Mite by Sara Dee.

You hadn't counted on running into a thief that morning. To be fair, he probably wasn't expecting you either. You were outside minding your own business, working to mend a portion of the fence that surrounds your family's shack, when you spotted a dark figure tearing through the fields. Startled by the unusual sight, you couldn't help but call out:

"HEY!"

The thief looked up in your direction, his dusky hood slipping back momentarily, and you were able to make out the curve of an impish smile. His pace did not slow, however. As he continued to approach, apparently headed for the dirt path behind you, you noticed a curious bulge at his side. Something about it just wasn't right. And that's partly why you did what you did.

A millisecond before the caped sprinter was upon you, you stuck out your small green foot.

[More]

As tiny a foot as it was (and is), it did the trick. The thief went sprawling through the air, sending his bounty bouncing off behind him. He hit the ground with a thud, yelping out a curse in a language you'd never heard before... Trollish, perhaps. He quickly got to his feet and frantically looked about for the item he'd dropped. By that time, your father, signaled by the commotion, had already hobbled out with his cane, and your mother was anxiously peering out the window.

Realizing his growing audience, the shadowy figure cast one more glance around, uttered one more curse, and then tore off again. You were still standing there with your mouth gaping open as he disappeared from view. And the oddest thing... was that the faint sound of laughter in the distance?

"Just what is this?!" Your attention snapped back to the scene at hand. Your father, with quite a bit of effort, was rolling a large, egg-shaped gem out of a tall patch of grass. It looked like nothing you'd ever seen before. It was, in fact, the most beautiful thing you'd ever seen. The jewel glittered beneath a thin layer of dust, casting prisms of light in every direction.

"Can we keep it?" you finally managed, glancing up at your equally enthralled father. He studied the jewel for a moment more, tilting it this way and that.

"Aha! Look!" He pointed to one edge. You could just make out the delicate, silvery script:

"PROPERTY OF THE FAIRY PRINCE".

[More]

"Oh, Mite, we're going to have to return this to him before the whole village gets in a tizzy!"

And that's just how this whole journey began.

__________________________________________

Mite
Copyright (c) 2010 by Sara Dee.
Type ABOUT or HINT for more information.
Release 1 / Serial number 100930 / Inform v6.30 Library 6/11 S

At a Fork in the Path
You've never been to this region of the Great Garden before. That's not so surprising, really. The Garden is vast and full of mysteries, and this is your first official trip beyond the cluster of villages that you call home. Though the lands are relatively safe for travel (the Fairy Prince having banished most of the goblins, bogies, and other mischievous creatures to the realm beyond the hedges long ago) the largeness of everything around you makes you feel more than a bit nervous.

You are currently standing at a fork in the path on which you've been traveling for what's seemed like hours. The hefty gem strapped to your back hasn't helped matters.

Your options are north and east. The road back home is to the west.

> about

"Mite" is my third game. If you have any questions, comments, or bug reports please send them to saradee123@gmail.com.

Thanks for playing!

[Please press SPACE.]

I am absolutely indebted to my beta testers -- Steven David, Dayle Hodge, Olaf Schoenrich, and Tim Smith. Without their keen eyes, sound advice, and words of encouragement, I never would have finished on time.

[Please press SPACE.]

At a Fork in the Path
Tall grasses line the path that forks off to the north and east. The road back home is to the west.

> x grasses
Blades of grass as tall as your head line the path.

They sure don't keep it as closely cropped here as they do at home , you think to yourself.

> x gem
Even though you've been toting it around for a while now, you are still positively enchanted by the pale blue jewel. If it didn't belong to the Fairy Prince, you'd be tempted to hold on to it forever. The Prince is beloved among your people, however, and you want to do the right thing.

> x me
You are Mite, a pixy lad with bright green skin and pointy ears.

Prior to this whole undertaking, you hadn't had a whole lot of experience with adventuring or travel. That's part of the reason why your parents were so keen on having you return the jewel yourself.

"Pixies were meant to explore and have fun, and you're certainly at the right age for that!" your father had told you. You can't help but think of this as more of a chore, though. Sure, you want to help out the Fairy Prince, and sure, you'll probably return with a bunch of stories with which to regale your friends. But you've never been much for showing off anyway, and more often that not, you just prefer to stretch out in a patch of clover with one of the tomes from your Auntie's modest but serviceable library.

And yet here you are.

You are currently toting a dazzling blue gem on your back in a loose sling.

> n

By the Rose Thicket
You continue up the path to the north and find yourself standing in front of an unruly thicket of damask roses. Their scent permeates the air, reminding you of Linnea, the girl you almost worked up the courage to ask to the carnival for the Spring Equinox. She always smells like flowers. You wonder what she's doing right now and end up getting lost in daydreams for a moment. The heft of the jewel you're carrying brings you back to reality soon enough. And the faint sound of crying in the distance.

What is that? You are filled with a sense of foreboding.

> x roses
The dense shrubbery, capped with fat pink roses, branches out high overhead. The blooms are captivating but their thorny stems make them seem more than a little forbidding.

> listen
You can hear the faint sound of someone weeping to the north.

> n

By the Lilac Bush
Here the path culminates at a stout lilac bush bursting with its distinctive amethyst flowers. While the flowers are lovely indeed, your attention is drawn to a striking maiden who sits sobbing on a low branch. Her face is partially obscured by her long, lavender locks.

She must be a nymph , you tell yourself.

> x nymph
The beautiful nymph, dressed in a simple white shift, sits sobbing on one of the lower branches of the lilac bush. Her long, lavender locks partially obscure her face. Next to her you see a small brown basket.

> nymph, hello
You don't want to bother the sad nymph with trifles.

> x basket
A small brown basket sits at the nymph's side. It is currently closed.

> x locks
The beautiful nymph, dressed in a simple white shift, sits sobbing on one of the lower branches of the lilac bush. Her long, lavender locks partially obscure her face. Next to her you see a small brown basket.

> open basket
You don't want to be rude... it's not your basket after all.

> talk to nymph
To talk to someone, use ASK ___ ABOUT/FOR ___ or TELL ___ ABOUT ___.

> ask nymph about basket
The nymph is too lost in her grief at the moment to respond.

> l

By the Lilac Bush
Here the path culminates at a stout lilac bush bursting with its distinctive amethyst flowers. A beautiful nymph sits sobbing on one of its lower branches.

The path continues back to the south.

> x bush
The stout lilac bush is practically bursting with its distinctive amethyst flowers and heart-shaped leaves. Camouflaged deep in the thick branches, you spot a rustic little cottage.

> x cottage
The charming little cottage is hidden deep in the branches of the lilac bush.

> in
It would be presumptuous of you to invite yourself into the nymph's dwelling.

> s

By the Rose Thicket
You find yourself standing in front of an unruly thicket of damask roses. Their scent permeates the air.

You can hear the faint sound of crying to the north. The path also continues back to the south.

> e
You hardly want to get caught up in that tangle of thorns.

> s

At a Fork in the Path
Tall grasses line the path that forks off to the north and east. The road back home is to the west.

> e

By a Cluster of Tulips
A short trip to the east brings you to a lovely cluster of tulips. The giant, cup-shaped flowers sit atop tall, dark green stalks that stretch to about five times your height. Most of the flowers are a deep pink, but one in particular catches your eye. It stands slightly apart from the rest, with bright orange petals that call to mind the pumpkin that the eccentric apothecary from your village had hollowed out for a home. It has apparently caught the interest of a butterfly as well. The black swallowtail is circling back and forth around the flower, occasionally dipping inside for a sip of nectar.

The path curves to the northeast here. It also continues back west to the fork.

> x tulip
The bright orange tulip, perched atop its tall, green stem, glows with the light of the sun. A black swallowtail butterfly is currently circling around it.

> x butterfly
The dark wings of the black swallowtail are dotted with yellow at their base. The butterfly is currently circling the orange tulip, occasionally dipping in for a sip of nectar.

> ne

At the Base of a Dandelion
Your stroll to the northeast finds you at the base of the largest dandelion you've ever seen. Tall, lance-like leaves surround its massive stem, which rises up to support a snowy globe of seeds. Beyond the dandelion, to the east, the ground grows marshier and thick with palm sedge.

The path here runs from southwest to northeast.

> climb dandelion
You find that you are able to scale the dandelion stem by grasping onto a leaf with one hand while boosting yourself upward. Once you reach the head of the flower, you pull yourself on top with a bit of effort.

On Top of the Dandelion
You are standing on the sole bare spot of the dandelion cap, amongst its countless downy white seeds. Up here, you are afforded a better view of the captivating orange tulip to the southwest. A black swallowtail butterfly dips into the fiery goblet for a sip of nectar.

You can also see a calm but murky-looking pond to the east, beyond the palm sedge.

A gentle breeze from the west ruffles you hair.

> d
You carefully descend the stem, using the leaves to steady yourself.

At the Base of a Dandelion
You are at the base of the largest dandelion you've ever seen. Tall, lance-like leaves surround its massive stem, which rises up to support a snowy globe of seeds. Beyond the dandelion, to the east, the ground grows marshier and thick with palm sedge.

The path here runs from southwest to northeast.

> e
You are too afraid of getting stuck in the mud to venture into the sedges.

> ne

On the Shore of the Pond
Here the dirt path that you've grown accustomed to is replaced by a cobblestone walk. To the east, a steep, rocky slope leads down to the moss-green water. A thick layer of mist has settled over the pond making it difficult to see to the opposite side... your supposed destination. Your mother used to tell you stories about the palace across the pond. It was not so long ago that the Fairy Prince's home was a popular journey destination for adventurous pixies, but now that the fervor has died down over the prince's ascendancy, the once-hazardous hedges seem to hold more of an attraction for young explorers.

You are about to continue north on the cobblestone terrace when you catch something out of the corner of your eye. Protruding from the grass on the other side of the walk is a large shell. How could you have missed that?

> x shell
A large, coiled shell rests in the grasses on the side of the path.

> look in it
You can't see "it" (the dandelion) at the moment.

> look in shell
The opening to the shell is facing the ground, making it impossible to look inside.

> push shell
You push and pull on the iridescent shell but it doesn't budge.

> knock on shell
You rap loudly on the shell as you would someone's front door... and wait. Before long a deep groaning sound resonates within the shell and you jump back, startled. The iridescent conch rises into the air as the slick, brown body of a snail emerges. Once he is fully extended, he turns his eyestalks to you.

"What is all this racket about?!" His voice, which issues from a tiny mouth hole framed by long white whiskers, is high and raspy. "I was trying to read my paper!"

"I-I'm sorry, Mr. Snail," you begin. "I'm just trying to find my way around."

"My name's Snoll. And what is it that you need to know?" He seems like quite an impatient fellow.

> save
Ok.

> ask snail about palace
"The Fairy Prince has stayed cooped up in there a lot lately."

> ask snail about gem
"Yes, yes, it's very nice." he says. "You should probably get it back to the Fairy Prince as soon as possible."

> l

On the Shore of the Pond
Here the dirt path that you've grown accustomed to is replaced by a cobblestone walk. To the east, a steep, rocky slope leads down to the moss-green water. A thick layer of mist has settled over the pond making it difficult to see to the opposite side.

The dandelion is back to the southwest. The walk also marches on to the north.

Snoll glares at you impatiently from his spot in the grass.

> e
The steep slope looks treacherous. You don't want to end up taking a tumble into the water.

> n

At the End of the Path
You appear to have come to a dead end. The cobblestone walk runs right up to the side of a giant pipe. The steep slope leading down to the water continues to the east.

You notice a strange, triangular tile embedded amongst the cobblestones.

> i
You are carrying:
a sling (being worn)
a jewel

> x tile
The triangular white tile is curved at its base, almost shaped like an arrowhead. It seems to point towards the water.

> x pipe
The black drainage pipe is half buried in the ground, but it is so large that it prevents you from seeing any farther north.

> climb pipe
The curved sides of the pipe are too slippery to climb.

> e
The steep slope looks treacherous. You don't want to end up taking a tumble into the water.

> x water
In spite of the sunny weather, a thick mist has settled on the surface of the pond, rendering it impossible to see across. Its murky, green waters lap against a rocky slope that extends down to the east.

> stand on tile
You stand on the tile.

> jump
You jump on the spot, fruitlessly.

> kick tile
That's not a verb I recognize.

> x tile
The triangular white tile is curved at its base, almost shaped like an arrowhead. It seems to point towards the water.

> push tile
The tile is firmy embedded amongst the cobblestones.

> sit on tile
You are already standing on the tile.

> get off
But you're not in anything at the moment.

> l

At the End of the Path
You appear to have come to a dead end. The cobblestone walk runs right up to the side of a giant pipe. The steep slope leading down to the water continues to the east.

A strange, triangular tile is embedded amongst the cobblestones.

> swim
You are no water sprite and you've never learned how to swim. You'll have to find some other way across the pond.

> l

At the End of the Path
You appear to have come to a dead end. The cobblestone walk runs right up to the side of a giant pipe. The steep slope leading down to the water continues to the east.

A strange, triangular tile is embedded amongst the cobblestones.

> put gem on tile
You need to be holding the jewel before you can put it on top of something else.

> get gem
Taken.

> put gem on tile
You'd rather hold on to it.

> jump on tile
You jump on the spot, fruitlessly.

> l

At the End of the Path
You appear to have come to a dead end. The cobblestone walk runs right up to the side of a giant pipe. The steep slope leading down to the water continues to the east.

A strange, triangular tile is embedded amongst the cobblestones.

> s
The jewel grows cumbersome in your arms. You return it to the sling before continuing on your way.

On the Shore of the Pond
Here the dirt path that you've grown accustomed to is replaced by a cobblestone walk. To the east, a steep, rocky slope leads down to the moss-green water. A thick layer of mist has settled over the pond making it difficult to see to the opposite side.

In the grass alongside the cobblestone terrace, you see Snoll's shell. He must've retreated back inside.

The dandelion is to the southwest. The walk also marches on to the north.

> s
You're too afraid of getting stuck in the mud to venture that way.

> sw

At the Base of a Dandelion
You are at the base of the largest dandelion you've ever seen. Tall, lance-like leaves surround its massive stem, which rises up to support a snowy globe of seeds. Beyond the dandelion, to the east, the ground grows marshier and thick with palm sedge.

The path here runs from southwest to northeast.

> sw

By a Cluster of Tulips
Giant, cup-shaped flowers sit atop tall, dark green stalks that stretch to about five times your height. Most of the flowers are a deep pink, aside from one striking orange tulip that sits apart from the rest. A black swallowtail is circling back and forth around it, occasionally dipping in for a sip of nectar.

The path curves to the northeast here. It also continues back west to the fork.

> ask butterfly about prince
You've never come upon a talking arthropod and this butterfly is no exception. Either that or it's ignoring you.

> climb tulip
You attempt to shimmy up the stalk of the orange tulip but it is much too slippery.

> x tulip
The bright orange tulip, perched atop its tall, green stem, glows with the light of the sun. A black swallowtail butterfly is currently circling around it.

> w

At a Fork in the Path
Tall grasses line the path that forks off to the north and east. The road back home is to the west.

> n

By the Rose Thicket
You find yourself standing in front of an unruly thicket of damask roses. Their scent permeates the air.

You can hear the faint sound of crying to the north. The path also continues back to the south.

> n

By the Lilac Bush
Here the path culminates at a stout lilac bush bursting with its distinctive amethyst flowers. A beautiful nymph sits sobbing on one of its lower branches.

The path continues back to the south.

> x nymph
The beautiful nymph, dressed in a simple white shift, sits sobbing on one of the lower branches of the lilac bush. Her long, lavender locks partially obscure her face. Next to her you see a small brown basket.

> kiss nymph
You are unsure whether or not she'd appreciate the gesture.

> l

By the Lilac Bush
Here the path culminates at a stout lilac bush bursting with its distinctive amethyst flowers. A beautiful nymph sits sobbing on one of its lower branches.

The path continues back to the south.

> s bush
I only understood you as far as wanting to s.

> x bush
The stout lilac bush is practically bursting with its distinctive amethyst flowers and heart-shaped leaves. Camouflaged deep in the thick branches, you see the nymph's cottage.

> x leaves
The stout lilac bush is practically bursting with its distinctive amethyst flowers and heart-shaped leaves. Camouflaged deep in the thick branches, you see the nymph's cottage.

> x cottafe
You can't see any such thing.

> x cottage
The charming little cottage is hidden deep in the branches of the lilac bush.

> x flowers
The stout lilac bush is practically bursting with its distinctive amethyst flowers and heart-shaped leaves. Camouflaged deep in the thick branches, you see the nymph's cottage.

> s

By the Rose Thicket
You find yourself standing in front of an unruly thicket of damask roses. Their scent permeates the air.

You can hear the faint sound of crying to the north. The path also continues back to the south.

> x roses
The dense shrubbery, capped with fat pink roses, branches out high overhead. The blooms are captivating but their thorny stems make them seem more than a little forbidding.

> x blooms
The dense shrubbery, capped with fat pink roses, branches out high overhead. The blooms are captivating but their thorny stems make them seem more than a little forbidding.

> climb roses
The prickly tangle is less than inviting.

> w
You are immediately enveloped by the tall fescue. Fearful of losing your way in this green jungle, you quickly return to the path.

> s

At a Fork in the Path
Tall grasses line the path that forks off to the north and east. The road back home is to the west.

> w
You've come all this way just to return the gem. You can't turn back now.

> e

By a Cluster of Tulips
Giant, cup-shaped flowers sit atop tall, dark green stalks that stretch to about five times your height. Most of the flowers are a deep pink, aside from one striking orange tulip that sits apart from the rest. A black swallowtail is circling back and forth around it, occasionally dipping in for a sip of nectar.

The path curves to the northeast here. It also continues back west to the fork.

> w

At a Fork in the Path
Tall grasses line the path that forks off to the north and east. The road back home is to the west.

> n

By the Rose Thicket
You find yourself standing in front of an unruly thicket of damask roses. Their scent permeates the air.

You can hear the faint sound of crying to the north. The path also continues back to the south.

> n

By the Lilac Bush
Here the path culminates at a stout lilac bush bursting with its distinctive amethyst flowers. A beautiful nymph sits sobbing on one of its lower branches.

The path continues back to the south.

> get gem
Taken.

> give gem to nymph
You couldn't part with it. You'll have to find another way to cheer up the sad nymph.

> sing
You hum a sprightly tune.

> dance
You perform a cute little jig.

> l

By the Lilac Bush
Here the path culminates at a stout lilac bush bursting with its distinctive amethyst flowers. A beautiful nymph sits sobbing on one of its lower branches.

The path continues back to the south.

> s
The jewel grows cumbersome in your arms. You return it to the sling before continuing on your way.

By the Rose Thicket
You find yourself standing in front of an unruly thicket of damask roses. Their scent permeates the air.

You can hear the faint sound of crying to the north. The path also continues back to the south.

> s

At a Fork in the Path
Tall grasses line the path that forks off to the north and east. The road back home is to the west.

> e

By a Cluster of Tulips
Giant, cup-shaped flowers sit atop tall, dark green stalks that stretch to about five times your height. Most of the flowers are a deep pink, aside from one striking orange tulip that sits apart from the rest. A black swallowtail is circling back and forth around it, occasionally dipping in for a sip of nectar.

The path curves to the northeast here. It also continues back west to the fork.

> get butterfly
The black swallowtail is flitting around overhead, far out of reach.

> ne

At the Base of a Dandelion
You are at the base of the largest dandelion you've ever seen. Tall, lance-like leaves surround its massive stem, which rises up to support a snowy globe of seeds. Beyond the dandelion, to the east, the ground grows marshier and thick with palm sedge.

The path here runs from southwest to northeast.

> u
You scale the dandelion stem and pull yourself up onto the head...

On Top of the Dandelion
You are standing on the sole bare spot of the dandelion cap, amongst its countless downy white seeds. Up here, you are afforded a better view of the captivating orange tulip to the southwest. A black swallowtail butterfly dips into the fiery goblet for a sip of nectar.

You can also see a calm but murky-looking pond to the east, beyond the palm sedge.

A competing northeasterly wind picks up, setting some of the dandelion seeds adrift.

> x seeds
Their soft, propeller-like tops are nearly even with your head.

The northeasterly wind caresses your shoulders.

> get seeds
You pull one of the seeds from the dandelion clock and hold it up like an umbrella.

The wind dies down for a moment and then is replaced by a balmy zephyr pressing you southwest.

> i
You are carrying:
a seed
a sling (being worn)
a jewel

The wind blows southwest, agitating the seeds around you.

> d
In your effort to climb down, you release the seed, sending it floating off in the breeze. You carefully descend the stem, using the leaves to steady yourself.

At the Base of a Dandelion
You are at the base of the largest dandelion you've ever seen. Tall, lance-like leaves surround its massive stem, which rises up to support a snowy globe of seeds. Beyond the dandelion, to the east, the ground grows marshier and thick with palm sedge.

The path here runs from southwest to northeast.

> score
There is no score in this story.

> x sedge
The palm sedge rises up out of the marshy land, healthy and green.

> climb sedge
You're too afraid of getting stuck in the mud to get closer to the sedge.

>
I beg your pardon?

> u
You scale the dandelion stem and pull yourself up onto the head...

On Top of the Dandelion
You are standing on the sole bare spot of the dandelion cap, amongst its countless downy white seeds. Up here, you are afforded a better view of the captivating orange tulip to the southwest. A black swallowtail butterfly dips into the fiery goblet for a sip of nectar.

You can also see a calm but murky-looking pond to the east, beyond the palm sedge.

The zephyr subsides and is replaced by a gentle easterly breeze.

> get seeds
You pull one of the seeds from the dandelion clock and hold it up like an umbrella.

A gentle breeze from the west ruffles you hair.

> throw seed
You let go of the seed and it floats away in the breeze.

A competing northeasterly wind picks up, setting some of the dandelion seeds adrift.

> x seeds
Their soft, propeller-like tops are nearly even with your head.

The northeasterly wind caresses your shoulders.

> x butterfly
The dark wings of the black swallowtail are dotted with yellow at their base. The butterfly is currently circling the orange tulip, occasionally dipping in for a sip of nectar.

The wind dies down for a moment and then is replaced by a balmy zephyr pressing you southwest.

> x tulip
A black swallowtail loiters near the orange tulip, dipping in and out for an occasional sip of nectar. You notice that the tulip is a bit taller than those around it. Perhaps it affords a better view of the surrounding area than the dandelion.

That could help me figure out where I'm going , you tell yourself

The wind blows southwest, agitating the seeds around you.

> get seed
You pull one of the seeds from the dandelion clock and hold it up like an umbrella.

The zephyr subsides and is replaced by a gentle easterly breeze.

> z
Time passes.

A gentle breeze from the west ruffles you hair.

> z
Time passes.

A competing northeasterly wind picks up, setting some of the dandelion seeds adrift.

> z
Time passes.

The northeasterly wind caresses your shoulders.

> z
Time passes.

The wind dies down for a moment and then is replaced by a balmy zephyr pressing you southwest.

> drop seed
You let go of the seed and it floats away in the breeze.

The wind blows southwest, agitating the seeds around you.

> z
Time passes.

The zephyr subsides and is replaced by a gentle easterly breeze.

> x seed
The soft, propeller-like tops are nearly even with your head.

A gentle breeze from the west ruffles you hair.

> d
You carefully descend the stem, using the leaves to steady yourself.

At the Base of a Dandelion
You are at the base of the largest dandelion you've ever seen. Tall, lance-like leaves surround its massive stem, which rises up to support a snowy globe of seeds. Beyond the dandelion, to the east, the ground grows marshier and thick with palm sedge.

The path here runs from southwest to northeast.

> sw

By a Cluster of Tulips
Giant, cup-shaped flowers sit atop tall, dark green stalks that stretch to about five times your height. Most of the flowers are a deep pink, aside from one striking orange tulip that sits apart from the rest. A black swallowtail is circling back and forth around it, occasionally dipping in for a sip of nectar.

The path curves to the northeast here. It also continues back west to the fork.

> x tulip
The bright orange tulip, perched atop its tall, green stem, glows with the light of the sun. A black swallowtail butterfly is currently circling around it.

> ne

At the Base of a Dandelion
You are at the base of the largest dandelion you've ever seen. Tall, lance-like leaves surround its massive stem, which rises up to support a snowy globe of seeds. Beyond the dandelion, to the east, the ground grows marshier and thick with palm sedge.

The path here runs from southwest to northeast.

> u
You scale the dandelion stem and pull yourself up onto the head...

On Top of the Dandelion
You are standing on the sole bare spot of the dandelion cap, amongst its countless downy white seeds. Up here, you are afforded a better view of the captivating orange tulip to the southwest. A black swallowtail butterfly dips into the fiery goblet for a sip of nectar.

You can also see a calm but murky-looking pond to the east, beyond the palm sedge.

A competing northeasterly wind picks up, setting some of the dandelion seeds adrift.

> get seed
You pull one of the seeds from the dandelion clock and hold it up like an umbrella.

The northeasterly wind caresses your shoulders.

> z
Time passes.

The wind dies down for a moment and then is replaced by a balmy zephyr pressing you southwest.

> jump
You jump up with the seed extended in your arm. Its parachute top catches in the breeze and you are swept into the air.

I'm flying!

The southwestern zephyr sends you coasting towards the tulips. A shiver of excitement runs through you as you zip past the pink flowers. A fortuitous undercurrent of wind jolts you upward right before you slam face first into the tall orange tulip. You release the seed just as you are arcing over its open petals...

and land in it with a PLOP.

[More]

In the Tulip Turret
You find yourself coughing uncontrollably. Your abrupt landing must've knocked all of the pollen loose in the flower-- you're practically swimming in it. You're still hacking when you realize that the black swallowtail is peering in at you, its antennae twitching. It huffs indignantly, apparently unhappy to find an uninvited guest at its favorite snack spot.

"Sorry--," you start to say, but with one flap of its wings, the butterfly is gone. You stand up and brush the rest of the pollen off of you, careful to avoid stray droplets of nectar.

Finally you are able to take in your surroundings. The amber petals of the tulip form a protective parapet around you as you gaze out at the garden. Unfortunately, you discover that the view isn't that much better than the one provided by the dandelion. The heavy mist prevents you from seeing beyond the pond and a tall rosebush blocks the view on the other side.

Crud ! Still, you can't help but feel a strange sense of accomplishment over making it to the top of the flower.

> save
Ok.

> l

In the Tulip Turret
The amber petals of the tulip form a protective parapet around you as you gaze out at the garden. The pond to the east is covered in a dense mist. The view from the other side of the tulip is dominated by an overgrown rosebush.

The bottom of the tulip is full of pollen. The tulip's stem offers a possible way down.

> x pollen
Golden grains of pollen form a mound at the bottom of the tulip.

> get pollen
The powdery pollen slips through your fingers.

> x nectar
The petals of the tulip are dotted with stray droplets of nectar.

> get nectar
You want to avoid getting the sticky nectar all over you if possible.

> x pond
A thick layer of mist has settled on the pond. You can't see very far across it, even from this vantage point.

> x mist
A thick layer of mist has settled on the pond. You can't see very far across it, even from this vantage point.

> x rosebush
A wild tangle of roses blocks most of the view to the west.

> x petals
The amber petals of the tulip form a protective parapet around you.

> get petal
You don't want to undermine the stability of your little tower.

> d
You carefully climb out of the tulip and slide down the stem...

By a Cluster of Tulips
Giant, cup-shaped flowers sit atop tall, dark green stalks that stretch to about five times your height. Most of the flowers are a deep pink, aside from one striking orange tulip that sits apart from the rest.

The path curves to the northeast here. It also continues back west to the fork.

> i
You are carrying:
a sling (being worn)
a jewel

> ne

At the Base of a Dandelion
You are at the base of the largest dandelion you've ever seen. Tall, lance-like leaves surround its massive stem, which rises up to support a snowy globe of seeds. Beyond the dandelion, to the east, the ground grows marshier and thick with palm sedge.

The path here runs from southwest to northeast.

> u
You scale the dandelion stem and pull yourself up onto the head...

On Top of the Dandelion
You are standing on the sole bare spot of the dandelion cap, amongst its countless downy white seeds. Up here, you are afforded a better view of the captivating orange tulip to the southwest. You can also see a calm but murky-looking pond to the east, beyond the palm sedge.

The wind blows southwest, agitating the seeds around you.

> get seed
You pull one of the seeds from the dandelion clock and hold it up like an umbrella.

The zephyr subsides and is replaced by a gentle easterly breeze.

> jump
You jump up with the seed extended in your arm. Its parachute top catches in the breeze and you are swept into the air.

The easterly breeze sends you spinning wildly toward the sedges and the water beyond it. You let go just in time...

[More]

WHOMP!

Amongst the Sedges
The sedges close in around you like a jungle. You can see the dandelion through a mass of leaves to the west.

That was a close one!

> save
Ok.

> x sedges
The sedges surround you in every direction. You can see the dandelion through a mass of leaves to the west.

> n
Getting lost in the sedges is not your idea of a good time.

> w
You push west, through the leaves...

At the Base of a Dandelion
You are at the base of the largest dandelion you've ever seen. Tall, lance-like leaves surround its massive stem, which rises up to support a snowy globe of seeds. Beyond the dandelion, to the east, the ground grows marshier and thick with palm sedge.

The path here runs from southwest to northeast.

> u
You scale the dandelion stem and pull yourself up onto the head...

On Top of the Dandelion
You are standing on the sole bare spot of the dandelion cap, amongst its countless downy white seeds. Up here, you are afforded a better view of the captivating orange tulip to the southwest. You can also see a calm but murky-looking pond to the east, beyond the palm sedge.

A gentle breeze from the west ruffles you hair.

> get seed
You pull one of the seeds from the dandelion clock and hold it up like an umbrella.

A competing northeasterly wind picks up, setting some of the dandelion seeds adrift.

> jump
You jump up with the seed extended in your arm. Its parachute top catches in the breeze and you are swept into the air.

Technically the wind directions are backwards. A northeasterly wind is one from the northeast, so it should take you southwest.

The rough wind buffets you northeast. The tulips, the grasses, the pond-- all of them blur together as you soar through the air. Eventually gravity takes its course and you slowly descend, bracing your legs for impact.

Your trip wasn't as far as it might have seemed.

On the Shore of the Pond
Here the dirt path that you've grown accustomed to is replaced by a cobblestone walk. To the east, a steep, rocky slope leads down to the moss-green water. A thick layer of mist has settled over the pond making it difficult to see to the opposite side.

In the grass alongside the cobblestone terrace, you see Snoll's shell. He must've retreated back inside.

The dandelion is to the southwest. The walk also marches on to the north.

You let go of the dandelion seed and watch as it floats away in the breeze.

> sw

At the Base of a Dandelion
You are at the base of the largest dandelion you've ever seen. Tall, lance-like leaves surround its massive stem, which rises up to support a snowy globe of seeds. Beyond the dandelion, to the east, the ground grows marshier and thick with palm sedge.

The path here runs from southwest to northeast.

> w
You are immediately enveloped by the tall fescue. Fearful of losing your way in this green jungle, you quickly return to the path.

> sw

By a Cluster of Tulips
Giant, cup-shaped flowers sit atop tall, dark green stalks that stretch to about five times your height. Most of the flowers are a deep pink, aside from one striking orange tulip that sits apart from the rest.

The path curves to the northeast here. It also continues back west to the fork.

> x tulip
The bright orange tulip, perched atop its tall, green stem, glows with the light of the sun.

> climb it
You attempt to shimmy up the stalk of the orange tulip but it is much too slippery.

> n
You are immediately enveloped by the tall fescue. Fearful of losing your way in this green jungle, you quickly return to the path.

> w

At a Fork in the Path
Tall grasses line the path that forks off to the north and east. The road back home is to the west.

> n

By the Rose Thicket
You find yourself standing in front of an unruly thicket of damask roses. Their scent permeates the air.

You can hear the faint sound of crying to the north. The path also continues back to the south.

> n

By the Lilac Bush
Here the path culminates at a stout lilac bush bursting with its distinctive amethyst flowers. A beautiful nymph sits sobbing on one of its lower branches.

The path continues back to the south.

> talk to nymph
To talk to someone, use ASK ___ ABOUT/FOR ___ or TELL ___ ABOUT ___.

> tell nymph about gem
You try to explain your mission to the sad maiden but she is too lost in her grief to respond.

> show gem to nymph
(first taking the jewel)
You try to explain your mission to the sad maiden but she is too lost in her grief to respond.

> x branches
The stout lilac bush is practically bursting with its distinctive amethyst flowers and heart-shaped leaves. Camouflaged deep in the thick branches, you see the nymph's cottage.

> x leaves
The stout lilac bush is practically bursting with its distinctive amethyst flowers and heart-shaped leaves. Camouflaged deep in the thick branches, you see the nymph's cottage.

> get flower
You doubt the nymph would appreciate your attempts to remodel her home.

> s
The jewel grows cumbersome in your arms. You return it to the sling before continuing on your way.

By the Rose Thicket
You find yourself standing in front of an unruly thicket of damask roses. Their scent permeates the air.

You can hear the faint sound of crying to the north. The path also continues back to the south.

> x roses
The dense shrubbery, capped with fat pink roses, branches out high overhead. The blooms are captivating but their thorny stems make them seem more than a little forbidding.

> get rose
You can't reach the roses.

> s

At a Fork in the Path
Tall grasses line the path that forks off to the north and east. The road back home is to the west.

> e

By a Cluster of Tulips
Giant, cup-shaped flowers sit atop tall, dark green stalks that stretch to about five times your height. Most of the flowers are a deep pink, aside from one striking orange tulip that sits apart from the rest.

The path curves to the northeast here. It also continues back west to the fork.

> ne

At the Base of a Dandelion
You are at the base of the largest dandelion you've ever seen. Tall, lance-like leaves surround its massive stem, which rises up to support a snowy globe of seeds. Beyond the dandelion, to the east, the ground grows marshier and thick with palm sedge.

The path here runs from southwest to northeast.

> u
You scale the dandelion stem and pull yourself up onto the head...

On Top of the Dandelion
You are standing on the sole bare spot of the dandelion cap, amongst its countless downy white seeds. Up here, you are afforded a better view of the captivating orange tulip to the southwest. You can also see a calm but murky-looking pond to the east, beyond the palm sedge.

The northeasterly wind caresses your shoulders.

> get seed
You pull one of the seeds from the dandelion clock and hold it up like an umbrella.

The wind dies down for a moment and then is replaced by a balmy zephyr pressing you southwest.

> z
Time passes.

The wind blows southwest, agitating the seeds around you.

> z
Time passes.

The zephyr subsides and is replaced by a gentle easterly breeze.

> z
Time passes.

A gentle breeze from the west ruffles you hair.

> jump
You jump up with the seed extended in your arm. Its parachute top catches in the breeze and you are swept into the air.

You are caught in the easterly breeze again, spiralling out of control toward the marshy sedge.

Uh oh ! For a second time you let go of the seed moments before peril.

[More]

THUD!

Amongst the Sedges
The sedges close in around you like a jungle. You can see the dandelion through a mass of leaves to the west.

Another close call !

> w
You push west, through the leaves...

At the Base of a Dandelion
You are at the base of the largest dandelion you've ever seen. Tall, lance-like leaves surround its massive stem, which rises up to support a snowy globe of seeds. Beyond the dandelion, to the east, the ground grows marshier and thick with palm sedge.

The path here runs from southwest to northeast.

> u
You scale the dandelion stem and pull yourself up onto the head...

On Top of the Dandelion
You are standing on the sole bare spot of the dandelion cap, amongst its countless downy white seeds. Up here, you are afforded a better view of the captivating orange tulip to the southwest. You can also see a calm but murky-looking pond to the east, beyond the palm sedge.

A competing northeasterly wind picks up, setting some of the dandelion seeds adrift.

> get seed
You pull one of the seeds from the dandelion clock and hold it up like an umbrella.

The northeasterly wind caresses your shoulders.

> z
Time passes.

The wind dies down for a moment and then is replaced by a balmy zephyr pressing you southwest.

> z
Time passes.

The wind blows southwest, agitating the seeds around you.

> z
Time passes.

The zephyr subsides and is replaced by a gentle easterly breeze.

> z
Time passes.

A gentle breeze from the west ruffles you hair.

> jump
You jump up with the seed extended in your arm. Its parachute top catches in the breeze and you are swept into the air.

The easterly breeze catches you again, but this time it has more of a kick to it. Before you can even think to let go, you find yourself hovering over the murky pond. Your body quakes with panic. You hold onto the seed for as long as you can, but you eventually lose your grip...

[More]

SPLASH!

You flail around for a bit but soon tire and find yourself succumbing to the dark waters. What an unfortunate end to your first adventure!

*** You have died ***

Would you like to RESTART, RESTORE a saved game or QUIT?
>
undo
On Top of the Dandelion
[Previous turn undone.]

> z
Time passes.

A competing northeasterly wind picks up, setting some of the dandelion seeds adrift.

> z
Time passes.

The northeasterly wind caresses your shoulders.

> z
Time passes.

The wind dies down for a moment and then is replaced by a balmy zephyr pressing you southwest.

> z
Time passes.

The wind blows southwest, agitating the seeds around you.

> jump
You jump up with the seed extended in your arm. Its parachute top catches in the breeze and you are swept into the air.

The southwestern zephyr sends you coasting toward the tulips. That same undercurrent of wind jolts you upward right before you slam face first into the tall orange tulip. You release the seed just as you are arcing over its open petals... and land in it with a PLOP.

In the Tulip Turret
The amber petals of the tulip form a protective parapet around you as you gaze out at the garden. The pond to the east is covered in a dense mist. The view from the other side of the tulip is dominated by an overgrown rosebush.

The bottom of the tulip is full of pollen. The tulip's stem offers a possible way down.

> x pollen
Golden grains of pollen form a mound at the bottom of the tulip.

> put pollen in sling
You sprinkle some pollen into the sling, but it slips out.

> x gem
The pale blue jewel glitters in the sunlight. At its base, you can make out the delicate, silvery script that reads "PROPERTY OF THE FAIRY PRINCE".

> l

In the Tulip Turret
The amber petals of the tulip form a protective parapet around you as you gaze out at the garden. The pond to the east is covered in a dense mist. The view from the other side of the tulip is dominated by an overgrown rosebush.

The bottom of the tulip is full of pollen. The tulip's stem offers a possible way down.

> d
You carefully climb out of the tulip and slide down the stem...

By a Cluster of Tulips
Giant, cup-shaped flowers sit atop tall, dark green stalks that stretch to about five times your height. Most of the flowers are a deep pink, aside from one striking orange tulip that sits apart from the rest.

The path curves to the northeast here. It also continues back west to the fork.

> ne

At the Base of a Dandelion
You are at the base of the largest dandelion you've ever seen. Tall, lance-like leaves surround its massive stem, which rises up to support a snowy globe of seeds. Beyond the dandelion, to the east, the ground grows marshier and thick with palm sedge.

The path here runs from southwest to northeast.

> ne

On the Shore of the Pond
Here the dirt path that you've grown accustomed to is replaced by a cobblestone walk. To the east, a steep, rocky slope leads down to the moss-green water. A thick layer of mist has settled over the pond making it difficult to see to the opposite side.

In the grass alongside the cobblestone terrace, you see Snoll's shell. He must've retreated back inside.

The dandelion is to the southwest. The walk also marches on to the north.

> knock on shell
You rap loudly on the shell again... and wait. Before long, Snoll emerges again, no less irritated than before.

"What is it this time?!" he snaps.

> ask snoll about nymph
`What do you know about the nymph who dwells amongst the lilacs?" you ask him.

"She's a nice girl. A bit flighty, but nice." His voice grows stern: "And don't you get any funny ideas!" You assure him that you won't.

> ask snoll about nymph
`What do you know about the nymph who dwells amongst the lilacs?" you ask him.

"She's a nice girl. A bit flighty, but nice." His voice grows stern: "And don't you get any funny ideas!" You assure him that you won't.

> ask snoll about tile
"Oh, you want to know about that?" He lowers his voice to a whisper. "Why, that's how you get across the pond..."

> ask snoll about tile
"Oh, you want to know about that?" He lowers his voice to a whisper. "Why, that's how you get across the pond..."

> tell snoll about nymph
"The nymph is upset?" Snoll asks, and you are surprised to hear a shred of compassion in his voice. "Well, you should help her then."

> tell snoll about nymph
"The nymph is upset?" Snoll asks, and you are surprised to hear a shred of compassion in his voice. "Well, you should help her then."

> ask snoll about pond
"Is there any way across the pond?" you ask.

"As a matter of fact," the snail leans in conspiratorially, "there is. I've seen the Fairy Prince's courier cross many a time. If you travel a bit north, you'll see a funny-shaped tile by the water. It marks the beginning of the bridge."

"The... bridge?"

"Yes -- The only thing is, you can't see it! He used his crazy fairy magic to turn it invisible!"

> ask snoll about tulip
"I don't have much use for flowers," he tells you.

> ask snoll about mist
"Like I said, there's a bridge across the pond. You can't see it, but trust me, it's there. If you travel a bit north, you'll find a funny-shaped rock by the water. It marks the beginning of the bridge."

> save
Ok.

> ne
The steep slope looks treacherous. You don't want to end up taking a tumble into the water.

> n

At the End of the Path
You appear to have come to a dead end. The cobblestone walk runs right up to the side of a giant pipe. The steep slope leading down to the water continues to the east.

A strange, triangular tile is embedded amongst the cobblestones.

> e
You take a deep breath and, starting from the triangular tile, step out over the slope. In spite of what the snail told you, you are startled when your foot meets the solid surface of the bridge. Tentatively, you press forward. When you are finally standing directly over the pond, you lose your bearings, however. The disconnect between what you see and what you feel causes you to lose your balance. You teeter back and forth, dangerously, and with no handrail to catch you, you nearly fall into the water. Slowly, you are able to make your way back to the shore.

There's got to be a way for me to get across this bridge , you tell yourself.

> sw
You are immediately enveloped by the tall fescue. Fearful of losing your way in this green jungle, you quickly return to the cobblestone path.

> s

On the Shore of the Pond
Here the dirt path that you've grown accustomed to is replaced by a cobblestone walk. To the east, a steep, rocky slope leads down to the moss-green water. A thick layer of mist has settled over the pond making it difficult to see to the opposite side.

In the grass alongside the cobblestone terrace, you see Snoll's shell. He must've retreated back inside.

The dandelion is to the southwest. The walk also marches on to the north.

> sw

At the Base of a Dandelion
You are at the base of the largest dandelion you've ever seen. Tall, lance-like leaves surround its massive stem, which rises up to support a snowy globe of seeds. Beyond the dandelion, to the east, the ground grows marshier and thick with palm sedge.

The path here runs from southwest to northeast.

> u
You scale the dandelion stem and pull yourself up onto the head...

On Top of the Dandelion
You are standing on the sole bare spot of the dandelion cap, amongst its countless downy white seeds. Up here, you are afforded a better view of the captivating orange tulip to the southwest. You can also see a calm but murky-looking pond to the east, beyond the palm sedge.

The zephyr subsides and is replaced by a gentle easterly breeze.

> get seed
You pull one of the seeds from the dandelion clock and hold it up like an umbrella.

A gentle breeze from the west ruffles you hair.

> z
Time passes.

A competing northeasterly wind picks up, setting some of the dandelion seeds adrift.

> z
Time passes.

The northeasterly wind caresses your shoulders.

> z
Time passes.

The wind dies down for a moment and then is replaced by a balmy zephyr pressing you southwest.

> jump
You jump up with the seed extended in your arm. Its parachute top catches in the breeze and you are swept into the air.

The southwestern zephyr sends you coasting toward the tulips. That same undercurrent of wind jolts you upward right before you slam face first into the tall orange tulip. You release the seed just as you are arcing over its open petals... and land in it with a PLOP.

In the Tulip Turret
The amber petals of the tulip form a protective parapet around you as you gaze out at the garden. The pond to the east is covered in a dense mist. The view from the other side of the tulip is dominated by an overgrown rosebush.

The bottom of the tulip is full of pollen. The tulip's stem offers a possible way down.

> get pollen
The powdery pollen slips through your fingers.

> throw pollen
The grains of pollen are already here.

> throw pollen up
I only understood you as far as wanting to throw the grains of pollen.

> blow pollen
You blow a little pollen into the air.

> g
You blow a little pollen into the air.

> x pollen
Golden grains of pollen form a mound at the bottom of the tulip.

> get pollen
The powdery pollen slips through your fingers.

> blow pollen
You blow a little pollen into the air.

> i
You are carrying:
a sling (being worn)
a jewel

> put pollen in sling
You sprinkle some pollen into the sling, but it slips out.

> i
You are carrying:
a sling (being worn)
a jewel

> x me
You are Mite, a pixy lad with bright green skin and pointy ears.

You are currently toting a dazzling blue gem on your back in a loose sling.

> get gem
Taken.

> put pollen in sling
You sprinkle some pollen into the sling, but it slips out.

> d
You doubt you'll be able to climb down easily with the jewel in your arms. Perhaps you should return it to the sling.

> put gem in sling
You put the jewel into the sling.

> d
You carefully climb out of the tulip and slide down the stem...

By a Cluster of Tulips
Giant, cup-shaped flowers sit atop tall, dark green stalks that stretch to about five times your height. Most of the flowers are a deep pink, aside from one striking orange tulip that sits apart from the rest.

The path curves to the northeast here. It also continues back west to the fork.

> ne

At the Base of a Dandelion
You are at the base of the largest dandelion you've ever seen. Tall, lance-like leaves surround its massive stem, which rises up to support a snowy globe of seeds. Beyond the dandelion, to the east, the ground grows marshier and thick with palm sedge.

The path here runs from southwest to northeast.

> ne

On the Shore of the Pond
Here the dirt path that you've grown accustomed to is replaced by a cobblestone walk. To the east, a steep, rocky slope leads down to the moss-green water. A thick layer of mist has settled over the pond making it difficult to see to the opposite side.

In the grass alongside the cobblestone terrace, you see Snoll's shell. He must've retreated back inside.

The dandelion is to the southwest. The walk also marches on to the north.

> n

At the End of the Path
You appear to have come to a dead end. The cobblestone walk runs right up to the side of a giant pipe. The steep slope leading down to the water continues to the east.

A strange, triangular tile is embedded amongst the cobblestones.

> e
You are too afraid of losing your balance over the water to venture onto the bridge. If only there were some way to see where you were going...

> s

On the Shore of the Pond
Here the dirt path that you've grown accustomed to is replaced by a cobblestone walk. To the east, a steep, rocky slope leads down to the moss-green water. A thick layer of mist has settled over the pond making it difficult to see to the opposite side.

In the grass alongside the cobblestone terrace, you see Snoll's shell. He must've retreated back inside.

The dandelion is to the southwest. The walk also marches on to the north.

> sw

At the Base of a Dandelion
You are at the base of the largest dandelion you've ever seen. Tall, lance-like leaves surround its massive stem, which rises up to support a snowy globe of seeds. Beyond the dandelion, to the east, the ground grows marshier and thick with palm sedge.

The path here runs from southwest to northeast.

> u
You scale the dandelion stem and pull yourself up onto the head...

On Top of the Dandelion
You are standing on the sole bare spot of the dandelion cap, amongst its countless downy white seeds. Up here, you are afforded a better view of the captivating orange tulip to the southwest. You can also see a calm but murky-looking pond to the east, beyond the palm sedge.

The wind blows southwest, agitating the seeds around you.

> get seeds
You pull one of the seeds from the dandelion clock and hold it up like an umbrella.

The zephyr subsides and is replaced by a gentle easterly breeze.

> z
Time passes.

A gentle breeze from the west ruffles you hair.

> z
Time passes.

A competing northeasterly wind picks up, setting some of the dandelion seeds adrift.

> throw seed
You let go of the seed and it floats away in the breeze.

The northeasterly wind caresses your shoulders.

> z
Time passes.

The wind dies down for a moment and then is replaced by a balmy zephyr pressing you southwest.

> z
Time passes.

The wind blows southwest, agitating the seeds around you.

> d
You carefully descend the stem, using the leaves to steady yourself.

At the Base of a Dandelion
You are at the base of the largest dandelion you've ever seen. Tall, lance-like leaves surround its massive stem, which rises up to support a snowy globe of seeds. Beyond the dandelion, to the east, the ground grows marshier and thick with palm sedge.

The path here runs from southwest to northeast.

> ne

On the Shore of the Pond
Here the dirt path that you've grown accustomed to is replaced by a cobblestone walk. To the east, a steep, rocky slope leads down to the moss-green water. A thick layer of mist has settled over the pond making it difficult to see to the opposite side.

In the grass alongside the cobblestone terrace, you see Snoll's shell. He must've retreated back inside.

The dandelion is to the southwest. The walk also marches on to the north.

> n

At the End of the Path
You appear to have come to a dead end. The cobblestone walk runs right up to the side of a giant pipe. The steep slope leading down to the water continues to the east.

A strange, triangular tile is embedded amongst the cobblestones.

> x tile
The triangular white tile is curved at its base, almost shaped like an arrowhead. It seems to point towards the water.

> s

On the Shore of the Pond
Here the dirt path that you've grown accustomed to is replaced by a cobblestone walk. To the east, a steep, rocky slope leads down to the moss-green water. A thick layer of mist has settled over the pond making it difficult to see to the opposite side.

In the grass alongside the cobblestone terrace, you see Snoll's shell. He must've retreated back inside.

The dandelion is to the southwest. The walk also marches on to the north.

> sw

At the Base of a Dandelion
You are at the base of the largest dandelion you've ever seen. Tall, lance-like leaves surround its massive stem, which rises up to support a snowy globe of seeds. Beyond the dandelion, to the east, the ground grows marshier and thick with palm sedge.

The path here runs from southwest to northeast.

> x leaves
The lance-shaped leaves are long, with jagged edges. They cleave closely to the stem of the dandelion.

> w
You are immediately enveloped by the tall fescue. Fearful of losing your way in this green jungle, you quickly return to the path.

> sw

By a Cluster of Tulips
Giant, cup-shaped flowers sit atop tall, dark green stalks that stretch to about five times your height. Most of the flowers are a deep pink, aside from one striking orange tulip that sits apart from the rest.

The path curves to the northeast here. It also continues back west to the fork.

> n
You are immediately enveloped by the tall fescue. Fearful of losing your way in this green jungle, you quickly return to the path.

> w

At a Fork in the Path
Tall grasses line the path that forks off to the north and east. The road back home is to the west.

> n

By the Rose Thicket
You find yourself standing in front of an unruly thicket of damask roses. Their scent permeates the air.

You can hear the faint sound of crying to the north. The path also continues back to the south.

> n

By the Lilac Bush
Here the path culminates at a stout lilac bush bursting with its distinctive amethyst flowers. A beautiful nymph sits sobbing on one of its lower branches.

The path continues back to the south.

> x nymph
The beautiful nymph, dressed in a simple white shift, sits sobbing on one of the lower branches of the lilac bush. Her long, lavender locks partially obscure her face. Next to her you see a small brown basket.

> ask nymph about crying
"My name is Hespa," she manages between sobs. "Today has been terrible! My beloved Bugg wandered off into the brush." She points at a small clearing in the the undergrowth to the northwest that had escaped your notice before.

"I followed after him but he got cornered by a nasty spider," she continues. "I tried to free him but I almost got trapped in its web myself!" Hespa starts weeping even more loudly than before.

> nw
You duck into the small clearing....

In the Small Clearing
You immediately feel claustrophobic in this tiny glade. It doesn't help that you are sharing the space with a giant spider. Just as Hespa described, the fearsome arachnid is busy at work, wrapping the still-struggling Bugg in a silky cocoon. Suddenly aware of your presence, the spider fixes its bulbous black eyes on you and hisses.

What have I gotten myself into? you wonder.

> save
Ok.

> ask spider about bugg
The spider answers you with a hiss.

> x spider
The giant spider is covered in velvety, chestnut-brown fur but it hardly seems cuddly. Every so often, it pauses in its spinning to stare back at you with its inky black eyes. Perhaps it's considering what to have for dessert.

> x bugg
You can barely see the poor creature. He is almost entirely covered in silk.

> i
You are carrying:
a sling (being worn)
a jewel

> throw jewel at spider
(first taking the jewel)
You'd prefer to hold on to it.

> get sling
You already have that.

> l

In the Small Clearing
The brush presses in around you from every direction. You feel quite claustrophobic here. It doesn't help that you are sharing the space with a giant spider. The vile creature is busy at work, wrapping the increasingly lethargic Bugg in its silky cocoon.

The path back to the lilac bush is southeast.

> hit spider with sling
That's hardly an effective weapon.

> se
The jewel grows cumbersome in your arms. You return it to the sling before continuing on your way.

By the Lilac Bush
Here the path culminates at a stout lilac bush bursting with its distinctive amethyst flowers. A beautiful nymph sits sobbing on one of its lower branches.

The path continues back to the south. The small clearing in the brush that Hespa pointed out is to the northwest.

> ask nymph about spider
"It's a nasty thing... almost a big as I am." She stares at you with frightened eyes.

> s

By the Rose Thicket
You find yourself standing in front of an unruly thicket of damask roses. Their scent permeates the air.

You can hear the faint sound of crying to the north. The path also continues back to the south.

> get thorn
You reach out and yank on the dried thorn. It snaps off into your hand.

> n

By the Lilac Bush
Here the path culminates at a stout lilac bush bursting with its distinctive amethyst flowers. A beautiful nymph sits sobbing on one of its lower branches.

The path continues back to the south. The small clearing in the brush that Hespa pointed out is to the northwest.

> nw
You duck into the small clearing....

In the Small Clearing
The brush presses in around you from every direction. You feel quite claustrophobic here. It doesn't help that you are sharing the space with a giant spider. The vile creature is busy at work, wrapping the increasingly lethargic Bugg in its silky cocoon.

The path back to the lilac bush is southeast.

> hit spider with thorn
You know that every living thing has to eat, but the idea of the nymph's dear pet being consumed by such a vile creature makes your heart hurt.

Thorn in hand, you take a swipe at the spider... and miss. It spits at you angrily and then turns its attention back to Bugg.

> cut silk with thorn
The spider blocks your efforts to free Bugg.

> hit spider with thorn
Your first attempt didn't work but you are not ready to give up. You swing your makeshift sword forward again with as much force as you can muster. It plunges deep into the spider's belly. The brute squawks in pain and you jump back, leaving the thorn embedded in its body. Its legs spasm wildly and then it finally falls to the ground, still.

Your heart is pounding so hard it feels like it might leap out of your chest. You've had to kill different creatures before (smaller, of course) but it was never anything like this. You feel like a warrior, victorious after battle. You draw the thorn out of the spider's body and wipe it off on some nearby grass.

> save
Ok.

> cut silk with thorn
Using the thorn, you delicately cut into the silk cocoon. Once the hole you've created is large enough, Bugg is able to crawl out, although with great effort. It takes a short while for the exhausted ladybug to recover his strength. After flapping his wings and stretching his legs, however, he's almost as good as new. He nuzzles you appreciatively and then makes his way back to his distressed owner.

> se

By the Lilac Bush
You emerge from the clearing feeling positively exhilarated. You see that Bugg has already made his way back to his elated mistress. He is nestling cozily in her lap as she checks him for injuries. When she notices your return, she offers you a beatific smile.

"I am forever indebted to you," she says. "I thought I would never get him back again."

"I'm glad to have helped," you reply. But she's not finished. She reaches over to her basket and pulls out something made of purple fabric.

"Here... it's not much but perhaps you will find is useful. On less exciting days, I spend a lot of time knitting, and I have tons of these." She hands you what turns out to be a small purple sack, closely knit out of lilac petal fibers.

"Thanks!"

> save
Ok.

> s

By the Rose Thicket
You find yourself standing in front of an unruly thicket of damask roses. Their scent permeates the air.

The path stretches on to the north and south.

> s

At a Fork in the Path
Tall grasses line the path that forks off to the north and east. The road back home is to the west.

> e

By a Cluster of Tulips
Giant, cup-shaped flowers sit atop tall, dark green stalks that stretch to about five times your height. Most of the flowers are a deep pink, aside from one striking orange tulip that sits apart from the rest.

The path curves to the northeast here. It also continues back west to the fork.

> ne

At the Base of a Dandelion
You are at the base of the largest dandelion you've ever seen. Tall, lance-like leaves surround its massive stem, which rises up to support a snowy globe of seeds. Beyond the dandelion, to the east, the ground grows marshier and thick with palm sedge.

The path here runs from southwest to northeast.

> u
You scale the dandelion stem and pull yourself up onto the head...

On Top of the Dandelion
You are standing on the sole bare spot of the dandelion cap, amongst its countless downy white seeds. Up here, you are afforded a better view of the captivating orange tulip to the southwest. You can also see a calm but murky-looking pond to the east, beyond the palm sedge.

The zephyr subsides and is replaced by a gentle easterly breeze.

> get seed
You pull one of the seeds from the dandelion clock and hold it up like an umbrella.

A gentle breeze from the west ruffles you hair.

> z
Time passes.

A competing northeasterly wind picks up, setting some of the dandelion seeds adrift.

> z
Time passes.

The northeasterly wind caresses your shoulders.

> z
Time passes.

The wind dies down for a moment and then is replaced by a balmy zephyr pressing you southwest.

> jump
You jump up with the seed extended in your arm. Its parachute top catches in the breeze and you are swept into the air.

The southwestern zephyr sends you coasting toward the tulips. That same undercurrent of wind jolts you upward right before you slam face first into the tall orange tulip. You release the seed just as you are arcing over its open petals... and land in it with a PLOP.

In the Tulip Turret
The amber petals of the tulip form a protective parapet around you as you gaze out at the garden. The pond to the east is covered in a dense mist. The view from the other side of the tulip is dominated by an overgrown rosebush.

The bottom of the tulip is full of pollen. The tulip's stem offers a possible way down.

> put pollen in sack
You fill up the pouch, which turns out to have quite a bit of give, with as much pollen as you can find.

> d
You carefully climb out of the tulip and slide down the stem...

By a Cluster of Tulips
Giant, cup-shaped flowers sit atop tall, dark green stalks that stretch to about five times your height. Most of the flowers are a deep pink, aside from one striking orange tulip that sits apart from the rest.

The path curves to the northeast here. It also continues back west to the fork.

> ne

At the Base of a Dandelion
You are at the base of the largest dandelion you've ever seen. Tall, lance-like leaves surround its massive stem, which rises up to support a snowy globe of seeds. Beyond the dandelion, to the east, the ground grows marshier and thick with palm sedge.

The path here runs from southwest to northeast.

> ne

On the Shore of the Pond
Here the dirt path that you've grown accustomed to is replaced by a cobblestone walk. To the east, a steep, rocky slope leads down to the moss-green water. A thick layer of mist has settled over the pond making it difficult to see to the opposite side.

In the grass alongside the cobblestone terrace, you see Snoll's shell. He must've retreated back inside.

The dandelion is to the southwest. The walk also marches on to the north.

> n

At the End of the Path
You appear to have come to a dead end. The cobblestone walk runs right up to the side of a giant pipe. The steep slope leading down to the water continues to the east.

A strange, triangular tile is embedded amongst the cobblestones.

> throw pollen
You haven't got those.

> get pollen
The powdery pollen slips through your fingers.

> blow pollen
You blow a little pollen into the air.

> e
You are too afraid of losing your balance over the water to venture onto the bridge. If only there were some way to see where you were going...

> empty bag
The floating patch of dust gives you an idea. You grab a handful of pollen from the pouch and, starting from the triangular tile, sprinkle it over the bridge. The slightly sticky granules of pollen adhere to the surface, providing you with a clear path east. Little by little, you make your way in that direction, trying to avoid looking down into the murky green water. The mist becomes thicker at the center of the pond, but you are able to work your way through. Before you know it, you find yourself on the other side.

[More]

On the Beach
The bridge has deposited you on a sandy little beach surrounded by cattails. You look back and see your pollen trail hanging suspended over the water.

Unbelievable ! And your friends back home probably really won't believe it... they'll think you daydreamed it or read it in a book somewhere.

But this is better than a book ! you tell yourself. For the first time on your adventure, you realize that you are actually having fun. You don't know why you were so unenthusiastic starting out. Maybe you were afraid of finding out that the magical world of the Great Garden wasn't so magical after all. An odd sense of relief washes over you and there is now a buoyancy in your step. You barely notice the heft of the jewel on your back anymore.

You give your new surroundings another glance and observe a gap in the cattails to the east.

> dave
That's not a verb I recognize.

> save
Ok.

> e
You ascend the sandy hill to the east, passing between the cattails. Just as you are crossing the threshold into this new territory, your foot catches on a fallen cattail and you trip. You are momentarily airborne as you tumble forward, and when you finally hit the ground, you are nearly jolted out of your senses. It takes you a few seconds to collect yourself, and you finally notice that the jewel has fallen out of the sling. You check the immediate area, but it is nowhere to be found. Slowly you take in the new scenery and a feeling of dread fills your heart. A malicious snicker punctuates the silence.

[More]

By the Giant Gnome Statue
It's all almost too much to take in. The wide clearing that you have stumbled into is dominated by a giant statue of a gnome. It's the most peculiar thing you've ever seen and you can only guess what its purpose is. But you are unable to dwell on that for long, because perched on the shoulder of the gnome, high overhead, an ugly hobgoblin is crouched, one bony gray arm wrapped around the gem.

"Give that back!" you shout. The goblin offers another fiendish chuckle and says something in a language you don't understand.

"That jewel belongs to the Fairy Prince!" you continue, but the goblin doesn't seem to care. He holds the gem up, marveling at the coruscating colors it produces in the sunlight. While he is distracted, you attempt to scale the gnome, but lacking the goblin's sharp black claws, you are unable to get a solid grip on anything.

What am I going to do now? You've come too far to let this contemptible creature make off with the jewel.

You observe, with little sense of relief, that your familiar dirt path has reappeared. It continues south from here. To the west, beyond the offending cattail that caused this mess, you see the opening leading back to the beach.

The hideous creature chuckles maliciously.

> i
You are carrying:
a pouch
a thorn
a sling (being worn and empty)

The goblin tosses the jewel into the air and catches it.

> put thorn in sling
The sling, custom made for the large jewel, is too wide to securely carry the thorn.

The hideous creature chuckles maliciously.

> l

By the Giant Gnome Statue
This wide clearing is dominated by a giant gnome statue. A goblin is perched on its shoulder, clinging to the jewel that inspired this whole journey.

The dirt path picks up here, stretching south. To the west, beyond the fallen cattail, you see the opening leading back to the beach.

The little monster thumbs its nose at you.

> x cattail
The thick stem of the fallen cattail lies across the path to the west.

The goblin runs his black claws over the surface of the gem.

> put it in sling
You need to be holding the fallen cattail before you can put it into something else.

The goblin runs his black claws over the surface of the gem.

> get cattail
The cattail is entirely too heavy for that.

> s

A Bend in the Path
A tall, crimson-capped mushroom stands at a curve in the grass-lined path, providing the surrounding greenery with a bit of shade. On top of it, two chubby caterpillars are taking a nap, apparently sated after an afternoon fungi feast. Next to the lofty shroom, its shorter, squatter twin sits tipped over. Chomp-marks on the base indicate exactly how it was felled.

The path continues up a steep incline to the east. It also curves back to the gnome statue, to the north.

> x caterpillars
Two chubby black caterpillars are curled up on top of the tall mushroom. They are sleeping soundly after their afternoon fungi feast.

> wake caterpillars
You doubt that the caterpillars have any helpful advice to offer so you decide to let them continue sleeping.

> u
You see no reason to disturb the sleeping caterpillars by climbing up onto the mushroom.

> x mushroom
Which do you mean, the tall mushroom or the squat mushroom?

> squat
The squat mushroom is tipped on its side.

> x tall
Two chubby caterpillars are taking a nap on top of the lofty mushroom, which stretches slightly overhead. You can see bite marks in its crimson cap where the creatures have feasted.

> e
You climb the hill to the east...

Outside the Palace
The palace-- at long last! Though your parents had described it to you, you still were not prepared for this. The famed Gazing Ball Palace sits atop a tall marble tower, countless stories high. The opalescent sphere shimmers in the sunlight, beckoning you forward.

At the base of the marble tower, you see a great arched door, in front of which stands a somber-looking chipmunk. She's armored in shining silver and holds a spear at her side. The chipmunk stares at you warily as you approach.

"State your business, citizen."

> tell chipmunk about gem
You tell the chipmunk how you came upon the missing jewel. Her interest is piqued only slightly.

"Where is this jewel?" she asks. You sigh deeply.

> tell chipmunk about hobgoblin
"A goblin has stolen a jewel belonging to the Fairy Prince!" you tell the guard. She eyes you for a moment.

"I cannot leave my post," she says, finally. "If what you say is true, you should do what you can to retrieve it."

> ask chipmunk about hobgoblin
"Troublesome creatures... and smelly."

> ask chipmunk about gnome
"It's a relatively new addition," she replies.

> ask chipmunk about gnome
"It's a relatively new addition," she replies.

> w

A Bend in the Path
A tall, crimson-capped mushroom stands at a curve in the grass-lined path, providing the surrounding greenery with a bit of shade. On top of it, two chubby caterpillars are taking a nap, apparently sated after an afternoon fungi feast. Next to the lofty shroom, its shorter, squatter twin sits tipped over. Chomp-marks on the base indicate exactly how it was felled.

The path continues up a steep incline to the east. It also curves back to the gnome statue, to the north.

> get squat
You tilt the mushroom back onto its base. It's a little wobbly but can stand without falling over. You wrap your arms around the fungus in an attempt to lift it, but find that it is too unwieldy.

> put squat in sling
You need to be holding the squat mushroom before you can put it into something else.

> push squat
Maybe the mushroom can provide the height you need to help you reach the goblin, you tell yourself. With a little effort, you push the fungus toward the clearing...

By the Giant Gnome Statue
This wide clearing is dominated by a giant gnome statue. A goblin is perched on its shoulder, clinging to the jewel that inspired this whole journey.

The dirt path picks up here, stretching south. To the west, beyond the fallen cattail, you see the opening leading back to the beach.

You push the mushroom next to the gnome.

> save
Ok.

> climb mushroom
I don't think much is to be achieved by that.

> get on mushroom
You climb onto the squat mushroom. Its cap is springy beneath your feet.

> l

By the Giant Gnome Statue (on the squat mushroom)
This wide clearing is dominated by a giant gnome statue. A goblin is perched on its shoulder, clinging to the jewel that inspired this whole journey.

The dirt path picks up here, stretching south. To the west, beyond the fallen cattail, you see the opening leading back to the beach.

You are standing on top of the squat mushroom, which is pushed up next to the gnome. Unfortunately, the goblin is still out of reach. He eyes you suspiciously.

> x gnome
Much like every other male gnome you've come across in your short life, this one sports a long, luxurious beard and a pointy red hat. Unlike the others, however, this one is gigantic -- the top of your head is nearly even with the hem of his long blue coat -- and appears to be made out of some sort of clay. You wonder if the statue was a gift from the gnomish people to the Fairy Prince for helping to restore their underground mines after the tragic earthquake years ago.

Currently, an ugly gray goblin is perched on the gnome's shoulder, taunting you with the stolen gem.

> climb gnome
You try to scale the smooth surface of the gnome but find that you can't get a solid grip.

> d
You get off the squat mushroom.

By the Giant Gnome Statue
This wide clearing is dominated by a giant gnome statue. A goblin is perched on its shoulder, clinging to the jewel that inspired this whole journey.

The dirt path picks up here, stretching south. To the west, beyond the fallen cattail, you see the opening leading back to the beach.

The squat mushroom is pushed up next to the gnome.

The goblin eyes you suspiciously.

> w
You carefully step over the fallen cattail...

On the Beach
You are on a sandy little beach surrounded by cattails. To the west, your pollen trail hangs suspended over the water, defining the path of the invisible bridge. A gap in the cattails allows passage to the east.

> e
You ascend the sandy hill to the east, passing between the cattails.

By the Giant Gnome Statue
This wide clearing is dominated by a giant gnome statue. A goblin is perched on its shoulder, clinging to the jewel that inspired this whole journey.

The dirt path picks up here, stretching south. To the west, beyond the fallen cattail, you see the opening leading back to the beach.

The squat mushroom is pushed up next to the gnome.

The goblin eyes you suspiciously.

> push cattail
You push on the fallen cattail but it doesn't budge.

> i
You are carrying:
a pouch
a thorn
a sling (being worn and empty)

> get on mushroom
You climb onto the squat mushroom. Its cap is springy beneath your feet.

> throw thorn at goblin
You toss the makeshift sword at the goblin but your aim is off. The thorn goes flying into the cattails.

Great. Just great.

> undo
By the Giant Gnome Statue
[Previous turn undone.]

> i
You are carrying:
a pouch
a thorn
a sling (being worn and empty)

> x pouch
The small sack is made of closely-knit purple fibers.

> put thorn in sling
The sling, custom made for the large jewel, is too wide to securely carry the thorn.

> l

By the Giant Gnome Statue (on the squat mushroom)
This wide clearing is dominated by a giant gnome statue. A goblin is perched on its shoulder, clinging to the jewel that inspired this whole journey.

The dirt path picks up here, stretching south. To the west, beyond the fallen cattail, you see the opening leading back to the beach.

You are standing on top of the squat mushroom, which is pushed up next to the gnome. Unfortunately, the goblin is still out of reach. He eyes you suspiciously.

> x gnome
Much like every other male gnome you've come across in your short life, this one sports a long, luxurious beard and a pointy red hat. Unlike the others, however, this one is gigantic -- the top of your head is nearly even with the hem of his long blue coat -- and appears to be made out of some sort of clay. You wonder if the statue was a gift from the gnomish people to the Fairy Prince for helping to restore their underground mines after the tragic earthquake years ago.

Currently, an ugly gray goblin is perched on the gnome's shoulder, taunting you with the stolen gem.

> x beard
Much like every other male gnome you've come across in your short life, this one sports a long, luxurious beard and a pointy red hat. Unlike the others, however, this one is gigantic -- the top of your head is nearly even with the hem of his long blue coat -- and appears to be made out of some sort of clay. You wonder if the statue was a gift from the gnomish people to the Fairy Prince for helping to restore their underground mines after the tragic earthquake years ago.

Currently, an ugly gray goblin is perched on the gnome's shoulder, taunting you with the stolen gem.

> climb beard
You try to scale the smooth surface of the gnome but find that you can't get a solid grip.

> x clay
Much like every other male gnome you've come across in your short life, this one sports a long, luxurious beard and a pointy red hat. Unlike the others, however, this one is gigantic -- the top of your head is nearly even with the hem of his long blue coat -- and appears to be made out of some sort of clay. You wonder if the statue was a gift from the gnomish people to the Fairy Prince for helping to restore their underground mines after the tragic earthquake years ago.

Currently, an ugly gray goblin is perched on the gnome's shoulder, taunting you with the stolen gem.

> x coat
Much like every other male gnome you've come across in your short life, this one sports a long, luxurious beard and a pointy red hat. Unlike the others, however, this one is gigantic -- the top of your head is nearly even with the hem of his long blue coat -- and appears to be made out of some sort of clay. You wonder if the statue was a gift from the gnomish people to the Fairy Prince for helping to restore their underground mines after the tragic earthquake years ago.

Currently, an ugly gray goblin is perched on the gnome's shoulder, taunting you with the stolen gem.

> push statue
You clearly overestimate your strength.

> eat statue
You'd rather not.

> d
You get off the squat mushroom.

By the Giant Gnome Statue
This wide clearing is dominated by a giant gnome statue. A goblin is perched on its shoulder, clinging to the jewel that inspired this whole journey.

The dirt path picks up here, stretching south. To the west, beyond the fallen cattail, you see the opening leading back to the beach.

The squat mushroom is pushed up next to the gnome.

The goblin eyes you suspiciously.

> w
You carefully step over the fallen cattail...

On the Beach
You are on a sandy little beach surrounded by cattails. To the west, your pollen trail hangs suspended over the water, defining the path of the invisible bridge. A gap in the cattails allows passage to the east.

> w
You carefully make your way back across the bridge.

At the End of the Path
You appear to have come to a dead end. The cobblestone walk runs right up to the side of a giant pipe. The steep slope leading down to the water continues to the east.

A strange, triangular tile is embedded amongst the cobblestones.

> s

On the Shore of the Pond
Here the dirt path that you've grown accustomed to is replaced by a cobblestone walk. To the east, a steep, rocky slope leads down to the moss-green water. A thick layer of mist has settled over the pond making it difficult to see to the opposite side.

In the grass alongside the cobblestone terrace, you see Snoll's shell. He must've retreated back inside.

The dandelion is to the southwest. The walk also marches on to the north.

> knock on shell
You knock on the shell yet again. Before long, Snoll emerges, grumpy as ever.

"If you keep beating on my shell, it's going to crack!"

> ask snoll about goblin
"Foul, cowardly creatures. Smelly too."

> ask snoll about gnome
"Yes, I've seen it. It's a total eyesore!" He waggles his eyestalks.

> i
You are carrying:
a pouch
a thorn
a sling (being worn and empty)

> n

At the End of the Path
You appear to have come to a dead end. The cobblestone walk runs right up to the side of a giant pipe. The steep slope leading down to the water continues to the east.

A strange, triangular tile is embedded amongst the cobblestones.

> e
Carefully, you make your way across the pollen-covered bridge...

On the Beach
You are on a sandy little beach surrounded by cattails. To the west, your pollen trail hangs suspended over the water, defining the path of the invisible bridge. A gap in the cattails allows passage to the east.

> x beach
The white sands of the beach curve up in a gentle slope to the east.

> x sang
You can't see any such thing.

> x sand
The white sands of the beach curve up in a gentle slope to the east.

> get sand
You grab a handful of sand and let it run through your fingers.

> put sand in pouch
You don't feel a pressing need to tote the sand around with you.

> e
You ascend the sandy hill to the east, passing between the cattails.

By the Giant Gnome Statue
This wide clearing is dominated by a giant gnome statue. A goblin is perched on its shoulder, clinging to the jewel that inspired this whole journey.

The dirt path picks up here, stretching south. To the west, beyond the fallen cattail, you see the opening leading back to the beach.

The squat mushroom is pushed up next to the gnome.

The goblin eyes you suspiciously.

> get on mushroom
You climb onto the squat mushroom. Its cap is springy beneath your feet.

> bounce
That's not a verb I recognize.

> jump
You've had enough of this contemptible monster. You jump on the mushroom's springy cap and are launched high in the air. When you are even with the creature, you strike out with your small green fist. That's all it takes. The cowardly goblin shrieks with frightened rage. He drops the jewel and makes off into the cattails, which rustle violently in his wake.

You climb down from the mushroom and retrieve the jewel, inspecting it carefully for any scratches. Its sparkling facets are no worse for the wear. Your spirits soar again. You feel as though nothing can stand in your way now.

You head south, ready to finally present the Fairy Prince with his lost treasure.

[More]

A Bend in the Path
A tall, crimson-capped mushroom stands at a curve in the grass-lined path, providing the surrounding greenery with a bit of shade. On top of it, two chubby caterpillars are taking a nap, apparently sated after an afternoon fungi feast.

The path continues up a steep incline to the east. It also curves back to the gnome statue, to the north.

> save
Ok.

> e
You climb the hill to the east...

Outside the Palace
Though your parents had described it to you, you still were not prepared for this. The famed Gazing Ball Palace sits atop a tall marble tower, countless stories high. The opalescent sphere shimmers in the sunlight, beckoning you forward.

At the base of the marble tower, you see a great arched door, in front of which stands a somber-looking chipmunk. She's armored in shining silver and holds a spear at her side.

The path wends its way back to the west.

> show gem to chipmunk
(first taking the jewel)
You take the jewel in your arms one more time, enjoying the reassuring weight of it. Finally, you present it to the chipmunk guard.

"I believe this belongs to the Fairy Prince." The chipmunk leans forward and inspects the egg-shaped gem, taking notice of the inscription. She puffs her cheeks thoughtfully.

"I see." Suddenly she is all action. She opens the door and steps aside, allowing you entry into the palace. It takes a moment for your eyes to adjust to the dim lighting of the surprisingly modest anteroom. The chipmunk makes no haste in leading you to a narrow set of stairs. You return the jewel to the sling and begin your ascent. Up, up, up you go. You climb so many steps, it seems like you're heading for the clouds. Just when you feel like you cannot go on, you arrive at a small landing with a simple wooden door. The chipmunk, who has been following quietly behind you the whole time, reaches over and twists the knob.

"Here we are then..." She ushers you forward.

[More]

Inside the Palace
You find yourself in the throne room of the palace. The giant translucent dome casts rainbows across every surface. The throne sits empty. The Fairy Prince has instead opted to sit on a bench near the glass, where he can look out over the garden. He smiles up at you as you approach.

"Ah, I've been waiting for you!"

> prince, hello
You're not about to try to tell the Fairy Prince what to do.

> show gem to prince
(first taking the jewel)
Without much ado, you hand over the jewel.

"Thanks!" he says brightly. He startles you by tossing it into the air where it transforms into small white pebble, which he then catches in his hand and shoves in his pocket. He offers an impish laugh... and suddenly things come together.

"It was you!"

"I have to admit it was."

"But why?" The Prince pauses for a moment.

Clearly setting up the for the sequel, Mite II: The Coming Darkness.

This was nice. For some reason I quite happily tolerate playing a game written for four-year-olds. Sort of refreshing to have a straight fairy story that isn't a moral dilemma or a metaphor for some damn thing. Unless it was and I just didn't notice.

Solved all the puzzles myself, but they weren't too easy.

"I have been trying to keep things safe and green here for a long while... but it's been getting harder and harder. There is a darkness pressing in." He motions out the window to a spot far on the horizon. You can see it. It is far away but it is there... It fills you with dread.

"The people have become complacent. Things have been going well for so long that they are becoming more and more careless. I need help to keep them safe from the outside. That's why I set up this test." It all makes sense now. But you're not exactly sure what he is asking of you. Finally, he spells it out:

"I need the help of good folks like you, who are brave and kind hearted, to help me guard the people against the coming darkness. But it's entirely up to you. There's not much time to waste though. Are you up for it?

You think long and hard. Earlier today, you would've run as fast as you could in the opposite direction. But you feel like an entirely different pixy. You provide him with your answer.

*** You have won ***

Would you like to RESTART, RESTORE a saved game or QUIT?
>
quit