A First Glimpse
On a world as far away as the edge of a dream and as close as the end of a slide there is a broad, fertile valley snuggled down between two high mountain ranges, running down into a wide natural harbor. In the valley at the salt water’s edge, on either side (though more to the south than to the north if you want to be exact) of the river (which runs, jumps, plays and falls from the high mountain lake where the two ranges meet in the west all across the valley) lives one of the two strangest and most wonderful towns ever found anywhere.
If you are ever so lucky as to sail there, the first you see of Moose Harbor is the tall, graceful lighthouse. Its lamp never lets sailors go astray in those waters. The light pierces any obstacle, never hurts the eyes and always shines the color to sooth one best in any storm.
Once in the harbor itself, on a calm day, you can look down through the deep water at the stone ruins and all the fish and the young alligator who live there. Of the town, you would see to the north of the river the Port where boats and planes and hot air balloons and zeppelins and bicycles and land ships and space planes and all sorts of other modes of transportation may easily come to discharge their passengers or cargo, take on new passengers or cargo, refuel, recharge, re-provision or just relax without causing anyone any bother. Near to the Port floats the Inn. The broad, multi-story, comfortable, wooden building with the bluish slate roof drifts about over the water with a nice bit of lawn and a broad patio out back where one may sit and enjoy the sea air. If you do not happen to fly for yourself, just give a tug to one of the ropes which tether it in place and it will float down to the ground for you in short order.
Many of the other buildings have similar qualities, though most are content to stay on the ground if not always in the same place. There is the Moosiversity which makes up most of the town to the south of the river. It has classrooms in other lands and times that you reach just by going through the correct door at the correct time just like you would to reach your math lecture in a more ordinary school.
The hospice is always in the same place though if someone is hurt or sick and needs help in a hurry they can find doors to the admitting room in all sorts of unusual places (like your shower curtain, bedroom window, or the bark of a tree) and while the main part of the building sits between the river and the bay. It has two wings that run out into the salt and fresh water to better accommodate patients who prefer not to get too dry.
In this Valley one finds wise, cheerful, curious representatives of almost any kind of folk ever met, heard of, or imagined but mostly you will meet the Mooses because it is their valley, you see. Meus is the Patriarch. He led many of the original settlers to the valley from Moosympus, the mountain where they lived before. He leads them still (as much as such a bright, good-natured, inquisitive, energetic people need leading) with Moosette, the Matriarch and Founder of Moose Valley (she is the one who FOUND it, you see)…