“Gary! Gary! Tell us another,” sang the nymphs. Their excited bouncing caused the blade of grass they were sitting on to wiggle and Gary adjusted his grip as to not fall off.
Gary laughed. “The very younge should sleep.
“We aren’t sleepy,” sang the rest in unison.
Gary was impressed with the harmony. He looked up at the sky. “The sun is setting and it will be dark soon.”
“But it hasn’t set yet! There is still time,” pipped up the littlest one.
“Tell us of the Ferret in the tutu.”
“No, no. The time he was sneaking through pipes in a snakeskin suit!”
“Not that one. I like it when he was composing love songs.”
“Of course you did,” complained the smallest nymph. The nymphs started to bicker among themselves over which adventure was the best.
“Alright, alright,” said Gary as he helped up his leg to calm the nymphs. “One more, but it will be a new tale of the purple goo.”
The nymphs mouthed the word purple silently whilst they settled down.
“I was in the window overlooking Baker Street and matching my music to the passersby. It was great practice as my wing ached as it was still healing. It began to ache, and I stopped early. Not sure of what to do with the rest of my day, I set out to find Mouselet and Amelia. But, I found Ferret first. He was curled up on his bed with his face and paws covered in thick purple goo.” Gary paused for effect. “He was not moving.”
The nymphs gasped before one asked, “Oh, no! Was he ok?”
“Be patient, I’m getting to that part. The goo was unnatural color and I thought that the purple was some sort of herb that had forever put Ferret under some sleeping spell. I wondered who would do such a thing to an unsuspecting and friendly Ferret.”
“You forgot brave and funny and -“
“Yes, yes. Thank you for filling that in. Curiosity got the better of me and I gently touched the substance with my foot to taste it.”
“And you immediately fell asleep?”
“No, I did not fall asleep. If you want me to tell the tale, you must be quiet,” said Gary irritably. The nymphs settled once again. “The substance was sweet!”
The littlest one gasped unable to stop themselves. “Ferret has a sweet tooth! Oh, tell me he wasn’t poisoned. You wouldn’t be telling us this if he was, right?”
Gary sighed, giving up trying to stop the interruptions. “He was not poisoned, but I didn’t know that at the time. I poked and jumped on him, but he did not wake. I was afraid and scurried off to find Dr Watson. Instead I found Mouselet and Amelia surrounded by mounds of the purple stuff. Panic struck my multiple hearts and I hopped even quicker to them. Didn’t they know they were in grave danger?
“ ‘Stop! Stop!’ I cried! ‘You’ll be poisoned just like Ferret!’ “
“The two looked up and Mouselet asked, ‘What happened?’ “
“I told them all that I saw: Ferret covered in the purple goo and him not waking. I was confused why they were not worried.
“ ‘Of course he’s sleeping,’ said Amelia. ‘Ferret was sneaking the flowers as we made them. He is sleeping off the sugar high.’
“I was still confused, so I asked about the purple goo.
“ ‘Frosting on cupcakes. Can you see the flower shape it makes on top?’ “
Another nymph interrupted, “Were they pretty, like real flowers?”
“Yes, they were. They were made for a human for her birthday.”
The nymphs looked confused. “What is a birthday?”
“Let me explain. Who has celebrated at least one molting day?” asked Gary.
The largest nymph of the group bounced up and down on back legs. “I did! I did.”
An opaque looking nymph nervously said, “I will be soon.”
“Good, good. The humans celebrate when they were born each year, instead of multiple times a year like our molting day.” Gary continued to explain human birthday traditions and how it was similar and different to molting day celebrations. The nymphs sat spellbound and did not move so much as an antenna until the explanation ended.
“I prefer molting days over birthdays,” said the opaque nymph with as much certainty as someone who has never experienced the unknown thing and never plans to. “Did you throw her a molting day celebration?”
“I did. In our traditional style, which you all know about, and I held it after her birthday as is fit for a molting day celebration. For some reason, she was uninterested in hiding under a rock for a day.”
“My mother told me that’s the most important part,” said the biggest nymph. “How will she not get eaten?”
Further discussion of the impracticalities of humans hiding under rocks were derailed by the littlest nymph clearing their throat. “I want purple goo on a cupcake for my molting day.”
The rest agreed that it would be a great addition to their own molting day celebrations.