What do you think?” Berry held up a string of colorful fruit chews. The Fruit Fairy enjoyed making delicious fruit candies, but she also loved making jewelry. The more sparkle the better! Berry loved anything and everything to do with fashion.
“Berry,” Raina said. She had a worried look on her face. The Gummy Fairy was filling up a bottle of cherry syrup for the trees in Gummy Forest. She had come to Fruit Chew Meadow for flavoring for the red gumdrop trees—and to visit Berry. But instead of finding Berry working on her fruit candies, her friend was making a necklace!
“Those are round chews,” Raina said. “Where are the hearts?”
Berry shrugged. “These round fruit chews are just so pretty,” she said with a heavy sigh. She held up the colorful strand again and admired the rainbow pattern she had made. “I just had to make a necklace with them!” She carefully knotted the end of the string. Then she put on a special caramel clasp that Melli, her Caramel Fairy friend, had made for her. Berry placed the finished necklace around her neck. She proudly spread her pink wings as she showed off her newest creation.
“Berry, Heart Day is coming up,” Raina said gently. After she put the cap on the syrup bottle, she looked up at her friend. “Everyone in Sugar Valley is busy making candy hearts. And you’re stringing round chews! You don’t want to disappoint Princess Lolli, do you?”
Berry dragged her foot along the ground. There was a layer of powdered sugar that had fallen during the evening. It was a cold winter’s day in Sugar Valley. The cool winds were blowing, and there was a chill in the air. “Sweet strawberries!” Berry exclaimed. “I would never want to upset Princess Lolli!”
Princess Lolli was the ruling fairy princess of Candy Kingdom. She was a caring and gentle fairy, and always treated the fairies very well. All the fairies loved her and wanted to please her. The sweet princess’s favorite shape was a heart, so every fairy in the kingdom made special candy hearts from flavors found all over Sugar Valley. There were chocolate, gummy, mint, caramel, and fruit heart candies for Princess Lolli and the fairies to enjoy. Heart Day was a happy day, filled with good cheer—and delicious candy.
“I still have time to make something for Princess Lolli,” Berry said. “Last year she loved my red fruit hearts, remember? I put a fruit surprise in each one and sprinkled them with red sugar.”
Raina nodded. “Yes, and you spent weeks making those. Don’t forget that Heart Day is next week.”
“I will start on something today,” Berry declared.
At that moment another Fruit Fairy flew up to the friends. Berry had just met her the other day. Her name was Fruli, and she was new to Sugar Valley. She had long blond hair, and today she was wearing the most beautiful dress Berry had ever seen. There were tiny purple and pink candies sewn along the collar and cuffs that sparkled in the sun. Over her dress was a soft cape made of pink-and-white cotton candy. The fairy soared down next to them with her pale pink wings.
“Hi,” Raina said. “You must be new here.”
“This is Fruli,” Berry said, introducing Raina to the newest Fruit Fairy. “She’s from Meringue Island.”
“Welcome to Sugar Valley,” Raina said. “I’ve never been to Meringue Island, but I’ve read about the place. There’s a story in the Fairy Code Book about the majestic Meringue Mountains. I’ve heard the island is beautiful and is the center of fashion.” She smiled at Berry. “Berry loves fashion too.”
Berry blushed. “Raina loves to read,” she quickly explained. “She’s memorized the Fairy Code Book.”
Raina laughed. “Well, I do like to read. What about you, Fruli?”
“Yes, I like to read,” she said very softly. She looked down at her white boots. Her response was so quiet that Berry and Raina could barely hear her.
“I love your cape,” Raina said tentatively, eyeing the fabric and design. “Is that from Meringue Island?”
Fruli nodded. “Yes,” she said. She didn’t raise her eyes from the ground. “I’m sorry to interrupt.”
Again, her voice was so low and soft, Berry and Raina could barely hear her.
“I just came to collect a couple of fruit chews for Princess Lolli,” Fruli said.
“Well, you came to the right place,” Raina said, smiling. She gave Berry a little push forward. She wondered why her friend was being so quiet around this new fairy. Usually, Berry was very outgoing and not shy at all. “Berry grows the best fruit chews on this side of the Frosted Mountains.” She put her arm around her friend.
“Raina,” Berry mumbled, feeling embarrassed. She smoothed her dress with her hands and noticed a big cherry syrup stain on the front.
Oh no, Berry thought. What a big mess! Fruli has the nicest clothes. And look at me!
“These chews?” Fruli asked, pointing.
“Yes,” Berry said. “Please take anything you want.”
Fruli took a few candies and put them in a white chocolate weave bag. “Thank you,” she said.
Before Berry or Raina could say a word, she flew off.
“She was so shy!” Raina exclaimed.
“Did you see her clothes?” Berry asked. “She has the nicest outfits. I have got to get moving on making a new dress for Heart Day.”
“Berry—,” Raina started to say.
“I know,” Berry said, holding up her hand. “I will make the heart candies, but I also need to find something new to wear to Candy Castle for Heart Day.”
Berry flew off in a hurry, leaving Raina standing in Fruit Chew Meadow alone. Raina was worried. When Berry got an idea stuck in her head, sometimes things got a little sticky.
© 2011 Helen Perelman Bernstein