“The BlueBerry Tree hides more than blueberries,” Syps said in all seriousness.
He stood hands on his hips on a hill green of fresh grass that overlooked the spread of trees that made up the Sweetplea Woods. The grass swayed gently in the mischievous morning breeze and its many wiggly blades tickled his feet. Syps repressed a giggle. What he was talking about was serious matter and he could not laugh in the middle of it.
“Bertun, please,” he complained, “not now.”
The breeze quieted down and wooshed an apology before coming to rest on tree tops some ways down the hill. Syps furrowed his snout and ran a paw through his furry brow.
“Like I was saying,” he went on. “There are more than just blueberries in the BlueBerry Tree.”
He pointed with a claw at a tall tree that stuck out from the tree tops in the distance.
“Spoom told me he heard from his uncle Phylt who heard it from a friend of his that there are sweetberries in the BlueBerry Tree,” he said with undisguised gluttony.
Spoom along with Willy and Hertrude were Syps’s friends. Although Syps did not hang out as much as he used to with Willy and Spoom. Mostly because Willy started flying and Spoom started digging while all Syps started doing was climbing trees. They didn’t revolve in the same medium anymore, or even the same planes. Plus Spoom was really slow now, even slower than before, and Willy was really fast, so it made it difficult to hang out like they used to.
“Sweetberries,” Syps said throwing his arms wide open. “The sweetest of the sweets. Sweeter than honey even.”
He bared his fangs in a wide smile and licked his lips in anticipation. He looked down at Hertrude who sat next to him. Hertrude was a Bushcat and was much smaller than Syps who was a Treebear. She did not have as big a sweet-fang as Syps did either. She was more a milk type of fur ball. Hertrude was purring to a bright-blue butterfly that rested on her white snout.
“Hertrude,” Syps complained. “Are you listening to me?”
Hertrude waved a white paw at him.
“I am, I am, Syps,” she said without looking at him. “Sweetberries in the BlueBerry Tree. I heard you.”
She kept her eyes crossed on the bright-blue butterfly on the tip of her snout.
“Hertruuude,” Syps whined. “It’s impoorrtant.”
“Now, now,” Hertrude said. “It’s always impuuuurtant with you.”
“But it’s sweetberries,” Syps said throwing his arms in the air. “Sweet Sweetberries!”
The bright-blue butterfly on Hertrude’s nose flapped its wings a few times and Hertrude laughed quietly.
“That’s true, Bit, we’ve heard that before,” she said.
Syps made a face and dropped himself on the ground next to Hertrude.
“Are you talking to the butterfly again?” he asked.
“Well, yes,” Hertrude replied. “He has so much to tell.”
“What can a butterfly know?” Syps asked. “Everyone knows they live one, maybe two days before they turn back into blue butter at the bottom of the Blue Waterfall.”
“Ah, Syps,” Hertrude purred to her friend, “if only you listened more you would learn much.”
Syps crossed his arms over his chest.
“If it’s not about sweetberries, I don’t care,” he said.
The bright-blue butterfly named Bit flapped its wings again and Hertrude nodded. Then it flew off the tip of Hertrude’s nose toward a band of yellow flowers down the butte. Hertrude sat up on her back legs and started licking her shoulder.
“You know,” she said between laps, “Bit knows a lot about the BlueBerry Tree.”
Syps sat up.
“He does?” he asked, his big brown eyes growing bigger in his big round face.
“Uh, huh,” Hertrude said.
She leaned back and proceeded to lick her back legs. Syps eyes narrowed a bit.
“How could a butterfly know about the BlueBerry Tree?” he asked. “It’s so far away.”
Hertrude lapped at her silky white fur a few more times and then sat back up.
“Think about it,” she said flicking at one of her ears with a paw. “A blue butterfly coming from the Blue Waterfall would know about the BlueBerry Tree, right.”
“Hum,” Syps said.
He looked at the BlueBerry Tree in the distance and scratched his head.
“Blue butterfly, blue waterfall, BlueBerry Tree,” he said pensively.
His eyes grew big again and he smacked his forehead with his paw.
“Blue, blue, blue,” he shouted.
He bounced up to his feet.
“Blue, blue, blue! Blue’s the connection.”
“Indeed,” Hertrude smiled to her friend.
“Yes!” Syps shouted bouncing around the hill. “I figured it out. I figured it out. Blue is the answer.”
He danced around singing “blue, blue, blue” for a while, then he stopped mid-jump and ran back to Hertrude.
“But what does it mean?” he asked.
She patted the ground next to her.
“Sit down,” she purred. “And I will tell you all that Bit told me.”
End of Chapter I.