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.
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
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.