It’s the first of April today – a new month and a new beginning!
You decide to meet your friends at the Pond today; it’s been awhile since you visited and had a good chat with them. After their silly antics from two years ago (has time really flown so fast?), you wonder whether the Pond friends will be up to today.
You pass through the magical boundary of the Pond – and you immediately feel the magic, warm and fuzzy – but when you come through the other side…
Oh my goodness.
You look around you, feeling a little befuddled. The soft atmosphere of the Pond, usually cool and hazy, is now suddenly rather… well, it’s like you have walked into a picture book! Everything is just so much brighter and whiter and just so… so… two-dimensional?
You look down at yourself and – my goodness! you’re two-dimensional too! Your clothes are now mere outlines and your hands… well, at least you have the same number of fingers that you usually have!
“Hello friend!” a voice says behind you.
You turn to that familiar voice and – goodness gracious!
Seeing your startled reaction, Xiaolong tilts her head, looking as innocent as her little now-close-together eyes can manage. “Friend, is there something wrong? Is there something wrong with my face?”
You sputter, lost for words. “Xiaolong,” you manage, “you look so… so…”
“So… cute?” she asks, doing a twirl. Except when she moves, it doesn’t look like a twirl, it simply looks like her image flips, her movements a little awkward.
“Hi friend!” comes a chirp from behind you.
You turn to the little bird and – oh my.
Your favourite sparrow, Sprout, certainly looks different too. They are atop their favourite stump, yes, but – where’s their beak?!
Sprout, confused, at your non-greetings, gives you a pointedly confused look – and a literal question mark appears by their face.
“Sprout… Xiaolong… the both of you look so… different?” you manage to say. “Where’s Cuddle?”
“I’m right here!” comes your sweet otter friend’s voice.
You turn around and – oh, her too?!
Cuddle looks a little different too. For one, her purple hat now sticks upright (giving her a little more height now, not that she needed it between Xiaolong and Sprout), and she looks delightfully pudgy. While Xiaolong and Sprout are giving you their best straight faces, Cuddle is giggling away, looking absolutely delighted at your baffled expression.
One by one, the Pond friends slowly approach you. Varian, who looks so unfortunate, Gen, whose shell looks a little wonky, Amina, who has definitely shrunk since you last saw her, and even Bao, the little corgi who is now bigger than Amina.
The Pond friends all look at you expectedly, their little smiles starting to give you the heebie-jeebies.
Cuddle is the first to lose her composure; she lets out a breath and, with it, her laugh. All at once, the Pond friends start laughing altogether!
“We’re sorry, friend,” says Xiaolong. “But your expression is so funny! We can’t hold it in anymore!”
You feel yourself start laughing as well. Everyone looks so silly!
“We were trying to cast a joint spell,” explains Varian. “But Xiaolong sneezed while we were casting the spell together, and it completely backfired. We wanted a simple day, but instead it made us look like… like this! We cast the wrong spell…”
“Or the right one!” interjects Xiaolong. “I think we look so cool! And so funny!”
Everyone agrees. Maybe it wasn’t quite the spell that the Pond friends had intended (apparently they wanted a simple day), but you have to admit – the Pond friends do look pretty funny.
You settle down by the Pond with your friends, where they start telling you excitedly on all the things you’ve missed out on – the books they have been reading, the exciting things they have been seeing in the forest. You have a lovely day with them, filled with laughter, looking super silly, and feeling the warmth of their company.
And before you leave for the day, you turn around and – ah, it looks like things are back to normal. All is well.
We hope you enjoyed today’s Story-Time and our second April Fools! (Read the first one here!) We love pulling harmless pranks here and enjoying the silliness of the Pond, so we hope the Pond friends’ shenanigans got a smile out of you and made your day a little brighter.
Joce is behind all of today’s brilliant art – she drew all the images on her phone, each image drawn under one minute! Joce’s illustrations gave me so much joy, and I hope that they gave you joy as well.
Happy Pond Fools, and have a safe and happy day! 💜