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Chapter 11 Title Chapter 11 – page 1

It was still dark in the wee hours when G & J awoke and rubbed their eyes under the crescent moon- shaped cove of trees. As they peered out of the hammock they spied their marshmallow lights faintly glowing, hanging in the tree where smarty pants Julio had hung them. Very little natural light had filtered into the cove where they were, but outside it was a sunny and deep rosy pink. As they jumped, rolled and flopped out of the hammock, the very air seemed pink when you breathed it in and let it out again. Da Muff bounded up to them from the wet grass and seemed to be covered in a pink frost. They cautiously walked out from under the trees, since everything reminded G of tornado weather in the Midwest. Much to their surprise, it looked as if the Peppermints had got up in the middle of the night and walked over closer to them. There they were, right there in front of them, or so it seemed.

Mober and Pep were covered with the pink frost too. Julio went to find his frog and look for the Chips. The Chips were smart: they had all climbed back into the baskets for fuzzy warmth; even the one who had gotten squished. Julio & Granma ate the banana fence that the Chip had been in, along with 3 or 4 avacados and ‘tater thingies from Marsha 399. (Muff seemed to enjoy the avacado peels and Hoo gave her a few bites of ‘taters.) The yellow, polka-dot frog back went back into J's pocket with a new wet leaf. When they were done eating breakfast, they called M & P over and got them dressed, basketed and ready to go. The Chips were excited now and ALL of them wanted to ride up front … rather heavy they were on the horses heads, inbetween their ears and on the reins. The butterflies had disappeared but the blessing still lingered in the air.

Soon they were on the road again. After a couple of long big bends in the road, the landscape changed dramatically. There was no more green, no more forests, no more water alongside the road. No more frogs, no more fish, and no more butterflies. The Chips got very, very quiet. Instead of their usual humming noise, they were now completely silent.

The Peppermints loomed straight ahead of them, looking taller, bolder, and pinker than ever. They could see the whole bunch of them now, nestled in the white sand, like pink birds sitting on a nest. Way, way up, swirled pink and white, cotton candy clouds making it impossible to see how tall the mountains really were. Once in awhile they could see some white birds diving out of the clouds circling the mountain, and diving back into the cotton candy tufts. Around the bottom edge of the Peppermints, the feet were a deep red which gradually changed to a faint pink towards the very top, near the clouds. They looked indeed, slick, shiny, and a bit sticky. J gave one of his long, low whistles. "I think going through them is gonna be easier than trying to go over them anyway, Granma," he said. "I think you are right, Hoo," she replied. "Now if we can only find a door," said G.

They rode on a bit closer and then went around a big one, looking for an entrance. The sand around their feet was red too, that faded into pink then white sand. Then they noticed what looked like a little stream coming out of them, which was blood red. Not a good sign at all. There was only a small cave there and heavens forbid, that could not be the entrance. No horse would fit through that hole! Surely they would be able to take the horses in; they had to! They could not leave Mober and Pepper in this strange world of Timbuktoo! Not after all they had been through together!

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