars movies. Let's say you're…my first movie was…what was that called? The Hope of…A New Hope? The ones with the Ewoks. The New Hope, I think. I think technically that was number VI but it was number I for me. Then when I saw…and I, II, and III didn't even exist at the time. Let's say your first Star Wars movie hasn't even come out yet.
Then you say okay, I'm going to see IX…Star Wars X. I don't know if there's gonna be one. I mean, I certainly hope so. I think it's gonna be called Rae's Twin Sister. That was a direct…that was the first direct video…Scoots wrote that one; Star Wars X: Rae's Twin Sister. It was the most…I say yep, that was one. I was the man that took down Star Wars. Where was I? Oh, so sorry. I was talking about Otter Things. But if you…if that was your first movie, you say well, that was my first and my last. It read more like a Nancy Drew mystery, Scoots, like in the later years when they were just dialing it in. I'd say yeah, but that was your first one. You'd get to watch the nine…after you watch that, the first nine are unbelievable. [00:20:00] You say oh wow, so, that caught me up. That's what this is. If you listen to ten right now, don't worry. You could listen to one through nine later in any order. But it's the tale of an otter named Emma.
She's the one telling it. I happened to get these archived audio tapes from somewhere in a place beyond the swamp. Without further ado, I'd like to introduce Emma Otter. Hey everyone, Emma Otter here and I'm recording this podcast where we don't have…I'm not gonna catch you up because the first part of the story will catch you up here on everything that's happened. So don't worry, you'll be caught up soon. Also, our…the most famous person…I'm Emma. I live in a place beyond the swamp. I'm an otter. This is a tale, Otter Things, about some strange and odd things that happened in the town and the place beyond the swamp I live. I guess I should give you some basic info. I'm an otter. I live in a town in a swamp in a part of a greater swamp community. I have friends. Oh, I'm in middle school. Great question.
I have a older brother Teffe in high…actually, that…we'll catch you up on all of that. But we don't have access to the most famous resident of our town but I'm gonna do an imitation of the most famous resident in our town. Feeling a little blue right now. Without further ado, this is me doing Mr. Antonio Banderas. Thank you, Emma. Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, the boys, the girls, the friends beyond the binary. It's time for Otter Things. Splish splash. Yeah. Thank you, Antonio. Thank you. Thank you, Emma. It's great having you here and I hope you feel good very, very soon. Thank you. Goodnight. Hey, so, this is Emma Otter. I was just catching you up on this tale. I want you to know that all will be well, of course. When we last left off, everyone had returned to Frances and Dari and Willow's house. I want to tell you Frances, Dari, and Willow are beavers.
Willow is my best friend or maybe one of my best friends depending on who's listening. Willow is in my class. Dari's in the same class as my brother Teffe in high school, and Dari's their mom. They live way out on the edge of the swamp and I've been lucky to get to know them and be friends with them. We're in the middle of an adventure. Now, the reason we're in the middle of an adventure is because once upon a time, at the beginning…a few…what feels like months ago but really wasn't that long ago, me, Willow, and our other two friends Vaughn and LJ, we were playing our roleplaying game Bards and Big Bunnies. It was night, Sunday night. We were supposed to be done 'cause it was a school night, and they headed home. But on the way home, Willow took the path less-taken.
There, I think we could tell you, she met a big bunny and went to a place beyond the place beyond the swamp, somewhere through a weird portal into a weird world, the down…deep down…size-down, kind of like down under 'cause it's below the swamp. A big bunny, maybe some sort of other portal or organic being was involved. But the bunny really was a caring bunny. It was a goose…also a goose-bunny 'cause it had goose feathers and goose heads. But all will be well. Goose heads full of smiles and a smiling, sweet, sweet bunny is what I want you to picture in your mind right now. That bunny, apparently, put Willow and eventually Dari's friend Babs in cribs and pretended they were babies or dolls, and played with them. The bunny also could sing lullabies that would put people to sleep and calm them. But we didn't know this until now. Before that, we thought that…well, Willow went away to start a career or Willow went somewhere, or Willow was hiding, or Willow was on a goose chase.
But now we knew, and that's why we were all at Dari and Frances' house. Who else was there? Well, I'm gonna introduce everybody 'cause we were collect…we had all finally come together. Three or four groups of us depending on how you define a group were out looking for Willow because it was a mystery until this point. Where was Willow? What was going on? We all sat down around the coffee table and couch, kind of a dining room/living room combo at Dari and Frances' house. We had come together. We had hugged one another. I even hugged my brother Teffe. Teffe said, who's that kid? The first person Teffe pointed out was my friend…newest friend Billie, a duck-billed beaver. Billie was wearing my brother Teffe's cola rugby…he said what is that…? You wearing my cola rugby shirt? Maybe it was koala. I don't know. But I said yeah, this is my friend Billie. She's from the place beyond the swamp.
I said oh, Teffe, meet Billie. Also, Dari's mom Frances and another person that was there was Bull, Leon. We call him Bull. He's the head of our community resources department and helping us…helping Frances at the time look into this. We said, everyone, meet Billie. Billie lives in a place beyond the swamp, below the Visitor's Center. She has powers; she can throat sing and when she sings songs, she can kinda sing them also through her mind. She can make things happen. You better not bug her about the cola koala rugby shirt, Teffe. She could sing Everybody Dance Now and everybody would dance. That would be a very simple example. Skating away on the thin ice of a new day…you might…I don't know if there would be ice. Probably. I don't think she could make a new day happen. But you could skate away on the thin ice. You'd probably skate away. I don't know. That one I'd say I'd have to see it in action.
Oh, also Teffe said, are those my alligator sneakers? I said whatever, man. Okay, so, I said…they said okay, fill us in just like we were a listener to one of your audio dramas. I said okay, so here's where we met Billie when we were looking for Willow, because none of them knew about Billie. We met her, she was quiet. We saw a duck-billed beaver. We thought it was Willow but then we saw a duck-billed beaver and we said you're not Willow. We realized that Billie could use our help too, that Billie was lost. So, Billie moved into my basement and was living in a blanket fort. Down there in the blanket fort, we slowly learned that Billie had powers. We also learned that Billie could go…when Billie went into this zone, this quiet zone and used her powers, she could…she contacted Willow. Then we tried to find Willow using electromagnetic tuning forks, trying to tract a sympathetic vibration. At first, LJ was more concerned with finding Willow than helping Billie.
Then when we first tried to find Willow, Billie was worried about going to the place beyond the swamp, so she kind of guided us on a goose chase, in some sense. LJ got irritated with that fact and we kind of broke up as friends for a little while but eventually we got back together. The reason Billie did that was because in Billie's past, Billie had…she was working for Max Modine, a fox that runs the place…and then Leon said, Max Modine? Dr. Max Modine? I said, I don't know. Is there a diploma? I don't have a diploma. [00:30:00] Leon just nodded and said, I'm familiar with Dr. Max Modine, and looked at Billie. They kind of shared a look. I said well anyway, Dr. Max Modine apparently was kind of like a parental figure to Billie, but also was somewhat manipulative and wanted to use Billie's powers, we believe, as part of a greater change from a community-based restorative justice system to some sort of offensive, defensive complex using maybe the possibility of humans as a external reason to implement this more offensive stance.
But also, part of the offensive stance would be powers like Billie's to do stuff. They were constantly having Billie try stuff out. At some point, Billie stumbled upon this wizard's tower, the tower of sorcery, which was just a sign or something. We don't know exactly, but it led…it was also…an organic being was in there, some sort of being we're not familiar with, even odder than a duck-billed beaver. Then Frances said, platypus. I said, I'm…bless you, Frances. Anyway, so, within the tower…this is an organic tower. When I say organic, kind of like a tree but probably…not that trees aren't highly intelligent but sentient, maybe. The tower grew up and down maybe from another world. We just want to point that out. The tower went up and down. Somewhere, as Billie followed the tower, Billie discovered that there was a…the bunny was there.
Because Billie was using Billie's powers, it may be connected…whatever world this was or maybe left a door open that the bunny and the organic tower were able to connect with our world. Billie feels some level of responsibility even though she's just a child. The real bearers of responsibility are Dr. Max Modine. Sounds like a conflict with whatever oath and the greater swamp authority. Then we got all back together as friends because Billie said jeez, that's what my experience has been. We said, wow. No wonder you didn't want to go there. We had tried to make things right with LJ and then eventually we found out that not only was the place beyond the swamp up to that kind of stuff, they were looking for Billie. Obviously, you know about that part 'cause you rescued us. So, here we are. I think that's all the important information we have. Who's next? Okay, Frances took over.
She said okay, well, nice to meet you, Billie. I'm Frances and I don't know if you know this, but you're a duck-billed platypus, actually; not a duck-billed beaver. Technically, you're just a platypus or you're just a kid, and that's what is important to remember. You're just a kid but if you were wondering, you're a platypus. It's totally a thing. It's a thing from Earth, from another part of Earth, I guess; Australia, it was once called. We don't know if you were brought…we met a river dolphin but didn't get a whole lot of information from the river dolphin. But Leon and I have been looking into it and we know that pretty much what you said is true, that yeah, that…well, we'd like to figure out finding Willow. Oh, that yeah, I guess that Dr. Max is working and it is part of some grand, intertwined thing. Leon, do you have anything else to add?
Yeah, that below the swamp is an entire complex that…it sounds like where you lived, Billie. It's got secret…it's a…attempted to be a secret. There is some sort of thing way down there in the bottom, a crack or something. Then there's a room with a dome, a soundproofed dome or something. Billie goes, I know that place well. Yeah, so something's going on there. There's goop and goo. Then Dari and Teffe, who had been on their own thing, they said yeah, yeah, the goop and the goo. There's a whole thing under the swamp. We crawled through a giant, wild carrot that's technically not a carrot but looks like a carrot. Then Dari said, we did not. I did, Teffe. Thanks for taking credit. Beneath there is a giant bunny with goose…a goose head. Now, this was our first…we said, what? Then Frances said, I've seen it outside. They said yeah, it's…it wants to baby things. Maybe something weird's going on.
There's also a miniature version of the town. There's a tunnel. It goes deeper than I went, but it definitely is under the swamp…maybe eventually connects to where you were, Leon and Billie. The bunny can…has found ways to get into our town. That's where probably Willow is and maybe my friend Babs, also. Do you have any idea where Babs is, Billie? Billie said, I don't know. Then everybody kinda was talking at once, saying how odd everything was. Then Vaughn said okay, okay, here's how to think about it. Does anybody…do you know what tracing paper is? They said, go get some tracing paper from Willow's room. Vaughn said okay, I think what happened is that that wizard's tower is…I don't know if we're the tracing paper or we're what's being traced, but that…it's another world layered on top of ours and you can kinda see through it. It could draw…and then Vaughn started drawing. We said Vaughn, focus.
V, come on. Then Vaughn said, what if there was also a hole? If you trace for too long, Vaughn said, you can make a hole in the tracing paper and then you're writing on the original. If you're doing that for schoolwork, just so everybody knows, the teacher will figure it out. We said, we don't understand. But then the adults said okay, I think we get it. It's like, something about Billie's powers put that tear in the tracing paper. Vaughn said yeah, almost like a pen. Now maybe that tower is the pen. Through that one world and another world, and then the layers of our own world if it was a coloring book and a piece of tracing paper. We said okay, what does any of that mean? Vaughn said well, somewhere on one of these layers is probably Willow and Babs. We just gotta find them. Dari almost did, so we just gotta find a way to get back to them. Then Frances said, I need to talk to my daughter first.
Then Dari said, I want to talk to Babs. Can you get ahold of them? They said this to Billie; use your powers. We said, okay. Then Vaughn was still kinda making it and saying this is like the wizard's tower, this pen. I said, do you put the pen all the way through the coloring book? He said yes, I did. Then we all sat around the table and we said everybody has to be very quiet for Billie. It was kinda like everybody was watching Billie and breathing. They said, can you get ahold of them? Can you sing a song? Billie kind of just started humming to herself. She tried to close her eyes. Then a tear ran down her eye and she said, I can't. I can't. I need a second. She walked out of the room and Vaughn said, you can't…can you adults just sit still? You're so noisy. We could hear you creaking. The adults; Leon…he meant even the high-schoolers, Dari and Teffe and Frances. Said, you're making so much noise.
How is she supposed to concentrate? Plus, her powers are drained. She's using her powers to help us get away. Then I went to check on Billie. Billie had kinda gone out back to this…there's a couple…there's this detached [00:40:00] garage they had. Inside the garage was one of the places…anyway, I'll tell you in a second. I said jeez, are you okay? Billie said, I just…I couldn't get ahold of them. It was too…I couldn't focus. I'm sorry. I let you all down. We said no, no, no, you just couldn't do it. They were expecting a lot from you. It was a lot of pressure. It's okay, we'll figure this out together. In the detached garage was one of the places we would record our audio dramas and we just kinda had these blankets set up. Billie said, is this a blanket fort? I said, kind of. We use it to record the audio drama so that it just sounds better in there. Billie went inside and she goes, it sounds better in here.
Yeah, the…kinda…the blankets absorb some of the sound and stuff. Billie said, wait a second. This is what we had at the place below the swamp. Then we went back. We explained it to Vaughn 'cause Vaughn and LJ started…said wait a second, she just needs someplace that's silent? Then Vaughn said, like the silent tower concept. We said yeah, like a real studio, almost. Vaughn said, let me call Professor Moose. He called Professor Moose who is…it was…now, this was Saturday night at like ten o'clock, so Professor Moose said what are you doing calling me at ten o'clock on a Saturday night? Vaughn said, I have some questions. What are you doing on a Saturday night? The professor said, none of your business normally, but recording an audio drama. Isn't that what you and your friends do? We said yeah, but not on a Saturday night, professor, at ten o'clock.
The professor said well, I have other people over and we're doing a dramatic interpretation of a sitcom that's popular right now. Then Vaughn said well, what sitcom? The professor said well, we're calling it Who is the Boss? Instead of Who's the Boss? Vaughn said anyway professor, what if we needed a place that was almost like a real studio, similar…where do you record? Professor said well, we have drinks and stuff so we just do it in the living room. We're not looking for great sound. In fact, we're not even recording it. We're just acting it out…prep rehearsal. Vaughn said, is this what role play is? Professor said anyway Vaughn, moving on. Said, is that what adults do at 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, is just role play? Roleplaying game; it's a roleplaying game, Professor Moose said. Vaughn said well so, if I wanted to make a studio, almost like a real studio, how would I do that? Professor said, don't you know how to burrow?
Just make a burrow or a lodge or something. Vaughn said, that's muddy and gross. We need something we could do and…the professor said remember we had that assembly where they were building those…they were saying here's some old building techniques from ancient beavers and ancient muskrats. Remember? Vaughn said oh yeah, they were…that…wasn't that like a…you said it's like a geodesic dome but not exactly geodesic, but similar or better. Professor Moose said yeah, so you'd take that and you just layer it. Make sure to layer the floor. Maybe use some carpets or moving blankets. Maybe think about mud but just yeah, layer stuff on the inside and the outside of the sticks and on the floor. That would be probably pretty quiet. The more layers the better, but use soft material. Vaughn was telling us all this so then we said okay, where are we gonna get…we said okay, we'll go to the school.
We know that that's in the storage, all the stuff from assemblies and school functions. Leon said, I got a bunch of shag carpet at my place. I love shag carpet. It's shagadelic. Everybody said, what's a shag carpet? Leon said, exactly what we're looking for. Then Dari said well, there's the moving company. We could borrow some moving blankets from the moving company. We said okay, let's all split up and go get stuff. Leon said okay; Teffe, you come with me 'cause we gotta…the shag carpet is…you kinda…you might want to hear about shag carpet. It's cool. Teffe said, okay. They went back to Bull's place. Teffe said, what's this shag carpet? He said, shaggy like a dog. Then he said listen, Teffe…they went to Leon's house and they started…he said listen, from here on out, let me handle things. I'm an adult, okay? Teffe said sure, sure. You're totally the…great, Bull. Don't worry.
Don't be intimidated by me even though I'm a shiny otter. You're not slimy. You're not a slimy frog. Bull said, who are you calling a slimy frog, kid? Why would I be intimidated by you? I'm the authority figure. Teffe said, don't judge yourself against me. Don't judge your outsides with my outsides. We're different. I'm a otter. I happen to be a very smooth otter and you're a frog. It's just, we both have great qualities. There's no reason to compare. I'm here to help. Then Bull just said Teffe, stop talking and remember, adults are in charge. Then he shook out a bunch of rugs on top of Teffe's head, all the stuff that had been in his rugs 'cause he hadn't vacuumed in a while. But he said you know what, Teffe? You're right, you're right. I do need your help. I just realized it after I dumped the rugs on you, the shag rugs that hold so much dust. I need you to keep an eye on those kids.
I need you to be in charge of them while I do more boring work, okay? Like, I do more frog-level work while you do smooth otter work like leading children. Teffe said, great. They packed up the rugs and headed back. Then Dari and I, we went to the…get all the moving blankets. It was kind of like…I was like so, is everything okay with you? Dari said, no. I'm worried about my sister, I saw a giant bunny with goose heads, a miniature version of the town, crawled through tunnels full of goose slime or something. Pretty sure I may have gone through tracing paper from another world. I said oh, yeah, I was more talking about are you and my brother going out or K-I-S-S-I-N-G-ing? Dari said, absolutely not. No offense, I know he's your brother, but he's…you know, you're…no, not at all. What's going on…you seem like you've replaced…is Billie your new best friend or something?
I said, I care about Billie greatly, but that's none of your beeswax. Then Dari sighed and Dari was a good big sister, so she looked at me and she put her arm around me. She said, this whole thing is very odd, isn't it? I think it's gonna be…all will be well though, okay? I said yeah, I hope so. She said, I seen some odd things but I'm still here with you, and I'll be with you and you'll be with me. Soon we'll be with Willow. We got the moving blankets. Now meanwhile, Vaughn and LJ, they were at our school. They took out the…I don't know, they were trying to put together the dome made of all these intertwining vines and sticks. At first it was a comedy, apparently. They were arguing, putting things in the wrong places. They said, that'll look more like a lump, or that's…it was upside-down. But eventually, they started working together and they used what assets they each had.
They said oh, okay, wait a second; we just gotta intertwine that with that. It slowly came together and then we got there, so we put down some carpet, and then we put the dome on top. Then we worked [00:50:00] moving blankets and other carpets on the top of the dome and on the inside. It slowly started to look like a pretty interesting thing. Leon even fell asleep on the shaggy carpet for a while. Even Teffe lied down next to him and slept. Then we tried to see…then Vaughn said, you gotta get outta here so I can see how quiet it is. We took the…one of the hearing tests and some tongue depressors, 'cause we had to keep layering. We had so many moving blankets but we were like okay, can you hear anything? Drop a tongue depressor. But then it didn't work out as well. Conceptually, we thought it would work out good. We put the headphones on top of the dome and Vaughn sat in there.
It makes a sound, and you're supposed to drop the tongue depressor on the left or the right. But eventually, we got to where Vaughn could not hear anything, even at the highest volume or the left or the right headphone, so that the dome was more or less soundproof. But then Billie was helping…or Frances was helping Billie get ready. She said okay, well, what about these earmuffs? You want to wear these earmuffs, too, over your ears? Then she said well, how are we gonna communicate with you if you're in this dome? How will we know if you need us or you need…we need you, you know? Billie said, I don't know. Then Frances said oh, what about a…what about a tin-can phone and a windchime? Billie said, what do you mean? She goes well, we could have fishing line and we could have a tin-can that you could talk into, and then we could hear it on the other side. Then if you need to listen, you could put your ear to it.
So, if you want a…if you need us, you could talk into it. But if you need us or you can't talk for some reason, I'll have a detached windchime so you could just ring the windchime. Maybe you could even do that with your…Billie said okay, okay, I get it. Then Frances went out and told them to do that, or told us, I guess. Then she went back and she said listen, Billie; I'm gonna be here. I know I want you to find Willow. But I'm gonna be here for you. I know that that Dr. Max probably told you a bunch of stuff and said Dr. Max was gonna be parental but probably wasn't. But I'm gonna be here. I'm gonna be working on keeping you…all is well. I won't be far away. I'll be on the other side of this tin-can phone, listening and thinking of you and trying to care for you. I know maybe inside right now it doesn't feel like all will be well, but I've lived a life and I can tell you that there were times I didn't think everything was gonna be well, Billie, but it ended up being well, where I could be in the moment and say all is well right now, Frances.
Then when you're done or if you need it sooner, I can come in the dome and get you, and I can hold you or soothe you. But also, you could self-soothe yourself if you need soothing, okay? Billie said okay, okay. Just remember to breathe and to focus on your…do you breathe through your bill? I didn't read if platypuses have…you're a mammal so you have lungs, right? Billie said yeah, lungs, yeah. Let's go. I'll hold your hand for now. Are you ready? Do you want to try this and find Willow and Babs? Billie said I'm ready, I'm ready to try. So, they headed in and then Billie…we had to lift up the dome…'cause the entrance sorta just let noise in. Also, Billie had…we had a nest, kind of, 'cause that didn't make any noise. We tried a chair but it was too squeaky. Billie got in there and put one of her ears by the tin-can so she could turn her head. She got settled in and we kinda just sat out there.
First, they were communicating and Frances again was saying don't worry; all will be well. We're here. Can you hear us? Billie said, I can hear you. Then they tried the windchimes. All was working. Billie said okay, be quiet now, everybody. Then we got on either side 'cause the nice thing about the tin-can phone is it doesn't pick up a lot of ambient stuff. Then we just started waiting. But Billie closed her eyes. She kinda told me a lot of this. That's how I know it so well. She started humming a song called Something to Believe In which is kinda like a weird ballad from a hair band, but not…you know, like the River Bottom band. You say, this is a strange song. But it wasn't the River Bottom band; it was another band that wanted to look tough. We said well, this is a…but she was singing that song, Something to Believe In. Then she started saying, I believe I'll find Babs. I believe I'll find Babs.
Then Billie kinda found herself walking down one of the halls. Now, this wasn't a hall that anybody in our party had been in but it was again, under the earth. It was full of goo and goop. It was long; it was ankle-deep goo and goop. Billie was moving slowly without lifting her feet, like sloshing back and forwards. Eventually, she followed it and there was a goo and goop waterfall with a crack. Billie stepped over the crack and saw that there was a room with some cribs in there, like a bunch of cribs, like twenty or thirty, but all of them were empty but one. In one, it was like…Billie didn't know. She was hesitant to approach. She said, Babs? Babs? Is that you? Willow? Immediately, Dari said, is that Babs? Did you find Babs? Tell me what's going on with Babs. Then Billie slowly approached. She saw that in the crib, it was a doll. She said, not Babs.
Then this part, we don't need to go into it but then Dari did get carried away and described Babs. We determined that it was a doll that looked exactly like Babs but that took a while 'cause again, I said she's trying to concentrate, Dari. But then once Billie was concentrating, she said it's only a doll. It's not Babs but it looks exactly like Babs. But the eyes…the eyes, I can see Babs through the doll's eyes. We said, what do you…this took some explaining afterwards but the summary was that at the time, if we were really with Billie right now, she could see in the eyes of the doll, Babs, in another…what we could assume is another world, another layer of tracing paper. Babs was at peace. Babs was relaxing and chilling, but she was never…she wasn't in our world anymore. You could tell it was not our world 'cause there was otherworldly colors and Babs was eating snacks that don't exist.
She was having something like Marmite and toast or something. I don't know. Obviously Dari, hearing all this in context, was not happy. Said, Babs is in another world but also made into a doll? What? But then Billie knew she needed to…she said Willow, are you in here? No, no. No Willow. She went through another kind of smaller doorway in a smaller tunnel. But she was like, all will be well. All will be well. Give me something to believe in. I believe I'm gonna find Willow. Frances was saying, just breathe. Just breathe. Just breathe. Then it was like, we're getting less easy to see, we'll say. But then Billie saw a sign. She goes, I see a sign. Signs everywhere. There's signs; it says Beaver Studios. Dari and Frances were like, Beaver Studios? That's another…that's on the garage that we were just in. Then Billie said, okay. Then Billie went into the…then Billie saw that she was outside but in a size-down stranger version of the outside of Frances and Dari's house.
She had to get on all fours and [01:00:00] crawl into the detached garage that was not the same size. She looked in and she said, Willow? Willow, is that you? Willow was in there, curled up in a bunch of moving blankets that seemed goopy. It was almost like a crib and Willow kind of had doll-like qualities, almost. Willow said, who are you? Who are you? Meanwhile, everybody was listening. We were like, what? Willow said, I'm in a onesie. Billie said hi, I'm Billie. I know your mom and Emma and Vaughn and LJ and Dari. Willow said, Dari and mom, LJ. Yeah. Emma, Vaughn. Billie said, I'm with them. They all love you and they miss you and they care about you. They want you to come home, or they want to come get you. Willow said, you better get outta here. The bunny's gonna come back and tuck me in and sing to me some more. Billie said, okay. Then Willow said, it's turning me slowly into a doll with its singing.
That's why I have a onesie on. I wasn't wearing a onesie. I don't know, it just appeared on me. But I'm still a person right now. You'll have to tell them to use haste. That's a spell to pick…go fast and pick up the pace, okay? Billie said okay, I'll hurry. I'll hurry. Willow said, please do, please do. Then Billie said don't worry; mom…your mom and your sister and your friends and even Bull love you so much. Then this thing started to fade and Billie started to feel the garage was gone, and felt the bouncing of the bunny. Then the bunny was singing and it said hush little platy, don't say a word. Bunny's gonna take you someplace absurd. Cozy crib will be your bed, so close your eyes and rest your dread. Billie started to get sleepy and she said oh no, I'm drifting off. I gotta wake up. I gotta wake up. Then she started…luckily, had the wherewithal to start knocking the tin-can with her bill to shake the windchime.
We lifted up the dome and then she just…she came to and she said, the bunny was coming. Frances was like, what? What happened? Where's Willow? She said, Beaver Studios. She's becoming a doll. She kinda filled us in on what happened. We said holy moly, we gotta…then Bull said you know what? Maybe we'll put the dome back on. I think we should all rest here and get some sleep, and then deal with this situation tomorrow, rested. We said okay, so we all got…put the top back on and we got cozy. We sang and held one another 'cause…and we said all will be well. We'll find Willow soon. Babs seems like she was fine in her…she's just in another world which is disappointing, but she was in another world, fine. But we said well yeah, we're not related to Babs. We don't want Willow going to another world so yeah, we'll try to get…go get her.
Now meanwhile, Willow was there and she heard the bunny chase off and sing. She said, I hope that duck-billed beaver got away. Here I am in my forty-poo here. I need to self-soothe. Willow thought about the studio she was…she said okay, hey everybody, this is Willow from Beaver Studios, coming to you live. We're on doll-watch and all will be well…watch live here. I'm still in a onesie but that's all for now. I haven't sucked my thumb or wet my pants or done the hula-hula dance. We just met a new friend named Billie who was a duck-billed beaver, who was our guest live in studio. I don't know if you caught that. But I'm gonna play some more songs here. I'm gonna play my favorite song, Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad Bards, the song I wrote. I'll just be here humming Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad Bards. My mom's gonna be here soon, and my sister, and all my friends. Hey everybody, this is Willow here.
We all got…eventually, Willow…did I say Willow or Emma? Sometimes I get mixed up, but I'm Emma. Willow was there and eventually Willow sang herself to sleep. But I always want to remind you that all will be well, and I know it's hard to believe me sometimes. Sometimes you gotta say all will be as it is, or all will be as it…you say Willow, you're just saying that…or Emma, you're just saying that to us. I say yeah, sometimes it's hard to accept or believe that all will be well, but this is the case 'cause I'm here telling you this story. I know all will be well. When you're there in a…under a mound or in a pile there, you can kinda say to yourself, alls well right now, and all…what if I told you that all will be odd? You say well, I can't accept all will be well, Emma.
I'd say well, could you accept that things that are odd are not always neither well or unwell? All will be odd? Is that soothing or is saying all will be odd a little bit of a self-soothing…and that this is gonna be okay and alright. I want you to think about that and think about all of us animals, all of us swamp and forest friends snuggled together, thinking all will be well and all is odd right now, but we're together 'cause that's how we said goodnight to one another. Goodnight.
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