Thursday, July 24, 2014

Little donkey from Hiddenland

Book cover
Lea Pennanen 1977: Piilomaan pikku aasi
Ilustrated by Maija Karma

The citizens of Hiddenland (Piilomaa) are happy donkeys, hardworking dogs and kind cats. An evil sorcerer Mukkelis Mule, the envier, moved to a nearby Secret Island (salasaari). His lazy fox servants use their binoculars to spy on Hiddenland and they get angry, because everyone is so happy. Mukkelis Mule pous raspberry juice into all streams of Hiddenland. The juice makes everyone who drinks it to fall asleep. The fox servants kidnap the donkey king and take him to the Secret Island and lock him into a tower. The donkey queen escapes and nobody knows where the king is. The donkey king writes a message to his hat and throws it out of the tower window hoping that someone will find it.

Little donkey, puppy and  black cat in
Hotel Shenanigans

Mukkelis Mule takes over and is a crappy ruler. Everyone is unhappy, they have to serve Mukkelis Mule, but he is never satisfied. Many years pass and things get worse. Far away in the mountains live a donkey mother, little donkey and a puppy in a small cottage. One night the donkey kings hat flies into the little donkeys head. All three see the message. The little donkey wants to rescue the king, but his mother says no. The little donkey and the puppy sneak away at night. The mother follows them in the morning.

The little donkey and puppy follow a path to the Razzle City (Hulinakaupunki). They meet a black cat, who sees the hat and swear loyalty to the little donkey. The group arrives to the city, the cat takes them to a Hotel Shenanigans (Hotelli Huvitus Huiputus). The hotel is full of swings, slides and ice crem stands. The cat took them there, because his friends are there. The foxes see them and a there is a huge commotion. The little donkey and his group escape.

Litle donkey and his friends fall into the "Trembling
Lantern Inn"

 The black cat’s friends take them to meet Lasse Lämppä, a scientist donkey. Lasse Lämppä is working on a telescope to seek royalty. It is not ready yet and the foxes come to his observatory. The foxes want to it into a juice ware house. Lasse Lämppä has a wind machine that blows the foxes away. The foxes will be back so the little donkey and his friends have to leave. Next the black cat takes them to the “Trembling Lantern Inn” (Väräjävän Lyhdyn majatalo), which is owned by friendly dogs. The dogs tell the little donkey, that Mukkelis Mule rhas druged everyone with juice and ice cream. The dogs suggest that little donkey leaves the city through an underground river. By the entrance to the river lives an old donkey Isaskar, who will have a boat for them. The river will take them to Juice Forest (Mehumetsä). Before little donkey can leave, the foxes capture him and take him to see Mukkelis Mule. 

Little donkey finds Aunt Rose's
magic wand
Mukkelis Mule captures them into the juice storage. Little donkey, the puppy and black cat are there only a short time, when the mother donkey rescues them. The black cat bows deeply: she is the queen donkey. Little donkey is surprised. The mother donkey tells them that she escaped with the little puppy to the montains, where the little donkey was born. Mother donkey has followed them al the way. They walk to see the old donkey Isaskar.

 Isaskar tells them that after Juice Forest they have to travel to Mirror mountain (Peilivuori), where an fox witch Picture Picture (Kuva Kuva) will try to get them lost. After the mountain they have to travel to HIHIHI-coast, where you cannot laugh. Lasse Lämppä has seenthe donkey queen through his telescope and is there to help them find the king.

The group is packing the boat and they decide to sleep. A small mouse wakes little donkey. The mouse breaks the telescope and runs of. The mouse is Mukkelis Mule’s mole. The mouse runs to Mukkelis Mule and tells all about little donkey and his company. Mukkelis Mule promises 2 kg of sugar, if the mouse shows, where they are. The group is long gone, Mukkelis Mule gets mad and the mouse gets nothing. The mouse is upset and runs to the “Trembling Lantern Inn” and tells the dogs everything.

In the Juice Valley, little donkey, puppy and black cat go for a lookout and finds a large barrel of raspberry juice that has been putting everyone to sleep. They break it and all juice runs out. When they get back to the camp: Isakar, Lasse and the mother donkey are gone. Suddenly they are taken to Rose Castle. The lady of the castle is Aunt Rose, whose magic wand the foxes have thrown away. The magic wand flew upside down so the castle is upside down. Aunt Rose keeps looking for the wand and doesn’t speak to anyone. Little donkey finds his mother, Lasse and Isaskar and decides to find the wand so they can be on their way. He finds it and all is turned right side down again. Aunt Rose is very grateful and gives them a invisibility cape. She also promises to capture every fox she sees.

The mouse that was betrayed by Mukkelis Mule finds them and tells them what Mukkelis Mule did. He can join the group. Lasse has fixed the telescope again and sees the donkey king in a tower. They hide their boat under the invisibility cape, but it gets stuck and the fox witch Picture Picture sees them. She captures them in a cave. The mouses relatives come help them and nibble a hole in the wall. Every one else gets out except Isaskar, who gets stuck in the middle. The foxes come into the cave and Isaskar kicks them. Picture Picture finds the others and locks them in a tower.

 Meanwhile the king’s birds have flown into the Razzle City. Crow Carl (Varis Vaakku)warns the townspeople not to drink juice or eat ice cream. The townspeople star chasing the foxes and go after Mukkelis Mule.

 The mice tell Picture Picture that the Mirror Mountain is made of chocolate. Mukkelis Mule has offered the witch her own chocolate as a reward. Mukkelis Mule arrives, but Picture Picture is on little donkeys side.The witch gives little donkey a mirror and sends them to the HIHIHI coast. Their boat appear and two crows are pulling it. Then the witch pours sour ice cream on Mukkelis Mule and the foxes.

On the HIHIHI coast little donkey climbs to look out for the Secret Island. Donkeys dressed in pants stop his way to Laugh Cliff (Naurukallio). They are the pantguards of the windfairy Pim. The kid fairy Pim used to gather the laughter. Now Mukkelis Mule has taken his magic mirror to control the winds. Little donkey realizes he has Pim’s mirror.

Mukkelis Mule arrives and orders little donkey to give donkey king’s hat. When he has the hat, he rules Hidden land forever. Little donkey refuses and lifts the mirror. Mukkelis Mule sees his reflection and starts to laugh. A storm arises. A twister takes little donkey to the Laugh Cliff to Pim. Little donkey gives him the mirror and Pim gives him advice: he should trust himself. Mukkeli Muuli dashes to the cliffs and reaches little donkey. The donkey throws the hat and jumps on it. The hat takes him to the Secret Island.

The royal family is unted again.
Mukkelis Mule is right behind him and the townspeople have arrived too. The donkey king sees little donkey and recognizes his hat from the tower window. The tower door is locked and Mukkelis Mule has the key. Mukkelis Mule wants to make a deal: he gets the hat and little donkey gets all the treasures in the world. Little donkey declines and starts to run towars Mukkelis Mule. He puts his head down and pushes Mukkelis Mule down. The towns people capture Mukkelis Mule and Little donkey opens the door. He tells the king who he is.

 The king and his family are taken back to Hidden Land. The king asks what should be done with Mukkelis Mule. Picture Picture wants him inside Mirror Mountain to dig up cholcolate. The townspeople want him to clean the city. Finally the king says that little donkey gets to decide. Little donkey wants Mukkelis Mule and the foxes out of the Hidden land the Picture Picture does her magic. A great party is held at Hidden Land and everyone is happy.

This story was also made as tv series.
Like many TV shows that time in Finland the pictures were still pictures that were zoomed in and out. In the book the chapters end in “and what then happens, you can hear about it later”. So ended the episodes. I do not know what I was doing, but I seldom saw two consecutive episodes and this line made me somewhat mad. I still hate tv shows that tell what is coming up after the commercial break and then they recap what happened before the adds. Very annoying. They are just filling air time!

I notices in the book that there few characters that have a name: Mukkelis Mule, Picture Picture, Isaskar, Lasse Lämppä and Aunt Rose. I am not sure what it means that the main characters are not written in capital letters: little donkey, donkey king , mother donkey and black cat. I think it is very odd.

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