If you haven’t already, catch up with Chapter I here.
Willy was bouncing from branch to branch with his cousins Wilp, Wila, and Wita. Grandma Walia had asked them to bring back some sournuts for the banquet she was preparing with Willy’s mom and aunts for Grandpa Walo’s twentieth yearmark.
Willy wasn’t the biggest flying-skirel around but sure was the fastest, and he trailed the other three by at least five branches. Wilp, the eldest of the cousins, was a nuthead. He was big and strong with short, dark brown fur and could break a nut open in one bite, often even with just one squeeze of his big paws. Wila and Wita were twins. They had pretty silver fur and pretty fluffy tails that Grandma Walia said would get them lots of nuts from other flying-skirels when they grew up. Willy didn’t know why anyone would give them nuts because of that, but grown flying-skirels did weird things he did not understand all the time, so why not that.
Willy was the youngest of the cousins. He was skinny like his mom, had black fur like his dad, long arms like his great-grandpa on his mom’s side, and a slim tail with barely any volume to it like nobody else in the family. His cousins had made fun of his scraggly looks all his life but not so much since they started flying. The wings between his long arms and body were larger than anybody else and his thin tail did not drag him down like the fluffier tails of his cousins did. Even Wilp with his big arms full of muscles could not catch up to him.
Willy was fifty yards from the Sournut Grove, when from below came Syps’s voice.
“Willy, Willy!” his friend called out to him. “Come down, come down quickly!”
Willy looked down and saw a glimpse of Syps through the leaves below. He had his nose up in the air and his paws around his mouth. Willy was so close to beating his cousins to the Sournut Grove. He hesitated for a second as he jumped off the branch he was on. His friend called out for him again.
It sounds important, Willy thought.
He looked back at his cousins who were trying hard to keep up with him, but decidedly could not.
No matter, Willy thought. I’m the fastest. I know it and they know it too.
He angled his long arms mid-jump and dove through the fluffy leaves below. He tore out of the tree like a bird through a cloud and landed in a roll in front of Syps and Hertrude.
“Willy!” Syps rejoiced clapping his paws together.
“Your landing needs some work,” Hertrude noted once Willy stopped rolling.
Willy stood up on his little legs, flapped his arm-wings, and rose a few inches off the ground.
“I’m going so fast now, it’s hard to slow down,” he grinned at them.
“Indeed,” Hertrude said in a purr.
Willy softly landed again.
“That’s nice,” Syps said. “But more importantly, we know how to get sweetberries!” he announced, opening his arms in a grand gesture.
“Nu-uh,” Willy said shaking his head. “No way.”
“Uh-hu,” Syps said with a big smile. “A bright-blue butterfly from the Blue Waterfall told us all about the BlueBerry Tree and the sweetberries!” he said very quickly.
“Well, he told me,” Hertrude said. “But no matter.”
“Nu-uh,” Willy said again. “What does a butterfly know about sweetberries anyway?”
“That’s what I said,” Syps exclaimed. “But blue, blue, blue, that’s why!”
Willy squinted at them for a second and then his small, black, beady eyes grew big in his tiny head.
“Blue, blue, blue! I get it!” he said flapping his arm-wings excitedly.
Willy suddenly sucked in a breath and brought his tiny paws to his mouth.
“Sweetberries would be a great present for Grandpa Walo’s yearmark,” he said.
“And for eating too,” Syps added quickly.
“Or for the blue butter secret,” Hertrude purred.
Willy’s eyebrows shot up and he wrinkled his tiny nose.
“Blue butter secret?” he asked his whiskers vibrating like the blades of grass had under Bertun’s touch on the hill.
“Yes, that too,” Syps said, “But mostly for eating.” He licked his chops and rubbed his paws together. “I can already taste them. Honey to the power of honey. Yum!”
He started jumping around clapping his paws, singing ‘blue, blue, blue, yum, yum, yum!’ in a loop.
“But what’s the blue butter secret?” Willy asked Hertrude over Syps’s rambling.
Hertrude straightened her whiskers with a paw and then lied down. She tapped on the ground next to her for Willy to sit down. The little flying-skirel rushed to her side. He folded his long arms over his knees, sat down, and looked up at her intently, like a pupil looking at a teacher.
“Let me tell you,” Hertrude started, her big, blue eyes shining bright and mischievous in her white furry face, “all about the secret of the blue butter.”
End of Chapter II.
To be continued…