“WHOAAAAheeee! You’re totally beautiful today!” I bellowed cheerfully at the lower valley, the sound of my voice bouncing down the crusty orange-colored mountainside. This was Napolean’s mountain and although it’s not the tallest, it’s certainly a genuine beauty with its vivid, sunset-tinted stone! “Could you… not be so loud please??” Figaro’s voice trembled. “We’re over a thousand feet up on the east side of Napolean’s mountain and for goodness’s sake, it’s 5 in the morning which is way too early to be so overly gleeful and excited! Save that super enthusiasm for after breakfast… please…”
I laughed, grabbing on to another rock and climbing up. “But it feels so nice to be out, breathing the exceptionally fresh morning mountain air at this time of year! And sometimes you just need to let the world know how wonderful she is, otherwise she might be a little sad if she thinks you’re not happy with her daily gift of spectacular wonders!” Figaro rolled his eyes and replied,”You know Eden…if I can just tap into your ridiculous amount of positivity, I’m sure it can power all of Punny Garden!”
Figaro wasn’t exactly thrilled when we… or um, I, offered to help Manabu in collecting lots of red Autumnsugar Kale to make his scarlet colored paint. He had planned to do a little gardening today, but I managed to coax him into having this little adventure instead. This particular type of kale only appears on Napolean’s mountain in summer before going back underground again. According to Manabu, the kale plant has such a splendid scarlet pigment that it makes one think of the warm golden sun of summer combined with the semi-transparent auburn leaves from the great wild oak trees. It sparkles with different shades of red in the sunlight when painted onto a canvas. It especially brings creative masterpieces to life when used by the most talented of talented painters! Manabu wanted to make a few of his specialty hand-painted pillows to give to Caramelle, who runs a medical center back in town.
However, searching for Autumnsugar Kale was so much easier said than ever done. Figaro and I exhausted ourselves, running up and down the lower mountain side looking for any signs of the elusive plant. Out of exhaustion, we plopped down on a soft grassy field to rest a bit, while enjoying the hint of dandelion lemon scent that filled the air. I breathed it all in, knowing that I shouldn’t waste any good scent nature provides. During my inhaling exercise, I thought that it truly was a wonder how Manabu can find Autumnsugar Kale without any help. After a bit of rest, we stood up with renewed spirits and decided to try again. Our eyes peeked over to a more rocky side of the mountain, which we initially avoided due to it looking more strenuous, but at that point looked as if it couldn’t be helped. With a determined look in our eyes, we started walking towards the rocks.
“Ah! Hey!” Figaro exclaimed unexpectedly. I looked over and saw a baby Pole Bean Ibex chewing on Fig’s leaf. “That’s not for eating,” I said, offering the ibex a piece of my chocolate chip What bread (which she ate readily). Fig and I thought the baby was probably lost, which was why she kept following us. At first, we were both worried that she might fall off the precarious rocks. But, both Figaro and I were soon left gawking in awe as the baby moved with more speed and ease than any Punny could ever climb with rope, effortlessly stepping on every slim ledge without losing the slightest bit of balance! Meanwhile, Figaro and I scrambled just to prevent ourselves from slipping on the loose pebbles on the ground. I couldn’t help feeling a bit of embarrassment when the baby ibex gave us a pity stare. She continued to daintily hop on rocks and boulders without any doubt of her footing. However, mountain climbing wasn’t the only specialty the Pole Bean Ibex had, as I will soon learn.
We managed to climb up the rocks and then onto greener pastures. “This spot on the mountain must surely grow wonderfully different plants. The kale we were looking for must be on this side,” I thought to myself. However, before I could turn to give nature another compliment to the world, something was moving at a distance. Further up the mountain, I can see what looked like a large snake-shaped object moving repeatedly from left to right and right to left while coming downward towards us!! Figaro saw it as well, and became immediately alarmed as he continued to watch the far-away shadowy object. He reached into his satchel and held his hand there hidden, as if he was holding onto something important. Fig turned to me and whispered, “Be ready to run, Eden.”