After wandering the Peppermint Forest for five days, Sir Taffy still wouldn’t admit they were lost. His squire, young Bubblegum, sighed as he set up camp. They passed Mr. Mint at least twice today, but Sir Taffy hadn’t stopped for directions. Bubblegum was certain they were going in circles.
The next morning, Bubblegum gathered his courage and approached the knight. “Sir Taffy,” he said. “I notice that this trip has been longer than usual, and I thought that maybe…”
Sir Taffy loudly interrupted his squire. “Are you offering to carry my umbrella too? Very kind. It doesn’t fit quite right in my pack.” He tossed the umbrella at young Bubblegum and spurred his horse forward.
Bubblegum picked up the umbrella and brushed off the dried mint leaves. “We’ll never get out of this forest,” he said.
Three days later, Bubblegum stopped and asked directions. Mr. Mint was happy to point them to the correct path. They were out of Peppermint Forest that afternoon. Sir Taffy sulked.
“You didn’t have to ask directions,” he said. “I knew exactly where we were. I have a map of the entire kingdom in my head. We weren’t lost.”
“Of course not,” Bubblegum said. “So where are we headed next?”
“Through Gumdrop Pass,” Sir Taffy said. “You haven’t heard of it of course, because it’s secret. It will get us through the Gumdrop Mountains in record time.”
“That would be nice,” Bubblegum said.
Unfortunately, Sir Taffy couldn’t remember exactly where the pass was. So, they spent two weeks climbing around the mountains. Fortunately, a giant, jolly pink bug found them and led them out.
Sir Taffy was under the impression that they were escorting the bug home. This was probably because that’s what Bubblegum begged the bug to tell him. Bubblegum was grateful the bug took pity on him.
The path crossed Lord Licorice’s lands next. Lord Licorice was Sir Taffy’s sworn enemy. “I must go and tell him what I think of him while we’re here,” Sir Taffy insisted.
“I think his castle has dungeons. I don’t want to find out,” Bubblegum said. “Let’s just leave him alone.”
Sir Taffy pulled back on his reins and stopped his shortbread pony. “Have you no courage, squire?”
“Nope, none at all. Let’s keep going,” Bubblegum said.
“Methinks I need to find a new squire,” Sir Taffy said. He frowned.
“Methinks we both signed a contract and are stuck,” Bubblegum said. “Besides, I think it’s bad manners to go visit someone just to insult them.”
“What do you know about manners?” Sir Taffy said. They didn’t talk to each other for the next three days. Luckily the road through Lord Licorice’s lands was as straight as a licorice whip and they didn’t get lost once.
A rainbow greeted them on the other side. “It’s the fabled Rainbow Trail,” Sir Taffy said, forgetting that he was ignoring his squire. “Hurry across, I’ve heard that it is the shortest path to our destination.” Sir Taffy spurred his pony forward and Bubblegum ran to catch up.
Halfway across the rainbow, Bubblegum knew something was wrong. “Wait, Sir Taffy. Stop!”
Sir Taffy pulled on the reins. “Lost your courage again, squire?” he asked.
“Look, Sir Taffy, it’s the Gingerbread Plum Trees ahead. We’ve already been there. We’re going backwards,” Bubblegum said.
“Are you sure? We should go and check,” Sir Taffy said. “Maybe if we go forward a little further it will look different.”
“I don’t think so. I’m sure I recognize those trees. We spent an entire week there. I won’t go another step on the Rainbow Trail. In fact, I’m going back. I don’t want go back to the Peppermint Forest again. Or those awful Gumdrop Mountains,” Bubblegum said.
“You are supposed to listen to me,” Sir Taffy said. “This is insubordination. I should leave you behind to fend for yourself.”
Bubblegum pulled out his trump card. “But I still have your umbrella,” he said. He held it up and then turned around and started walking.
“This is outrageous,” Sir Taffy said. He rushed past Bubblegum so that he was leading the way back. “Just remember that I am in charge, because I have the map of the whole kingdom memorized.”
“Lead the way,” Bubblegum said. “Where are we going next?”
“Peanut Brittle House and the Lollipop Woods,” Sir Taffy said. “We’re nearly home to Candy Castle.”
“It will be nice to be home,” Bubblegum said. “I hope it doesn’t take too much longer.”
“Of course it won’t,” Sir Taffy said.