2012 TREASURE HUNT CLUE #5: I'm an unpalatable plant, but my leaves, when fermented, have a use. What am I? (Answer: Dyeweed / dyer’s woad)
(Ed. Note: Dash is the cubname of Notch.)
A long day of preparation for the New Green Bliss celebration had come and gone, and all of the elves who had contributed to it had dispersed to relax, content with how the next day was sure to be.
All except Starskimmer, that is. She had been unconcerned at her son not being in her den when she had returned, but a quick visit with One-Leg revealed the young cub had been sight unseen for the past few hours. Her send to him having been ignored or not heard, she accrued some nearby volunteers to spread out and search the grounds of the Holt for the mischievous boy.
The first few locations she searched bore no fruit, leading her to assume that someone else would find him until she had made her way to where the dyes and paints had been placed. Approaching the entrance to the room, she heard the shuffling of tiny feet, and what seemed to be the splashing of liquid.
**I think I’ve found him,** she sent to the others searching. **I’ll let you know for sure in a moment.**
She strode through the entryway, being careful to avoid the large crates of materials to be used the following day. When she moved past them and into the large open main area, she was greeted by a sight that she couldn’t help but laugh at.
There, standing in the middle of the room, was her son, totally naked and holding up a small bucket upside down over his head in both of his tiny hands. The overwhelming smell of the freshly fermented dyeweed wafted towards her as she clasped her hands over her mouth in an attempt to stifle her laughter. The blue liquid dripped freely off the cub’s now-navy skin, forming puddles at his feet that would be sure to stain the dirt it rested upon.
Hearing the chortles coming from behind him, the boy turned around and his face lit up with a toothy grin at the sight of his mother.
“Momma! I started early! Nobody’s going to be as painted as I am now!”
Starskimmer shook her head in amazement as she walked to her young son, motioning for him to put the bucket down.
“Where are your clothes, Dash?”
“In the den. I wasn’t painting them, I was painting me,” he replied matter-of-factly.
Starskimmer laughed out loud once more as she picked him up and held him in the crook of her arm, not minding that the dye would stain--the shirt she wore already bore many a splotch of colour that didn’t necessarily suit the fabric.
“And a fine job of painting you did,” she said, returning the smile. “Now let’s get you clothed and you can show your father how well you did.”
“Yay!” he replied with a cry of sheer joy. This was going to be the best New Green Bliss ever.