This is one of my favorite drawings out of all my sketches! I’m happy to have found it. This is the second time Gradient took me to the massive jungle in the middle of Punny Garden to see an extraordinary nasturtium grove. Most of the leaves inside this jungle have unusual qualities (like being able to flavor spicy potatoes or attract brown hamsters to your garden), but boy, was I in for a surprise that day.
After about five toiling hours hiking in the warmth and humidity of the jungle canopy, we arrived at our destination – a mysterious circle of striped mushrooms about 8 feet in diameter. Gradient then pulled out a folded up circular leaf from their bag, opened it, and placed it inside the circle.
“Isn’t that your coaster?” I asked. I had been to Gradient’s place many times, and this leaf would always be used to put cups on top of. (In Punny Garden, it’s not uncommon for plants to be used unconventionally in households.)
“Yep”, Gradient responded.
To our amazement, the mushrooms started rotating. Inside the circle came a soft orange glow, along with a gentle humming sound. The coaster seemed to glow with newfound youth, and soon after, it began to sprout roots! As soon as the leaf turned into a sprout, the glow went away and the mushrooms stopped rotating.
I slowly picked the coaster leaf up. Even though it seemed to have gained new life it was icy cold. “Whoa,” I gasped, holding it to my face.
“We just used a reverse microwave,” Gradient explained proudly, skipping off into another direction of the woods. It wasn’t much of an explanation to be honest, as I didn’t know what a microwave was at the time, but I just accepted it. After all, by human standards, the weirdest things can happen in Punny Garden.
After a few minutes, we reached a part of the jungle where there was nothing but translucent vines everywhere. We got to a clear area, and Gradient started to dig a hole in the soil. Then, he planted the coaster sprout inside. He stepped back and placed his hands onto the earth.
Soon, the plant started to grow, until the leaves became 40 feet in diameter each! As stem began to wind its way up to the sky, Gradient motioned for us to hop on top of the biggest leaf.
I quickly climbed up the stem and stood atop the still-growing leaf with him. I could still see remnants of where I spilled coffee or tea onto the leaf while it was still a coaster, and remembered whenever Gradient would facepalm when I did so.
Anyway, we started to see the light of the afternoon above us. Soon, we broke through a canopy of leaves to reveal a massive grove that looked the same as the ones we were riding on (called “nasturtiums” in the human world). It was amazing! We could see the bright blue sky and breathe the crisp air, freed from all the humidity inside the jungle. We jumped across multiple leaves like frogs on lily pads! Right before sundown, we even found an enormous yellow flower with red markings in the middle.