Illustration: Maya E Shakur for FREDERICK & SOPHIE

Location: Spring Tree House, Enchanted Forest

One morning, George opened his bedroom windows and breathed in deeply. “Ah,” he said, “adventures are in the air!” The Fairy-Manny’s nose moved from left to right and up and down. It smelled something else. Let’s see (or rather, sniff), there was a dash of flowers, a dabble of butterflies, and a dollop of bumblebees. It smelled like spring! George’s mammoth, Mr. Tubby, peeked around the door of the magic wardrobe he lived in and shivered with delight. George smiled. “It most certainly makes you want to dance, my dear Mr. Tubby! That’s because spring is nature’s invitation to a party!”


Say no more. George stamped his feet three times and “POOF!” the color of his jacket changed from purple to yellow. He picked up his i-Wand 340 from his nightstand, pressed a code onto its screen, and said, “Skedaddle-di-doo!” The next moment, George stood in the kitchen. Thick pancakes, strawberries, and syrup were flying all around. “Onto the plates, please!” George shouted. But instead of landing on the plates, the food kept swooshing through the kitchen, and the plates and cutlery started to dance. Frederick, Sophie, and Wally walked through the kitchen doors, and stopped in their tracks when they saw George float-running through the air, trying to grab pancakes and strawberries.


“Please let us help, George!” Frederick and Sophie shouted.


“I thought you’d never ask!” George said. “Just click your heels and whisper, “Whirligiggles!’”


Frederick and Sophie clicked their heels and said the funny word. They immediately felt lighter and lighter. Wally barked as he watched his two friends float through the air. Sophie stretched out her hands and reached for pancakes; Frederick twisted and turned and reached for strawberries. George hung onto the jar with syrup and said, “Now, we must think really heavy thoughts… I think of Elephants!”


“Dinosaurs!” Frederick shouted.

I think of… Dinosaurs!

“Encyclopedias!” Sophie shouted. She was quite the bookworm.


The heavier thoughts they thought, the heavier they felt. And that’s how they all landed back on the kitchen floor. A pancake fell on Wally’s head, followed by five strawberries and a drizzle of syrup.


“There you go Waldorf,” George said to the large dog. “Bon Appetit.”


Frederick, Sophie, and George sat down at the kitchen table. “These are the best pancakes, I ever ate, George,” Sophie mumbled through a big bite. 


“That’s because spring is in the air,” George said. “It makes everything taste better.” 


When they finished their pancake breakfast, George clapped his hands and said, “Now we have enough energy to climb the magic spring tree!”


“What’s the spring tree, George?” Frederick asked.


“I’ll show you.” George answered. “Please stand up and hold onto each other.”


All stood up. Frederick held Sophie’s hand, Sophie held Wally’s head, Wally put his paw on George’s left shoe. George pressed a code onto his i-Wand 340 and said, “Up the spring tree, Frederick, Sophie, Wally, and me!”


A pink cloud appeared in the sky. It grew bigger and bigger and bigger and flew towards the kitchen window. It rustled and shook. There was a tremble and a tickle. Then… WHOOMP! The kitchen disappeared and large cherry blossom trees popped up from the ground. The marble kitchen floor turned into soft grass and daffodils. There was curious pond filled with pink swans. Its lilac waters shone like sunbeams. Birds sat on branches and chirped, “Good day, George!”


George gave the birds a little bow, and then turned to Frederick, Sophie, and Wally. “Welcome to the Enchanted Forest!” he said, “home to the Spring Tree.” 


“Oh, it’s terribly beautiful here!” Sophie said.


“And it smells as delicious as my mom’s favorite perfume!” Frederick said. 

“And it smells like my mom’s perfume!” Frederick said. 

“This way, please.” George set off to the middle of the forest.


The foursome walked until a little rabbit popped its head out of a rabbit hole. It wore a bow tie, a little hat, and an umbrella.  “In search of the Spring Tree, I assume?” it said in furry voice.

I’ll take you to its new spot,” Dr. Dingus said. “My whiskers will lead the way.”

Frederick and Sophie weren’t surprised to hear an animal speak. They’d been on enough adventures with George to know that anything was possible. 


“We are, indeed, Mr. Dingus,” George said to the rabbit. “Has it moved again?”


“Yes, it did. It got bored and walked off. I’ll take you to its new spot,” Mr. Dingus said. “My whiskers will lead the way.”


Mr. Dingus led the way through the trees. At last, they reached the trunk of the enormous Spring Tree. “Here you are,” he said. “Unfortunately, I must hop on. Carrot cake is waiting for me at home.”

At last, they reached the trunk of the enormous Spring Tree.

“You must never let a good piece of carrot cake waiting,” George said, waving goodbye to Dr. Dingus. “Up we go, please.” As soon as he said it, a door appeared in the tree’s trunk. Its golden doorknob turned, and the door opened to a wooden elevator. “Chop, chop,” George said. All the friends jumped onto the elevator and whooshed all the way up to the tree’s tippy top. 


When the elevator doors opened and the cherry blossoms parted, Sophie gasped. A little gnome sat on a branch and stared at her. “Welcome to the Spring Tree House on top of the Spring Tree! I’m Mr. Piffle. We’ve been waiting for you.” 


“We?” Frederick asked.


“Oh, yes, you need a WE to have a spring party!”


Frederick and Sophie looked around the tree house. Birds, bunnies, chicks, gnomes, and fairies danced around to the happiest tunes coming from a live band of flamingoes. 


There were tea trolleys filled with peach tea, sandwiches, and Pop Cakes. There were scones, and cupcakes, and chocolate eclairs filled with vanilla cream. Wally ran towards a table with PUP-tarts, his favorites! George sat down behind a grand piano and joined the flamingo band. Frederick and Sophie looked at Mr. Piffle. “This is the most delightful place!” they said excitedly. 


Mr. Piffle smiled. “This is a delightful place, but sometimes it’s strange too. Last week, there was a strange land filled with unicorns and waterfalls, right on top of that branch over there. And the week before, it rained popcorn and pink feathers.”


A fairy flew by and sat down on a small branch. “When spring arrives, the tree house appears, and we celebrate new beginnings! You must absolutely join the party and try some of my apple pie!”

A fairy flew by and sat down on a small branch.

And that’s exactly what the two best friends did. They danced and laughed and ate and drank. They enjoyed spring’s zippity sunbeams smiling down on them and dreamed of absolutely awesome spring adventures. 


Top Illustration: Maya E Shakur for FREDERICK & SOPHIE / Story & Illustration Styling: Priscilla Obermeier