Mandarin Orange and the Bakery Surprise Part 7

20170620_165010.jpg

 

The four FruitBats returned to the grove in the late morning. Luckily, the others would sleep for hours longer. Generally, they all woke up in the late afternoon. Apparently, Batnana had waited up and flew down to greet them. She was holding something in her feet.

“What is it?” Grape asked in a whisper.

Batnana passed it to him. A bunch of cherries! He immediately guessed that one was to put on the CupCake Bat’s head as a hat! Batnana looked proud of coming up with the idea.

They were happy to find that Mandarin had employed Chip with the task of guarding the CupCake. Chip wagged his curly tail at their approach. He almost barked, but Watermelon landed and put a wing up to his face and hushed. Chip plopped onto his butt and hung his tongue out with a chuff.

Kiwi and Grape distracted the gargoyle pup while Watermelon peeled at the wax on the bottle and snuck closer to the CupCake. The confetti eyes stared at him as he pulled the cork and lifted the cherry and the bottle over his head. He sat the cherry on a dollop of whipped cream that had been added the night before. It did indeed look like a hat! Ever so carefully, he tipped the bottle, then turned it up-side-down over the hat. The glittering dust spilling like sparkling liquid down the red shiny surface and into the icing.

Nothing happened.

He stepped back. “It’s not working,” he whispered back to the others. Batnana, Chip, BlackBerry, Kiwi and Grape peeked around him. The Cupcake didn’t move.
Grape suddenly perked up. “Wait, it didn’t work right away on us, maybe it will just take some time.”

“That is true. We might have to wait,” BlackBerry agreed.

“We should all go back to our trees, and come back when everyone wakes up.” Watermelon told them.

They nodded in agreement.

As the sun began falling slowly westward, the FruitBats began to rustle in their trees and bushes. Their squeaking yawns signaled to their friends that they were all getting up. News circulated about the mission, and in no time, the group was at the mouth of Mandarin Orange’s bakery. Even DragonFruit and the Flying Fox had stayed to see how things would turn out. When Mandarin Bat arrived, he looked at them with guarded suspicion. What were they all doing around his bakery. Had they come for his masterpiece?

“Hiii, guys, can I help you? Should I go in and make some orange rolls for breakfast?” They were all smiling at him, and Batnana looked like she might have a giggle fit at any moment.

“You all are acting weird. Did you ferment in one night or something?”

Batnana came forward in the bumbling half-walk/ half-crawl that bats do when they are on the ground. She babbled in her jazzy scat the whole time as she pushed Mandarin into the baking cave to bring out CupCake.

“Okay, okay, okay!” He said as he pulled CupCake Bat out into the sun so he had more room to work. As he brought he to a stop, he jumped. Wait. Did her eyes just follow him?

The others held their breath, waiting.

BLINK!

Suddenly, the CupCake Bat sat up straight and lifted her sprinkled wings into the air in a magnificent stretch as she awoke from the inanimate existence into life! Her confetti eyes sparkled as she looked out at them all.

“Hello, friends!” her greeting rang out in a clear and sweet voice!

Mandarin’s eyes were huge, his mouth gaping wide in awe. His wings popped open wide, and he toppled over backward in a dead faint.

“He will be fine,” Blueberry Bat assured CupCake as she fanned Mandarin Orange with a wing . “He was just really surprised to see you moving! He’s really…fond of you.”

CupCake Bat fretted with her sprinkles over Blueberry’s shoulder, looking down at him. “I probably should have been more subtle. Maybe it would have been better if I had just waved a little or something.”

Blueberry shrugged. “I donno, boys are pretty oblivious sometimes, he may have not noticed.”

CupCake giggled. She gave her wings a few flaps so she could lift off the ground a few inches. “It just feels so good to MOVE!”

Mandarin’s eyes opened a little. Blueberry stepped back so that CupCake could lean into view. “How are you feeling, Mr. Orange?”

Upon seeing her for the second time, he sprang to his feet, staring in astonishment. “It really IS you!”

CupCake nodded, “Who else would I be, silly?” she asked. She opened her wings and hopped from one little pink foot to the other. Mandarin Bat imitated her little dance with a joyous laugh. In a moment they had hooked their wings together and were dancing together. The other FruitBats, who had flown to the trees to give them some space, cheered and swooped down to join in their happy dance. The resulting party was definitely the happiest in the Fruit Grove to date!

 

The next day, Flying Fox gathered up all the things that had come from his magic bag, and strapped a top hat to his head. He thanked his hosts while brushing his fluffy white mustache into place.

“I shall remember you fellows and return when I’m back this way. You’re a lovely Bushel. He gave Mandarin a bag of chai spices to experiment with, and Mandarin gave him a jar of honey in trade. They were all hanging in the branches by the cliff side. Batnana flew over and gave him a hug. She had been the most enraptured by is tales of adventure. With a jolly laugh, Vulpes released the branch. He snatched his bag from where it hung from a nearby twig and dove over the cliff’s lip, swooped back up, and barrel rolled into the sky.

“Tata!” he yelled back to them.

In another moment, he banked right and headed over the island in the direction he had been headed in when he’d first come crashing onto Willowyck’s beach.

“There goes a truly adventurous bat.” said Lemon Bat in wonder.

“I wonder what he’s looking for,” BlackBerry added, tilting his head.

Grape smiled. “I don’t think he’s looking for anything. I think he’s found something in himself. He’s a Traveler.”

CupCake snuggled up to Mandarine as the Bushel nodded at these sage words, and they watched as the Flying Fox faded off in the direction of the sunset.

 

 

Mandarin Orange and the Bakery Surprise Part 6

001

Meringutan looked like no one the FruitBats had ever seen before! You would recognize her as an orangutan of course, because they had never seen an ape, and they had to take a minute to observe her. She wore a lemon colored flower print skirt and a necklace with a cherry pendant and cherry earrings. Grape noticed that she wasn’t shaped all that different from a bat actually, when he really thought about it. Two arms, two legs, head, spine. If she was to be shrunk down and given wings, she could fly with them! He laughed to himself at the idea as Meringutan swept them into her cottage and deposited them onto a low, lace covered table. The cottage was all one big open room, with a loft that appeared to be filled with big leaves for a bed. The colors were bright and cheerful in the morning light that came in from 2 small windows and one big one at doubled as a back door. A threadbare rug filled most of the floor, and a faded, comfortable looking chair with a knit blanket stood in one corner with a small table beside it. there was a basket filled with yarn, and several paintings on the walls. there was also a phonograph with its big horn filling space across from the chair. None of the bats knew what that was of course, but Kiwi was especially fascinated.
“We haven’t introduced ourselves!” Watermelon realized as the strange Meri bustled about in her kitchen with a tea kettle like the one the Flying Fox had. “This is Kiwi, Grape, and I am Watermelon. We’re FruitBats and we come from an orchard across the island.” They all sat in a row on the table, watching as she started a small fire in the belly of a big iron stove. Once it was lit, she sat the kettle on top and turned back to them.

Meri came over and got at closer look at them, sitting on a pillow beside the low table. “I have never seen bats like you on the island,” she said.

“We aren’t that old yet,” Kiwi pointed out,” And I think we, that is, the 12 of us in the grove and DragonFruit at the castel, are the only ones.”

“How very interesting! I’m glad to meet you three, but what are ya’ll doing over on this side of the island if ya’ll are from the grove? That’s a bit of a …flight!”

“We’re looking for something. The fallen star!” Kiwi said, excited to tell someone about their secret mission.

“You know the grove?” Grape added.

Meri addressed Kiwi first. “I think I may be able to help with that.” Then she turned to Grape. “I know most of this island, I’ve been here a while and I’ve tried to cover the whole place in my hikes. I collect things and I’m a photographer, you see. There’s plenty of neat stuff out there to explore!”

The bats didn’t really see, because none of them knew what a “photographer” was. Watermelon was about to ask, when the kettle began its whistle. Meri spun around and found the smallest teacup she could from the shelves above the counter and filled it with fragrant herbal tea she dried from her garden out back. Then she dropped in a dollop of honey and stirred it all up.

“Hope ya’ll don’t mind sharing a cup,” She said as she placed the tea on the table before them. “You might have to wait for it to cool.” She added when Kiwi leaned in for a drink. It smelled like flowers! Kiwi Bat almost wanted to jump in for a bath, though the honey would make her sticky.

“Now,” Meri continued while making a cup fro herself in a big ceramic mug and taking a seat back on her pillow. “What as it ya’ll were looking for again?”

“There was a shooting star that landed on the island. We need some of its dust! We went to where it touched down, but it was dark and too hard to see, so we were waiting till morning.” Watermelon explained.

“But your Jellyphant grabbed Watermelon before we were awake!” Grape finished for him.

Meri nodded. “Yes, they are good at bringing me new things, but they don’t quite understand manners. But you aren’t hurt, I hope?”

Watermelon stretched his wings. “Nope, though they do have a firm grasp!”

“Yes, they come in very handy when I have to move anything too big.” she sipped from her cup. “I’m afraid the star itself is no longer where it fell though.”

The FruitBats gave a collective sigh of disappointment.

“But,” she added ,”I did meet it, and I might be able to help.”

“You met it? It’s alive?” Grape said in awe.

“Yes, a sweet little thing! It stayed with a friend of mine for a while, but it missed lighting up the night. We had no way to put it back in the sky, so we introduced it to the glowing starfish that live in the ocean out near the beach! My friend says it’s quite happy there.”
They all smiled at the thought of a real star lighting up the night with the bioluminous starfish at the beach. It must be so pretty!

Shaking himself out of it, Grape remembered their mission. “You said you might be able to help though, to get some of the star dust?”

“Oh!” she put her tea down and stood up. “Yes, as thanks for helping it feel at home, the star gave me a little of its dust. I’ve been keeping it in a bottle, because it’s so fine that it could just blow away!” Meri went over to a hanging paper lantern beside the ladder to the loft. She reached into the top and pulled a jar out. The powder inside glowed and sparkled! “I will have to find another jar to put a pinch in for you to take. It will have to be small since you will have to carry it such a long way.” she dug around in the kitchen cabinets. When nothing was satisfactory, she went to a trunk that sat in front of the comfy chair and opened it. Inside were a lot of old, browning papers and books. Grape wondered where they came from, and what they said. After digging around the bottom, Meri pulled out a tiny bottle only a little bigger than an acorn made of blue glass. She looked at it for a long moment, then shut the trunk and returned to the table. “I’m going to let you borrow this old perfume bottle, but you have to bring it back when you’re finished, ok?” It clearly meant something to her.

She took a tiny funnel from the kitchen drawer and tipped a little of the glittering dust through it into the tiny bottle. “What are you going to do with it?” she asked.

Watermelon explained their mission, and how they guessed the dust would do the trick.
Meri smiled, then laughed. “Well that’s just adorable! I do hope it works for ya’ll, and I also hope that you can bring everyone to visit when your CupCake Bat gets settled in.”
“Of course!” Watermelon agreed. “We wouldn’t be able to do it without your help. We can bring them when we return the bottle.”

It wasn’t long after that Meringutan walked them outside and they took off in the direction of the fruit grove. She had sealed the bottle with some wax to make sure the cork wouldn’t pop out and ran a piece of yarn through the little handles on either side so that Watermelon Bat could wear it around his neck to carry it. As they passed over the house in an acrobatic farewell circle, Grape wondered if she had built the cottage herself, or just inherited it from some other creature. There were certain elements that didn’t seem right with her proportions. He thought for sure there would be more to her story. He would have to ask upon their return.

Mandarin Orange and the Bakery Surprise Part 5

fbparty

“There once was sculptor named Pygmalion, who an ivory statue of a woman. He fell deeply in love with his creation.

Now, these peoples have gods and goddesses sometimes, and one of these is Aphrodite, a goddess of love and beauty. Pygmalion went to a big festival celebrating her, and though he looked for a people to become his bride, he found none that he liked the way he did his wonderful ivory statue. He prayed to the goddess Aphrodite, asking her to bring him a woman who looked like his art, so that he could know love and have a bride!He was afraid he would never find anyone, you

But no woman like his statue appeared at the festival. He felt very downhearted on the way home. Would he be alone forever?

Now, despite what he thought, the goddess had heard him. She whisked away to his house and beheld the statue. It truly was a master work! Every line, every detail so lifelike, and, she thought, exquisitely beautiful. She thought this of course because it looked so much like her!

When he got back to his home, he went up to the statue and gave it a kiss. What was this? The lips of the statue were warm! Was it his imagination? He kissed her again. They were indeed warm! In another second, the statue came to life! Aphrodite had heard him and blessed the statue with life! Her skin grew pink and her eyes smiled and she became just like another people! They got married and even had children.”

“But that,s a wonderful story,” Blueberry Bat said. “Why will the CupCake Bat cause trouble?”

“What’s “married?” Lime whispered to no one in particular.

“Don’t you see? Grape said, “We don’t have any goddesses here to bring her to life. Mandarin is set for heartbreak if he has fallen in love with his masterpiece!”

The Bushel gasped.

“That’s awful! We don’t want him to be sad,” Lemon said, his eye big and watery.

“Shooby doda dawabbly,” Batnana said.

“Yes, surely there’s something we can do,” Strawberry agreed.

They all fell silent in thought. How could CupCake come to life?

Grape perked up. “Wait, how did WE come to life?”

“A star fell on the island. Its dust fell over the grove and it was magic and brought us to life from fruit, or so we’ve gathered from the other animals here.” Watermelon recited.

“That’s right!” Grape said, striding to the middle of the Bushel. “So if we can find the star, maybe we can get some of its dust and we can sprinkle it on the CupCake Bat!”

There was sounds of excited agreement all around.

“I like this idea, but we shouldn’t tell Mandarin, just in case it doesn’t work. We don’t want to get his hopes up!” Blueberry pointed out.

“We need to distract him, then,” Pear suggested. “Otherwise he’ll notice something is up.”

“We could hold a party to celebrate his masterpiece,” Lime chimed in, dancing Lemon around in a circle in his excitement.

“Yes!” Apple cried. “With singing and dancing and music. Lemon could make everyone lemonade, Kiwi can string up some lights.”

“And in the midst of the action, a couple of us can slip away to find the star,” Grape said.

“Perfect!” Watermelon said. “I think we have a plan!”

The Bushel all nodded their agreement.

“Grape, Kiwi, and BlackBerry, you’re my away team. The rest of you stay here and keep Mandarin in the blue. Now, let’s get going!”

“Llllet’s get ready to partyyy!” Lime cheered.

They all flew off to decorate for the party.

By the time the moon was full in the sky, everyone was having a great time at the party. They were so full of sugar that sometimes they had to fly in circles just to burn some off. Batnana painted portraits and Apple made up songs on the spot. Pear had made some drums out of leaves and acorns and was pounding away. The Flying Fox was very entertained by all the littler FruitBats and their antics and watched from where he was hanging above them in a tree. Kiwi had caught fire flies and ut them in lanterns and so light blinked everywhere in the trees. Watermelon, Kiwi and Grape met BlackBerry off to the side, under the cover of the BlackBerry bush. When it was clear that Mandarin was fully in the swing of the party, they slipped away from the grove.

“Did you bring the map?” Watermelon asked Grape.

“Of course!” he unrolled it. He’d been working on it every time they went on an adventure, and sometimes he would fly really high so see the far side of the island and add to it. He was pretty certain he knew where the star had fallen, because there was a dark spot where foliage had just started to grow again after being burnt off. He figured the star was really hot when it came down.

He pointed to it on the map. “There, that’s where we’re going first.”

Mandarin and the Bakery Surprise PART 4

20160923_182354The FruitBats happily sipped their tea and chatted together until the moon had set and Batnana was yawning. They invited the FoxBat along with DragonFruit and Chip to come back to the fruit grove for a snack and a place to nap away the morning. He agreed and they flew off to the cliff and up to the grove in the pale, dim light of the stars.

In the afternoon of the next day, when they began to stir in the trees and bushes and the temperature began to drop as the breeze came in from the ocean, Mandarin was excited to talk more with their guest.

Vulpes was hanging with Batnana at the top of the banana tree, facing the ocean. Mandarin landed beside them.

“-Well, if you like art, you should visit Italy!” Vulpes was saying “There’s great art everywhere out there, but I love some of the statues you can find in Rome. The people, who I was speaking of last nigtht, they like to carve big statues of themselves from glittering white marble. Seems a little conceeded to me – putting fancy statues of your species everywhere – but maybe they just have an easier time relating. Not a lot of peoples can talk to us other animals very well.”

Batnana sagely nodded her yellow head. “Swooby do da wao,” she agreed.

Even though Strawberry wasn’t there to translate, the Fox seemed to understand her just as well.

“Then again, maybe they are just celebrating their achievements with these statues, and that’s totally acceptable. Always a good thing to know when one has done a good job at something, right?”

At this revelation, Mandarin had one of his own! “Oh, thank you, you gave me an idea!” he shouted, and dropped from the branch, flapping off back to the orange tree. Batnana and Vulpes exchanged a confused glance as they watched him go.

Later in the evening, the fruit grove was filled with the smell of baking cake. It had been several hours since Mandarin had peared into the old hollow log he used as a kitchen beside the base of his tree. He’d only come out once to ask DragonFruit to come help light his little stone oven. Everybat was get getting more and more curious about what he was up to in there, but whenever anyone asked, he shooed them away, telling them he would show them all when he was finished.

“He is obviously at his baking again,” Grape said. “Though he’s never been this secretive about it, not even when he made that big blackberry pie to welcome BlackBerry Bat to the grove.”

Strawberry and Kiwi, who were enjoying a game of tulip tree pistil sword fight, eventually gave up because the smell was so good that their bellies began to growl. Strawberry dismounted Chip and dropped the dried tulip pistil. They were all gathering infront of Mandarin’s “bakery” in anticipation of his newest creation.

“Hey,” Watermelon cried into the opening. “You’ve got everybat out here wondering: What is that amazing smell?”

Mandarin Orange stuck his head out. Just wait a sec, she’s almost finished!”
The whole Bushel was suprised by this, looking around for somebody missing. Who is “she?”

A minute later, Mandarins butt wiggled backward out of the shadow of the log; he was pulling something heavy. They all took a step back to give him some room.

When the creation pulled into the sunlight, Mandarin sat back and admired it. Around the base were flesh flowers in the shape of the paper lining of a cupcake, and in the middle sat a cupcake the size of a bat! In fact, it WAS a bat! Mandarine had baked several different pieces of chocolate cake and put them together to make a life-size CupCake Bat! Pink icing and sprinkles decorated her and her eyes were multicolored candies! The fruit grove filled with gasps of admiration!

“She’s beautiful!” they all cheered.

“And not to mention, she smells delicious!” Blackberry complemented.

At those words, Mandarin froze. For the first time since having the idea of baking the bat, it dawned on him that they would be eating it. In his imagination, all the Bushel’s faces started to look sinister and hungry.

“Oh NO!” he screamed, standing before his creation with his wings spread wide to protect her. “You can’t eat my lovely CupCake Bat!”

His friends frowned.

“But you’ve been baking all day and it smells so good,” Lemon pouted.

“Errr, wait, I have some more batter, I’ll go make another cake for us to have with dinner. But NOBODY better touch my CupCake while I’m gone! You swear!”

“We solemnly swear,” the Bushel agreed, raising their left wings.

Mandarin squinted at them, seemed satisfied, and went in to make them a cake.

“This may lead to trouble,” their new foxy friend told them as the went back to playing in the grove.

“How’s that?” Blueberry asked.

“Let me tell you a very, very old story from a land far away…”

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!

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 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 Part1

island 001mato 001

“…and then there are the ‘Mato Mons’ers,” Grape Bat was explaining to BlackBerry. Since BlackBerry had decided to stay with the Bushel in the fruit grove, Grape had taken upon himself to educate him in all the different things he would find there.

“Monsters?” asked BlackBerry, understandably worried.

“Well, sort of.”

“Are they scary?”

“Not so much. Here, follow me!”

Grape led BlackBerry from where they were hanging in the grape vine to the low wall of stacked stones that skirted one side of the grove, opposite the cliff. The stone had been stacked that way a long, long time. They were covered in patches of moss and had fallen in a couple places. It wasn’t that tall, just a few feet. In fact, a six-year-old human child could have climbed up and over it with little trouble at all.

The two FruitBats landed on a nice thick clump of moss and bounced over to the far side of the wall. They peeked down. There were several tomato plants there, using the stones like a ladder to stretch up and find the sunlight between the shade of the trees on the edge of the forest. On the plants grew plump red tomatoes!

“Do you see them?” asked Grape.

BlackBerry squinted for a moment, studying the green and red vegetation. Then, just as he was about to give up, he noticed some of the tomatoes on the ground under the plants were moving!

“Are those tomatoes alive?”

Grape laughed and began to climb down the vine. BlackBerry looked skeptical about this decision. “Don’t worry,” Grape insisted “They don’t bite! …well, they don’t bite bats, anyway.”

Shrugging, BlackBerry started to follow. As they got closer to the ground, he could hear something like little voices chanting! When they were almost to the bottom, they could make out what was being said:

“’Matoes, ‘matoes, ‘matoes!”

BlackBerry wrapped his toes around the nearest leaf and hung upside down to have a better look at the Mon’sers. They were about the size of beefsteak tomatoes. They walked on two feet and had two hands with 3 pointy fingers. They had big black eyes and a big mouth with a set of fangs. On the top of their heads they had a stem with green leaves around it like a hat, and there was a curl of vine growing from them like a tail. They also had two leaves coming out of their backs like wings, but they were too small to lift them off the ground. They weren’t really scary, they were actually kind of cute. They looked very happy as they rooted around in the grass.

Suddenly, one yelled “MATO!” and they all gathered around as it pulled a squishy tomato from where it had fallen and rolled under some leaves.

“The squishy ones are their favorites,” Grape pointed out.

The Mon’sers cheered, then passed the tomato around, gobbling messy bites from it until it was all gone. It didn’t take long. Afterword, they all went back to searching.

Grape and BlackBerry flew up into the air and back into the grove.

“So they used to be tomatoes before the shooting star that made us into bats?”

“As far as we know, yes. We don’t know whey they turned into little monsters instead of bats, but maybe one day we will find out.”

They came to rest in the BlackBerry bush beside the edge of the cliff and looked out over the bay.

“And the name of the bay is Crescent Bay, because it’s shaped like the moon when it is a crescent.

Mandarin Orange Bat came fluttering up next to the blackberry bush with a plate of cinnamon rolls he was passing out to all his friends.

“What are you two talking about now?” he asked as they came out and they all sat down on some rocks.

“I was explaining that the bay is named after the crescent moon.”

Mandarin looked at him and laughed. “The moon? No it’s not! It’s named after croissants!” He gave a bounce and beamed, “You know, the pastry!”

Grape rolled his eyes and opened his mouth to protest, but before a word came out, Mandarin popped a cinnamon roll in it!

The look of utter surprise on Grape’s face sent everybat nearby into a fit of the giggles. Grape wanted to be mad, but he had to admit that the roll was delicious and so he began to chew it up instead. When he was finished, he lifted his eyebrow at Mandarin and shook his head. “Maybe I shouldn’t have given you that magic talking box the FluffBats brought me from the beach. All those weird cooking shows from other worlds are giving you funny ideas!” He was talking about a radio they would sometimes listen to.

“Aaaanyway,” he said, turning to BlackBerry, “What should we learn about next?”

But BlackBerry wasn’t paying attention, he was looking out across the bay at the mountain on the other side of the island. There was a castle perched just above the treeline.

“Remember you told me about Willowyck castle?” he asked. The rest of the Bushel had stopped laughing at this point and started to look in the same direction as BlackBerry.

Grape went over and stood beside him. “Yeah, it’s abandoned.”

“Sure,” Pear said, coming up too. “We never see any lights there. The FluffBats say they never see anyone there either.”

BlackBerry pointed above the castle. “Then, what is that cloud over the castle now? It isn’t moving, it’s staying there.”

“Is it on fire?” Watermelon asked, as he joined them as well. “Hey Kiwi! Do you have your spyglass?”

Kiwi rushed over and lifted the glass. “Hm. I can’t really make it out. Looks a bit like birds though.”

“Birds?” the Bushel all asked from behind them.

“Why would there be birds flocking there?”

At that moment, Batnana, (who had been hanging on a root just over the edge of the cliff to observe the colors in the ocean) flew up and did several loops in the air in front of them spouting her usual unintelligible chatter. “Flibbity do-wa-ba-daba dop!”

Strawberry Bat translated: “She says ‘Well why don’t we go find out!’”

All the bats exchange looks with excitement. “An Adventure!” they cheered!