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Hello! If you are unfamiliar with The Lost Forests, you might like to read about it before taking a journey through it. Otherwise, follow me on a tour of The Lost Forests!
Here we are at the entrance to The Lost Forests. You can faintly hear the sounds of the Forest from out here - the birds, frogs, and insects, and there is a faint aroma familiar to anyone who has been in a rainforest. You can see the animals peering at you through the windows. Let's go inside!
On your right you can see between the trees the Trapdoor, the magical entrance to the Otherworlds. The Otherworlds is the land where all the creatures of The Lost Forests live, and it is where endangered and extinct animals from our world go to hide from us humans. Tony the Toymaker hasn't explored the whole of The Otherwords yet, and it seems as though he discovers a new place there every month!
The Trapdoor is locked up tight with a padlock right now, but if you were to come back when the shop was shut you would see that it would be open, and beautiful coloured lights would be streaming out into the Forest. Each night our Storytellers have to unbolt the Trapdoor and open the heavy wooden lid, because Tony the Toymaker goes down into the Otherworlds through a Trapdoor in a shop each night to search for his missing parents Timothy and Rosebud, and we never know which Trapdoor he is going to come up out of! And we wouldn't want him to be locked in, so we open all the Trapdoors so that he can come and go as he wants.
However, this also means that creatures from the Otherworlds can also come and go as they please, and this is a nuisance for our Storytellers who often find that they have to clean up the mess which has been left behind by animals which have decided to come up for a visit. Muddy footprints on the floor, books lying about the place, and leaves strewn everywhere have to be wiped off, picked up and swept away before we can open the shop each morning!
On the left is Mr Woodleigh, the oldest and wisest talking tree in the Forest, surrounded by a group of giggling Gigalot possums. Mr Woodleigh is so old that he spends almost all his time sleeping, and when he wakes up he is always grumpy! Well, you would be grumpy too if you were the same age as Mr Woodleigh, which was 507 years old the last time I asked him!
Every time you talk to him he complains about the possums, who are always so happy and wriggle and giggle all the time causing such a tremendous racket that it's a wonder that poor old Mr Woodleigh gets any sleep at all! We'd better not wake him now, because he seems to be deep asleep. So why are his eyes open then, you ask? Well, being made of wood means that you can't move around very much at all, and Mr Woodleigh's eyelids are made of wood and he can't close them! So he has to sleep with his eyes open, a bit like a snake does (snakes don't have eyelids at all!). However, he can move his arms, and if he was awake he would wave to you! (if he wasn't so grumpy, of course!)
Before we move on, we should find out about those Gigalot Possums and why they are always giggling! Read the story of the Gigalot Possums to find out why.
On the right you can see the Puggle Slide, surrounded by Puggles of all sizes and descriptions. Every Puggle that is bought from The Lost Forests must go down the Puggle slide before it can go home with its new owner, and they must catch it in a bag at the bottom. If they miss, or if they drop the bag, they are not allowed to take the Puggle home because that means they will not be a good parent to it (or that they will make Puggle Pie out of it, just like the early settlers of Australia!) Everyone, including parents, must pass this test before we will allow them to take one of our Puggles away. You can learn about Puggles here.