Updated: Sep 27
Story by: Academicfahn & Illustrations by: @fah_sketched*
Pudge took a stroll to find Logo, the blue pig who FAH loved so much. These two best friends met everyday to hang together, to seek out adventures and to eat yummy food. Today, they were on the hunt for the “murple”. What was that? Logo hoped “murple” was a truffle and Pudge hoped it was a beef bone. Surely it was a food! Their hunt was going to take them past Foil’s house and these two friends decided that as a most wise person and a dear friend, Foil would surely have a “murple” or was it “murples”?
Well, whatever it was, singular or plural, they hoped it was exceedingly tasty and scrumptious. Trotting through Dublin, they arrived at Foil’s house with its grand pampas grass in the front yard. Pudge poked the doorbell with his black nose and he and Logo waited. Foil had seen the two friends coming down his street, so he opened the door quite quickly. He looked down at the fluffy, white coated dog and the small, blue pig standing on his doorstep. He gave them a knowing wink and smiled wisely, ushering them into his home.
“Foil,” they both said together, “we are on the hunt for the murple! We are sure this is a food!” Logo asked, “could it be a wonderful truffle?” Pudge said, “maybe it is a lovely beef bone!” Again the two friends spoke together, “please tell us, Foil, we are sure you know!”
Foil just smiled and went over to a corner of the Good Room and opened a cupboard that neither Pudge nor Logo had even seen and pulled out an ornate box. It was covered in beautiful gold etchings and seemed to radiate with a sense of magic. Pudge and Logo were immediately intrigued.
They were both sitting on their haunches and staring at the mysterious box that Foil held in his hands. As he walked towards the two best friends, they wondered what they might see when Foil opened the lid. They stared with wide eyes at Foil as he came towards them. The box seemed almost to be alive. It radiated and moved in Foil’s hands, so that he had to hold onto it tightly as it wriggled and squirmed and shook. Oh, the murple must not be something to eat after all. They would know soon enough, for he came over to them and sat down.
They were ready and were almost jumping out of their skins with excitement and wonder! They knew Foil would have the answer to their murple hunt. He always had the answers and would finally show them what they had been longing to see for some time now. Foil looked at the little dog and the blue pig in front of him and saw their excitement. He didn’t want to prolong their agitation anymore, but he cautioned them: “make sure you are calm and careful. As I open the box, you will see something fantastic and marvellous! Something that only a few in this world have ever seen!” and he made them promise to be still and quiet and not to make any sudden moves. “Oh, yes, of course Foil!” they both said.
And they stared intently at the box, as only two young friends can who are ready for an adventure. Then Foil began to lift the lid and suddenly bright rays of light were seen and a little tinkling sound like the laughter of a small thing. What was it? The two friends had definitely given up on murple being a food. No, it was clear to them that murple was nothing to eat, but definitely was something wondrous to see. For as the lid opened fully, the two friends saw a little purple being rise up into the air and suddenly, and much to their utter surprise, begin to zip around the room! It seemed to be alive with unlimited energy as it moved with lightening speed around them.
Foil just laughed and laughed to see Pudge and Logo marvel at this Being that he had released out into his Good Room. The two young friends were shocked by how fast it moved and wished that it would settle so that they could get a good look at it and meet it properly! Then Foil gave a low whistle and it was as if time stopped, for the little purple being halted in mid-zip and came to settle on Foil’s lap with the gentleness of a feather falling from the sky. And there stood a tiny fairy with delicate pale wings and the sweetest blue eyes that any dog or pig could possibly imagine.
“Oh, look at it!” marvelled Pudge, though he said this with a bit of a growl in his throat and the small thing moved slightly away from the dog. “You’re the littlest thing I’ve ever seen!” said Logo with a piggy grunt that made the fairy jump a bit on Foil’s lap. But otherwise, the two just stood staring at this new being who had stopped zipping and whose wings were fluttering fast like a hummingbird’s, but who seemed also to feel safe and protected on Foil’s lap. Pudge looked up at Foil and asked, “is this the murple?” And Logo lifted his head to peer at Foil, for the question was a good one. “Yes, Foil, is this the murple that we’ve been hunting?” And Foil, in his wisdom, said gently to his favorite “messer” Pudge and to his most loved blue pig, Logo,* “yes! This is the murple! Gentlemen, meet Verbena, the murple fairy!”
Neither friend had seen a fairy before. Forgotten was the idea of food of any kind or even eating. The wonderful happening of meeting a fairy for the first time was all consuming for these two. And Foil loved the newness of it all and the joy that he could see in the eyes of Pudge and Logo at discovering something different. “Hello, Verbena,” said Pudge, in his typically polite way that he had with all creatures. And Logo followed with: “how do you do?” and here he bowed a small bow because he wasn’t sure what to do with fairies and they might expect a bow. Again, Foil smiled at the kind, gentleness of the two young friends and he loved them all the more for their sweet and good natures.
“And what do fairies do?” asked Pudge. “Especially, what do murple fairies do?” asked Logo, thinking that they must be very special indeed to live in a beautiful and ornate box in a corner of Foil’s Good Room and inside a cupboard, at that. “Well,” said Foil, slowly, not quite sure how to proceed because as he and the lads knew, murple faries were the most rare of all the fairies and it was just his good fortune that he had found one when he moved into his new house. “Well,” Foil said again, “I think I shall have Verbena explain to you what kind of fairy she is and how her wonderful magic works,” and he looked down at the diminuative being on his lap, gave her a gentle nod of his head, as if to say, “now it’s your turn, little one, to explain all the truths of your heart to Pudge and Logo.”
Pudge and Logo sat very still, as Foil had instructed them to do, and waited for this beautiful Being to share. Verbena stepped forward into the sunshine that had streamed into the window of Foil’s Good Room and fluttered her wings even faster, rising up off of Foil’s lap and moving above the two friends so that she could be at a better vantage point to explain herself and her fairy magic to them.
They watched her and noticed how gracefully she moved, but how her wings appeared to them very strong and vibrant. She was dressed in various shades of purple; her clothes, such as they were, simply looking as if they suited her perfectly. She didn’t zip anymore, but instead hovered in the air and watched these two beings in front of her. Occasionally, she looked at Foil, who only continued to nod and smile at her, for he knew that she was the best one to tell her tale.
And so, Verbena began, “I come from an ancient line of fairies who possess a superior magic, one that gives us the power to live into eternity, but it also grants us the strength and fortitude to offer others our magic in the form of wishes. We are murples, so rare that there are very few of us left on this earth. Some do not even know that we exist. People are especially skeptical, they do not even believe in us or think we are real.” At this amazing information, Pudge and Logo looked at each other and smiled, or as much as a dog and a pig can smile. They were in for an amazing adventure, they felt sure of it. And each knew in his heart that it was so lucky that they had decided to stop at Foil’s house before going much further on their murple hunt.
And Foil? What does he think of this being that lives in his Good Room and for whom he created the ornate box. Well, he understands his good fortune and how important it is to protect this rare gift in his life. And who else knows about Verbena, the all knowing, all powerful murple fairy? Why, the lads of course! Arms and Hog know all about her wondrous and beautiful magic. And they share a love for her with Foil.
But what would Pudge and Logo ask of this great murple fairy, who was not a truffle or a beef bone, but a tiny being with so much magic to offer the Pudge dog and the pig, Logo. What incredible wish could be granted to these two friends who desired an adventure and here was one at their feet, or at least above their heads, as Verbena was still hovering around them showing off her shimmering wings. Foil looked at the two friends who sat on their haunches in his Good Room and could see that they were both on the verge of something. That is, he knew at once what they would ask for. How did he know? Well, one who is so wise often knows what his friends think about and want in their lives. And these two friends also were close to his heart, so he just knew and understood that they would ask for something very special.
Pudge and Logo had dreamed for a long time of flying! Well, we’ve all heard the phrase, “when pig fly” as if that could and would never happen! But here was an opportunity, a magical moment to ask for the greatest wish of all! To be able to fly over the city of Dublin, Logo's hometown, and to look down upon the city streets and to see all the people. To fly over trees, houses, and to be up in the sky, in the clouds and to feel the sun on their little bodies. Oh, this was what they wanted! Oh, maybe they would even fly to see Arms and Hog! Their eyes gleamed and glowed with excitement, for on this very day, a dog and a pig would be able to take flight and have their most wanted wish granted by Verbena, the very rare and wonderful murple fairy!
Logo blurted out, “I have a great big wish! It is a wish to fill my heart, it is so big! Will you grant me the one wish that I have longed for all of my days? The wish to fly!” And then he looked down at the ground because maybe he had said too much and was a little too over exicted and a bit too loud. But Pudge followed with, “me too! I want to fly with my friend, high up in the clouds! To be free and bouncy in the air and to romp up above the city! Oh, please grant him that most wanted of wishes and I promise we won’t ask for another thing!” And then he was quiet because Foil was looking at them both and Pudge thought maybe he, too, had said too much, way too fast.
But Verbena was just amused. Here were two young beings, far, far younger than she was and they were so genuine in their desire to fly. She took this ability of hers for granted, as she flew all the time, zipping and diving in the air with ease. She forgot that others who cannot do this, desire it the most. She was amused and touched by their sincerity to convince her to grant this wish.
“Such wonderful requests! And so kindly asked for too! Yes, I will grant you this one desired wish of yours to fly!” and Verbena looked at Pudge and Logo, who were now up on their feet ready for this new adventure. “Ah, but careful now, we need space. You can’t begin this wonderful adventure inside the Good Room. If you are to rise into the sky to fly and experience the world from above, you need a nice garden,” and here she looked at Foil, who knew right away that he was, of course, going to volunteer his own garden for this momentous occasion.
“Let’s go, my friends! Come this way!” and he led this interesting group out into his very own garden so that Pudge and Logo might have a chance to live the best wish that they had wanted for so long. And out they went into the most beautiful garden they had ever seen. There were nooks and crannies everywhere, secret places to hide, and lovely, cool shady areas. It felt like a mystical and magical place, just right for taking off on a flight of dreams. Pudge took in all the smells around him, poking his nose into the pink, purple, white, and yellow flowers that filled the garden beds of this outdoor space. He even nibbled on a few strands of grass, just to make sure that there was something yummy to eat. Logo pushed his snout into the rich, brown earth and snuffled around a bit. But his heart was not interested in the ground, he wanted to be in the heavens with his friend Pudge, flying around in the clouds.
And then the great murple fairy spoke to them: “come little ones, come and stand before me for this most momentous adventure that you’re about to embark upon. Remember to be calm and to think good thoughts, for it is the love in your hearts that is going to keep you afloat in the sky. Never stray from each other, watch for birds that come your way and make sure that you enjoy your time flying.”
“Oh, yes! We are ready to fulfill this wonderful wish,” said Logo, looking at Pudge and touching the top of his head with his snout to show Verbena that he loved his friend. “You have the day to play and fly to your heart’s content,” she said, “but at sunset you must return to Foil’s garden. We don’t want you getting lost in the darkness of the night, when spirits and night fairies come out and the world is a very different place. Now, close your eyes and think on your wish,” said Verbena, finally.
With this word of caution given by the fairy, Pudge and Logo closed their eyes and waited. And then a wonderful thing happened. The sun was shining and a ray fell on the dog and the pig. They could hear the wind rustling in the trees and they felt the sunshine on their faces. Then they smelled something delicious. Truffles? A meat bone? They weren’t sure, they only knew that something light, like the lightest fairy dust, touched their faces, and then they felt a weightlessness come over them.
Unbeknownst to them, they were standing in a shower of shimmering sparkles, dropped from above by Verbena. Watched over by Foil, who marvelled at the entire spectacle, he felt the love blossom in his heart for the friends that he had made, animal and fairy alike. He delighted in knowing that he had in some way contributed to this lovely experience and that only he and Arms and Hog would know about this happening forever and ever. Because magic is only magical when it is kept private and secret in the hearts of those we love.
Under the mystical guidance of the murple fairy, Pudge and Logo sprouted fairy’s wings of their own. Pudge’s wings were white, fuzzy, and sat in the middle of his body so as to balance his frame. Logo’s wings were bright blue, a little bit brighter than his blue body and they sat just behind his shoulders, so as to give him a little bit of “oomph” as he pushed along in the sky. Opening their eyes, they were surprised to find that they had already lifted off the ground. They flapped their newly formed wings with ease; it was as if they had always been meant to fly! And off into the air they zipped, just like Verbena had done, for her magic had give them a little bit more pep in their step.
Foil looked up at them and waved, seeing their happy faces beam in the sunshine. Oh, how they laughed and giggled at this marvelous happening! They were giddy with happiness and were not afraid, nor worried because they had each other. Everything felt safe and natural to them, for that is the power of the murple fairy, to bring bravery into the hearts of those who wish for adventure. Their day was spent bouncing from cloud to cloud, smelling the new smells of the air, basking in the sunshine of the day and wandering around exploring.
Could they be seen in the sky by others on the ground? It seemed not to be the case. But anything that flew in the air was granted an introduction to the two friends. Of course, there were many adventures in the day; lots of sky sightseeing, lots of chats with birds, butterflies, bumblebees and bugs of all kinds. Lots of new tastes and treats and always with a comforting sense of being together.
Then there were the sites of the city of Dublin. “Oh, is that Vicar Street?” asked Logo. This was one of his favorite places to visit his friends and where he had a starring role. He and Pudge marvelled at this famous venue where some of their bestest and most favorite humans, Foil Arms and Hog, made people happy and filled their lives with laughter and good feelings. And there was Pudge and Logo to see it all from the clouds.
And what did flying feel like for these two? Well, Logo described it afterwards like walking on cotton balls. Of course, he had never actually walked on cotton balls, but he knew of their existence and he imagined that they were very soft. Well, maybe it was more like the feeling of being in the best, softest mud bath and basking in a breezy sunny day. Flying filled Logo’s heart with such joy that he felt he would almost burst. Imagine your most desired wish comes true, something that you’ve been hoping for and praying for and thinking and dreaming about and then “poof!” you are able to experience what you’ve always wanted. Well, that was how Logo felt. At first he couldn’t believe that he was up in the air, but as the day wore on, he just enjoyed this newfound happiness and freedom.
Pudge had seen cotton balls, but he had a different sense of flying. For Pudge, flying was like his highest bounce and not coming back down to earth. For Pudge loved to bounce and try as he might, he could never get high enough off the ground, but now he found that he could bounce to his heart’s content and the spring in the air made it possible for him to jump from cloud to cloud with ease. His joyful spirit was so fun for Logo to see. His friend relished everything about flying and moving through the air. He no longer had to worry about wearing his body out, he had enough energy to keep flying for days! This was playing at its best. Pudge was free to zip, to roll, to jump, and definitely to bounce!
There was no stopping the pair. Oh, the day was a fantastic one! But now they noticed that the light was beginning to dim and they realized that they needed to get back to Foil’s garden or else they would be stuck out in the night, as Verbena had warned them, and they were a little bit afraid because they didn’t know whether other fairies would be so kind to them. Verbena had mentioned night spirits and who knows what they could be like. No, it was best to follow all rules set by the murple fairy and head back to Foil’s garden. So, they turned a last few somersaults in the sky, said goodbye to their newfound bird friends, tasted a final snowcone made from the icy air of the clouds, and headed back to Foil’s beautiful garden.
As they approached his house, they could see the pink, purple, white, and yellow flowers dancing in their beds in the garden. And there were also lots of fairy lights twinkling in the dusk to guide these two friends to their final destination. Just as the sun slipped away on the horizon to end the day, Pudge and Logo alighted on the soft, green grass. Foil was there to meet them and so was the beautiful murple fairy who had granted their most wanted wish. In the shadows of the garden, a very safe space for friends to meet and be together, these two happy friends talked to Foil and Verbena about their adventures. “Oh, Foil, we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your generosity and kindness for such a wonderful day!” said Logo. He had not forgotten his manners when given a very rare gift. “And most wonderful murple fairy,” said Pudge, bowing low to the ground, “we will never forget what you have given us, never, ever!” And the two leaned on each other as they were so tired from their day, but they were also very, very happy.
The hunt for the murple had been surprising and stupendous all at once for Pudge and Logo. It had changed their little lives and introduced them to one of the most revered and ancient murple fairies, Verbena. The day of adventures had also taught them a valuable lesson about friendship. They had learned that when going on a hunt it was always best to stop at a friend’s house before the long journey ahead. A friend will often be able to answer the most curious and confusing questions. A friend will also be able to share in the joys of new discovery and the beauty of all things magical and wondrous. In Foil, Pudge and Logo had such a friend. And on this clear night as they gathered in his darkening garden with their newfound friend Verbena, they all knew that it was love and magic that had brought them together.
*The word "murple" was the 15th word in the 2021 #fahnartchallenge run by @fah_sketched and @itjes_drawings, which offers a word a day for 31 days, all associated with Foil Arms and Hog. FAHns can do anything creative with these words and I wrote poems for the month and this one short story.
*Some time around October 26, 2020 I wrote to Foil and sent along my Day 24 fahnartchallenge poem from 2020 "A Pig Named Logo" (the word was castle) and he wrote back the following: "Ah that's lovely, I really like it. It's kinda like a children's story. Has that sweet sensibility to it. I like this little pig a lot!" Then later when I said that I might create a children's story about Pudge and Logo, he wrote: "Logo and Pudge sound like a great children's duo! I feel like Pudge is the messer in the relationship for some reason." So, when I couldn't really figure out what to do with the word "murple" I decided that this was the perfect time to create the children's story that I had talked to Foil about a year ago.
*This revised and updated version of "Murple Hunt" with illustrations came about when I wrote to fah_sketched way back in December 2021 and asked if she would be willing to collaborate with me on this story. This entire project took us a very long time! I think it was about 20 months from start to finish. We decided that even though I describe a lot of color in the story in relation to the characters, she would create black and white illustrations similar to those that might be found in E. B. White's children's stories, such as Charlotte's Web or Stuart Little. With her illustrations, I think that the story really comes alive. Many and grateful thanks to fah_sketched for all the hard work and time she devoted to this project! If you want to see more of her work, go to her linked name at the beginning of this post. At some point, I would like to turn this into a proper children's book, but for the time being I am publishing the illustrations here.