Xiaolong and Friends are Going To Take a Break! [Hiatus]

Today, Xiaolong is sitting by the water, her head stuck in a big book. She seems to be so engrossed in whatever she’s reading that she doesn’t notice you approach – which is so unlike her!

You sit down at a comfortable distance away from her – you know that some people don’t like to be interrupted when they are reading! – and decide to take in the sights and smells and sounds of The Quiet Pond.

Finally, Xiaolong takes the leaf by her side and inserts it in between the book’s pages. “Hello friend,” she says, closing the book gently. “I got really into my book and didn’t notice that you had arrived! Sorry, friend.”

You smile and ask how she is. To be honest, Xiaolong doesn’t quite look like her perky self – her gills are a little droopy, she doesn’t have that bouncy energy that you usually notice right away, and her eyes don’t have their usual mischievous glimmer.

“I’m okay, friend!” says Xiaolong, who gives you a big grin. “Well, actually.” Her smile falters a little bit. “I’m a little behind on everything. The Quiet Pond may be quiet but it’s also a lot of work, and sometimes I get a little stretched thin.” She gives you a small smile. “I suppose I am burning out.”

You listen, nodding along to what she’s saying. What about a break? you ask.

Xiaolong tilts her head. “But… I can’t take breaks! I have so much to do at the Pond and everyone is depending on me!”

You smile. You understand how that feels. You tell Xiaolong that she isn’t alone in feeling this way, but even super-axolotls and Keepers of the Ponds need a rest too, especially if they are burned out.

Xiaolong considers this for a moment. “I think I needed to hear that,” says Xiaolong. She gets a little teary, realising how tired she is. “I think I need to take a break.”

Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, friends! Welcome back to the Pond.

As you may have guessed from your talk with Xiaolong, The Quiet Pond is going to be taking a little bit of a break. Running The Quiet Pond has been such a pleasure – but it’s also been a big task that can get pretty draining sometimes! Read More »

A barrier is stopping you from entering The Pond – what’s going on?! [We’re on mini-hiatus!]

Tonight seems like a good night to be at the Pond.

After all, you’re thinking that you quite miss your little pond friends, and that you really haven’t had a chance to meet the others. (You’ve only really had a chance to meet and talk to Xialong, the Axolotl and Keeper of Magic at the Pond, but you’re keen on meeting Gen and Varian, or possibly Amina, if she’s around!)

You follow the path through the forest, finding the little purple flowers Xiaolong had planted for you to mark the Pond’s entrance, when suddenly —

You walk into … a barrier? It isn’t solid like a glass window and it definitely didn’t hurt when you walked into it. How strange! You put your hand out towards it, and you feel something — soft, silky, and kind of squishy, like you’re pushing against a big invisible pillow.

Before you give walking through the barrier another go, you hear a voice, though it sounds muted and far away.

“Friend!”

You look around, confused. It sounded a little bit like Xiaolong! But it’s only you in the forest, it seems, and the little pink axolotl is no where in sight.

“Down here!”

You look down, seeing nothing but forest and greenery, but after concentrating very intently (what was that thing that Xiaolong always said? ‘Search with your heart and not your eyes?’), you see a faint outline of Xiaolong. Only except, she looks a little different. Is she on the other side of the barrier? What’s going on?

“I’m sorry friend, you can’t visit us right now.” You can barely make out her voice, so you crouch down to listen a bit better, as if she is right next to you. “The source of the Pond’s magic has been severed, and everyone here is trying to fix it.” She sounds rather sad, and you can imagine that her bright gills are droopy. “I’m going to miss you friend, but, please come back another time. We’re going to fix the magic as soon as possible!”

Good morning, afternoon, and evening my friends.

We’re on a short hiatus!

Read More »