Thursday, March 24, 2016

To Teachers, Students, and other Readers

     The Fox Fairy of Kanifay Island is written for students of English as a Second Language/ English as a Foreign Language (ESL/EFL), especially English Tourism classes in English for Specific Purposes.  The location is inspired by the island of Yap, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM).  I have tried to make the fictional Kanifay Island as true to real life as the medium of storytelling will allow, but some errors may have crept in.  I welcome your corrections, suggestions, and other comments.
     Any photos or illustrations I may use in this story are only for illustration.  They are not intended to accurately represent real people, businesses, or institutions.  The Department of Safety is a fictional agency and is in no way intended to represent the Micronesian government.  The Hokkaido Journal of Cryptozoology is a fictional medical journal, and the article described in the journal is entirely a product of the author's imagination.
About the Fox Fairy of Kanifay Island
     Counting the title page, The Fox Fairy of Kanifay Island is 19,358 words long, has three major characters, and uses basic language.  Most of the vocabulary words are tourism vocabulary words.  The meaning of word exhibitionism is changed for the purpose of this story; the word foxismonite was coined by the author.  The shortest chapter is around 1,300 words long; the longest is less than 1,500.
     Various legends of fox fairies are found throughout East Asia, Europe, and among Native American tribes.  All these legends are alike in some ways, but they are different in others.  The Fox Fairy of Kanifay Island is one of many ways of telling the legend.   

Main characters:
     Tony McCalla is a nineteen-year-old university sophomore who is taking a six-week summer vacation to learn scuba diving.  Cindy Pialug is an eighteen-year-old Kanifay islander who has plans to study at Ponape Island State College in the fall.  Dash Tobey is a handsome action movie hero (in his early twenties) who often stars in movies about scuba diving.  Dash Tobey is on Kanifay Island making a movie.  Off-screen, Dash Tobey owns a real, working ranch in Wyoming and flies a helicopter that he sometimes uses to look for lost people in the mountains.

     Tony McCalla goes alone to Kanifay Island to learn scuba diving for six weeks.  After a week’s stay at O’Malley’s Inn, he meets Cindy, who tells him about her neighbor who offers a home stay.  Thus, he becomes Cindy’s neighbor, and they see each other several times a week.  When Tony isn’t scuba diving or studying scuba diving, he (sometimes with Cindy) enjoys the island’s attractions and events.  They include going to an old Japanese airfield (with wrecked warplanes), watching cultural events, and kayaking.
     Unknown to Tony, and even to Cindy’s neighbors, Cindy is a fox fairy.  Each night, from sunset until dawn, Cindy becomes a fox.  The trouble is, foxes are not native to Kanifay Island.  They had been brought to the island during the 1930’s and got out of hand.  Since foxes are seen as harmful to native plants and animals, the Department of Safety has been trying to kill all the foxes on the island.
    When Cindy has an accident and a doctor discovers that she’s a fox fairy, several local people including the police chief agree that she must be kept hidden until she can be sneaked from the island.  Since Kanifay Island had once been an American territory, Kanifay islanders can move to the United States and live there as long as they wish.  A flight to Guam appears to be their only way out.  With only one flight a week going to Guam, keeping Cindy’s secret is difficult.
     The Department of Safety finds out about Cindy and sends people to catch or kill her.  Cindy and Tony have to leave the island, but how?  The Department of Safety already has its people at the airport.  As Cindy and Tony try to reach the coast, where a friend has a small boat, they are trapped at the old Japanese airfield.  The Department of Safety can do nothing to Cindy as long as she’s in her human form, but darkness will come soon.  Then they plan to move in and kill her.  How can Cindy and Tony escape?

     The final chapter gives brief glimpses of Cindy’s college life, shopping with her host family, and other events during which her secret is almost discovered.  At this writing, Cindy is in her second semester and has three more years at Congaree University.

About the Author of The Fox Fairy of Kanifay Island

     Jerry Mills is a retired teacher of English as a Second Language (ESL) and has lived in Taiwan since 1992.  In addition to Conversation, Grammar, and Composition, he taught several English for Specific Purposes (ESP) courses, including Tourism, Advertising and Marketing, Journalism, Business, and Literature.

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