Manning's Ferns Part III

One fall morning, when Sophie was rolling out pie crusts for an apple pie, she heard, "Tap, tap, tippetty, tippetty, tap." She looked up to see Nikki perched in the window box, beak to glass pane. She ran to open the door.

Nikki's whirring iridescent wings were as dazzling as the early sunlight.

"Goodness, my! You are fairly bursting your feathers, Nikki! What in Caelumen is happening?" she asked.

The hummingbird flew through the front door into the kitchen, trilling happily.

"Follow me, follow me, follow me! Sophie, Manning, follow me!" she sang over and over. Hearing the commotion, Manning came running from his garden just in time to see Nikki fly out the window.

"What in Caelumen?" The Whimble stood at his front door, scratching his head feathers.

"I'm as puzzled as you, Manning," replied his heartmate. 

Nikki pivoted in mid-air and looked back at the two standing on their pathway. "Step lightly now, you two! Oops-a-doops! Off we go!"

Sophie and Manning sped after the hummingbird. Although they maintained a brisk pace, they had a time keeping the hummer in sight. "Goodness me, Sophie! What is that bird up to?" Manning questioned, huffing and puffing.

"Now, dear, you know how excited she gets during Harvest Light. It's her favorite time of year. Maybe she's discovered some treasure. Only King Thaddeus knows." 

Sophie calmly replied. 

"Oh, Sophie, you know Nikki says EVERY season is her favorite!" 

Suddenly, Manning stopped. He knew this path all too well. 

"She's heading right for the fern glen! I won't go there. I just can't! I don't know if I ever will be able to, ever!"   (to be continued from The Woodlands - Caelumen)