The Third Chapter
“Darn that birdypus!” cried Bartholomew. “We’ve come all this way, so close to finding the mystical treasure, and it snags our scroll! It makes me hopping mad!”
“Now calm down, Bartholomew,” said Amy Lou. “It makes me mad too, and a little sad, but I really don’t think the Octyboid is all that bad. Why, you yourself can become pretty cranky when you’re awakened in the middle of sleeping.” She held the glittery pink feather up. “Anyway, I think the Octyboid might have left us something special.”
“It’s pretty, to be sure,” Bartholomew said, “but a feather is just a feather, nothing more. The clues we need were in those words, not a feather from a tentacled bird. We need to get that scroll back!” Bartholomew rubbed his chin. “But how?”
“Maybe if we… Look, Bartholomew! It’s starting to snow!” Gentle white snowflakes began falling from the quilty clouds above. “I love when it snows,” said Amy Lou.
“I do, too,” said Bartholomew. “But look how big the snowflakes are. That one is as big as a car!”
It was true that all around them, snowflakes fell as big as snowmen. And that wasn’t all. The wind blew harder, the clouds scrunched up and from the sky came ice like daggers!
“It’s raining icicles!” yelled Amy Lou. “Bartholomew, what do we do?”
Down came snow the size of boulders, and spears of ice struck the ground all around them! “This doesn’t look safe to me at all,” said Amy Lou, huddled up like a ball. “We must get out, and quick!” she cried.
Bartholomew knew what must be done. He’d been in close scrapes a-plenty before, and now it was time to protect Amy Lou. “Hop on!” he cried, and on she did hop; right onto his back and she held on tight. This rare kangaroo with pink spots and a parka tensed up his legs like a powerful coiled spring. Then up they flew, up, through the hail of snow and ice, with just one near miss as they bound out of sight.
The leap that they took sent them over the ridge, down to the shore where the penguins all were. They landed smack dab in the middle of a volleyball game, and gave an apology as they told where they came. Penguins came out from under their sun-brellas, and the ones who were surfing swam up to say Hi. But as soon as the penguins saw the look in their eyes, they knew that vacation time was just about Bye-bye.
“There’s a storm coming over the ridge any moment!” Amy Lou said, still upon her kangaroo’s back. “A fierce one, like nothing I’ve seen! Go quick, find some place to hide!”
The penguins all scampered and scuttled and waddled down to the water, where they knew they’d be safe. They dove in one by one, as they were a very orderly animal, and soon they were gone and safe in the water.
Then the snow came again, hurtling down monster snowballs and daggers of ice. Away they leapt again, toward the rocky mountainside. “Look there!” shouted Amy Lou, and pointed to the right. “A cave!”
Just in time they made it to the entrance of a cave. The howl of the storm was as loud as a train! Amy Lou stepped down from Bartholomew’s back. They looked around in the cave, but everything was black. “We’ll have to stay here until the storm passes by,” said Amy Lou.
“Nothing could be finer to me,” said Bartholomew. “We’re safe and we’re dry and now we can…”
“Wait!” said Amy Lou, in a whisper as loud as it was possible to whisper. “Do you hear what I hear, or are my ears playing tricks?”
Bartholomew listened, and listened some more. “I hear it, I think,” he said. “Yes, deep in the cave. It must be a trick, though, it just couldn’t be.”
Amy Lou’s eyes narrowed, and she looked deep within the blackness of the cave. “Don’t even think about it!” Bartholomew said. “It’s too dark, and too damp and who knows what’s inside!”
But onward she walked, and soon disappeared into the darkness. Bartholomew sighed. “I should have known she would go. Well, here I go, too.”
And there they went.