I was going to spend this day doing homework for class back in the human world, but Graciano (a small grape Punny) kept bugging me to come over. I had promised him I’d come over to his place once my middle school project was over, but forgotten about it afterward. So, I quickly finished up the assignments that were due the soonest, and took the train to his house, which is in Mango Town, right next to Pink Beach (the left side of Punny Garden).
When I got there, he gave me the biggest hug – he’s always happy to see me because I tell him fascinating stories about the human world (like about refrigerators or different kinds of shoes). Today, though, he wanted to make some boats with me and his other siblings (Manabu, a Mango Punny who is not often home because of traveling, and Gradient, Graciano’s older sibling).
Graciano led me down a dark basement and turned on the lights to reveal three humongous bell peppers – one red, one yellow, and one green.
“We got this Unaging Bell Pepper a looong time ago as a gift, but we never used them,” Graciano told me. “You’re so good at carving things, so I thought you could help us make really nice boats!” In Punny Garden, it’s customary for traveling bell pepper farmers to gift their biggest harvests during the Christmas season, and for the receivers to carve the peppers into boats to use once the ice thaws in the spring.
We lugged the red bell pepper outside and got out our jack-o-lantern carving tools.
“So what kind of masterpiece are you going to make this pepper into, oh wise one?” Graciano asked, plopping down to sit criss-cross applesauce.
I pondered, examining the pepper from all sides while rubbing my chin like a nonexistent beard. “I think a dragon would be great!”
“What’s a dragon?” Graciano asked me.
“It’s a kind of creature that blows fire, looks kind of like a Cornmeleon, and flies in the sky!” I explained, chiseling off a piece of the dragon’s face . “They are awesome!”
“Wow!!” Graciano exclaimed, his eyes glinting with delight and wonder. “The human world really has so many amazing things, like fire extinguishers!”
“Dragons don’t exist in our world now, but we do have legends about them from long ago.” I explained, carefully carving the dragon’s eyeball to look like a funky potato. “Also the human world is great, but I think Punny Garden is better!”
About three toiling hours later, when we finally finished with our detailed and beautiful dragon boats, we carried them to the nearest shore one by one (which I drew above). Then, we set sail with the help of some sturdy paddles made with the bell peppers’ stems. After floating over some waves, we sailed out into the open sea.
“These boats are awesome!” I yell, getting splashed by ocean water after riding over an ENORMOUS wave. Even though the waves were chaotic and turbulent, the boat stayed steady and didn’t once tip over fully.
“Of course!” Gradient yells back. “These bell peppers are heavy yet buoyant, having been grown in Hoomy Hills. This makes them stable almost all the time.”
As we floated through the sea, we saw bright pink fish and coral right underneath the surface of the teal green water. Once, a Pomtopus (a red octopus that shoots bright red seeds out of its mouth) swam past us and gave me a funny look. Then, it quickly away as a GIANT spiky fish slowly disturbed the water underneath us, nearly toppling over our boat! All the sea life we saw that day was all amazing – and pink to boot!
It was dark by the time we paddled back to shore, and by that time we were all so pooped that our arms hung limp from our sockets.