Children’s Story: Two Slugs and a Unicorn

On October 9, 2022 by Tim Newman
A wood cutting of Water-Mallow the unicorn (1658).

Once upon a time, there were two huge slugs. They were massive, gigantic, and enormous. Bigger than a bike, bigger than a car. In fact, they were bigger than a bus. And they lived in Venezuela. 

One of the slugs, called Ivy, was sparkly silver. The other, named Edric, was sparkly pink. Both slugs were wonderfully slimy. They left sparkly trails of slime wherever they slithered.

Ivy and Edric were twins, and they were also good friends. They had a lively life in the forest, but something was bothering them: they wanted to be magic.

The massive slugs were both kind and fun, but that wasn’t enough for Edric and Ivy, they wanted magic powers, too. Real magic powers. The kind of magic that turned people into frogs, bats into rats, and princesses into peas.

One day, they set out on an epic adventure. They decided that if they traveled long enough and far enough, they were bound to find a way to become magic.

Before they set off, their mummy and daddy told them that they were lovely as they were. But mummies and daddies always say that sort of thing, so off the giant slugs went — into the wild wilderness of the Venezuelan jungles.

After a few hours, the intrepid Edric and Ivy came across a golden unicorn. But all was not well. The unicorn was crying. Rivers of tears formed pools in the grass around her hooves. She was sobbing so hard that it shook the trees.

Edric and Ivy were concerned, they’d never seen a unicorn so upset before. Unicorns are not generally prone to exaggerated shows of emotion. The two huge slugs wondered whether they could help the distraught unicorn. “Unicorn, why are you so sad?” Edric and Ivy asked, “What happened to you?”

The unicorn, who was called Water-Mallow, began to explain, “Yesterday, I was playing with my friends — a fairy called Flapajack, an alien called Zarkatron, and a Therizinosaurus called Shabba-Shabba.”

“OK, what happened next?” asked Ivy.

“Well,” replied Water-Mallow, “we were playing football, and I accidentally kicked the ball so hard and fast that it left the atmosphere and flew right up into space.”

“Wow,” said Edric, “why were your friends angry? That sounds amazing! I wish I could kick a ball into space!”

The unicorn started to cry again, so Edric and Ivy gave her a big cuddle, and that made her feel a little bit better, so she continued.

“The ball flew so far into space,” she said, “that it landed on Saturn, which is almost 1.5 billion kilometers away.”

“Wowzers!” said Ivy.

“Yeah, I know, right?” Said the unicorn, “but my friends were sad that they couldn’t play football anymore, so they started shouting at me. They said I should use my magic to get it back. But I don’t have any magic, I’ve already used it all up.”

Apparently, unicorns only have a certain amount of magic. If they use it all up, then it’s gone for good, making them little more than a horse with a horn.

The unicorn carried on her story. “Flapajack, Zarkatron, and Shabba-Shabba shouted and shouted at me, and it made me feel really sad, so I ran and ran and ran and ran and ran until I arrived here. And now, I am lost. Really, really, very, very lost. I can’t find my way home, and I’m getting a little bit scared.”

Edric and Ivy, our heroic slugs, decided they would help Water-Mallow the unicorn. “Don’t worry,” said Ivy, “we’ve traveled through these Venezuelan woods our whole lives, we’ll help you find your way home.”

“Yes!” agreed Edric, “I know these trees like the back of my mantle. We will find your home! Tell us what it’s like where you live, Water-Mallow.”

“Well, it’s so beautiful, it makes people cry with joy,” she began, “the trees are the tallest in the jungle, the trunks are turquoise, the branches are pink, and the leaves are all shaped like stars and hearts.”

“Beautiful,” sighed Ivy, “well, it shouldn’t be too hard to find such magnificent trees,” smiled Ivy. With that, the two heroic slugs lifted their tentacles high above the treetops and started scanning the canopy for the Unicorn’s home. 

Suddenly, Edric shouted, “I SMELL CAKE!!!” Slugs can see and smell through the ends of their long tentacles, you see. The unicorn jumped for joy, “My friends always cook the best cakes, I bet it’s them!”

“Aha!” Yelled Ivy, “I can see a group of turquoise and pink trees with star- and heart-shaped leaves! Let’s go!” With that, the unusual threesome leaped (and slimed) into action. Stopping every so often to poke their tentacles above the canopy, the unicorn and the two magnificent slugs made their way to Water-Mallow’s home.

In a few short hours, the slugs and the unicorn made it back to her home in the woods. When they arrived, they saw her three friends, Flapajack, Zarkatron, and Shabba-Shabba. They were all crying.

Water-Mallow was too nervous to go and speak with them, she was worried they might still be angry, so Ivy and Edric went over and asked them what was wrong. Shabba-Shabba, the therizinosaurs blubbed “we shouted at our friend, Water-Mallow. She has run away, and we will never see her again.”

“That’s right,” cried Zarkatron, the small green alien with a large head, “we love Water-Mallow, and we feel awful for shouting at her.” Flapajack the fairy was crying while flying around erratically; she bumped into a tree and fell to the ground, soaking wet with tears.

“Do not worry!” cried Edric, “we have brought Water-Mallow back to you!” Flapajack, Zarkatron, and Shabba-Shabba stopped crying, they could not believe their eyes! There was Water-Mallow! She had returned! They were so happy to see her again.

Shabba-Shabba raised his terrifying, scythe-like claws to the skies and let out a deafening whoop of joy that bounced off the distant snow-topped mountains.

“We’re sorry we got cross with you,” said Flapajack fairy, “it’s only a stupid ball. We should never have shouted at you like we did. You can always find a new ball, but you can’t replace good friends.”

“Yes, we are sorry,” agreed Shabba-Shabba and Zarkatron. “We will never shout at you again. Please don’t leave us, we love you, Water-Mallow.”

Ivy and Edric were so happy to have helped their new friends that they gave each other a big, slimy cuddle. They realized that most of the time, you don’t need magic to make people happy. You just need to be kind and helpful.

Then, Edric and Ivy slithered back to their own homes and gave their mummy and daddy a lovely warm, magnificently slimy cuddle.

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