Mandarin Orange and the Bakery Surprise

IMGOne warm evening in the Fruit Grove, as Apple Bat and Pear Bat sang songs from the lower branches of the apple tree and Batnana painted a portrait of Lemon and Lime, Mandarin Orange was nowhere to be found. That’s because he was over on the far side of the island, getting a sack of flour for his latest baking effort. He still wasn’t sure what it would be, but he was determined to try something new what would surprise and astound his friends! The flour was the last ingredient he thought he would need.

Not being the fittest of the FruitBats, hauling a sack of flour half his size across the island was quite an effort. The mill, which was nestled on a stream that came down out of the higher part of the island as it rushed to the sea, took wheat from a small farm nearby. There were no humans on the island, but the mill was left over from when their had been, and the creatures of Willowyk were unusually industrious. The millers were a pair of potbelly pigs, and they were happy to trade their flour to Mandarin Bat for a nice pile of cinnamon rolls.

The flour was poured into a muslin sack, and Mandarin was off, his wings beating fast, his toes gripping the top of the sack. It wasn’t long before he was huffing and puffing and wishing he’d brought Strawberry or Watermelon with him to help. He knew in the end it would be worth it though, this would be his masterpiece!

The moon was high in the sky by the time he plopped onto the ground. For a minute, he just used the flour sack as a beanbag chair and snuggled on top for a quick nap. When he awoke, the dawn was creeping into the dark sky. With haste, he located one of the glass jars he had found on the beach in Crescent Cove and dumped the flour in, sealing it with the cork so no moisture would soak into his baking supply. Looking at his glassware collection, he saw he finally had gathered everything he would need to bake something grand, huge, and impressive!

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Summer Break for the Bats

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 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!