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Karina of the River - chapter 1


Extract from the Writings of Hattie Tuwya, Recorder Watervole of Redwall in Mossflower Country. My, what a day it has been. Busy, but wonderful. It is almost time for the evening meal here at Redwall Abbey. I hope Friar Schnouzer remembered to bake some of my favorite strawberry flans…they are delicious! Anyway, I just wanted to tell you about the spring feast we had yesterday. It was amazing. There were all sorts of games, eating, drinking, and most importantly, fun! Even Hodd the hare couldn’t eat anymore after the feast! I can’t wait until we do another feast. They do my heart good to see the Abbey growing so happily. It was so funny to see the dibbuns run in the races Brother Neff and Skipper of Otter’s hosted! Many were running the wrong way, but that’s the way of dibbuns, isn’t it? Bless their little hearts! I love every moment in Redwall Abbey. It truly must be the best place on earth! I still can’t believe I received the job as official recorder of Redwall Abbey. It’s such an honor. I’m still new to the job, but our own Abbess Siena insisted that I should have it. She is a great Abbess, she has the gift of leadership. I’m afraid I must go. My poor stomach is growling loudly and I will faint if I do not get food! Goodbye, dear friends.


Hattie Tuwya

The watervole stepped out of the library and stretched. For the fifteenth time since starting her writing, her stomach rumbled. The old recorder sighed. “My, my, look at me! I must go downstairs…a hot scone with cherry preserves would be nice…or I could go for a strawberry flan…heehee!”


It was a warm and still night at Redwall in Mossflower country; a slight breeze stirred the treetops, causing them to gently sway. Abbess Siena was still up, walking across the ramparts alone. As the squirrel Abbess gazed over her beloved Abbey, she couldn’t help chuckling about what she had been like many seasons ago.

‘THE Dibbun Siena’, she was called. No Dibbun in the Abbey questioned her title. She was the terror of the Abbey, and the ringleader of the notorious gang of dibbuns, D.A.B., or Dibbuns Against Bedtime. She began thinking of one time when she had sneaked into the kitchens and stolen a pot of and a few other yummy dainties with her friend Nuryus the haremaid. Oh, how she had been so regretful of doing so when she had been caught and sent for duties in the dreaded Infirmary!

The Abbess could not figure out how she had become Abbess. What had caused the former Abbot, Abbot Abus, to give her the job as the leader of the Abbey? Abbess Siena sighed. What a wonderful gift.

The sound of light paws interrupted the young Abbess’s thoughts. She looked up and saw Karina the ottermaid approaching her, with her usual serious expression on her face.

“Karina, you should not be up. Why are you not in the dormitories?” she asked gently.

“Oh, Abbess, I’m sorry. I just couldn’t sleep. Were you having trouble as well?”

“Yes, I admit, I couldn’t get myself to sleep either. Stay and talk with me for a bit. I would enjoy some company.”

Karina walked forward again and sat on the sandstone. “Thank you Abbess Siena. Oh, Abbess, may I ask you a question?”

“Yes, of course you may, I am always here when you need council.”

“Well, do you think I’ll ever be of some importance to this Abbey? All I can do is sling my pebbles all day and…and read! I just feel so helpless. What if this Abbey falls in peril sometime, what will I be doing? Slinging my harmless small pebbles or will I be inside reading my books? Mother, you never know when something like that will happen! I’ve read o’ so many wars in the Abbey Archives up in old Fan’s gatehouse. To tell the truth, I’m afraid…I’m really afraid. Do you know what? The only thing I ever remember doing that was useful, or substantial besides entertaining the dibbuns and working, is when I found that hidden vermin cave in Mossflower! Ugh! And that was even accidental! I don’t want to do that again, that weasel that came out with me with his great sword is too terrible to imagine! I’m sure glad I brought that big book along…it saved me a great deal. But that wasn’t even useful. All I did was injure the weasel. I know he’s evil…but I couldn’t help feeling sorry for him.”

Abbess Siena stroked the distraught ottermaid’s fur softly. “Karina…what could have ever made you think that? You are a very important part of our Abbey, do you know that?”

“No.” Karina admitted a little sadly. “Most beasts don’t take any notice of me.”

“You do. Do not ever believe that you are of no importance. Now, go to bed, get your sleep.”

“Mother, you’re right.” The ottermaid padded off slowly to the dormitories.


It was morning in the Abbey, Karina got up and went downstairs, and there she met the Abbess in Great Hall.

“Mother Abbess, what are you doing?” she asked.

“I was just thinking…” she paused, and then took a deep breath, a frown etched on her brow, “Karina, now it’s time for me to confide in you. I feel rather foolish confiding--and seeking advice--in one younger than me…but I must tell you that I am very worried. I know an Abbess should be able to figure out her own problems, but I’ve been having terrible dreams of a coming storm, a fierce, terrifying weasel, standing in our Abbey…And then I see me, you, and all the Redwallers, sitting in the dormitories, held captive in our own home! Something terrible is going to happen, I can feel it.” Unknown to Karina, Abbess Siena had not revealed one part in her dream. She had pushed it to the back of her mind and would not think of it.

Karina became cold. “Abbess Siena, it was just a dream.” She tried to say it bravely, but she didn’t feel like what she was saying was true.

Abbess Siena bravely straightened up and gave a slight, fake laugh. “I hope so Karina, I really do. Now let's not talk of it anymore.”


The Abbey’s cook, Friar Schnouzer, a fat, jolly old hedgehog, was sitting outside in the Abbey orchards with his life-long friend, Lecia the quiet dormouse. Although they were the unlikeliest of friends, the Friar being a talkative soul, and Lecia being a peaceful young maiden, they got around perfectly and were often found in deep conversation. Today, the conversation was on the stew recipe the Friar was concocting for the dinner that day. The Friar was just saying,

“Le’ us see, I think I’ll put tha’ there root--the one Brother Neff found that picnic day a few weeks ago…wha’ was it called?”

“Blueroot, Friar Schnouzer.”

“Yes! It was blueroot! Blueroot is the grea’est thing discovered throughou’ this whole spring! Anyway, I thin’ I’ll put blueroot in. Whatdya think?

“Yes, put in some sweet water. That will be nice.”

“I use tha’ all the time…I don’t really wanna…they probably are bored of it by now!”

“Then put in rosen, I really want some sweet.”

At the mere mention of the sweet flower found only in Mossflower, the Friar rocked back and forth, his spiked chubby face showing great delight. “Ah, Lecia, you really have the best ideas!”

At that minute Brother Neff himself came striding to the talking couple, “What are you two friends up to?”

“We was atalkin’ about the stew I am goin’ to make tomorrow. She is givin’ me some excellent suggestions!”

Lecia gave a small smile, which was rare for her.

“Also we were rememberin’ what a hero you were to me when you foun’ that there blueroot in the summer picnic we ha’ a while back, I’ve used it in so many things…stews, soups, breads…” and Friar Schnouzer began a merry rant of his many uses for blueroot.

While that was happening, Brother Neff drew Lecia aside. “Lecia…do you know what’s wrong with Abbess Siena? She’s very quiet and somber today.”

“I’m sorry, I don’t know. Maybe you should ask Karina, she seems very close to Mother Abbess, perhaps she’ll know.”

“You know, maybe you’re right, I’ll ask her during afternoon tea.”

By that time the Friar had finished and said, “I think I’ll go take my late morning nap,” he yawned, “I’m tired!”

All of a sudden a swarm of jumpy dibbuns, Redwall’s young ones, particularly the group of the gang D.A.B., surrounded the three Redwallers and began circling around them, growling fiercely.

“All right dibbuns, settle down now, what are you pretending to be?”

“A growling foxy. Thcary right?” the new ringleader of the troupe, Ronny said in his dibbun language.

Brother Neff looked serious. “Ronny. You must remember that foxes are vermin. Do not try to be like them. Do you understand?”

“Yeth.” Ronny looked a little puzzled. “I geth.”

“All right, that’s enough, now wasn’t Hodd the hare going to take all you little terrors out to pick berries?”

“Zurr, ee was, but ee’s gone and anyway, ee’d surpintly forgit! And we…” the dibbun molemaid, Dahlia paused, “are not loittle terrors, us’n’s BIG terrors!”

“Hohoho! You’re big terrors, are ya? Well, how you big terrors go play in the strawberry patch, I give my permission as an official brother of Redwall!”

“The strawberry patch! Whoopee!” all the dibbuns raced off to that direction, jumping and clapping all the way.

--Dorothea Duckfontein Dillworthy 17:17, December 4, 2009 (UTC)Dorothea Duckfontein Dillworthy

(chapter 2 coming soon! I'd really love comments or critiques. :))

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