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Pearadise Festival 2024 - The Woes of Florrie Improve
The Grand Admiral April 8, 2024 12:00 pm


“You’re doing a fantastic job so far.  Don’t be frustrated; sometimes even the best gathered data doesn’t point to a conclusive solution.  And it’s only been a few days.  There’s plenty of time for the data to trend in a more definitive direction.”
 
“I’m not frustrated, Mom.  I’m just confused.  It’s an answer…but not an answer.  Pollen is getting unusually bad this spring.  Some are okay with it, and some are like poor Florrie.  The sparkling part…”
 
“Winnie, honey, relax!  Take a deep breath.  Remember what your father taught you.”
 
“Um…oh!  When facing a perplexing conundrum, it never hurts to take a step back.”  
 
“Actually, that’s what I taught you.  But that works too.”
 
Winnie smiled at her mother as they continued their companionable, if not discussion-heavy, walk down the shaded path.  A gentle rain had fallen for most of the previous day, and there were still plenty of small puddles and unintentional cascades from trembling leaves to avoid.  Still, Winnie never minded the rain.  It made the air smell clean and sweet, and considering she and her mother Nicola were approaching the glade of the Pear Tree—returning to where the investigation had begun, as it was—it amplified the sweetness all the more.  Hopefully it had also temporarily dampened the influx of pollen that had come upon Lunaria this spring.  A relief from the sniffles for a few days.  
 
“I think the answer in the end might just lie in simple nature,” Nicola continued.  “The Pear Tree is the heart and soul of Lunaria.  We only need to see the fate that befell Solaria to know just how important its vitality is to the balance of life and growth in Lunaria.  When she sleeps, the whole land sleeps, just as it did during the summer of the Dragon Stars.”
 
“And how long it took the sapling’s seed to grow?” Winnie asked.
 
“Yes.  But this year, the Tree is absolutely flourishing, and so all the other plants respond in kind.  It is offering its bounty quite generously this spring, after all.  I think there will be a fascinating correlation to study when harvest time comes this fall.  As for those suffering more severe allergies than normal, there are many ways to…”
 
Winnie knew her mother was about to offer sage advice and knowledge, the kind born from a lifetime of science, learning and experimentation.  But she was never able to finish the sentence.  All the while they had continued their walk towards the heart of the sacred glade, where Winnie had hoped to get her thoughts together or perhaps find something she hadn’t seen the first time.  Their path had reached a fork, where to one curve the inner grove of the Pear Tree lay, completely overcast by shadow as the sun had not yet fully peaked out from behind the clouds.  On the other the path wove southward before eventually forking off on its own routes into Lunaria.  And from that path came the sounds of footsteps, eager voices, and the soft rumble of wagon wheels.  
 
“Well, good morning Winnie!  And Nicola too!  Come to help us?”
 
“Good morning, Paisley!  And…oh, Florrie!”
 
The distinctive green and yellow coat of Paisley, standing in the runners of her old wagon, had come into view around the south bend.  And Florrie herself sat up in the wagon, patting a tender nose with a kerchief.  She still looked a little puffy, a little more red-eyed, but she was markedly better than she had been when Winnie had visited her a few days ago.  
 
“Are you feeling okay?” Winnie asked worriedly.  “I don’t know how wise it is for you to return to pear gathering so soon.  We haven’t figured out what it was that’s causing this.”
 
“Can’t keep away forever, Winnie,” Florrie replied, patting her nose again.  “There’s a lot of pears to gather, and if I heard right, poor Ruffles is just about ready to turn over the reins again and run for the hills.”
 
“Ah, she’s doing just fine.  We’re all helping her as we can, and everyone is being very kind, as they always are.  Why, even Miss Vyra had a few encouraging words to say.”
 
Winnie, Nicola and Florrie all gave the long-maned Earth disbelieving looks.  Paisley shrugged her shoulders.
 
“Well, you know.  If you call ‘keep it up, you only dropped half that customer’s coins this time instead of all of them!’ encouragement.”
 
Winnie laughed a little, noticing that Nicola did not echo her.  But she understood that.  Her mother still hadn’t warmed up to Vyra very much, even after all the help he had given her father with harnessing the power source for the portal to Solaria.  That had warmed Winnie’s opinion of her quite a bit…even if the infamous waja was still a little abrasive. 
 
…okay, a lot abrasive.  
 
The heart of the Pear Tree’s sacred grove was just as scattered with pears as Winnie had seen it a few days ago.  The sun even found a little space through the clouds to shine down here.  For a moment, she saw sparkles everywhere, like the Tree had given a big sneeze of its own and spread pollen everywhere.  And then she realized it was just the sun glistening off droplets of rainwater.  Previous visitors to the Tree over the last few days had already made an effort to help Florrie, as the beginnings of separate piles of pears were visible amongst the rainbow litter of leaves.  But there was still a great deal of work left to do.
 
“Don’t worry,” Paisley said, seeing Winnie’s concerned frown at the amount of work to do.  Even with the previous day’s rain, surely gathering all the pears would spark Florrie’s allergies again.  “Help is on the way.”
 
The cavalry did come, less than a minute later…in a stampede of fur and yipping excitable voices.  Before Winnie could blink, she found herself swarmed by a half a dozen thoroughly excitable pups.  Nicola had to jump out of the way to avoid being bowled over.  
 
“Hey, kids!” Winnie could barely get her words out through laughter and frantic puppy kisses.  “You’re here to help?”
 
“We help Old Burr, and now we help Miss Florrie!” chorused several voices.  
 
Florrie didn’t look very convinced.  But Old Burr himself was following the pups, and he gave her a reassuring smile through his grizzled gray muzzle.  
 
“They’ll get these pears sorted up in a jiffy, Miss Florrie,” he said.  “You just stay here and supervise.  You need to start taking your medicine.”
 
That got Winnie’s attention.  As Paisley took the pups in hand and started to organize him, she pushed herself to her feet, feeling her mother wiping off her back.  
 
“You have medicine for her?” She was very happy to hear that.
 
“The best of nature’s medicine,” Old Burr replied.  
 
He lifted a small glass jar onto the wagon at Florrie’s feet.  It was filled to the brim with golden liquid.
 
“…honey?” 
 
“Honey.  A wonderful idea,” Nicola declared.
 
Winnie was still confused.  Old Burr chuckled.
 
“Didn’tcha know, Miss Winnie?  Eating honey made from nectar gathered from local flowers boosts resistance to local allergens.  Especially pollen.  And this honey is the very best my bees have to offer.”
 
Florrie had apparently already been told what Old Burr was going to bring her, for she had a few of Paisley’s cookies waiting.  Winnie helped her spread generous measures of honey on them.
 
“This honey is…sparkling a little,” she noticed.  She blinked, her eyes widening.  “Old Burr…is this pear blossom honey?!  But I thought you said only the bees were allowed to eat this honey.”
 
“My fellow beekeepers and I had a long chat the other day about it,” Old Burr said.  “Miss Florrie needs it somethin’ big to keep doing her work.  The bees didn’t mind, and I’m sure the ol’ Tree won’t mind either.  So kick back and have a rest, Miss Florrie.  We’ll get things cleaned up today, and then we can go rescue poor Miss Ruffles.  By the time the next crop’s ready for gatherin’, you should be back on the mends.”
 
For as excitable as the pups had been on their arrival, once set to the task of matching and gathering pears, their tiny bodies were a blessing.  They could run across the leaves without bending them, leaving the elder wajas, Winnie and Nicola to pack the pears onto Paisley’s wagon.  
 
“Will the honey help, Mom?” Winnie asked Nicola at one point.  By then the sun had come out more strongly, filling the glade with warm golden light and drying the remnants of the rain.  
 
“It is not as quick or definite as actual medicine, which I am sure Florrie will still take, but yes, in time the honey will bolster her resistance.”  Nicola pondered for a moment.  “It won’t cure her, but it should help her surmount the extra difficulties and bring things back to a more manageable level.”  She smiled.  “I don’t think even your father can find science to explain how that particular honey is special.  But there are some things that don’t need a scientific explanation.”
 
“I’m glad.” Winnie sighed.  “But I still wish we had more of an answer.”
 
Nicola laughed.  And then both of them turned when the nearest pair of pups suddenly called out from across the clearing.
 
“Miss Florrie, Miss Florrie!  The Tree dropped vitaminses pears that aren’t ripe yet!  See?  This one is yellow!”
 
“There’s another yellow one over heres!” another pup called.  
 
“But then what does it mean when a pear is ALL the colors?” yet another asked.
 
This pup was closest to her.  Winnie quickly approached, carefully minding her step over the leaves—though in truth the leaves were not nearly as fragile as normal leaves, it was still important to be cautious—and bending down to examine the pear  
 
And all at once, it clicked into place.  Perhaps not entirely why so many wajas beyond the glade were dealing with the sniffles more than usual this spring, there were still questions to ponder there.  But the amount of sparkling pollen, pollen from flowers that developed into vitamin pears, why there was so many this spring?  No, the Pear Tree hadn’t suddenly decided to grow a mountain of the bright red pears.  It had decided…
 
“Look!  Florrie, look!  Brand new pears!!”
 
The pups quickly brought forward their found yellow ones as she lifted the lovely rainbow-hued one off the ground.  Twins of the vitamin pear, except for their colors.  
 
       
 
“Well, bless my stars!” Old Burr declared. “Would’cha look at that!”
 
For a long minute, everyone gathered around, admiring the new discovery.  The tiniest pup, so fluffy that his little muzzle practically vanished into his floof, excitedly wagged his tail.  
 
“What are they called, Miss Florrie?!”
 
Florrie smiled at the new bounty.
 
“Well, I don’t quite know yet,” she confessed.  “I suppose we first have to….ah…ah-CHOO!....find out what it is they do.”



*******************************

The bounty of the Pear Tree revealed!  We now have TWO new vitamin pear options to use when breeding your Wajas: Scrambled and Splatter.

Scrambled Vitamin Pear:

Rearranges the marking layer outcome of the pups. Mutations and mutation markings are not impacted. 

becomes 



Splatter Vitamin Pear:

Rearranges the color hexes of the markings on the pups. Base color, mutations, and mutation markings are not impacted. 

becomes 
 
At this time, only ONE vitamin pear can be used at a time when breeding (including the original). 
 
We hope you have fun with them! Vitamins can be purchased from the pear shop.
 
 
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