Like so many people at this time of year, Algy was keen to plan an enticing new adventure, to banish the January gloom. He wasn’t sure which area to explore, so he decided to borrow a map from his friends and study the possibilities. He flew up into a tree with wide spreading branches, where he could lay the map out on his lap, and spent a happy afternoon there, studying all the strange markings and symbols. Algy wasn’t quite sure what they all meant – and rather a lot of the paper seemed to be plain blue – but nevertheless it all looked very exciting. He wondered which direction he should take, and remembered the opening of an old poem:
In melancholic fancy,
Out of myself,
In the vulcan dancy,
All the world surveying,
Just like a fairy elf;
Out o’er the tops of highest mountains skipping,
Out o’er the hills, the trees and valleys tripping,
Out o’er the ocean seas, without an oar or shipping.
Hallo, my fancy, whither wilt thou go?
[Algy is quoting the first verse of the poem Hallo My Fancy by the 17th century Scottish poet William Cleland.]