The Search for BlackBerry Bat Part5 Finale

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All the Bushel came fluttering and tumbling into the open, keeping their wide eyes on the looming figure.

THUNK! went the cage over the pile of berries on the banana leaf! All the leaves and moss they had stuck on it bounced onto the ground by the force of the landing. As planned, they drew their swords and flails in case the cage was not heavy enough.

“ROAR!” screamed the monster in the cage…but then it was silent.
Lemon Bat, standiong behind the rest of them, picked up the lantern and handed it to Lime, who passed it to Watermelon, who stepped out in front of them and lifted it high. The light was not very bright, and all they could see at first was a black lump on the banana leaf. How odd. Where had the monster gone?

“Hey, you in there,” Mandarin said, taking a step forward. “What’s the matter? You’re the one who likes to hop out of bushes at folks. Hellloooo.”

Just then, the sky showed signs of dawn. It started to glow pale, faint blue. They could see the lump in the cage shiver, and one ear with a tuft of fluff on the tip lifted up and wiggled. A moment later, a glowing purple eye appeared! They all took a cautious step back. Soon they could see from the new light in the sky that this ear and eye were peeking out from between two wings. Slowly, both the ear and the eye had a twin, and a purple nose emerged as well. To all of their surprise, this face looked a lot like the ones they saw in the mirror!

“Go away!” the face abruptly said, and immediately hid back behind the wings.

The Bushel all turned to look at each other. Everyone looked confused, except for Grape Bat.

“See,” he told them in a low voice. “This was my other idea. There wasn’t a monster at all, it’s BlackBerry!”

Lemon fanned himself, “Oh, good!”

“But why does he want us to leave?” Blueberry asked. “Does he hate us?”
Mandarin snorted “Why? He doesn’t even know us!”

Strawberry looked around and noticed Batnana was not beside her anymore.

“Batnana? Where did you go!”

They all turned back to the cage and there she was, her face up to the bars, her wings trying to lift the edge.

“Stop!” They all cautioned her.

“Are you fermented?” asked Mandarin

She looked at them funny. “Boop-de-doop?”

“Because,” Strawberry insisted, “We don’t know him yet.”

They gathered close to the cage, but pulled her back a few steps.

“BlackBerry Bat?” Watermelon asked.

The lump wiggled. “Go away,” it repeated.

“Yes, we got that part,” Mandrin Orange said. Watermelon waved for him to be quiet.

“We don’t want to go away, we want to meet you properly.”

BlackBerry Bat stuck his face out again and glanced them over, apparently seeing clearly in the dim light. “Why?” he asked with suspicion.

“Well, you are a FruitBat, and we are too, so we thought you might want to come live in the grove with us.” Blueberry told him with a smile.

His eyes went to their weapons. “Awefully funny way of showing it,” he said. “Trapping me, pointing pointy things at me. Why should I?”

They looked guiltily at their swords and flails.

“These things?” Mandarin said, poking the dirt with his tulip pistol sword and the tip broke off. “They’re just for games. They don’t do much, really. Besides, all that scaring us made us think there was a monster so that’s why we made the cage.” They dropped the weapons.

Blackberry sat up a little more. “Maybe I am a monster.”
Apple giggled.

“What’s so funny about that?”

“You don’t look like a monster, with those fulffy tufts on your ears,” she told him.

BlackBerry covered the tops of his ears with his wings and they all suddenly noticed that at each point of his wings there was a purple thorn!

“Ooooo,” Batnana said.

He saw them staring at his throns and his face contorted like he was going to cry. “Oh no, this is what it was scared of! You think I’m weird looking, don’t you! I have thorns! Thats why I have fluff on my ears, it hides them on my ear tips! And my eyes glow, too!” He curled back into a ball and covered his face again.

The bushel just blinked for a few seconds, then they all exchanged nods and grabbed the vine that attached to the op of the cage and lifted it up off of the scared trapped bat. When it was up high enough, they pushed it off to the side and let it bounce into the undergrowth. That finished, they all went back to BlackBerry and sat down around him.The sun was truly coming up now, warming the sky to pink and orange.

After a minute of quiet, BlackBerry peeked out again.

“Please come with us,” begged Blueberry.

“We are really sorry,” Watermelon told him. “We thought that whatever was trying to scare us off might have eaten you. We didn’t know you were scared of us!”

“I’m not scared of you,” he insisted. “I just, I thought you wouldn’t like me. It would be easier to scare you away.”

Batnana shook her head and laughed a squeeky laugh. She walked over and spread her wings in front of him.

“I think… she wants to hug you,” Strawberry told him.

“Oh, um…ok?” he replied, sitting up.”

Batnana gave a bounce of joy and swooped over, wrapping her wings around him.

His eyes got big from the tightness of her hug “Ack!” he managed to eek out.
The Bushel giggled. Luckily, Batnana didn’t get any thorn prickles this time.

“I’m thinking that means you should come with us,” Watermelon suggested when she let go. The others all looked at him with expectation.

“Pleeease,” Blueberry said, leaning in and smiling. “We don’t think you’re weird, or scarry. We want you to come to the grove. It’s so pretty, and the bush you came from is there and it has yummy berries to eat!”

“And you can see the ocean,” said Pear.

“And I will make a cake to celebrate!” Mandarin chimed in.

“And we can have a proper welcome party at my place!” Lime added.

“Yes! You have to come. And if you don’t like it, then you can come back here,” promised Watemelon.

Blackberry looked around at all of them He felt a little overwhelemed, but maybe it wasn’t in a bad way. “Well, I guess I could give it a try-”

“YAY!” the Bushel cheered all together. Batnana did loops as they all took off.

“Follow us, BlackBerry Bat! We’ll take you home!”

A big smile grew on BalckBerry’s face. “You know, that sounds great.”

THE END

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The Search for BlackBerry Bat Part 4

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Thankfully, when Watermelon Bat and the others flew up from the tree tops, the moon had come out; big, white and lighting up the island from one side to the other. With its help, they were able to find the fruit grove with no problem, and getting there took little time at all. They piled a banana leaf with blackberries and everyone took an edge to carry it back to the rest of the Bushel. To keep them all motivated and cheerful, Apple and Pear made up a song about their adventure to sing as they flew. They lost a couple berries when Batnana bobbed around too much in excitement when they mentioned her trying to hug the blackberry bush, but otherwise, all went as planned.
When they arrived back in the deepest, darkest part of the forest, a big cage with no floor and rocks bound around the bottom edge was being hoisted into a small tree on the edge of the clearing.
“Wow, that was fast!” Mandarin Bat exclaimed, looking at the vine that went up and over a branch high over their heads which attached to the top of the cage.
“I’m nothing if not efficient,” Kiwi said with a big grin.
With everyone there, it was easy to get the cage all the way up where Kiwi wanted it. They tied the vine to a root sticking up out of the ground to make sure it wouldn’t come shooting down before they wanted it to.
“We need to cover it in leaves so it isn’t so obvious,” Grape pointed out. “I don’t know how smart the monster is, but standing under a cage is a pretty silly thing to do.”
Depositing the banana leaf with the blackberries on it under the cage, they all gathered green leaves and began decorating the cage to look like the tree it was hanging from.
The moon sailed overhead. They finished when it was almost gone for the night, making the clearing darker and darker. The Bushel huddled together hanging upsidedown under a bush nearby and waited. They had untied the vine from the root and Watermelon had it tied to a branch of the bush where he hung.
“Why did you get blackberries as bait?” Kiwi asked Grape Bat.
“Because the bush the monster pounced from was a blackberry bush. What there were of them were small and shriveled, but most were eaten, so I have guessed it ate them anyway. This makes me a little worried, but also hopfull.”
Pear tilted his head. “Why?”
Grape gently swung back and forth looking thoughtful. “Well, if the monster ate those berries, then he might have eaten, or tried to eat, BlackBerry. But also, if we used the ones from the bush from the grove, which are much bigger and juicier because it gets so much more sunlight, then they will be irrisistable. There’s also the chance that-” But at this point he stopped because he realized they had stopped listening after he had said that the monster may have eaten BlackBerry Bat.
Mandarin’s belly rumbled and eveyone jumped.
“REALLY?” Lemon asked, looking at Mandarin Bat in shock.
“What?” Mandarin responded “We haven’t eaten all night, am I really to believe none of you want a snack?”
“Timing could be better,” Lime scolded.
Mandarin stuck out his tongue.
Soon, the moon had left for the night and everything was total darkness except for the glow worm and sea glass lantern that Lemon held in the middle of the Bushel. Lemon flooded his wings around the lantern so they could maybe see better in the dark. Everyone hung completely still, their ears perked up and only twitching around like little satellite dishes when they heard something. They stayed that way for a long time. A warm breeze carried the smell of the berries to their noses. Mandarin’s belly growled again and Batnana got so startled by it that she squeaked.
Suddenly, there was a loud rustle in the direction of the bait! Lemon threw the lantern out the bush, lighting a big, dark figure standing over the berries!
Watermelon released the cage!

The Search for BlackBerry Bat Part 3

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It was so dark!
Watermelon gave his lantern to Lemon Bat to make him feel better. The FruitBats weren’t like many bats, who could chirp and click and listen for the noise to come back after bouncing off objects around them in order to find out where they were. That is called echolocation, but since the FruitBats eat fruit, which doesn’t run away and doesn’t need to be hunted, they have eyes like people, and just look and smell for their food. In the deepest darkest part of the forest though, they were wishing they had the talent for it!
“Maybe we should find more glow worms,” Lemon suggested, swinging the lantern left and right in the attempt to light up more of the darkness. They hovered low to the ground.
A rustle came from the bushes beside them! All the little tulip swords pointed toward the sound as squeaks issued from the Bushel.
“Hello?” Watermelon said as the FruitBats landed on the ground.
There was no answer.
“We’re here to find a BlackBerry Bat,” he explained.
Suddenly, something burst up from the bush! From the yellow-green light of the lantern it looked so big as it flashed above them. Great glowing purple eyes swooped over their heads and disappeared into the darkness on the other side of the clearing! Swords and the lantern scattered as they all ducked and tumbled on the ground in panic.
“Maybe that thing ate him!” Mandarin Bat yelped from where he lay sprawled on the dirt.
“Holy cannolie,” Strawberry said, giving Batnana a pat on the head because her ears were standing straight up and eyes were as huge as the moon in fright. “I don’t wanna face whatever that thing is in a fight in the dark.”
Grape went over to the bush it came from holding a sword and the lantern. It was a blackberry bush, but the berries were not ripe yet. He sniffed around underneath and came back a moment later.
“Kiwi?” he asked the Bushel as they regrouped.
“Yes?” she answered while plucking burs off of her ears from where she had landed for cover in a plant covered with the things.
“Do you think we could trap this monster?”
“Well, sure, anything can be trapped with the right bait.”
“If I provide the bait, can you build something?”
Kiwi Bat stopped playing with the burs and puffed up he chest with pride. “Always up for a challenge!” she said.
“Good!” He looked to Watermelon. “I need blackberries. Ripe ones.”
Watermelon Bat nodded. “Right! Apple, Pear, Lemon and Lime, can you fly back to the grove and bring back as many blackberries you can carry?”
The four exchanged glances, a little nervious about leaving the Bushel, especially Lemon.
“I’ll help too,” Watermelon volunteered, and they seemed more comfortable with that. “Everyone else, stay here and listen to Grape and Kiwi, I’m putting them in charge.
They all nodded in agreement..

As Watermelon led Apple, Pear, Lemon and Lime back to the grove by the light of the newly risen moon, Kiwi had Mandarin, Blueberry and Batnana collect sticks while she filled Strawberry and Grape in on her construction plans. They looked on as she drew in the dirt with a stick.
“It’s gotta be simple,” she said. “The simpler the plan is, the fewer things can go wrong. Now, I’m thinking the old dropped cage on a pulley should do the trick. The spooky shadow looks like it might be bigger than us, so we will have to make it big enough for two of us to fit inside in order for it to fit the monster. Once we have it, we will be able to ask it questions about where BlackBerry is.”