“Don’t be scared—jump!” an authoritative male voice barked from deep along a bough.
“You go first,” another whimpered with a quavering tone from across the trunk.
“What in tarnation’s going on? Why ever would you two want to jump?” a well-formed, red lady retorted from her prominent position high on the tree.
“That way we won’t get eaten,” he responded so robustly, he shook the branch.
“You’ll get eaten all right, by the varmints, while I’ll be off to high adventures, telling tales of travel, getting gussied up and shiny, and mingling with folks from around the world—the life of Riley fer me.”
“But like a queen in some fancy Danish tarte or German strudel,” she drawled with a cloying sweetness.
“More like smashed with your guts squirting out of your peel in some industrial cider press,” he replied, his gravely tone trailing away, followed by two dull thuds.
“Or Portuguese caramel empanadas,” she called after them between peals of laughter.