River is a new age ballerina. She grew up amongst the reeds and learned a thing or two from them. She bends but does not break and has been known to dance off with the gentle wind for days on end.
River would really like to have a family one day but her last major relationship was with a Will-o-the-Wisp and she just hasn’t been the same since.
Her ballerina skills are so exceptional that her legs are insured for a million gum leaves and she holds regular recitals on the island, in Brooklyn, Woy Woy and Patonga. She has been know to catch a ride on the ferry and dance on the roof under the full moon with the patter of her tiny feet as the passengers mingle below.
Be very careful if you meet River, she has a bit of the Will-o-the-Wisp in her too and if you are not paying attention she can dance you to the edges of the Netherworlds and, before you know it, you’re stuck in the mist forever.
River has the song of a siren but, thankfully for us big people, her voice is so small that you would have to be very short and of excellent hearing to be captured by that voice and lured away. She isn’t naturally mean, it’s just in her nature to entrap people into the dreamworld from time to time.
Lucy was born on the island and hopes one day to travel far and wide.
She currently lives with a family of micro-bats and sometimes rides with the youngest bat at dusk. She loves nothing better than to swoop and fly with the baby bat as he catches mosquitoes for his dinner.
Sometimes they catch small fish and other times they go hunting for termites. Lucy’s favourite pastime on the island is exploring the many caves. She has built herself some tidy little hiding holes and tunnels across the island and is very difficult to find unless she is swinging on her swing and singing to the micro-bats. Sometimes at night you can find her by her glowing gumboots but you probably won't hear her as she sings in ultrasound.
Lucy is a practical type of girl and she is very capable in everything she does. She has traveled the ferry and stowed aboard various boats to visit all the parts of the river. She loves the wind in her horns and has a bit of a fascination with speed. She particularly loves flying very fast and low and buzzing the jumper ants. Sometimes the little bat will accidentally throw her off when he is catching his food. Luckily for Lucy though, she is very light and can just float gently to the ground.
If you happen to meet Lucy tell her hi from me.
Marcel is a super-tracker and a Master of Disguise. He camouflages himself with flowers and other natural materials and is able to hold himself as still as a statue. Shhhh ... don't let him know you see him, he thinks he is so clever at hiding.
Marcel dreams one day of performing on stage and has written a number of plays and speeches. He also masquerades as the island librarian and is a most intelligent fellow.
If you ever lose something on the island, Marcel is your man. He can sniff out lost property from many metres away and has a knack for knowing where to find things. He knows the names of all the wild and domestic animals on the island and he enjoys teasing the island cats. Once a local rabbit ran away with him and refused to go home. They had many island adventures together before the rabbit was caught again by his owner.
If you should meet Marcel, be sure and inquire after his latest play. If you're very lucky, and he is in a moderate to good mood, he may even perform it for you in return for some cake.
Marcel loves cake.
Mavis is the island herb-woman. She has lived on the river for many years and is very good friends with Marcel, who she sees regularly on her visits to the library. She is very famous locally as she has perfected the art of milking stink-bugs for their juice and fermenting it into strong medicinal beverages that heal a variety of ailments.
Mavis doesn’t sleep very much and divides her time between writing her autobiography and seeing island patients. She has seen many island residents come and go and she herself has traveled extensively. She yearns to go traveling again.
Mavis does not keep domestic stink-bugs but rather prefers to hunt for the wild ones and take her chances on the new and diverse flavours she might find. She is always seeking the perfect stink-bug.
Mavis is currently researching other insects she can milk and developing all sorts of herbal remedies and concoctions. She is particularly excited about the possibilities of the bio-luminescent algae in the production of living light bulbs but she has not been able to keep the algae alive out of the river.
Mavis keeps a pet spider she feeds and uses the spider silk for a variety of macrame projects she works on as a hobby in her spare time.
Bastian lives with his father and pet cicada in a cave in the roots of a grand old Banksia tree. Bastian’s father is an inventor who had hoped his son would follow in his footsteps, but Bastian just wants to be an interpretive dancer.
Bastian dances everywhere he goes. He does not speak, but dances the dance of the flower, taught to him by the local bees. Every flower has its own dance and this is how Bastian communicates with them.
One day Bastian may turn into a flower himself, if he dances too much. This worries his father enormously as Bastian’s mother danced herself into a Native Iris many years ago and now he can only talk to her when the wind blows from the west. Sometimes Bastian’s father cries in his sleep and he yearns for the day another flower may come into his life and dance the dance of the Little People with him again.
Bastian is only a child and he looks forward to his pet cicada growing up enough to crawl to the surface and grow wings. Bastian would like to fly with his cicada when this happens. In the meantime Bastian plays gum-nut guitar and dances his little heart out all over the island. He gets into all sorts of trouble at times but mostly he is forgiven.
Except by Noel. Who won't talk to him after he interpretive danced all over his flowers one Spring Equinox.
Beryl may look scary and mean, but that’s just the way her face is made. She is actually a magnificent sailor and has traveled to many lands before arriving on the island.
Beryl has been living amongst the trees for many years now and has become comfortable with her life here. She is an excellent digger and often helps out in the community garden with her large shovel-like hands. She is also the best knot-tyer on the island - you should see her Halyard Hitch! Magnificent!
Beryl has not forgotten her love affair with the sea and you can often find her swimming with the baby mullet on moonless summer evenings, when the bio-luminescence is a thick syrup of light and the fish are flashing like momentary stars in the salt water shallows on Bradley's Beach. She has a little boat she sometimes rows around the island but she will never again sail the big sea as she has misplaced her courage and may never find it again. Not surprisingly really, as she lost her life partner to a hungry Mulloway one terrifying trip when they were sailing back from a festival at Little Wobby.
Beryl misses her partner very much and if she ever finds that nasty Mulloway ...
Oscar is a magic man.
He makes potions and incantations and everyone is scared of him. Oscar is very strong and climbs trees and catches birds to fly him around. It is said that he has the voice of a bird and is a bird whisperer.
Some people even say that he has enchanted brush turkeys to build his house, cockatoos to bring him seeds and nuts and even the whistling kite to take him to Brooklyn and Patonga.
Sometimes people call him the Birdman and it is said that he can turn himself into a bird and fly but I am not so sure of this. Perhaps, instead, he is a bird that has turned himself into a man and, when he grows weary of this, he will turn himself back into a bird and fly away. No one knows when he arrived on the island and perhaps one day he will simply be gone, never to be seen again.
Oscar helps people with their evil spirits and will also do a spot of weather scrying. When the wind is wild and the storm is raging it is said that his house in the brush turkey mound is like the eye of the hurricane - peaceful and quiet - because he chats to the wind and asks it not to bother him.
When Oscar is a bird he asks the wind to fly him to the moon and he plays in the air like a dolphin in the waves.
Carly is a (mostly) kind and gentle child. She lives with her mother Anita, father and brother out on the jetty and catches fish for her family. She is an excellent fisher-woman.
Carly thinks she can do magic and she often practices raising the fish from the river. Sometimes she swims with the jellyfish and they seem to like her as they do not sting her. She wants to be a magician when she grows up and can’t wait to be old enough to leave the river and travel to Woy Woy.
Carly has only been to Woy Woy once, when she was younger. She was playing in the bilge of a big person’s tinny, ended up in the big person’s shopping bag and made it all the way to Woy Woy and back on the train with the grocery shopping! This was the best adventure of her life. Carly’s mother, however, was horrified and now Carly is not allowed to play in bilges anymore.
Carly is sulky about this but she is building her own boat to sail away by herself as soon as she can. She is working out the navigation to Wondabyne Station and hoping to get the Great Cosmic Jellyfish to help take her there on an incoming tide.
I am not sure if Marvin is a real person or a statue. He sits so still and is always asleep so it is possible he is a rock god. If you look very, very carefully you may find him snuggled up in the rocks at the top of the island. He is difficult to see.
Marvin is very, very, very, old. So old that he remembers when the river was much further away. He remembers when it was much colder and the land was full of different people and animals. He remembers dinosaurs and giant wombats and perhaps even before the dinosaurs when the world was full of stardust and magic.
Marvin is so very tired with life hence he sleeps it away. Everyone he knows and loved died many years ago and he is tired of making new friends so he sleeps until time comes full circle and starts again or ends. He doesn’t care which. In the meantime, he walks in his dreams and looks for his old loves and family.
It is said that Marvin only talks in dreams and you must be very quiet and still in your mind to hear him whispering to you. If you are lucky enough to hear from Marvin make sure you pay attention and don’t forget your dream as soon as you wake. He is very wise and will always have something important to say if he runs into you in your sleep.
Colin is a bit of an island celebrity. He used to be a very famous scientist (he would say he still is) and won a Nobel prize for his work in microbiology. He is currently studying the bio-luminescent algae of the river and is working with Mavis to develop a lighting system based on the algae. It's not going well.
If you find Colin please don’t, under any circumstances, tell anyone where he is. He guards his privacy very highly and will simply up and move if he knows he has been discovered.
He is also working on using the bio-luminescent algae to power his boat so he can go exploring on the river at great distances. So far he has not been successful but he lives in hope.
Colin isn't as sharp as he used to be and sometimes he thinks he is a young Little Person again. He has always had a secret love of disco dancing and was the 1984 World Champion Tiny Folk Disco Dancer. Sometimes he thinks it is 1984 again and you might find him doing some intense disco dancing under the full moon where Riverview meets Riverview.
If you do discover him doing his moves, gently send him home and help him on his way. His daughter lives with him and she worries if he is out alone at night.
Owen doesn’t like people very much.
He does, however, enjoying riding soldier crabs at low tide in the mud.
Owen is shy and can be hard to find, but if you are quiet and patient you can sometimes catch him grooming his soldier crabs on the south beach.
Owen dreams of one day representing the island in soldier crab racing, until then he is working on breeding the fastest soldier crabs in the southern hemisphere.
Owen likes long walks on the beach with his stable of soldier crabs. At dusk. After the last ferry has finished for the night.
He was born on the island and has never left. He is full of grand plans that never really eventuate. He talks to himself and his soldier crabs but avoids talking to actual people.
Owen has a deep-seated fear of the big people and he can be very difficult to find. He does not like getting close to the big boots and the noisy children. He does, however, watch from the distance and dream of stowing away in the family picnic basket and escaping the island. Of course he will never do this but it makes him happy to think about it.
Flora just loves flowers.
She works tirelessly in the garden to feed all the Little People and, with the ladybirds, helps plants to grow their very best vegetables. The butterflies simply adore Flora and she has a knack of talking to plants, particularly flowering ones.
Flowers, as you know, are the most talkative of the plants. Followed by the fruits and seeds and the grasses. Trees and bushes are too lofty to stoop to talk to most people but they will always give Flora the time of day if they can hear her little voice down below them. Flora knows exactly which plants to grow together so they don't argue and you can often hear her singing the flowers to sleep.
Because of her special gift, Flora can grow the biggest and best flowers of anyone on the island. I think there must be a little bit of flower in Flora herself, don't you think? Someone's mother or father must have had a dalliance with a daisy at some point!
Sometimes Flora gets Lucy to fly her to the treetops on her micro-bats to visit the flowering gums and if you are lucky enough to find Flora make sure you ask her for a flowering charm to take home to use on your own flowers.
Freya is a magnificent break-dancer. She moves her moves and does a great DJ set.
Freya also produces her own music and mixes all the island sounds together to create moody soundscapes that no one understands but which are brilliant to dance to after some of Mavis’ Pink-spotted Stink-Bug fermented drink.
Freya likes to have fun and can often be found with Bastian and Carly. The three of them are in a band with Animal and Freya plays the drums. Freya wishes she could sing but her voice is the screech of a Fruit Bat fighting for palm dates. (Did you know Fruit bats are also called Megabats or Flying Foxes?)
Bastian can’t wait until his pet cicada Ralph grows wings so Ralph can join the band too, in the percussion section. Until then, Animal is doing percussion and Freya is practicing her Blue-Steel look for when she becomes famous. Freya is also concentrating on sewing costumes for the band.
If you listen really closely and you are really quiet, you might hear Freya and her band rehearsing in one of the caves on the island with the excellent acoustics of the sandstone.
Gerrin is a fashion iconista who thinks he is a witchdoctor. He makes all his own clothes and particularly likes a good headdress. He only uses natural fibres and discarded feathers and he is completely and utterly crazy.
No one really cares that he is bonkers though, he is always doing spells to make things better and he is such a charming fellow that everyone loves him.
The world in his head is very strange, but he is a kind and gentle person and perhaps in some way the magic works on him. He thinks he can fly and people often have to take him to Mavis to heal him with her stink-bug medicine.
The worst time was when he broke both his legs and he had to get them replaced with gum nuts. Mavis had to get Oscar to help with that one!
These days he doesn’t try to fly as much but instead has made himself the most magnificent beaded wings and he speaks to Marvin in his dreams and flies in them instead.
If you see Gerrin make sure you compliment him on his remarkable beading!
No one knows where Jumble came from, he just turned up one day on the ferry wharf shed with his two left feet and proceeded to make himself at home.
Jumble doesn’t talk about his life much but you can see from his face that he holds some sad times in his heart. He finds it difficult to look people in the eyes and always keeps his head down if there are too many people around.
Jumble doesn’t talk to people much either, only the children. He does help out in the community garden a lot though and harvests nectar from flowers, rainwater and dew from leaves, and sap from young trees. He makes the most lovely nectar aperitifs and you can often see him mixing cocktails at the club. He puts all his love into baking the most amazing cakes to sell at the Café but you will never find him where there are lots of people.
His heart is very fragile and words can hurt him very much. Be sure and be kind to Jumble if you find him on your travels. Every kind word he gets lifts him just that little bit higher and makes him feel a little bit more invincible.
And we all need to feel invincible some times!
Morris is the most wonderful Opera Singer you have ever heard. His voice is like a quartet of angels singing silver notes in harmony at dawn. Even the birds shut up when he is singing as his voice is so beautiful. Sometimes you can hear his notes being carried on the wings of birds as they catch in their feathers.
Morris sings everywhere he goes and you always know what mood he is in depending on how his songs make you feel. He can make you cry and laugh and guffaw in joy. He has a special jellyfish song that he sings to call up jellyfish for his dinner but he doesn’t use this very often as he doesn’t think it is fair on the jellyfish.
He is an excellent musician and plays the oyster drum, the gum leaf and the gum-nut banjo but he doesn't play well with others and mostly finds a lonely corner of the island to sing up his emotions and work through them.
Don’t let his short stature fool you, he is bigger on the inside and his heart is his best instrument of all. If you meet Morris on your travels make sure to ask him to sing you a feather song. That way you can take something of the island home with you in your heart when you leave.
Rhonda is very private and doesn’t like talking about herself. She is a bit of a hermit and if she knows you are looking for her she will hide away and you will never find her. Go quietly when you are on the lookout for Rhonda!
Rhonda used to be a wonderful Spider-Tamer and she definitely misses the circus days when she would travel around Australia with her performing spiders. She has traveled all the way to Gosford! Some say she has even been to Newcastle but I don’t believe that, do you?
Rhonda is a painter and a potter in her spare time and she works every day on her art and making interesting stuff. All her paintings are of spiders. She is aiming to paint the portrait of every single spider on the island and is currently up to number three hundred and forty two. She never keeps her paintings but gives them away to the spiders she paints. She does some nifty things with spider silk macrame and will often build trapezes and swings to remind her of her circus days. Lucy has one of her spider-silk swings and enjoys watching her micro-bats play from it.
Rhonda does have a very special friendship with Oscar but don't ask her about that, she doesn't like talking about her private life (and Oscar isn't the marrying type).
Selby is a bit silly and reluctant to grow up. She loves being alive and dancing and singing but doesn’t much like being responsible. She is fun to be around but can be exhausting.
Dressed by the Ferry Shed, Selby yearns to be a big person and you will often see her, out of the corner of your eye, following tourists around the island. She doesn’t follow island residents, in fact she is quite miffed at their presence on her island and she is often mischievous and naughty to the island people.
Selby has been known to disconnect bilge pumps before storms and sink boats, untie mooring ropes and many more very annoying and inconvenient things. She looks so innocent but she is very silly really and does whatever her little heart desires.
Selby annoys just about everyone but Dorothy, her Great Aunt. Selby lost her parents in a wild storm when she was only a little Little Person. Since then Dorothy has raised her as her own and loves her to pieces but Selby always feels like something is missing that she can not find.
Selby does love a big-person chat, but if you do see her be careful you don’t fall for her wicked tricks!!
Dorothy is the person you go to if you are in trouble or need and she will always help you find a way through your problems. She is a Very Wise Woman and she has seen so much of life that nothing surprises her any more. She sees everything so clearly that she no longer passes judgment but rather holds space for everyone who needs it.
Dorothy makes her own clothes from the island plants and takes great pleasure in being as sustainable as possible. She likes to be needed but is a little bit sad when people can’t see the beauty in themselves like she can.
Dorothy was once taken by a possum and had to spend three days clinging to the gum blossoms stranded up a tree until Lucy heard her calling and organised for the micro-bats to get her down!
She is often busy making nectar cakes and gum nut loaves but will always find time to sit down with you for a cup of Mavis’ relaxing Blue-Stripe Stink-bug tea to chat about the weather.
If you meet Dorothy make sure you ask her for her nectar tart recipe as it is ambrosia to your taste buds! Better yet, see if she has any for you to try!
Jemimah is a strange one. She recently fell from the stars one crisp autumn morning and rooted herself in the island community. She radiates starlight and is well loved in the community but can be a bit vague and airy at times. She spends a lot of time with River, her closest friend, and it is possible she sprang from the alternate stars of the misty Netherworlds, called hither by River’s Siren song.
Coming from a starry half-world, Jemimah spends a lot of time in the bio-luminescent shallows of Bradley’s Beach. She has an insubstantial quality to her existence and floats at one with the bio-luminescence. Jemimah meanders at her own pace on her nonsensical journeys and she is a master at taking time to smell the roses. Everything is interesting to her. Curiosity is Jemimah’s middle name, possibly because this world is so new to her.
Don’t bother asking Jemimah to help you with anything, she is completely unreliable and unable to commit - she even forgets to eat sometimes and ends up munching on cicada shells!
She loves big people but she is only visible to those of us with the heart and soul of a child. She can sing you to sleep with her mesmerising melodies but be careful, you may lie down to sleep and never get up again!
Animal is a simple but entitled Little Person. He has a great love for heavy metal and thrash gum-nut maracas, but doesn’t pay much attention to the feelings of other people. He works his percussion magic solo but also supports Bastian, Carly and Freya in their band when he feels like it. He is not very reliable and is just as likely to take off in his seed-pod boat to go fishing instead of making rehearsals.
No one knows where Animal comes from, he just turned up one day on the island in his little coracle and made himself at home. There are whispers he is actually a prince from the far away land of Hornsby Heights and he is slumming it on the river to escape taking responsibility for his realm of Crosslands.
In actual fact, his parents the Queen and King know exactly where he is and are letting him sow his wild gum nuts as they wait and see if he will decide to grow up. He is their only child but just because you are born of royalty doesn’t mean you are good at it.
In the meantime, the Queen is interviewing other candidates who might be better suited to the task of taking care of the Crosslands kingdom. I think they will definitely need an alternative as Animal is very happy on the river and doesn’t really care about anyone but himself. Maybe you could apply, I believe there is some magic to turn Big People to Little but you'd have to wake up Marvin ...
Theobold is a Jellyfish Hunter.
As a Jellyfish Hunter, she is always on the lookout for the best and tastiest jellyfish she can find in the river. Not all jellyfish make good eating and when you are a Little Person you only want the special smallest jellyfish. Theobold particularly likes the jellyfish that glow in the dark and you can often find her selling her dried Jellyfish at the monthly markets in the Park.
Theobold lives alone and is friendly with everyone. She will always stop and chat and has many stories she likes to tell about life on the river. Don’t believe a word she says, her stories are somewhat based in fact but she is a big fat liar who cares more for the story than the truth. She used to work on the prawn trawlers going up to Bar Point but she stopped about a year ago when she had a disagreement with the Captain’s cat.
Theobold lives with her Water Dragon and rides in the monthly Dragon Races. She is a champion of Dragon Racing and no one on the island can beat her. Her Water Dragon is an exceptional beast called Jabber with a bright orange breast, and it is said Jabber once bested the neighbour’s ginger fat cat in a fight to the death.
Although this may be another ‘big-fat-lie’ that Theobold spins.
Gertrude is a Fish-Whisperer.
People know she catches fish like a magician, but not everyone realises she just throws them back. All of them. Gertrude is vegetarian and would never kill a fish as she has too many fish friends in the river.
Sometimes Gertrude tags the fish for scientific research but mostly she just likes the challenge of catching them. She spends many hours yarning to the fish as they have a very different perspective on life and a great watery wisdom. I think she must have been a fish in her last life and she does look a bit fishy this life don’t you think?
Gertrude’s sister Anita lives on the island too and they often go fishing together as an excuse to catch up. Gertrude is a wonderful aunt to her many nieces and nephews and she takes them fishing all the time.
Gertrude is also able to speak to the glowing algae and she has the only island bio-luminescent light on the island. Mavis and Colin are jealous she has been able to capture the algal light and devastated that Gertrude will not reveal her secret.
If you meet Gertrude, ask her what wisdom the fish have for you today.
Noel is a river nomad. He was part of Rhonda's traveling circus but has left his clown days far behind him. He still likes to perform for the little Little People but doesn’t do it very often anymore. These days he likes to bowl and finishes his week with three gum-nuts of Mavis' Purple Stink-Bug Mead every Sunday.
All his life Noel has been mismatched, but he's OK with that. He doesn’t fit in with the normal Little People but has found his tribe on Dangar Island. Noel can germinate even the most reluctant seed and he works (very) closely with Flora in the Community Garden to make sure the plants are happy and healthy.
Noel does a lot of listening but he doesn't grumble much these days. He is just happy to be here as many of his friends are no longer with us. He particularly misses his younger sister who was unfortunately snapped in half by a stag beetle in her last performance as a Stag-Beetle Tamer. That was the day Noel decided to leave the circus with Rhonda, another Little Person Noel was (very) close to.
Noel never had any children of his own but his brother’s children often come to visit from Woy Woy and they think he is the funnest uncle ever! Noel is the funniest Little Person you will meet on the island. His jokes make people laugh for days and leave a gigantic grin on your face. If you should run into Noel make sure you ask him for his joke of the day, because we all know laughter is the best medicine for a boring life.
Salvador was a corporate suit who made his fortune on the Stick-market. He only became a Stick-broker because that’s what he thought his father wanted him to do. What Salvador really wanted to do was to make art. This brings him great joy. So one day, he did.
He dropped out of society and moved to the island, turning his back on the corporate world. Using his Stick-market Nest Egg to live on he now has much more time for his pretentious and self indulgent artworks. He is not very good but he doesn’t much care.
Sometimes Salvador drinks too much of Mavis’ Red-back Spider Wine and makes a fool of himself, but mostly he makes ephemeral sculptures around the island. Occasionally he collaborates with the Bower Birds up at Mt Colah on their Romantic Love of the Blue Objects series, but they don’t like to leave their bowers. Salvador had to get creative and travel to them, hitching a ride with the Big Folk or some friendly Fruit Bats who drop him in by parachute on their way to the orchards.
Salvador lives alone after five failed marriages and seven children but he doesn’t feel lonely. Occasionally his children visit but mostly Salvador is very happy doing what he loves.
Lennon is the best cook and cocktail maker on the island. They mix up a storm on a Saturday night in the secret underground bar of The Club. Lennon trades in the (slightly illegal) emotions market. Their signature drinks include the Happiness, the Risk-Taker and the LOL.
They make their own jams and chutneys from island produce and includes a magical secret ingredient - glowing fungi. The glowing fungi is poisonous for us big folk but the little folk love it and you can always tell if they have eaten too much because their feet start to glow.
Lennon came to the island from Mooney Mooney when they lost their job as chef at the Tiny Folk Oyster Club. Lennon does not talk about this. Ever. Rumour has it they fell in love with the Oyster Shucker’s partner and they were thrown into the river after a big scene at the Tiny Folk Masquerade Ball.
Lennon’s heart still belongs to their failed love but he does not want anything to do with Lennon any more and has gone back to the Oyster Shucker for good. Lennon still dreams of finding true love but in the meantime sinks their hopes and dreams in their magical cocktails that spread emotions.
These days Lennon divides their time between bar-tending at The Club, mixing magical Feeling Cocktails for the secret invite-only Milk Bar, and cooking local produce to sell to tourists. You can pick up a gum-nut of Happiness, Love or even Risk and Adventure, if you can find Lennon on the island,. But be careful, they pack a punch!
Anita just loves Mavis’ Cicada-Shell Broth Soup and Termite chocolates. As you can see, she has eaten so many that her chin is stained brown.
Anita has two children and a lovely husband and is very happy in her cosy domestic life. Her sister Gertrude visits often and the two are always scheming up new ways to catch Moon Moths to hang as night lights.
Anita is a talented chemist who works with Lennon in the dark-ish art of manufacturing emotions for sale. She dabbles in beauty therapy and makes a smashing river mask blend with eucalyptus and lavender extract. In any downtime she has she is researching the perfecting emotion extraction with Burble and Lennon, working on her river blends and learning cicada.
Anita just hates to sit still.
When Anita was younger her hair was past her knees, but a chemical accident melted all her hair follicles and she can no longer grow any hair. One of her projects is to find a way to grown hair from natural extracts so she can have long hair again.
Anita is on multiple island committees and is outspoken and well organised. Do not get in Anita’s way unless you have an excellent rebuttal to her point of view.
Anita is so busy it will make your head spin!
Winston was a Gum Nut Guru and yoga teacher in St Albans until one day he decided to go searching for himself by taking a pilgrimage on the river.
He built himself a small green coracle and simply left, leaving no word, one hot summer’s night in January. His pilgrimage took many months and he had many adventures, he even spent some time in a wallaby pouch over winter when it was too cold to travel. He has fond memories of that time in the bush and still keeps in touch with the wallaby. These days he enjoys the comfort of island life and the occasional cold mud bath.
Winston runs the Little People Makers Shed every Wednesday at the Ferry Wharf and is a powerful Gum Nut Guru. He can gaze at his navel for hours on end and has perfected the art of lucid dreaming and juggling. He often visits Marvin in his dreams and is pretty adept at traveling the astral planes.
It was Winston who introduced River to the Will-o-the-Wisp that broke her heart and the two no longer talk. Winston feels a little bad about this but he knows River is in charge of her own journey and he can’t be responsible for everyone.
Winston is a little bit too full of himself at times.
Jesse is the local Cockatoo Rider. He is part of the Noisy Galah new age rock and roll band and is a terrible tease. He tickles the galahs and parrots and if you see them rolling in the grass it’s a sure bet Jesse is somewhere close by.
Jesse teases the dogs on the island by pinching them when they go past and the dogs are terrified of his tiny little fingers.
Jesse’s band was a winner of the Tiny River Festival Battle of the Bands and the band has gigs up and down the river. When Jesse needs to write he heads out to Pumpkin Creek and camps in the mangroves to be at one with nature. He writes his songs on paperbark with stolen pencils.
As an accomplished Cockatoo Rider there is nowhere Jesse can’t go, but the loud band and the cockatoo screeches are slowly destroying his hearing. And sometimes the cockatoos think he is a nut and try to crack him.
If you see Jesse on the island, check where they are playing next. The Noisy Galah band is a fantastic spectacle and there must be some magic in their music because no one can resist dancing to their greatest hits.
Jesse is single, but always looking. He is more in love with himself than anyone else ever could be and he can be very annoying as he only ever talks about himself.
William is the sweetest Little man on the island. He works as a therapist, not only for the Little People but also for the possums and native birds and animals who have their own special problems and troubles.
In his spare time William works with the Frog Orchestra on expansive musical productions. He is a soft and gentle soul who loves a good night in watching grass grow. He breeds homing fireflies in his spare time and likes to talk philosophy with the owls. His voice is as quiet as the flap of owl wings at dusk.
William NEVER has any of Mavis’ liquid refreshments. Not since the time she accidentally gave him Jittery Cricket Mead instead of Butterfly Sleep Tonic. He did not sleep for three days and was most annoying to have around. It still makes him shudder just to think about it.
William’s grandchildren live in the city and they rarely come and stay. William sends letters to them via his Homing Fireflies and they send back presents and stories by return Firefly.
If you happen to see William on your travels, try not to scare him as he really hasn’t been the same since the Jittery Cricket night and his anxiety can make him a little bit jumpy and prone to jumping up and biting you on the ear. He does, however, really love a cuddle. Don't we all?
Amity is an inventor and full of amazing ideas. Sometimes these work but mostly they don’t. Either way Amity never gives up on her endeavours and is always trying out new things.
Amity loves to make experiments but her OH&S is very poor and no one likes to get too close to her these days. She lives alone and isolated in the reserve at the top of the island - her last experiment created rotten egg gas fungi that lasted for weeks!
Amity is an Intrepid Adventurer and was the first person in recent history to circumnavigate the island with her stag beetle companion.
Her latest project is a Hot Air Balloon she has commissioned Colin to make for her but it is still in the planning stages as they had to go back to the drawing board after the prototype was blown all the way to Lion Island on a strong westerly wind. Amity had to live with the Little Penguins there for almost three weeks until someone found her homing beacon and came to pick her up. The Little Penguins were her only company and while she was waiting to be rescued she experimented with the penguin guano and accidentally blew up fifteen Little Penguins.
She is now banned from Lion Island.
And the Penguins hate her.
Burble is quite an unusual Little Person. She collects experiences and keeps them in jars on shelves in her cave. She is descended from the first island Little Peoples and is particularly close to the native birds. She carries on a proud and ancient tradition of collecting emotions, dreams and experiences and is teaching this art to her grandson Simon to carry on after she has left. Sometimes she helps Lennon and Anita make emotions for their special cocktails.
Burble lives under the Sacred Tree at the top of the island. As well as collecting experiences, she weaves dreams on her dream loom and will often dream travel to deliver these gifts. Mostly her dreams are good ones but every now and then a bad dream is required to slap some sense into a person. This too is part of the job she has been charged with by the higher orders of being.
Burble’s voice is like the burble of a stream and she has a particular affinity with water. You can often find her bathing in the rock pools at the top of the island and she has a nifty contraption that collects sunlight to heat the shallow rock pools. These pools are very special and you must treat them with respect if you happen to come across them. The Little People can be quite self conscious about their vulnerability when relaxing in the hot water so best to pretend you don’t see them.
Mirabelle has two little Little Ones who go to school on the island. She is always on the lookout for love and yearns for someone to save her from her loneliness. She is always falling in love. With all the wrong people.
Mirabelle has always been unlucky in love. She was once a Big Person who fell in love with a Little Person called Flame. The two of them were soooooo in love but the size difference was a bit of a problem. Mirabelle begged Quinn to turn her into a Little Person and he sent her to Marvin for the ancient reverse-Big Magic enchantment she needed. Marvin was not always asleep at this point but the magic he did for Mirabelle was so difficult and complex that he went to sleep right after and has not woken since.
Things went well to begin with, but Flame and Mirabelle slowly grew apart after their two children were born. Flame had never really wanted kids and she eventually followed River’s Will-o-the-Wisp into the Netherworld.
Mirabelle is always sad now and although she has learned to live without Flame’s love, her children are growing up and she is empty nesting into despair. Mirabelle hopes that one day soon Marvin will wake and turn her back into a big person so she can go and be sad somewhere else.
Mirabelle really needs to learn to love herself.
Jellybean has got to be the happiest person ever. She is a genius gymnast and she lives to make people laugh. You will find her being silly all over the island and the greatest joy she has is in making people happy.
Jellybean bounces around the island like a two year old and she brings light and love to everyone. She only lives on the island part time as her mother and father live on the mainland. She is good friends with Simon and her sister Amity still lives on the island. Jellybean has a huge crush on Jesse and his band the Noisy Galahs but he loves himself too much to be able to love her.
Amity doesn’t have any time for Jellybean either, she is too busy doing her experiments. When Jellybean comes to the island she just floats around aimlessly by herself.
Dorothy often looks after Jellybean when she is on island and Selby and Jellybean get up to a lot of mischief together. Jellybean just loves the river and her little big sister, Amity, and she runs wild and free with Selby all over the island and beyond.
Sometimes Jellybean gets a bit down that no one seems to be paying her any attention and she dreams of one day living in a cloud castle and being able to fly with the Tawny Frog-mouths. This cheers her up no end.
Don’t let appearances fool you, Quinn is the smartest person on the island. He has a not-so-secret advantage don’t you know? Quinn has a second brain!!
That’s not a hat you can see above his head, it’s a second brain-case with an extra-clever brain. With this second head-in-the-clouds, Quinn is constantly in conflict between his normal grounded thoughts and the airy-fairy cerebral thoughts that sit loftily above such mundane and everyday concerns.
Quinn is the island School Teacher and he teaches all the different ages. Sometimes setting up in the classroom near the hall but more often than not the students study out in nature as Quinn teaches the children how to listen to the wind and pay attention to what nature is saying. Sometimes his brains will argue with each other and this amuses the schoolchildren no end.
In Quinn’s spare time he is working on a book about the history of the island since the Big Bang and a PhD on the effect of butterfly wings on the rotation of the earth.
Quinn has never been in love and prefers the company of his silver Moon Moth, Roger, on cold winter’s nights. With a second brain to chat with and an insatiable thirst for knowledge, Quinn doesn’t have much time for romance.
Half tiny folk and half Lemon Myrtle, Lil Poppet is totally in tune with the trees and herself. She has a beautiful lilting voice and if you are not paying attention you might mistake her voice for the gentle breeze filtering through the leaves.
Lil Poppet is one of the island’s First Peoples. She is descended from the original native folk who grew up in this land. Washed down from the upper reaches of the river they migrated thousands of years ago down in the time of the floods to land on Dangar Island and make their new homes. The native folk stopped at Snake Island first but the snakes were just too annoying so they traveled a bit further in their oyster and paperbark rafts before being caught on the oyster beds and clambering onto the shore.
Lil Poppet is very much in tune with her ancestors and is part tree herself. She is a custodian of the wild walks and speaks all the languages of the animals and plants. Lil Poppet remembers the time of her ancestors well, her people don’t forget their past lives and she has six. She is always striving to create her best life in simpatico with the world around her.
Lil Poppet is VERY hard to find but if you do see her make sure to ask her about her previous lives as very few people remember the Arrival to the island like she does.
Little Millicent does not speak. She grew up with a Tawny Frog-mouth mother after being left in their nest as a tiny, tiny hatchling herself. No one knows where she came from and although she would like to know her backstory she has made peace with the mystery. Millicent learned the Tawny Frog-mouth hummmmmmmm instead of the Little People sounds. There is a lot of ‘oooo-ing’ and soft gentle sounds and she really doesn’t understand the loud and brash Little (and Big) People at all. Her best friends are the owls and her biggest disappointment in life was when she realised that she was never going to grow wings and leave the nest. Instead she learned to ride the Tawny Frog-mouths and you will only see her at night as she hunts the micro-bats and native mice with her Tawny mates.
Millicent is quiet as a mouse but her night vision is exceptional, which is unfortunate for any mice around in the evening as she loves a mouse sandwich for her dinner.
She might not be able to talk but she has made up lots of leaflets about the dangers of rat poison for the Tawny Frog-mouths who eat the dead rats and mice. She has lost too many friends to a poisoned rodent and wants all the Big People to pay more attention to how their actions affect the natural world around them. With the tiny beating heart of a bird and the soul of an owl she is a wise and intriguing Little Person. Maybe you could practise your Tawny Frog-mouth on her?
Hortense the hapless lives with her ten children, 5 grasshoppers and 3 butterflies. Their house is a bit of a commune and the children run wild and free. Hortense is a witch in her spare time and she is very accomplished at putting spells on people. She is not always kind in her incantations as she is remarkably selfish but she genuinely thinks she means well.
Hortense sells her potions and charms at the local market but it’s best not to buy anything from her as they will always backfire because she has such a lackadaisical approach to her craft.
She used to have five more children but she accidentally turned them into grasshoppers when she was trying to get them to stop crying. She’s a practical soul though and now she only has to feed ten children as grasshoppers can find their own food. She really does love her life, and her children, but will always put her own needs first. She is notoriously flakey in her life decisions, constantly changing her mind about what she would like. Her children find her very difficult to live with.
Like the cuckoo, Hortense sometimes leaves her children in other bird’s nests in the hope that they will look after them for her. Usually the kids find their way home though and she is always ready with a big hug and an earwig casserole.
Rashida is an Egyptian pharaoh reincarnated as a Little Person. As a pharaoh she was a terrible leader and no one remembers her name. This life she needs to learn the lesson of humility and she is doing a great job after a difficult start. Born in the jungles of the far north, she was washed down the Daintree River one particularly flooded night and ended up floating on a branch in the ocean. She was snapped up by a snapping turtle and carried in his tummy for many miles until he coughed her up because she didn’t agree with him - her pointy bits were making his throat tickle.
Thinking she had escaped she was in for a terrible shock when a Pelican swallowed her up and flew her down to Woy Woy. When all hope seemed lost, he spat her out at Brooklyn Marina just in time to catch a ride on the Riverboat Postman.
She traveled the Post Run for many weeks and the oldies on the boat doted on her. She would never have left but the big mean Riverboat Postman captain thought she was a mouse and kept trying to catch her. Eventually she jumped ship in the mail and posted herself to Dangar Island.
The rest, as they say, is history and Rashida spends all her days making amends for the thousands of slaves she worked to death making Egyptian Sweet Cookies in her past lives.
Petal is a very vain flower who fancies herself a Little Person. She dresses up her buds and seeds and attempts to pass as a Little Person. Of course no one is fooled but they all go along with her charade as it really doesn’t hurt them to do so. Petal is always found in the community garden as she is still trying to figure out how to grow legs so she can move around the island.
Petal is never happy with how she looks and spends hours a day primping and preening herself in an attempt to look more like a Little Person. Flora is good friends with Petal but even she gets annoyed at Petal for trying to be someone she is not.
Petal is the most beautiful and rare Night Flower of Dangar Island but because she is so rare and she has never met another, she thinks there is something wrong with her. Sadly, there are so few Night Flowers left she may never meet her tribe. That said, I have heard tales of strange midnight music in the foothills of Wondabyne and they say that traveling Night Flowers used to visit the island. Perhaps there is something to Petal's yearnings, and if you ever see another Night Flower be sure to send them to the island!
If you do see Petal on your travels tell her how wonderful she is so that maybe one day she can come to love all those things that make her unique and special.
There are plenty of Little People on Dangar Island but there is only one Petal.
Quibley is Burble’s daughter and Simon’s mother. Their family is a very old family and a very special one. For some reason all the men in the family have always died young or been taken by Will-o-the-Wisps. Burble and Quibley are terrified Simon will be lost to the mists as well and they are doing everything in their power to protect him.
Quibley was a deckhand on the Little Riverboat Postman for many years and she worked with Rashida for some time. You might not know this, but the little people have their own mail boat that piggybacks the Riverboat Postman each weekday to deliver mail to all the little people river communities.
Quibley only gave up the Little Riverboat Postman when her partner disappeared one stormy morning in the heavy mists. It is still unclear if he drowned or if the Will-o-the-Wisps took him. Although they don’t know it, there is an ancient curse laid on the men in the family and until Marvin awakes no one knows how to break it.
Quibley has a magic coat of feathers that can actually allow her to fly. They have been passed down the family tree and are part of the reason the curse was laid.
But that is a story for another time.
Simon might look silly with his one big bobbily eye, but he can see as far as the horizon and sometimes around corners when the light bounces off his eyeball in just the right way. There is nothing you can hide from Simon as he sees everything.
Simon is training to collect and create experiences with Burble. He is making up his big glass jars and learning ways to identify and catch the emotions and experiences he comes across in the wild. It is very hard to see these things and Burble sees great potential in Simon as his eye is so large it can see things that other people can’t - he is the first in a long time with the Gift of the Bobbily-Eye. As part of his apprenticeship, Lennon and Anita are also teaching him how to mix up and stabilise emotions.
Simon was raised by his mother Quibley and Grandmother Burble after his father mysteriously disappeared one day.
Simon doesn’t know it yet, but the family curse on the men of his family will be laid to rest with him. His bobbily eye is a special gift and with it he can see through the veil and into the hearts of men and women.
In time, when Marvin awakes, Simon will grow to find his purpose in life and will set about repairing the harm that his ancestors have caused. It is said that his missing family will return from the Netherworlds at this time and the rift in space and time will be healed again. Galactica doesn't know it yet, but Simon will be her way home.
Shhhh ... don’t tell Horace that he is only a head. He doesn’t realise he has lost his body and as he hangs out with sleeping Marvin he is unlikely to realise his body is gone for some time yet.
Of course Horace used to have a body, but at some point he lost it (or it lost him) and he didn’t even notice it was gone. One day I expect his body will come back to him but in the meantime I hear that it is enjoying a wonderful holiday in Copacabana where nobody cares if you have a head or not. In fact they prefer you to be headless as you don’t make as much noise.
I don’t know why Horace hangs around the sleeping rock Marvin, but Horace is not very smart and he likes to talk and talk and talk. I’m really not surprised his body left as he just drones on and on. Horace is one of those people that you hate being caught in conversation with because he is just so boring and only ever talks about himself.
Between that and Marvin’s snoring, the two of them have a very secluded spot on the island and no one dares to comes disturb them in case Horace talks their ears off.
Galactica comes from the planet #$@#%&, which we all know as Kepler 452B. She was minding her own business, flying along in her little spaceship to the Convention of Alien MInds, when a (not-so) random celestial shower of asteroids knocked her off course and into a black hole over a hundred and fifty earth years ago. She wormholed her way through the fabric of space and time and ended up on Dangar Island.
Galactica didn’t know it at the time, but her rip in space and time exacerbated a curse on Simon’s family and she will never leave Dangar until she does her bit to fix the rift and help Simon bring his father back. Simon doesn't realise that it was his father who, in attempting to fix the original curse, threw Galactica off course and onto the island.
Galactica is lonely on Dangar. Her countrymen and women are green-skinned and need sunlight like a lizard. Galactica misses them terribly and feels much more affinity with the Water Dragons than the Little People of Dangar Island.
Her spaceship lies buried somewhere in the reserve and Galactica has long forgotten where she put it. Luckily she lives for three thousand years so she can hopefully find it soon and run away with her Water Dragon boyfriend. As Kepler 452B is 1402 light years away, Galactica knows she will never see her family again and she is very sad. While she is stranded on Dangar Island she has made it her mission to look after her cold-blooded cousins and keep them safe from the cats and dogs of the island.
Stay away from Galactica, her arms are really poison spikes and if she jabs you it will make you very sick and you might turn into a frog. Because sometimes that happens. In fact Galactica has been responsible for a whole heap of problems since she arrived.
Polycephaly is another two headed monster type but not nearly as smart as Quinn. He is only a child and has yet to fully grow into his second brain. The Polycephaly family of Little People are very unusual in that they reproduce by forming a new head when it is time for the old body to die. This new head gradually gets bigger and absorbs the old head and all their memories and wisdom.
This little one is about half the way through the process and the old head is starting to fade. Like the Immortal Jellyfish, Polycephaly is reverting to an immature individual and in the process the other little arms are forming polyps that will break off in time and form new Polycephaly creatures called medusae. These medusae need to spawn in the water and Polycephaly will need to bathe in the moonlight two days after the adult head finally disappears to release them into the wild.
Each new polyp will effectively be a clone of the old and for those that survive the rigours of the river and the big fish that prey on them, they will eventually make their way back to land - and might meet themselves!
Memories are a tricky part of this process, they don't carry over and each new polyp is a fresh slate. This makes for a very interesting set of, effectively, infinite clones that can choose to live in many different ways. Polycephaly is therefore an invaluable ongoing scientific experiment/research project.
Some bad things happened to Arrow a long time ago and he has been running away from himself ever since. He shut everyone out and tried to forget what happened and he hasn’t seen his family for a very long time. But life has a way of bringing those things up again and again until you are forced to resolve them or forever remain scared and anxious all your life.
Arrow fought his memories for a long time but he’s not fighting any more. Give Arrow some kudos for his courage, it’s been very hard for him but he is dealing with it now. And he is doing ok.
So if you see Arrow don’t mention the past, unless he brings it up, and listen hard without talking if he decides to trust you. If not, shake his non-spiky hand and tell him it’s nice to meet him and send him all my love as I very much hope he battles all his dragons and loves what is left.
Arrow is the long arm of the island law with his huge left hand which is excellent for law enforcement. He has a heightened sense of injustice and although he doesn’t like to talk about it, he is half mud-crab with a very thick exterior, which is both his blessing and his curse.
Be on your best behaviour with Arrow as he has the power to kick you off the island if you are naughty. And if you know where Selby is ... don’t tell Arrow!