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Blackberry Bun's Journal: Chapter 9
Quote:Chapter 9: First Snow at Winter

Winter had come. All the leaves covering my house had fallen, completely leaving my house visible from the outside. The first snow had fallen as well, making the grounds covered with it. I walked out of my house in my winter outfit, which actually was just double jackets on top of my normal outfit plus a fur hat. I then felt the cold weather which I didn't really like. I looked towards my house and once again I saw the not-so-rare sight that reveals my house having the shape of a giant blackberry in the middle of the tree's branches.

I walked towards Huck's fort because right before the arrival of winter he had promised to teach me to ice-skate on this day. He had said that ice-skating was not much different from using in-line-skate, which I could do fairly well. However, whenever I imagined that ice-skating is done on slippery ice and with sharp blades replacing the wheels, my confidence dropped to nothing. Thus, Huck promised this plan.

After I had arrived inside Huck's fort, I saw him preparing two pairs of ice skate for both of us.

"Hi, Huck," I greeted.

"Hi, Blackberry. Nice outfit you got there," He replied and commented on my winter outfit.

"And you too," I answered, although I noticed his winter outfit was only a green jacket on top of his normal outfit, just like mine.

"Nah, this is nothing compared to what Strawberry and the others have," he said. "They completely changed their clothes,"

"Really? I'd like to see them," I said eagerly.

"They won't wear those often though," He continued. "Those outfits are too good in repelling cold weather. They will only wear those when the weather is very cold, like today's weather is,"

"And then once the weather becomes warmer, what will they wear?" I asked.

"Just the usual outfit, except for Strawberry. She will wear a red jacket on top of her usual outfit when outside," he answered.

"You sure know a lot of things," I commented.

"Now that you mention it, I myself wonder why I know those. We have been friends for only half a year, but sometimes I feel it has been longer," He answered.

I actually knew the answer to his wondering, but I felt there was no need to tell him about my trip to the past with Time Remote which caused a memory loss to every Strawberryland residents. It seemed that some memories were kept under their consciousness, which might cause something like what just happened.

"Anyway, let's go to the pond now. It's almost midday, and I bet they are already there since some while ago," He said.

We went to the pond where everyone else were supposed to be, but when we arrived there was nobody there.

"Ah, I think we are too late. Everybody has gone for a lunch break already," He said. "But we still can start anyway. Put your skates on, Blackberry,"

"This is even better for me. I will easily lose confidence if there are other people around," I said, putting on my skates.

"I see. Okay, now that you have put your skates on, come over here," Huck said.

"I'm coming..." I answered with a little bit of fright.

I slowly walked to the surface of the frozen pond. When I stepped on the edge, I became afraid and couldn't move my legs. Huck was already on the surface, trying to convince me to step in, but I was already defeated by my lack of courage.

"Here, take my hand," Huck said, offering his right hand.

"O.. Okay.." I answered, reaching to get a grip on his hand. Then he suddenly pulled me over to the surface, causing my fall.

"Sorry, I thought you need a little push," He said, and then helped me to stand up. "You said you could use in-line-skate right? Now try to do the same,"

Both of us spent the next few hours without significant result. I finally could do a few basic movements, but I still fell down from time to time.

"You're getting better, I believe you will get the hang of it soon," Huck commented.

"Thanks, but I still feel this will take forever," I answered, suddenly noticing a girl I had never seen before. "Hey, do you know who that girl is?"

"Hmm, no. I have never seen her before," Huck answered, looking at the girl, who was crossing the bridge above the pond. "Want to check on her?"

"I'd like to, but look at me now," I said, reminding Huck that I was still in the middle of the pond. "Moving out of the pond and changing my shoes will take too long,"

"Oh... indeed... In any case, we should call it a day now," He said. "Do you want to visit Strawberry before going home?"

"Yes, I'd like to," I answered, and then we walked to Strawberry's house.

When we arrived, Strawberry greeted us and we had some talks with her inside. There we learned about the new girl with the name Apricot, and her home being a 40-room castle. Although, I felt I couldn't trust that statement. I had seen the whole Strawberryland with my Eagle Eye and I had never seen a castle or such. But I didn't feel the need to tell that to everyone else so I kept silent.

At the next day, Huck came to my house asking if I wanted him to teach me again for the day. Because I was watching the Eagle Eye monitor and didn't notice him asking, I didn't give any reply at all. Then he came closer to me.

"Watching something good?" He asked.

"Yeah, I'm watching the girls' ice dance performance. Their skills really make me envy them," I answered. "Look, especially Strawberry. I only can dream being able to do something like that,"

"I heard she had trained for a really long time," Huck said.

I saw that Apricot was there too, boasting on how she could do all the moves easily. Then I also saw Strawberry's too-generous attitude of giving away the position as the main star of the upcoming ice show.

"Huck, do you agree with me that Strawberry has had too many generosity pills?" I said.

"Well, kinda. But that's the way Strawberry is, and with that she makes a lot of friends," Huck answered.

"Now look at Apricot's face. I won't be surprised if at the D-Day she pretends to have a twisted ankle or such," I commented. "Anyway, I don't feel like training today, with that many people around,"

"Well, there is another place if you want to train alone," Huck said.

"Really? Where is it?" I asked.

"It's right there," He answered, pointing at a lake visible from my window quite far away. "Punch Bowl Pond is the name,"

So, both me and Huck spent the rest of the day training at Punch Bowl Pond. Unlike the pond where I trained the day before, Punch Bowl Pond's water was pink and slightly more slippery, which made it more difficult to skate on. That was actually good because once I got used to it I would have easier time skating on the usual pond. We also spent the whole next day training there until it was almost dark. I knew that the day after would be the D-Day of the ice show so I decided to visit Strawberry at her house. Huck was already too tired so he went home while I went to visit Strawberry by myself.

It was already dark when I arrived at Strawberry's house. I knocked on the door but there was no reply. At first I thought she hadn't arrived home yet, and then suddenly I heard a greet from behind.

"Hi, Blackberry," the voice said. I turned around and saw that it was Strawberry herself.

"Hi, Strawberry. I know that tomorrow is the day of the ice show so I decided to give you a visit tonight, if you don't mind," I said.

"Why should I? Please come in!" She replied with smile. "Come on, Custard, Pupcake... Hey, where are they?"

"Your pets are missing? Do you want to go looking for them? I'll help too," I said.

"No, I don't think it is needed. They will be fine," She replied.

"Well, if you are so sure, then fine," I said.

Inside her house, we had a conversation on how everyone were eager to seeing the show, how well the rehearsals were done, and also about Apricot.

"You know, Strawberry. I won't be surprised if tomorrow she comes with twisted ankle or such, pretending of course," I said.

"Don't be silly, Blackberry. You have to give her a chance, and you'll come to like her," She replied with her usual smile.

"Heh, you all can be too trusting sometimes, but that's what I like from you all," I commented. Then, suddenly the front door opened and both of Strawberry's pets came in.

"Come with us, Strawberry. There's something you have to see," Custard said. "Oh, Blackberry is here as well?"

"What is it, Custard?" Strawberry asked.

"It's Apricot. We just found out where she actually lives, and it's NOT a castle," Custard answered.

"Oh... Okay... Do you want to come with us, Blackberry?" Strawberry asked.

"No, I will go home now. It's almost bed time," I answered as Custard and Pupcake went out of the house.

"Promise me not to tell anyone about this okay?" she said.

"I see, you want to wait until she tells us herself right? Don't worry, I will keep silent," I answered and went home.

After I arrived home, I felt so tired and went to bed right away. Then at the next day I woke up and realized that I had overslept. I hurried to the pond although I knew that I have already missed the ice show. Midway I met Huck who apparently had overslept too, so then it became two people hurrying towards the pond.

When we arrived, we saw everyone including Apricot laughing together in the middle of the pond. It seemed like we indeed were too late. I approached them anyway as they moved to the edge.

"Hi, Strawberry. *Pants* It seems... it is too late for me, isn't it?" I asked with my breath running out.

"Yep, you're late. Sure you do," Ginger said.

"*Pants* Oh well, what's done is done," I said. "It was my own fault anyway because I overslept,"

"Well, sounds like a sign for an encore, isn't it?" Strawberry said to the others.

"Yep it sure is," Ginger said.

"No no no, don't bother doing that just for the two of us," I said. "It doesn't feel right,"

"*Giggles* It is fine, Blackberry, and it won't be just for you. Look at our spectators," Strawberry said, and I looked towards the spectators repeatedly yelling ``Encore!``. Thus, the ice show was repeated and all of us had a wonderful time.

--End of chapter 9--
[Image: TheGrapesChildrenSig.png]
WOW, I was surprised! I think the Apricot episode was the first one I've seen, but it's in season 4, so I didn't expect your journal get here in timeline so early. I'm not even at the half of your story. I'm wondering which episodes do the remaining chapters connect to, then, when there aren't that many episodes as remaining chapters to read. Well, unless you take your Time Remote...

Anyway, of course there are some references I don't understand because I haven't seen the related episodes. But I'm fine with that, I'll be surprised when I'll finally see the episodes. OK, you also have some spoilers (such as Peppermint Fizz is cheating with a walkman), but there are not too many of them.

One (supposed) reference I didn't understand is in the previous chapter, when Blueberry and Blackberry hear a scream and go out to look around what was that. You didn't explain it, but I think it's something I would know if I've seen the related official Strawberry Shortcake episode, so I'm looking forward to see it.
The chronological order and release order of the episodes are two different things. That's why late episodes might appear early in the journal, and the opposite way might apply as well.

And yes, the chapters will make more sense if you have watched the corresponding episode. However, very late chapters are no longer connected to any episode because the story has advanced beyond the chronology of the episodes.

Here's the list of connections, if you'd like to know:

Chapter 1: "Growing Better" (A short extra episode from a Care Bears DVD special features)
Chapter 2: "Here Comes Pupcake". Between Chapter 2 and 3, "Meet Strawberry Shortcake" and "Get Well Adventure" are skipped.
Chapter 3: "Horse of A Different Color"
Chapter 4 and 5: "Festival of The Fillies"
Chapter 6: "Peppermint's Pet Peeve"
Chapter 7a and 7b: "Sweet Dreams Movie"
Chapter 7b and 7d: Nothing. They stand alone
Chapter 8: "Ginger Snap's No Light Night of Fright" and "The Blueberry Beast"
Chapter 9: "Meet Apricot" (Also known as "Let's Dance")
Chapter 10: "Berry Merry Christmas"
Chapter 11: "Spring for Strawberry Shortcake"
Chapter 12 and 13: "The Play's The Thing"
Chapter 14: "The Costume Party" (This one is unique that the story ends differently than the actual episode. It was made per request of a retired member, hence the chapter title)
Chapter 14b: Nothing. It stands alone
Chapter 15: "Mind Your Manners"
Chapter 16: "Queen for A Day"
Chapter 17: "Dancin' in Disguise" (Also known as "Everybody Dance")
Chapter 18: "Piece of Cake"
Chapter 19: "When The Berry Fairy Came to Stay"
Chapter 20: "Legend of Sherry Bobbleberry"
Chapter 21 to 25: Both episodes from "World of Friends" DVD. In a unique way since the chronology of those two episodes is kinda jumbled.
"Mystery of Seaberry Shore" is skipped between 25 and 26
Chapter 26: "Legend of Lost Treasure"

Chapter 27 onwards are stand alone. The sequel journal is connected with the 2007 episodes which are assumed to be about four years later chronologically.

Keep in mind that the episode chronology is self-made by assuming. It's not official in any way.
[Image: TheGrapesChildrenSig.png]
The problem that you are mixing season 1-3 episodes with season 4 episodes as well. For example, when Strawberry meets Apricot, Apple Dumplin' is already a few years older. Within season 1-3, you might introduce characters who were unknown in that time (though I need to check - I'm not sure whether you actually did that). Basically, the problem comes when you mix seasons with each other. In the case when you mix up episodes within one season, that doesn't cause any inconsistency. Even DVD releases of different countries mix up in-season episodes sometimes.

Never mind, though.

Thanks for your thorough list of episode-references! Smile
Few years older? The difference is only one year at best. Otherwise Apple would have grown significantly. Meet Apricot is still Year 3 after all, since nobody has changed their looks yet. Alright, I think I've read somewhere that Let's Dance DVD is within the group of Year 4, but I chose to ignore that and base the chronology on character looks.
[Image: TheGrapesChildrenSig.png]
You are right. My memory has tricked me. I knew that "Let's Dance" was the very first episode I've ever seen, but I remembered incorrectly that they already had new looks. Now I checked it on YouTube, and right, they still have the old looks there. From now on, I'll also count that episode in season 3, it makes more sense then.
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