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.”