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 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 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”

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

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 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!