Summer Break for the Bats

watermel-vaca

The FruitBats are off to shows to meet fans and then take some vacation time! Their stories will begin again in August with the story of Flying FoxBat and the creation of CupCake Bat! Have some fun  in the sun and enjoy the full moon on those hot summer nights! Tata for now, and see you in August!

BioLumas Coloring Page

biolumascoloringpage

These plump little starfish haven’t appeared in the stories yet. They spend most of their time napping in the shallows among the sea weed and corrals in Crescent Bay. They may not seem all that exciting, but one fun thing about them is that they glow in the dark! Just like some real animal in nature, the BioLumas glow in a variety of colors and light up the reef at night!

Read about bioluminescence at this National Geographic article: http://nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/bioluminescence/

Cuddlefish Coloring Page

cuddlefishcoloringpage

This is more of a coloring half page! The CuddleFish are funny little cephalepods. They live in the reef in Crescent Bay and move around using the ruffled fin that around goes around their bottoms. They have 4 tentacles and they are very good at camouflage because their skin can change colors!

The CuddleFish are based on real cephlapods called cuttlefish. Real cuttlefish have more tentacles. There are many different kinds of cuttelfish all around the worlds oceans. They can not only change the color of their skin, but also its texture!  My favorite are the Flamboyant Cuttlefish of Australia. Instead of matching their surroundings, they are bright and colorful. They don’t float very well, so they use their tentacles and fin like little legs to walk around on the sea floor.

You can learn more about them here:  http://a-z-animals.com/animals/cuttlefish/

And we have plushies, as always, in the Magpie’s Masquerie Etsy store! https://www.etsy.com/listing/130630077/cuttlefish-plush-choose-one-from-pic?ref=shop_home_active_13

 

Mola Mola Sunfish Coloring page

molamolacoloringpage

This coloring page is of the Mola Molas; the sunfish that like to come into Crescent Bay’s shallower waters to sunbath. They’re cheeks are pink from warming up in the sunlight! Most of the time they are out in the ocean, deep under the water, but every so often they like to come up to visit. If you read The Mystery of Willowyck Castle, you’ll remember the FruitBats seeing them as they flew down close to the water in the bay.

The Molas are based on a real fish: the Pacific Sunfish, which can grow to be the size of a small car! Learn more about them here!             https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_sunfish

And if you want a plush, of course we make them too:                https://www.etsy.com/listing/152106336/pick-a-color-mola-mola-sunfish-plush?ref=shop_home_active_4

FluffBats Coloring Page

fluffbatscoloringpage

Since I got such a great response to the coloring page last time, I’m going to post a few more this week!

These are the FluffBats. If you read The Search for BlackBerry bat, you’ve met them!

There are many more of them than in this picture! They are small fluffy white bats with golden yellow ears, wings and ears.  About the size of a large cotton ball, the FluffBats travel in a cloud together and speak in unison. Collecting information around Willowyck Island is their favorite pass time. For this reason, the FruitBats call on them when they need the news by blowing on the big conch shell horn that Kiwi Bat mounted in a tree.

The FluffBats are based on Honduran White Tent Bats, which live in the tropical rain forest. They make tents from leaves and cluster together underneath. They are the only bats that alter the world around them to fit their needs.

Read more about these cute creatures here!                                   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honduran_white_bat

Get our FluffBats plush from the Magpie’s Masquerie Etsy shop! https://www.etsy.com/listing/168849639/honduran-white-bat-plushie-fluff-cotton?ref=shop_home_active_5

 

The Mystery of Willowyck Castle part 6

coloredchip 001

The giant stone colored, winged and horned dog landed with a thud that shook the wall. She gave a growl at the bats, wondering what these creatures were that were surrounding her puppy. Lemon Bat hid under Lime’s wing with a squeak and everybat flew back. She gave a deafening bark. Chip stood in front of them,his paws planted and his little head up to face his mom. He gave a bark as if to defend them. Momma Gargoyle sat down in response and looked at her offspring with an entertained look. Suddenly she smiled, her tongue lolling out. She brought her head down to Chip’s level and gave him a lick. She must have decided that the FruitBats were no threat. Crouching down, she put one of her wings flat on the ground and nudged the pup to crawl up it to her back. When he was settled between the wings, she began to demonstrate how to flap them slowly up and down. He watched, then mimicked her. Walking to the edge of the wall, she flapped faster, then launched herself off with Chip riding on her, his little paws gripped into the wrinkle behind her head.

The Bushel cheered and flew after them, a rainbow streaking through the evening air. The stars glittered overhead. Soon they were up in the thin clouds with the other puppies and the big Gargoyles, spinning and doing loops! Batnana spotted Chip as flapped his wings like his mom. After another minute, he lifted off! The Bushel shot over to him, just in case he faltered, but he was flying true and strong with his siblings. The wind flapped his ears and he looked absolutely silly, but one day he would grow big like his mom and would be powerful enough to guard any building.

It was the wee hours of the morning when the FruitBats finally returned from their adventure and snuggled into their trees, bushes and vines. Batnana found a banana, ate it right out of the peel while it was still hanging from the tree. She then wiggled inside it and poked her head out to watch the sun rise over Crescent Bay.

 

Get this coloring page at the Magpie’s Masquerie Facebook Page! If you color it and repost it there, We’ll send you a coupon for:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/magpiesmasquerie

chipcoloringpage

The Mystery of Willowyck Castle part 5

singing bats

“I’ll go help her!” DragonFruit Bat said, as he seemed to have an inkling as to what she would do. The egg continued to shake, but it look like could be getting tired.

Apple and Pear flew up to it and latched on.

“You can do it!” Apple said.

“Don’t give up!” cheered Pear

A minute later Batnana emerged back through the roof hole with a chisel gripped in her toes. DragonFruit followed a second later with the heavier hammer.

Watermelon did a loop. “Batnana is going to be a sculptor!” he announced.

Everybat gathered around the egg and held it still. Since it was weak from all its bouncing, it wasn’t too hard. They watched in silence as Batnana expertly placed with a squinted eye and her tongue stuck out in concentration. Strawberry Bat flew up to help DragonFruit with the heavy hammer. After all, she wouldn’t want him to miss and hit Batnana by mistake!

“Flip, pop, blip!” Batnana said. She looked back at them when the hammer didn’t strike the back of the chisel.

Strawberry poked DragonFruit.“That means 1,2,3,” she whispered. “She wants us to strike on ‘blip.’”

“Oooh.”

Batnana turned back to the stone egg “Flip, pop, BLIP!”

They swung the hammer. WHACK!

The crack she had targeted split a little wider!

“Go! Release it, Batnana!”

They struck it again WHACK!

Another crack deepened.

Batnana worked for several minutes, and everybat cheered when the first big chunk fell off. Soon, several pieces of stone sat on the roof around them. Batnana flew off the rock. It gave a bounce, as if testing that it was once again free. Then, it began to wiggle, then bounce, then as if releasing that the big chunkes were gone and it was time for the fine work, it started to vibrate! The tiny chips flew as it bounced faster and faster, and all the Bushel took off to watch from a safe distance.

It didn’t take more than ten minutes for the rock to completely turn into a puppy. It gave a final bounce and spin and yipped with joy!

The stars were out now and the big yellow moon lit everything as it hung huge above the horizon. The other puppies came to wiggle their tails and sniff and lick each other. They were all different shades of grey. Some had moss spots and some had no moss. The one they had helped was a little smaller than the others and had a chip on his left ear so he was easy to pick out in the crowd.

Suddenly, a strong breeze began to blow. Some of the puppies lifted their little pug noses to sniff. Pretty soon, they had all walked to the edge of the wall and climbed onto the crenulations where the castle guard used to look out over the island.

The puppies began to flap their wings and yip and yap, bouncing with their faces in the wind and their ears flipping about. Then, all at ounce they rushed off the side! The FruitBats gasped and flew to the edge in fright!

WHOOSH! The puppies rose from their dive, paws stretched ahead and behind, wings spread wide!

“WOW!” the Bushel cheered! They spun in the air, reminded of the joy of first flight!

Then a sound distracted them from their glee. A whimper. Their little pugoyle friend had not jumped with his brothers, sisters and cousins. His litter mates had taken to the air, be he still sat watching them, all alone on the wall.

They flew to him.

“What’s wrong?” Apple Bat asked.

The puppy flapped his little wings hard and rapidly, but his tail stayed on the stone below it.

“His wings are too small yet,” Pear pointed out. “He doesn’t know if he can fly like the others.”

Lemon stepped forward to pet the whining pup on the head despite how much taller the puppy was compared to him. “He’s scared.”

“We can help! I know we can!” Apple said, looking to the others.

“First, I propose we name him,” Watermelon said. “I think we should call him Chip for his distinctive chipped ear. All in favor?”

“YAY” the Bushel responded unanimously.

“Ok, Chip, we’re gonna help you use your wings!”

“That’s right!” insisted Apple. She started to sing:

“Just keep flying,

Just keep flying,

Just keep flying,

Up! Up ! Up!

“Just keep flying,

Just keep flying,

Just keep flying,

Little Pup!”

All the bats hovered over the pugoyle’s back, gently grabbing his wrinkles with their toes and lifted him just a little off the wall. Chip began to flap his wings with determination.

Pear sang:

“When the world seems

big and scary

that’s just cause it’s

extraordinary!

Lift your wings and

learn to fly

You’ll see it better

from the sky!”

All the bats joined in:

“Just keep flying,

Just keep flying,

Just keep flying,

Up! Up ! Up!

“Just keep flying,

Just keep flying,

Just keep flying,

Little Pup!”

One by one the bats let go of Chip while Apple continued:

“If you’re feeling

down and lonely,

call your friends

and call your family!

When your sick

or if you’re hurting,

they’ll lift you up

with all their loving!”

Everyone!”

“Just keep flying,

Just keep flying,

Just keep flying,

Up! Up ! Up!”

“Just keep flying,

Just keep flying,

Just keep flying,

Little Pup!”

Soon only DragonFruit and Strawberry were still holding him up, the rest was all him!

Then, as happened before in the sculptor’s room, a big shadow passed over them. It was time to meet Mama!

The Mystery of Willowyck Castle prt 4

pugoyle

“I donno if it was such a great idea to release THAT from the stone!” Mandarin Orange said after recovering from the fright.

“That shadow!” Lime Bat spouted, turning to the window. “What was it?”

Lemon peeked out from behind him. “It was HUGE, that’s what it was.”

“It must have been one of the things flying around the top of the castle.” Kiwi guessed.

Grape nodded. “Indeed. We better proceed with caution.”

“DragonFruit, can you show us a covered rout to the roof?” asked Watermelon.

“Sure! Follow me!”

They did just that, back out through the cracked door into the narrow hallway then through another door to the room across from the sculptor’s workshop. A section of the roof had collapsed long ago. The hole let in the pink light of the evening sky and the warm summer breeze. The sun was close to setting. The Bushel flapped up to the hole and peered out; a rainbow of little bat faces with twitching ears.

High above, soaring in and out of the clouds were big, dark creatures! Grape glanced down at the walkways on the walls between the towers. There were rocks in clusters here and there all over the walls.

“How incredibly odd,” he said to nobat in particular. Taking another glance up to make sure the dark animals were happily flying high above and not interested in them, he climbed onto the roof, scampered to the ledge, then fluttered over to the wall.

Watermelon noticed a moment later. “Come on everyone, lets stay together!” he said, following suit. They reassembled on the wall of the castle by a pile of the rocks. The rocks were bigger than them, and the same color as the flying creatures.

Grape climbed on of the rocks. “Wow, you know, these kinda look like-”

“Eggs!” Blueberry finished.

Just then, the sun began to fall over the edge of the world and the sky grew darker. The moon, which had barely been noticeable in the full daylight, began to glow yellow as it rose over the opposite horizon. When its light hit the castle, the rocks began to bounce! Grape flew off the rock he was on and eveybat retreated in surprise.

“What’s happening!” Lemon yelled over the noise of fifty bouncing rock-eggs.

“I donno, just don’t get bounced on!” DragonFruit told them. They took to the air just over the eggs to watch. As the eggs bounced, little pieces of them were chipping off! At first they bounced hard, bigger pieces breaking and crumbling away. Then, when the big pieces were gone, they started bouncing softer, almost vibrating against the stone walkway on the top of the wall. This caused smaller chips to come loose. As parts fell away, it became more obvious that they weren’t just breaking off at random. The eggs were becoming something! DragonFruit suddenly looked up at the flying animals above them.

“I think I know what they are!” he called to the rest. “There were stone creatures like the one we saw in the sculptor’s room on the turrets of the wall before! Maybe they became alive! Maybe they were just hibernating or something! I think they are Gargoyles!”

Sure enough, one of the eggs had bounced and chipped until it resembled a grey puppy with horns and bat wings, but also wrinkles and a little pug nose!

“Gargoyle?” Blueberry Bat said, “He looks more like a Pugoyle!” Blueberry noticed one of the eggs was far behind the others. She watched it, and it wasn’t bouncing quite as fast. “What’s wrong with this one? It looks like this one isn’t going to make it!”

The Bushel flew to it, the egg beside it had already become a puppy, and it was jumping and trying to play with it’s sibling. They could see where the little curl of a tail would be, and where its nose was, but it couldn’t bounce hard enough to break off some of the bigger pieces it needed to before working on the details. The Bushel held their breath then cheered it on, but nothing was happening.

“I don’t think it can free itself on its own!” Blueberry said with a frown. “The poor little guy is stuck!” Tears beaded at the corners of her eyes, “What do we do!”

“Released. It needs to be released!” Grape Bat announced. “Batnana!”

Batnana flew up. “Skibbity do dwop!” she said with a little salute, then shot off in the most linear flight any of them had ever seen her achieve (usually he liked to do loops) back through the hole in the roof.

“Where did you send her?” Pear asked.

“She’s an artist. She’ll know what to do.” Was all he would say.

The Mystery of Willowyck Castle Part3

gargoylecastle 001“Hey,” Mandarin Bat called from the web, “I’m certainly grateful for the assist, but, uh, ya think you could work on getting ‘Nana and I OUT OF THIS CONFOUNDED STICKY STUFF?”

The Bushel fluttered over and grabbed their friends, pulling while DragonFruit burned the web from the wall. In only a few seconds Batnana and Mandarin were free of the sticky netting and pulling the last treads of it from their fur.

The Bushel and their new found friend flew back into the main room and settled down on the table top.

“So, you live here?” Apple asked DragonFruit in admiration.

“Yes. I was born from a cactus-like tree on the way to the bay. I didn’t know there were others like me! I saw the castle and decided it would be a wonderful house.”

“We are here because we saw a cloud over the castle, do you know what it is?” Watermelon asked.

“A cloud? Why would that be unusual?”

“We looked at it from across the bay. It’s dark. We think it’s some kind of animals, not just a cloud, and they are swarming above the turrets!” explained Grape Bat.

“I haven’t been outside recently,” DragonFruit replied, scratching his chin in thought. “Maybe I could come with you.”

Strawberry bounced, “Yes, but first: can we see more of the castle?”

“Why of course! I shall give you the grand tour!”

“Ooooo,” responded the Bushel.

 

…After showing them three rooms that looked pretty much perfectly alike: stone walls, a window, wood floor broken through in some places, DragonFruit paused.

“Come to think of it,” he said, turning to the rest of them, “Most of the rooms are empty and look about the same.” He scratched his head. “O! But there is ONE room, in the top of one of the towers that’s interesting!”

He led them up one of the winding staircases, passing through the shafts of gold light from the skinny, tall windows. They went up, up,up, all the way to the top floor. He stopped in front of an old wooden door that was open just a tiny crack. All the Bushel hovered around behind him.

“Whats in th-there?” Lemon Bat stammered nervously.

“You’ll see!” DragonFruit said, and wedged himself between the door and the door frame, pushing the door with his feet while clinging to the frame with his wings and pressing his back against it to open it just a little bit wider. “Go in!”

With a little wiggling, the bats popped through. The light in the room was much better than out in the tower’s hallway! The sun, on its way down for the day, shone through a big round window, much like the one from the feasting hall downstairs. There were also several smaller square ones, in order to bring in as much light as possible. After all, when people lived there they only had candles for light and having nice big windows would help tremendously! The room filled an entire half of the top floor of the tower. There were several tables, and they were covered in strange tools. Hammers, chisels of all sizes, tools for measuring, and tools for cutting. Everything was covered with dust and cobwebs.

“It’s a TORTURE CHAMBER!” Mandarin Orange insisted, picking up a chisel and brandishing it as best he could while flying at Strawberry. “I’ll get that secret outta ya, see!”

Strawberry giggled and spun through the air and out of the way. “You’re totally fermented”, she laughed as Mandarin lost his balance and summer-salted onto the table behind her. Dropping the chisel, he sat up and shook his head to regain his senses.

Grape smirked at him as Lemon grabbed hold of Lime. “You don’t think there are ghosts, do you?” he asked.

Lime patted him on the ears. “Of course not, you silly Lemon Drop.”

“It’s not a torture chamber, “Grape corrected. He flew over to the table right in front of the window. On it sat a big stone and more tools. “These are the tools of an artist!”

This got Batnana’s attention, as she always likes the idea of creating things. She landed on the top of the stone and looked down at Grape where he sat on the table.

“These tools are used for carving! Specifically, for carving stone. What we have here, is the room of a sculptor!”

Mandarin sighed. “Ya know, sometimes you’s a total buzz-kill.”
Ignoring this comment, Grape continued; “Some sculptors claim that they don’t create the sculpture, but that the sculpture is already in the stone, or piece of wood, they simply release it.”

“How poetical,” Apple sighed with stars in her eyes.

“So, what was the sculptor ‘releasing’ from the stone Batnana is sitting on?” Watermelon asked.

They all fluttered over to the light side of the stone to see.

Just as they turned to look, a giant shadow swept across the window! As it passed, all the Bushel squeaked in surprise, not only because of it, but because upon the stone was carved the face of a snarling dog with horns!

The Mystery of Willowyck Castle part2

They decided it would best to leave first thing in the morning. Though they usually spent the first half of the day napping and woke in the afternoon, Watermelon pointed out that it would take a while to fly across the island and up the side of the mountain. Since they didn’t have have the best night vision (except for BlackBerry), and the echolocation of FruitBats is not up to the standards of other night dwelling bats, Grape Bat added that the light in the castle would be brighter if they still had the sun high in the sky when they arrived there.

So off they flew the very next morning! Swooping off the edge of the cliff and diving down, spread their wings to catch the wind! The whole Bushel streaked out over the gentle waves of Crescent Bay. For fun, they touched the tops of the little waves with the tips of their wings. When they looked down into the clear water, they could see several Mola Mola sunfish that had come up from the deep ocean to bask in the sun. Their cheeks were pink from the warmth of the light. There were also cuttlefish darting around in the reef, changing colors to blend in with the colorful corals. They were so funny with their wiggly tentacles and ripping ruffle fins.

Grape and Watermelon Bat flew ahead of the Bushel. Grape was feeling more confident in his adventuring capabilities since he had been right about BlackBerry.

“What do you think it is?” Watermelon asked him, referring to the cloud over the castle.

“I’m not sure, it’s really too far away to make an informed guess. Through the spyglass the shape certainly looks like individual creatures though, not a cloud of some sort.”

“I wonder if they are dangerous.” Watermelon pondered allowed. “I think it would be best for us to go up through the castle so we won’t be seen, at least until we can determine if they are safe to approach or not.”

Grape nodded appoval. “Good plan.”

It took over an hour for the bats to make it to the waterfalls that came down the mountain that Willowyck Castle perched on. It was far up, almost to the summit. After a rest in some trees, they started again.

“Whew! If I’d known this was gonna be such long fly, I’d have brought some snacks!” Mandarin Orange said.

Pear and Apple decided to sing some songs and the rest joined in to keep their spirits up.

Finally, they reached the foot of the castle! Watermelon made sure everyone quieted down, and told them they would be going inside and sneaking up to spy on the creatures over the castle.

“If it gets dark inside, BlackBerry can help guide us since he’s so good in the dark.”

BlackBerry puffed up with pride. “Of course I will!”

They waited a few minutes looking up at the old castle. The grey stone walls were covered in patches of moss, and vines crawled up between the weathered stones. Some of the wall had crumbled a little at the corners, and there was a thin window where the wall met one of the cylindrical towers. It was far to narrow for a person to fit through, but the FruitBats were so much smaller than a human, so they were able to pop right through, no problem!
The light inside the tower was weak. They had come in above a slab stone staircase that wound up the inside of the tower in a tight curve. There were narrow windows like the one they came through around each bend and dust floated like little specks of gold in the shafts of yellow sun light they let in.

“It’s actually quite pretty here,” Blueberry pointed out.

“Yeah, I thought it was gonna be scary,” Lemon admitted, “but I like it!”

“We have plenty of daylight left, I vote we do some exploring before going up to the roof!” Strawberry said.

“Indeed,” replied Grape. “How’s everyone feel about this idea?”

“Yea or nay?” Watermelon put it to a vote.

“Yea!” the Bushel agreed unanimously.

First they found an arched doorway a little way down the stairs. It opened into a hall, that then had pillars between the edge of the hall and a gigantic room with a tall ceiling and a huge round window at one end. A long, rough hewn table filled the center of the floor.

“Maybe this is where they had feasts and parties!” Lime Bat suggested, flapping in to the center of the room and spinning around. The light from the round window cast his shadow on the opposite wall. The others joined him and they played in the light, picking up splinters of wood from the old table and pretended to sword fight in their silhouette knight army. Grape landed on the table, wondering how long it had been there. Kiwi dropped her pretend sword and flew over to the circular window to examine the way the stones were cut to frame it, in case she wanted to make a round window from stone one day. Most of the glass was gone, so she could look out over the whole island and bay.

“Wow! We’re so high up! Look, I can see the fruit grove! It’s such a little dot!”

Pear and Apple went over and looked too. Soon, every bat was there looking at the view. All except one.

“Hey,” asked Strawberry, “Where’s Batnana?”

The Bushel looked around for their smallest member, but she wasn’t with the group.

“Search the room! Batnana, where are you!” Watermelon told them.

Everyone began to fly in all different directions around the room, calling for her. Then, there came a squeak from one of the darker corners across from there they had come in. There were more pillars on that side and so it was more shadow-filled.

“I hear her!” called BlackBerry, flying toward the darkness.

Another squeak echoed around the room. The others followed BlackBerry to the shadowy side.

He looked around with his glowing purple eyes and spotted her. “She’s in the corner!”

“What’s wrong, Batnana?” they called as they flew toward her. Her wings were open, but not flapping! She looked like she was floating in thin air! Strawberry got there first. She quinted in the dim light. BlackBerry came up behind her.

“It’s some sort of net!” he exclaimed.

The more Batnana struggled, the more tangled she became.

“Skibbity-jibbet! Be-da-bo-bap!” She said. She was scared, but also frustrated.

The others tried to pull her off, but she was stuck fast. Mandarin tried to grab the net, but he stuck too. It was sticky!

“Ah! What evil magic is this?” he yelled, trying to free his toes and wings.

“Uh oh,” gasped Grape. “This must be a spider web! Nobody touch it! You’ll get stuck, this one is too big for us to break. We’re gonna have to work together!”

The Bushel hovered in front of their captured friends. “If we all grab it at once, we should be able to pull it off the wall.”

Mandarin stopped wiggling because he was only getting more tangled. He looked at the ceiling over his friends heads. Suddenly, his eyes grew round. “I am so doomed,” he said.

The Bushel exchanged confused glances, when Batnana emitted one of her fear squeaks, looking where Mandarin was staring. Everyone looked up.

“Ahhhh!!!!!” they all dove away from the ceiling. Having never seen a spider larger than the tiny garden spiders in the fruit grove before, starting with such a very big one was quite scary. They swooped in panic as the creature got closer and closer to their friends.

Then, a voice broke into their sounds of fear.

“INCOMING!” it screamed, and a big fuchsia pink and white blur blasted past, as a small burst of fire lit the dark corner. “ROAR!” the blur continued, “Better go away, spider, or I’ll have to resort to deadly moves!”

The Bushel looked up from the floor where they had landed. There was some other bat up there! Another little flame showed them it’s face and cast a big black shadow on the wall. This new bat was fuchsia with white under it’s wings. It’s ears were green, and it looked like it had a long tail with green spikes on it. The weirdest part was it seemed to have two green spikes on its head too, like horns!

The spider paused, facing this new bat like it was deciding whether it was worth taking the risk. In the end, it seemed like fire was a good reason to turn around and find a different meal.

The Bushel took to the air again and cheered their savior!

“That’s was so cool!” Apple said, “Who are you?”

“Good afternoon, fellow bats,” the new bat said, giving a bow. “My name, is DragonFruit!”

dragonfruitbat