Sunny and the Sea Salt Butter
“BUTTER! Get your butter here!” Sunny shouted. Sunny, a mischievous yellow Peophin, was a salesman. He was an unusual salesman because he sold underwater sea butter. “Get your butter! Put it on rolls, bread, or cornbread! Guaranteed to be tasty!” Sunny held up a jar of his butter. He had recently arrived in the town of Tuskaninnies. After finding the bustling town center, he had set up a stall to advertise and sell his butter. So far, Sunny wasn’t having much luck.
“Sir! Would you like some butter?” Sunny asked as he shoved the butter into the path of a passing green Tuskaninny. “Put it on your dinner rolls tonight!”
“Get out of my way! What kind of salesman are you, shoving butter in my face?” The Tuskaninny shoved the butter away and swam off.
Sunny spied an older purple Tuskaninny sitting by herself and swam up to her. “Miss! Would you be interested in some sea butter? It’s made of the finest quality sea salt found in my home city! It’ll only cost you ten neopoints!”
The Tuskaninny took the jar from Sunny, opened it, and peered in at the butter. She stuck her nose over the rim of the jar and inhaled. “Blech!” she yelped as she dropped the jar. “That is the most disgusting butter I’ve ever smelled! Sea salt butter? Are you crazy?” As Sunny swam after the jar (for it had floated away after she dropped it), the Tuskaninny went on her way.
Sunny held the jar up to his nose and sniffed. “Seems fine to me,” he thought aloud. Sunny looked around for someone else to sell the butter to.
“Hey! Hey you!” Sunny shouted at a passing blue Tuskaninny. The Tuskaninny saw Sunny charging at him and didn’t know what to do, so he turned tail and swam away from Sunny as fast as he could. “Hey! Wait up! Why are you running away?!” Sunny, a fast swimmer and more agile than the Tuskaninny, caught up quickly. “I just want you to smell my butter!”
The Tuskaninny eyed Sunny suspiciously. “You want me to smell butter? That’s kind of weird, you know.”
Sunny held out the jar and nodded. “That’s all. Someone told me it smells bad so I want a second opinion.”
“Well, I guess that’s alright then, if that’s all you want.” The Tuskaninny leaned over the jar and smelled the butter. He jerked his head back and said, “Eww! That is gross! What did you do to this? It’s disgusting!”
Sunny looked sadly down at his butter. “It’s just some sea salt butter. I made it myself from the best sea salt in my home city. It’s really that bad?”
“It’s that bad. Trust me. Nobody is going to eat this. What are you doing with all this butter anyway?”
“I’m selling it!”
The Tuskaninny snorted. “Good luck selling this junk. You should just go home.”
“I can’t go home. I have no money left to pay to transport all my butter, and it’s too heavy for me to carry everything on my back while I swim. What am I supposed to do?”
“Well, that’s not my problem, now is it? Next time don’t try to sell such disgusting butter.”
Sunny glared at the Tuskaninny as he swam away. As Sunny watched the Tuskaninny leave, an idea started to form. With a cheeky smile on his face, Sunny called after the Tuskaninny, “Hey! I never caught your name!”
“I’m Jemjam,” the Tuskaninny called back over his shoulder.
“Nice to meet you, Jemjam! Thanks for your help!” Sunny said cheerfully as he waved. “Yeah, thanks for being a jerk,” he muttered. Sunny kept waving until Jemjam was out of sight.
Sunny swam as fast as he could after Jemjam. Once Jemjam was safely in his line of sight, Sunny swam stealthily along after him. Eventually Jemjam arrived at his friend Terik’s house. Sunny spied a clump of seaweed he could hide in that was just close enough to the Tuskaninnies to hear their conversation.
“So, we’re going to meet at the reef around noon tomorrow, right?” Jemjam asked.
“Okay, by the reef at noon,” the yellow Tuskaninny replied with an affirmative nod.
“Sounds good. See you tomorrow, Terik!” Jemjam waved to Terik, then took off towards his own home. Sunny followed Jemjam until the Tuskaninny went in his house, then turned back towards the market.
After learning the reef’s location from a friendly person in the town center, Sunny swam along the path Jemjam would have to take the next day. Sunny spotted the perfect place to perform his plan. The pile of boulders was tall with a Peophin-sized hole at the base of the rocks. Sunny pushed himself halfway into the hole with his tail sticking out of the rocks behind him. “This is exactly right!” Sunny thought aloud. He pulled himself out of the hole and went back to his stall to sleep for the night.
The next day Jemjam was on his way to meet Terik when he saw a yellow tail waving out from a pile of rocks.
“Help! Help me!” a voice said as the tail waggled furiously. “Is anyone there?”
“What happened to you?” Jemjam asked the tail.
“Jemjam? Is that you? Thank goodness! I got tired of waiting for you at the reef so I was coming to get you when I saw something in the hole. I swam in to check it out but now I’m stuck! Can you help me out?”
“Geez, Terik, you’re real dumb sometimes, you know that? I’m going to grab your tail and pull. Try to suck in your stomach, okay? On the count of three then. One... Two... Three!” Jemjam pulled and pulled, but his friend wouldn’t budge.
“Don’t you have anything we could use to slide me out? Like butter or something?”
Jemjam thought for a moment then said, “I don’t have any but I know where I can get some. Wait here, I’ll be back soon.”
Sunny waited until he couldn’t hear Jemjam swimming anymore, then waited another minute after that just to be safe. He pulled himself out of the hole and banged his hooves together to get the dirt off of them. “I didn’t expect him to pull so hard! It’s a good thing the ground isn’t soft in there.” When Sunny was satisfied with the cleanliness of his hooves, he swam at full speed back to his stall in the market.
Jemjam arrived at Sunny’s stall shortly after Sunny did. “Hey, you, still selling butter?”
Sunny eyed Jemjam and sarcastically replied, “Oh, it’s you again.”
“I’d like to buy some of your butter. I don’t need much.”
“I thought you said my butter is gross?” Sunny taunted.
Jemjam glared at him. “It is gross! I don’t want it to eat it!”
“What? Not for eating? Why should I sell you my butter if you aren’t going to eat it?”
“Whatever! Fine! I’ll buy butter somewhere else!” Jemjam said, exasperated.
“No, wait! Alright, here, it’ll only cost you ten neopoints.”
“That seems fair.” Jemjam dropped a few coins on the stall, then held out his hand and allowed Sunny to drop a medium-sized glob of butter onto it.
“Thanks for your business!” Sunny said with a grin. As soon as Jemjam turned to leave, Sunny bolted from his stall back to the boulders. Not long after Sunny situated himself in the hole, Jemjam arrived.
“Terik! I got some butter! I’m going to rub it on your tail and try to pull you out.” Jemjam rubbed the butter all around the tail closest to the opening of the hole. Jemjam pulled and pulled, but couldn’t budge the tail a single inch.
“Maybe we could do it if there was more butter. Do you have any more?”
Jemjam sighed. “No, I don’t, but I’ll go get some more. Wait here.”
Sunny waited once more, then swam to his stall to meet Jemjam. Jemjam bought another medium-sized glob of butter from Sunny and went back to the rocks. He rubbed butter all around the tail again and pulled with all his might.
“I think I moved a little! The butter seems to be helping!”
“I’m surprised you’re still stuck. You’re so slippery I can barely hold on to you.”
“Maybe if you put just a tiny bit more on me, I could get out.”
Jemjam groaned but went to get more butter. When he arrived he saw Sunny taking apart his stall and packing a bag.
“What are you doing?” Jemjam asked Sunny.
“Well, I’m heading home. I’m out of butter.”
“What!” exclaimed Jemjam. “But I need more! You’re completely out? But you had such a big jar of butter before!”
“Well,” Sunny replied thoughtfully. “I suppose I have a little left. It will cost you fifty neopoints.”
“That’s not fair! It was only ten before!”
“Well, that’s not my problem, now is it?” Sunny smiled cheekily at Jemjam. “I’m low on supply and the demand is high so I’m going to charge you more.”
Jemjam grumbled as he handed the neopoints over to Sunny. Sunny placed a smaller glob of butter in his hand. Jemjam went back to the boulders with the remaining butter, but found the hole empty. “Terik? Where are you?” he called as he looked around the boulders for his friend.
“What are you doing, Jemjam?” Terik waved to his friend as he swam up to the rocks. “I waited for you at the reef but you never showed up. What were you doing?” Terik glanced at Jemjam’s hand, “And why are you holding butter?”
Jemjam began to realize the trick Sunny had played on him. He raced to the town center, but Sunny was already long gone, a jar of butter lighter than when he had arrived.
The moral of the story is to never trust someone selling butter underwater. How can you spread butter on soggy bread?