‘The Squashbuckler Diaries’ are the daily tales of Joy Shelley’s Life in the Dream. The ‘Lost in Dreams’ books will tell the story of what happens to her at ages 6, 9, 12, 15, and so on. The diaries tell us what happens before, after, and between the books.

#124: The Earth Is Round, Part 1: The Ship on the Horizon

“Did you know, Joy…” Dragon Little and Dragon Father were both staring at the horizon calmly. It was morning, Joy had just woken up, eaten, brushed her teeth ,and brushed her hair. Dragon Father was calmer than usual, taking his time, not looking for adventure to find him. “Did you know that the Earth is round?”

Dragon Little, now four and a half years old, looked at him, and said, “What’s Earth?”

“This,” he pointed all around him. “The ocean.”

“The ocean is round?”


She looked around herself. The ocean went directly to the horizon in all directions. It did not seem round. 

“I’m serious. It looks straight because it’s huge. But it goes all the way around,” he mimicked a giant ball with his hands. 

Joy looked at him intently for a few seconds. Then she laughed. 

“I’m not joking! Look, look, maybe you’re too little to get it yet, but look. See that ship over there?”

Far on the horizon a ship with a high mast appeared out of nowhere, no doubt summoned by Dragon Father in his dream without his knowing it. 

Dragon Little nodded. 

“Okay. So… See that it’s going away from us?”

She nodded. 

“So… because the Earth is round, the farther it gets from us, the less we’ll see. The bottom will disappear first, then the top part. If the Earth was straight, the top and bottom parts would become smaller together until they both disappeared. Get it?” 

She squinted at him. 

“Let’s just look at it!”

The two stared at the ship on the horizon as it slowly sailed further and further away. 

But the lower part did not disappear first. The ship shrunk into a point for them, until they could no longer see it. 

Dragon Father made a face once he couldn’t see the ship anymore. “That’s strange,” he said. “That shouldn’t have happened.”

“I’m bored! Dad, let’s go squashbuckling!”

“Swashbuckling, Joy, swashbuckling. But, no! I gotta prove this to you! Come on! We’re going on a trip!”

What happened on that trip - I will tell you more of that tomorrow.

—Told by The Red Dragon

#125: The Earth Is Round, 2: Around the Earth

#123: Gonna Wash That Wand Right out of Your Hair