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Chapter 2 Title Chapter 2 – page 1

Then they went on. It was definitely getting cooler down here amid the musrooms, but the smell was delicious, with just a tinge of sweet, like jasmine flowers. Well, go figger! There they were right ahead of them ~ jasmine flowers. And they were looking at the biggest mushroom they had every seen! It musta been at least 10 feet tall ! It was round and plump and seemed to vibrate with jolliness. It’s rounded roof was rose red with cream trim around the edges, off which dripped more dew. Splash, splot, splash, the water was caught in a sorta trough made around the mushroom that led to what sounded like a nearby bubbling waterfall. They didn’t go check it out, because just at that moment, creamy golden doors surrounded by red opened outward on invisible hinges, beckoning them inside. They could feel the heat coming out as if there was a fire inside.

"Mushroom Palace"

Other Side Mushroom Palace

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Julio looked at Granma, and Granma looked at Julio and they both shrugged and sauntered on inside, Julio still tied to Granma with ’the switch branch.’ As Granma was coming in last, she thought she saw two beady little silver eyes ahead of her where the branch was tied to Julio’s belt loop.

But before they got all the way in the golden doors, they heard footsteps on the path behind them. They didn’t sound like human footsteps, and there seemed to be four of them … kaplod, kerplop, pad, plop, kerplop, pad, kaplod plop … Then Granma saw what it was. Lo and behold, up the path, or rather, down the path, bounded her great big, fluffy white, Pyrenees dog, da Muff. "Well, for heaven’s sakes alive!" exclaims Granma. "She musta got sucked into the well too, since we certainly left the lid open. She was probably just looking in like we were and whooommp! Down she came. Wonder how she got the goo off of her ~ the honey stuff?" "Oh, she probably just licked it off herself," says Julio. He WAS a smart little boy. "Yep, she probably did! Well anyway, now what are we gonna do with a Muff?" asked Granma. "Guess she can be our guard dog," says Julio. Like I said, he IS a smart little boy.

But now, as far as going inside the mushroom was concerned, could they go in with a dog? What would their ‘hosts’ think of that? Only one way to find out. They all went in. Muff was not exactly the kind of guard dog that bounds ahead and guards. She was more of the kind of sneak up behind sorta dog that nips yer butt. So she stayed behind Granma naturally and didn’t cause any trouble … yet.

Once inside, as their eyes adjusted to the dim light, they could see something like vaulted ceilings … well, what you see on the underneath side of a mushroom, if you turn it upside down. It was beautiful; not plain dark brown like the mushrooms you see at the stores. This ceiling had all different shades of purple that melted into velvety browns, then cream that turned into rose beige pink and back into cream ,,,, then a mint green that got darker and darker until it was a deep rich velvety forest green. It was quite lovely, thought Granma. Whether it was the light from the hanging lanterns that reflected and bounced around or if it was actually the color of the ceiling, no one could tell. A fire in the hearth reflected golden red upon the walls inside.

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