In this chapter, I "needed to" :) establish a couple of important elements in the story. First of all, I needed to have Rocky and Charlie meet each other. I thought about that..........and I thought about it.....(say for 2 or 3 weeks) How was I going to do that? I had previously arranged for Charlie to have a miscue during his first camp. Because of that, he would stay put for three days. That was the first part of things. Now, what to do with Rocky?
The reader needs to remember, that Rocky did not "play by the rules" of the mythological hero's journey, meaning that she did not properly cross the Threshold of Adventure "properly." She did cross over the outer boundary of the adventure, the Red River, but didn't go through the Rusty Scuttle, which is the first threshold. The Threshold of Adventure, just to review, is where the hero meets those travelers (most of which are not to be trusted and can be dangerous) who have been on the other side!!! Writers have had loads of fun with this part of the retelling of the adventure.
Herman Melville in, Moby Dick, put the character, Ishmael (the mythological hero) in the Spouter-Inn which was owned by Peter Coffin, at the start of the adventure. Among the characters he meets, is Queequeg. The Spouter-Inn is Melville's threshold of adventure. Ishmael has to pass through this threshold without challenging the old sea dogs who have been on the "other side." These are the guardians of the adventure!!!
Rocky then, did not pass through the Rusty Scuttle and thus, at least for now, can not go along. She'll
figure things out in Book Two but now can not join Charlie. In keeping with that theme, Rocky, at least in some symbolic way, has to get a "slap on the wrist" for not "playing by the rules." Remember now, that Rocky and Charlie are really one person, the Yin and Yang. So the completed hero, has to do this right, meaning he /she has to start the retelling of the mythological hero - by passing through the threshold.
The "slap on the wrist" is what this chapter is about, i.e, the Dunk attack. I just made up the concept of the "Dunks." I was hoping not to offend any one with "preexisting" names for "wild beasts." :) The punishment, if you will, involves the attack and the subsequent "Dunk Fever." The only treatment, of course, is to return home (re cross the threshold of adventure) and hope to be treated for the terrible illness.
In Chapter 26, Rocky and Charlie meet during the attack. (Now remember, Rocky "ran away" - which if the only way she could leave home) .... I try to establish the some of the history of the illness and the seriousness of the resulting Dunk Fever, i.e. leading to possible death. The idea here, in part, is to convey the concept that if one seeks to retell the ancient story of the mythological hero, it should be done "right." Otherwise, it not only might be confusing for the reader but the whole idea of the story might be lost. The "attack and the fever" then, is the "punishment" for not going through the old Inn in the Otherworld.
The other interesting (anyway I thought it was interesting :) thing that happens in this chapter is the meeting with the Peregrine Falcon, Juniper. (more on Juniper on the next post)