A sweet story of peril and redemption: Chapter 3
“But – but – it can’t be empty!” Dextrose wailed. “Where are the Eggs?”
Fructose pointed to a sign that hung above the empty box – “Creme Eggs Half Off” – and shook his head, sadly. “When they found that the first half had gone off, they must have thrown them all out.”
“Maybe there are still some in the garbage?”
Maltose slapped Dextrose lightly across the beak. “We can’t bring home rotten Eggs, you airhead. We’ll have to find them somewhere else.” She stepped on the Up pedal, and they sailed swiftly out of the Store.
Depressed, they returned to the rabbit’s tree in silence. It seemed the logical destination; if the rabbit knew of one place to find Eggs, he might know of others. But when they got there, the skinny, green-jacketed character was nowhere to be seen. Dextrose sniffled, and two tiny, crystalline tears slipped down his face.
“Uh oh, the little bird-dudes are back.” The rabbit stepped out from behind the tree, hastily stubbing out a thin cigarette against its trunk. “What happened? Didn’t you get your Eggs, little dudes?”
Maltose filled him in on what had transpired at the Store. “We thought perhaps you would know of another place to find them?”
The rabbit shook his head. “I don’t, dudes. I’m sorry.” Dextrose began to snivel more loudly, and the other two Peeps fought back their own tears of despair. “Awww . . . don’t be like that, little dudes. We’ll think of something.”
They were all silent as the rabbit thought for a minute, squinting and twitching his nose rapidly several times. His expression brightened. “Dudes! You totally have to see the Wizard.”
“The Wizard?” Fructose echoed doubtfully.
“The Wizard, bro. I get my grass from him, and my weed. All my greens, actually. He’s got the best spinach in town. And he knows, like, everything.”
The three Peeps looked at each other, then shrugged. What else could they do?
“It’s just, like, a hop, skip and a jump over that way,” the rabbit assured them, pointing. “Just past the flower garden. You’ll see the signs when you’re getting close.” He nodded sagely. “The Wizard’ll totally have the answer.”
As Peeps neither hop, skip, nor jump, they were surprised to discover how close the flower garden actually was. The afternoon sun lent a warm glow to the halcyon field of purple and white as the Peeps sailed through, and they felt their tension ease slightly. A world that held such lovely flowers, thought Maltose, must have Creme Eggs in it somewhere.
“Look!” cried Dextrose, as they passed the last of the shining blooms, “a Sign!”
“We must be getting close to the Wizard.” Fructose hopped twice with excitement, making the Basket swerve slightly. Maltose just smiled. Once beyond the Sign, they passed into a dark labyrinth of tunnels.
Fortunately, the path to the Wizard was well marked, with small signs posted every few feet. Without these, the Peeps would have soon lost their way, and perhaps spent the rest of their lives desperately wandering the lanes and byways of the mysterious cavern. As it was, they carefully noted the path they followed, making sure they would be able to find their way back out again.
As the rabbit had promised, it was not long before they reached the entrance to the Wizard’s home. The gate was festooned with arcane objects and complex charms, which impressed the Peeps no end, and intimidated them somewhat as well.
“Come in, come in!” a jovial voice boomed from the gloom beyond the elaborate structure, startling the awestruck Peeps. Nervously, they made their way into the hall.
The Wizard clambered to his feet. He was perched awkwardly on a thin ledge at the far end of his home. “I was just doing some Pilates,” he said, adjusting his tie. “I find that working in a narrow space improves my balance. Wait -” he looked to his left, then his right, then behind him, and finally pulled a pointy hat from under the cloak. “I know why you’re here,” he continued, brushing off the hat. “You need Eggs.”
He really does know everything! The Peeps stared at him in astonishment.
“And I,” he shook the hat at them meaningfully before putting it on his head, “I know where you can get ‘em.” He paused for a long moment, looking upward as if the Eggs might be hanging over his head.
“Yes?” prompted Fructose.
“Oh! Right. What was I saying? Right. Eggs.” He took a deep breath, and went on in a fierce, dramatic tone. “The journey will be difficult, for you are not the only ones searching. See for yourselves.”
The Wizard’s home disappeared, and the Peeps found themselves in a great library, staring at hundreds of dusty tomes. On the ancient, tattered covers were pictures of other voyagers, all chasing after the same goal: Eggs.
Over this scene, the Wizard’s voice rang out. “And here, look on the faces of those who have died in the attempt!”
As the horrified Peeps trembled at this vision, the Wizard took on a somber tone. “I will set you on the correct path, but be wary, for the journey shall not be without danger. Follow your hearts and your beaks, and the Eggs shall come to you at the end.”
The scene faded, and the Peeps blinked in the honey light of sunset at the edge of the cave.
“This isn’t where we came in,” Dextrose wondered aloud.
The Wizard’s voice whispered through the air, “Follow your beaks and your hearts. I have yoga in half an hour. Goodbye.”