From Ginger’s very first name day, her life was vexed. When word first came to the Powers On High that House Houdini of Malibu was expecting a fresh brood of chicks, the command was given to name the young after various exotic spices in honor of the various Foodies among the Powers On High. But either by simple misunderstanding, or sinister ruse, the command was understood as “name the children after the Spice Girls” And so Ginger started life as a sad compromise: named both for a food item questionably considered a true spice, and for Geraldine Estelle “Geri” Horner, A.K.A. Ginger Spice, the most shameful of all the Spice Ladies.
The Land of Malibu lies several hundred tide pools away from the Isle Of Length Of Beach, the realm of House Tufters (and also the most cherished of all the Realms of Jersey). House Houdini sat along the harbor of the City Of Ocean in the Province of Malibu Beach. House Houdini was lorded over by Father Houdini and his muse Lady Bess. At the turn of the solstice they sired three healthy young (and one dead egg) The young lived a pleasing childhood nestled among The Least Colony of Chaos and the Skimmer Nation, enjoying all-the-while the companionship and protection of a few thousand extra parents to watch over them. All three fledged successfully and went out into the world to do their part as good little Piping Plover.
But somewhere near mid-Summer, some curious news began to spread throughout Malibu. A gossipy traveler (most likely an early migrating American Oystercatcher) brought word of a Great and Noble Plover from the northern realms who was so bold, he lived among the people and was teaching all beings great & small to share the Beach. They heard how the people had built a great House Of Light, over 1,000,000 werms tall, as a tribute to his greatness and to shine his message of hope across the dark realities of the modern Beach. But most importantly, they heard how this Noble House Tufters was working Miracles and had successfully laid a second a nest. A Miracle Renest. All of the good souls of Malibu were astounded by this news and soon the name “Tufters” became synonymous with all that is Holy.
It was probably when all the good souls of Malibu began referring to Tufters as “The Lord Of Light” that Houdini finally snapped. It was not so much that Houdini boiled with envy, which was in fact true, but that he was an extremely practical little Plover so could not tolerate all this fuss and rumor about House Tufters.
And so he grabbed Bess quite suddenly one morning by her itty bitty wing and led her from their safe and pleasant home to the dark and forbidden world of West Malibu. For by some sinister conspiracy long ago, an Off Lead Dog Park had been established on the Western End of Malibu, directly adjoining the Endangered Beings Area. All the gentle creatures of Malibu knew to stay far away from there. But Houdini reasoned if the people made such a fuss about the courage of a Plover who lived among the People, imagine the tales they would tell about one who lived among the Dogs. Lady Bess was understandably horrified, but she stuck by her beloved Houdini as he pursued this dangerous folly and hoisted a new, Bright Orange Banner emblazoned with a fearsome Dog Sigil.
Perhaps Houdini had planned it all along. Or perhaps he was driven to utter madness by the continual terror of living among the Dogs. Whatever the case, despite having already had a successful Season fledging three beautiful babies, Houdini decided to challenge House Tufters by attempting his own Miracle Renest.
We can spare the details, but needless to say that Miracles are not to be trifled with, and a boastful Renest born of of envy, as opposed to one born of dire necessity, can end in naught but disaster. The first egg was dead on arrival, and the firstborn precious chick disappeared just hours after she entered the dark world of the House Of The Dog. Only the youngest, Ginger, lived through her first name day and long enough to receive her name and her colored bands: Green, Orange, Dark Blue, Yellow.
If one does not believe that fate itself was determined to destroy this imposter Miracle, one only need consider what happened next. As if planned and penned in a Divine Book long ago, the Dog Park was suddenly closed for “repairs” just as if it seemed Ginger might actually survive against the odds. And strangely, rather than accept this temporary inconvenience with the same resignation they might each eve when the local Pubs and Taverns close for the night, the Dog Owners of the Southern Realms united and stormed the protected areas of Malibu with tremendous fury and a blinding sense of entitlement.
But the Good People of The Powers On High could not stand to witness this, and so urgently launched an intervention, despite being quite busy with the preparations for House Tufters Grande Promenade. It was an all hands on deck situation and every great and noble Human from all the Realms of Jersey took turns reinforcing and holding watch over House Houdini against the attacks, day and night, for over a week.
We can surely doubt that anyone had ever believed Ginger would survive. But by the time of House Tufters Grande Promenade, those who knew of these events were feeling a strange mix of elation and deep concern. Hope that another Piping Plover would be survive in the lands of Jersey; concern that Destiny had been defied.
“No,” she thought, to comfort herself. “That’s just so… improbable. What are the chances that two Miracle Broods, one born of The Light and the Other born of The Dark, would ever meet in this Endless World?”
What are the chances, indeed.