Disclaimer: All characters belong to JK Rowling. The poem is 'The Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carrol. The story belongs to me!
Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
It was dusk when Luna awoke; the sun was just beginning to sink beneath between the rolling hills. She sat up slowly. Dusk was Luna's favourite time of day: the short interim between afternoon and evening had always seemed somewhat magical to her. It was the time when the dew formed on the soft, lush grass, and the spiders wove their dainty silver webs. It was dusk when the creatures of her imagination stirred and began to go about their business, their existence kept secret by light of the moon.
With interest, Luna spied a fat little tove rummaging through the wildflowers that surrounded her sundial. She smiled indulgently as the tove gripped a lovely purple flower in his teeth and tugged. The flower was dragged mercilessly from the ground and abandoned, and Luna watched with interest as the tove dove with delight into the soft, warm dirt. Clumps of earth went flying now, splattering the flower and the surrounding hillside as the tove dug with vigor. A clod smacked against Luna's cheek, and she brushed it away absently. The little animal was so intent on his work that he did not notice her approach and bend down to pick up the flower.
"Thank you," she told it quietly, picking up the plant and cradling it in her hands. The tove had disappeared now, and Luna gently placed the flower into the hole once more, covering it over with her bare hands as she hummed softly to herself.
In a nearby patch of trees, a patch of disorganized little borogoves began to chirp and twitter their sweet, sad song in feeble voices. Luna paused to listen, smiling up at the little tufts of feathers, who regarded her miserably.
Below their tree, the bushes rustled as a mome rath snuffled for food. Luna froze, watching the little green pig with enchanted eyes, but it somehow sensed her and turned it's eyes to hers in an accusatory glare, outgrabing indignantly at her intrusion.
Which was quite ridiculous, Luna thought, since this was her imagination….
Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!
Once, Luna had brought her mother out into her garden at dusk, but she hadn't been able to see the tove, or hear the borogroves, nor offend the rath. Instead, she had listened to his daughter's quiet explanations, eyes closed in pleasure and pain as her daughter wove vivid, colourful images through the air with her voice. She and Luna sat on the dewy grass and drank in the growing silence of the night, and all around them, Luna's creatures had frolicked. Finally, her mother had stood, and taken Luna's hand she led her inside. Over a steaming mug of raddish tea, Luna had asked her mother why she couldn't see her friends.
Luna's mother had laughed - a beautiful, musical sound that reminded Luna of the wistful song of the borogroves. "My darling, I'm not clever enough to see such things."
To Luna this was the most ridiculous answer in the world, for her mother was the cleverest witch she'd ever known, and Luna knew that she could do anything.
Her mother smiled sadly and beckoned, drawing her daughter into a warm hug.
"Beware of the Jabberwock, my darling girl. He will capture your mind and drag you away, and the Jubjub will consume your heart, and the Bandersnatch will make you cry. Be careful, my beautiful girl. Don't let them take you away from me."
And Luna swore always to shun the Baddersnatch and the Jabberwock because she did not want to make her mother cry.
He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.
Luna lived to watch her mother work. She moved about her workshop with the ease of a dancer, and soon, magic swirled in beautiful patterns through the air, and the sounds of their laughter often drew her father to them, too, and together, the family would watch as Luna's mother created miracles.
"If I add a dash of fairy honey to this…"
Luna watched, eyes wide, as the golden droplet formed a perfect circle in the air and collided seamlessly with the potion. Suddenly, the cauldron burst with a rainbow of bubbles. Laughing, Luna and her mother danced as all around them the bubbles floated, and Luna's father chuckled and clapped his hands.
And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!
Some nights, Luna fell asleep as she played with the creatures in her garden, and then, the nightmare would come. The Jabberwock, with its eyes of flame and snapping jaws of silver, came racing through the wood to capture her and drag her back to the Jubjub and the Baddersnatch, and just as his jaws closed around her head, Luna would awake, screaming with terror, to find her mother racing out of the house.
Her mother gathered Luna in her arms, and together they make their way back inside to where it was safe and warm, but Luna always checked over her shoulder to make sure the wily Jabberwock did not follow her.
Together, they lay on Luna's bed in the darkness, and her mother told her stories of experiments and how she planned to make the world a better place, and that she shouldn't worry about dreams, because they were just dreams and they couldn't hurt her.
The sound of her mother's voice would lull Luna to sleep, and she would dream of peaceful things, but the Jabberwock was always in the corner of her mind, and deep down inside, Luna knew he was real.
One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.
One morning Luna's father took her for a walk down into the woods to look for Habbergrubs, whose trails of slime sparkled with pure magic, and they searched and searched for hours. Finally, Luna thought she could see a glimmer on leaves a few steps away; and that was when it happened.
The noise was deafening, and for a moment, Luna thought she recognised the Jabberwock's call. The next thing she knew, her father had grabbed her hand and together they plunged into the undergrowth, and her father looked with fear towards their home. Eventually, Luna broke the deafening silence with a wavering voice.
"It's the Jabberwock, Daddy! He's come, I knew he was real! He's hurt Mummy, Daddy. Is Mummy all right?"
And her father chuckled and pulled her back to her feet and kissed her forehead, and told her that of course Mummy was all right, she'll always be all right.
They found the wall of their home collapsed, and her mother's lone shoe flung out from beneath the rubble. Luna would always remember the way her father's face had crumpled, the way she had awoken into a living nightmare. And she never forgot that Jabberwock stole her mother, and that he was always lurking at the corner of her mind, waiting to strike again.
And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.
"Daddy, it's my fault that Mummy's gone. The Jabberwock took her, the borogroves told me so," Luna mumbled into her father's shirt one night, asking for forgiveness. She had been carrying the secret around for months now, and finally, she couldn't hold it in any more.
She looked at her shoes, ashamed. "Mummy said I didn't have to be scared by the Jabberwock, because she wasn't, but the Jabberwock was angry and he took her for the Jubjub and the Baddersnatch!"
Her father's eyes sparkled with tears and he held her tight.
"Don't you worry about Mummy, Luna my darling," he told her quietly, his voice a distant whisper. "Mummy is a very clever witch. The Jabberwock can't have outsmarted her. It's not possible. Perhaps, she outsmarted it? What do the borogroves say to that?"
And Luna thought for a minute and listened, but the borogroves were silent, and she shrugged.
"They don't say anything," she told her father apologetically.
Her father smiled tenderly, drawing back so that he could bend down. His eyes were level with his daughters' and he gazed at her wistfully.
"The borogroves don't say because they know I'm right," he told her, so seriously that Luna believed him with every fibre of her being. Her Daddy was a great man and would not lie to her.
Her father's eyes sparkled in the candlelight. "I'd rather like to meet these borogroves, my darling girl. Can you take me?"
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
Taking her father's hand, Luna led him out of the house and into the garden. The sun had already disappeared behind the rolling hills, and the grass was sweet with dew.
Together, hand in hand, father and daughter sat on the dewy grass, and Luna pointed out the creatures of the dusk to her father, who watched them with great interest.
"Why is the tove digging up our wildflowers?" he whispered wonderingly, and even the tove himself paused in his busy work to regard him with surprise.
"Because that's what he does, Daddy," Luna replied with a musical little laugh.
The tove watched them quietly for a moment, and its eyes seemed to meet Luna's knowingly. Suddenly, he turned and resumed his busy work, clods of earth once more flying into the air as the borogroves began to sing.
Note: I found this delightful little piece in my documents folder, which was a lovely surprise! I hope you all enjoyed it.
This was written for the Nonsense Challenge on the Reviews Lounge forum.
Lewis Carrol actually left behind some clues to the translation of this poem, and I have followed that translation as faithfully as possible. If anyone is curious, the most comprehensive place that details the translation is Wikipedia, if anyone's interested!
Anyway, I'd love to hear your thoughts, and thank you (as always) for reading!