Gingerbread Plum Tree
The markers were coming to half of C.J.’s height. Then I noticed a song with the cadence of the Toy Soldiers:
1… 2… 3, 4, 5… 6…7… 8
How many colors can there be?
Go to the Gingerbread Plum Tree.
There you’ll see the Gingerbread Kids
Helping you along the way.
Lord Licorice, beware, forbids
On colors you will see delay.
When you reach a bridge or two here
After choosing a color or
Two from the deck you have walked near
To finding King Kandy you bore.
With the cards you have picked to start
You can’t turn back until you’ve met
Gramma Nut, Mr. Mint, Jolly,
Princess Frostine, and Gloppy yet.
With each land of a different boundary,
You’re bound to see a Character.
It’s not hard to find one of us.
Just find a place with a banner,
For we beware and are cautious
For Lord Licorice will not stop
To catch you on blue, green, red, or
Purple. Grab a candy Gumdrop
Or a mint before you restore
Candy Land’s King Kandy’s Corps
To stop Lord Licorice’s Galore.
After hearing the song, C.J. turned to see that she was back in the attic with everyone except the pieces. C.J. asked, “So now what, Uncle Scott?” Scott was dividing the deck of colors and handed 3 even sets of smaller decks to them. “Here’s your set of cards to start with. And any card with a character, don’t reuse. Just put them aside. Shuffle your colored cards,” said Scott as Aiden picked up a card. As he moved his marker onto the second purple, they went into the board again. Aiden was now far ahead on the path with his marker. As the children and Uncle Scott took turns, they realized that they might be separated during the game, except for Uncle Scott.
He somehow knew that they were going to be separated. Then C.J. thought about all of the stories he told her as she walked down the beaten multi-colored path. C.J. looked over at a tree that looked like it had a face with a big green droopy hair like branches of leaves with plums. C.J. went over to touch the trunk before it opened its eyes. When the tree opened its eyes, C.J. yelped while falling backwards. “Well, lookie here, children. Look at this human girl. She looks like Charlise. How are you, Charlise?” said the tree, as some small gingerbread people came out from behind.
C.J. got up, dusting herself off as she said, “I’m not Charlise. Charlise is my mom. I’m her daughter, C.J. Besides, who are you?”
“I’m the Gingerbread Plum Tree, sweetie. If you’re looking for the Gumdrop Mountains, go that a-way. But before you go, have a plum while you’re here. Don’t want you getting thirsty and what not,” said the tree as she pointed straight down the rainbow path with a strand of leafed branch. The Gingerbread People were giggling as they surrounded C.J. “Or if you’re looking for the bridge, it’s not that far from here. So why are you here, honey?” asked the Gingerbread Plum Tree as she pointed a different direction C.J. just came from. She handed C.J. a plum. C.J. took a bite out of the plum. The plum was sweet because the plum, as C.J. had noticed, was sugar coated.
“So where am I, Ms. Tree?” asked C.J., licking her lips and hands where the plum juice was dripping as she continued to eat the plum.