Red opened the hatch warily and stepped out onto the multi coloured grass of Planet Potential X. It was a decidedly curious planet that he found himself on. The colours were altogether too garish and the plant and animal life were, to say the least, not what he was used to on Rope at all. He spied a tree which seemed to have frog heads attached to the ends of some branches while others carried tiny, webbed frog legs. A soft “ribbit” could be heard each time the gentle breeze wafted through the leaves which were composed of tiny tadpoles clustered together. Red blinked his eyes firmly, sending a digital image to the ship which would in turn be sent to Rope for the elders’ perusal. He mentally titled the image: frog tree as that was what the translator bug was screeching in his ear.
Although the frog tree had been a somewhat unusual find, Red remained his usual, level headed self and largely unperturbed. He scientifically deduced that the tadpoles were some kind of seed which eventually would metamorphose into adult frogs and drop off the tree. They would procreate and plant another seedling in the mauve ground. A dusty squawking interrupted Red’s deductions. The sound was coming from the yellow air in which three and a half suns were blithely sailing. The sails of the lead sun were unfurled, catching the breeze and zipping about like a deflating balloon. A few pink, candyfloss clouds scattered before a flock of what Red could only think of as birds. The clouds grumbled loudly, which the translator bug immediately reproduced:
“What utter nonsense, we cannot even undertake a leisurely evening stroll anymore without these youngsters sticking their beaks into everything.”
Red’s only eyebrow rose questioningly, however his heart did not gallop in surprise, nor could he detect any wonder hiding in the cobwebby recesses of his mind. He shrugged, looking up at the strange flock.
“Broomstick birds, they sweep the heavens”, translator bug offered.
Indeed, Red thought or more appropriately: blip. Their bodies were made of a simple broomstick which had a pair of spindly legs and feathery claws attached to the top of the handle. Their bulbous eyes sat on either side of the wooden piece which held the bristles together. In between the bristles a bright orange beak peeked out. As they squawked raucously, little clouds of dust appeared which were blown away by the breeze. They had no feathers to speak of, but rather had what looked like dust rags tied to middle of the handle, which they flapped manically; Red remained unflappable.