Mandarin Orange and the Bakery Surprise Part 7

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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.

 

 

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Mandarin Orange and the Bakery Surprise Part 5

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“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 Orange and the Bakery Surprise Part 2

flyignfoxcoloredThe next afternoon, all the Bushel decided they wanted to spend the day at the beach. Mandarin still couldn’t think of what is masterpiece should be, so he agreed to go along, thinking he might find inspiration by the sea.
In pairs, they jumped from the edge of the fruit grove and dove, letting themselves circle and loop until getting close to the breaking waves. Then they opened their wings and caught the rising air, feeling the mist on their wings. The weather was bright and sunny, though the sun was close to Willowyk mountain, there was still hours of sunlight left to enjoy.

There not being much of a sand below the cliff, they flew over to the west edge of the bay where a nice wide beach and much calmer waters resided. Having recently discovered that they could flap their wings in the water to swim, they were a funny sight! Colorful little bats all flopping about in the water, splashing each other and squeaking with joy. Batnana and Strawberry Bat built a sand castle together. After about an hour, DragonFruit showed up with Chip. Chip couldn’t swim. He sunk like a stone, which one expects from a Gargoyle. So he played in the surf while they took turns riding on his back. He had grown a lot since they last saw him weeks before, but he still looked more like a rolly-polly pugoyle rather than a big scary gargoyle.

After a few hours, the Bushel retreated to a clump of low leaning palm trees beside some big rocks for a break from the sun and surf.

“I think I’ll build us a beach bonfire we can enjoy with the sunset!” Kiwi said.

“Great idea!” Watermelon agreed. “There’s a nice pile of driftwood, and it’s almost twilight.”

“It will be a nice way to start the night,” Blueberry pointed out. Chip wagged his curly tail and gave a “chuff”.

They gathered the wood and Kiwi stacked it just right so enough air could feed the fire. Then she stuffed some of the fallen palm fronds into it and used a piece of sea glass she had collected earlier to focus just enough of the almost setting sun’s rays to light it. The Bushel let up a cheer as the dry driftwood caught, and soon they had a nice fire. They perched in one of the bent over palm trees and watched as the sun began to slide behind the foot of the mountain. They could just make out the silhouette of Willowyk Castle.

“I wonder how many different trees are on the island,” Grape said as he looked at all the different shapes that the trees painted against the pale pink sky.

Suddenly and without warning, a loud voice came booming from above “Coming in for a landing!” it yelled just as a huge figure zipped into one of the taller palms! THUNK! There was a scattering of palm fronds and the tree swayed. A moment later, something big and orange plunked down onto bent low tree trunk that the Bushel was clinging to. The first thing they saw emerge from the pile of orange was a fluffy tail with a white tip! Then, the creature righted itself. He was much bigger than them, probably 3 times as tall and he stretched out giant black wings that were twice as wide as he was tall! He had a white mark on his muzzle that looked like a moustache, and on one of his black and white ears sat a top hat. He scampered down to the base of the trunk to retrieve a bag he had dropped before he fell. It looked like one of those old black leather doctor’s bags with a handle at the top.
The Bushel, rather in shock from the speed at which this had all happened, looked on silently, merely blinking every few seconds.

“You must excuse my rather unseemly arrival,” This weird stranger said as he dragged his bag back up the trunk toward them. “I was on a rather strong breeze, you see, but my wings are awful tired and I saw your fire and thought how lovely it would be to have some company and a bit of a break-” He noticed how they were all staring at him, Lemon hiding behind Lime with an alarmed look on his face. “So Sorry,!” he went on. “I didn’t mean any harm! I should introduce myself,” Doffing his hat he gave a little bow. “My name is Vulpes, and I’m a Flying FoxBat”

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!

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