Once upon a time, four cloaked turtle brothers wandered through the forest. The eldest wore a blue cloak to hide his turtle figure. His name was Leonardo and he was the turtle in charge. He led his brothers along the winding roads of the forest. Behind him was the second oldest. His cloak was a dark red. It looked like it had been through a lot judging by the stains and tares. Raphael was his name. Behind Raphael, the third oldest turtle in purple trudged along. He was slightly taller than his brothers. But what he made up for in height, he lacked in muscle as he was scrawniest out of the eldest brothers. He went by Donatello.
And the last of the turtles was Michelangelo. He was the youngest out of all of them, younger by many years. His oversized orange cloak drowned his tiny body. He stumbled over the ends and kept adjusting the hood so he could see Donatello in front of him. He tried to keep up with his big brothers, but it was a challenge when his legs are not even half the size of theirs. “Hey! Wait for me!” He grabbed the ends of his cloak and ran to catch up.
They found the bushes with the sweetest berries to pick. Leonardo gave each brother a basket. “Alright, everyone. Let’s get picking. Father said we have to be home before dark.” He instructed.
The brothers began picking the biggest juiciest berries they could find and gently placing them in the baskets. With the exception of Michelangelo, who ate the most delicious looking berries and put the less appetizing berries in his basket. Donatello noticed Michelangelo’s technique and was quick about correcting him. “No, Michelangelo. We only want the best berries for the pie father is making. You may eat the other ones, but save the best looking ones.” He put his hand on his little brother’s head, rubbing slightly.
“Oh, okay.” Michelangelo smiled dumping all the berries in his basket on the ground. Donatello shook his head and chuckled, returning to his own basket. Because Michelangelo was smaller than the rest of them, he could see the berries growing deep in the bushes. He looked through a gap in the leaves to reveal the biggest, juiciest, most delicious looking berry he had ever seen. “That berry would taste wonderful in father’s pie.” He smiled to himself extending his arm into the bush. He brushed the wing of a butterfly and it flew out of the bush and into his face. Michelangelo panicked, and then burst out in laughter. “Hey. That tickles.” He giggled.
The butterfly flew away from his face and off to another section of the woods. Michelangelo dropped his basket and chased after the butterfly. He was so curious about where it was headed. He thought it had a family and was going to visit. The butterfly flew into a cave in a mountain. Michelangelo stopped before he walked in. He looked back at his brothers, still picking the berries. None of them seemed to notice he had run off. He bit his lip in excitement as he slipped through the entrance of the cave. He saw a light on the far side of the cave and ran to it. The butterfly had disappeared, and Michelangelo was determined to find it. When he reached the far side of the cave, he was blinded by the introduction to the bright sun. He saw another section of the forest. He hopped down the rocks and went to explore.
While walking around, he met up with a group of forest animals all gathered by the watering hole.
“Look. A new guy!”
Michelangelo turned around alarmed. “Who said that?” He asked
“It was me. Stag.” A buck with tall antlers confronted Michelangelo.
“You can talk!” Michelangelo shouted, running closer to the buck.
“Yes, turtle. All the animals here can talk. This is the enchanted forest. All the animals are enchanted.” Stag smiled, “And you are a talking turtle. I have never seen you around here before. Where did you come from?”
“Oh, I’m not enchanted. I’m a mutant.” He said with pride. “My name’s Michelangelo. I came from the cave. I followed a butterfly and he led me here. So I thought I’d do some exploring.” He smiled.
“Oh, is that so.” Stag smiled. “Allow me to show you around and introduce you to the other enchanted animals.” He pushed Michelangelo along with his antlers.
Michelangelo introduced himself to all the animals he met. A beaver named Slappy. A goose named Feathers. A bear named Bongo. A fox named Crimson. A skunk named Stripe. A squirrel named Acorn. A rabbit named Hopper. A groundhog named Phil. And a chipmunk named Pippi. The forest animals had conversations with Michelangelo and asked him about the world beyond the cave, to which Michelangelo replied “It’s the same, but the animals don’t talk.”
Michelangelo had made so many new friends. He wished he never had to leave. But as he watched the sunset with his friends, he remembered what Leonardo had told him earlier. “Father said we have to be home before dark.” He whispered to himself. He hopped up and ran to the cave.
“What’s the rush, little guy? Aren’t you having fun?” Stag cut him off as he was running.
“I am, but my brothers are probably very worried about me. I have to go.” Michelangelo tried to get around Stag, but he kept cutting him off.
“Okay.” Stag moved back, “You are welcome here whenever you like.”
Michelangelo smiled and hugged his new friend. “I’ll be back another time.” He said running up the rocks and into the cave. He exited the other end and heard his brothers all calling out his name. “I’m here! I’m here. Don’t worry.”
Leonardo ran over to Michelangelo and picked him up, “Michelangelo, where were you. We have been looking for you for hours!” he scolded.
“Sorry. I was playing with my friends.” Michelangelo explained.
Leonardo figured he meant imaginary friends and nodded his head. “You’re at that age.” He simply said. “We have to get home. Father said we have to be home before dark.” He stepped in front of Raphael and Donatello and led the way, carrying Michelangelo the whole way.