Please don’t mind the roughness of this installment. I’ll flesh it out later. For now, I just want to get another part of the story down. For the first part of the story, click here.
“Come,” said the toad to Peeps. “We have a party to attend!”
The land rose and to Peeps’ relief, the ground became firmer. The toad, being lighter and more at home in the swamp, had managed to stay clean, but Peeps’ paws were a mess. He waited politely as she gave her paws a quick grooming. Indeed, had she not stopped to do so, he would have insisted. No self-respecting and fashionable toad would be caught dead with an escort so muddy!
As they climbed the hill the ferns gave way to trees and new sounds filled the air—an insectoid buzz, the chime of voices raised in merriment, the music of crickets. A strange glow drew them onward.
At last, the trees parted and in the clearing, a most interesting sight greeted Peeps’ eyes. Above, a tent of spiders’ silkĀ from which hung iridescent beetles and lightning bugs in a intricate pattern. The beetles beat their wings to keep the air moving and the guests comfortable, hence the buzz that Peeps had heard on approaching the party. The lightning bugs lit the scene with an eerie but comfortably low glow. The guests were a mixed lot. The toads had arrived in multitides. Each one wore a differently colored scarf. Some of the scarves were so long that they were wound several times around the body and still dangled to the ground. Some scarves were decorated with sparkling ornaments. Her friend’s scarf now looked dull by comparison, and she wondered if there were any special significance to the fancier scarves, but before her brain could transform that thought into a question, her attention was caught by the squirrels. How they danced, contorting and twitching, tails held high and gloriously furry! Then she saw foxes and birds and then, on a throne at the end of the tent, looking down upon them all, she saw the strangest creature yet.
The toad noticed her astonished gaze and said, “That is Old King Fisher, Lord of All the Woods and Swamps.”
“Really?” said Peeps, marveling at the scene before here. “Has anyone ever noticed, um, that he’s, well, that he’s naked?”