The sweet smell of peppermint made Dash’s silver wings flutter. The small Mint Fairy was tending to her candies in Peppermint Grove. The weather was turning a little cooler, and there were many mint candies sprouting on the vines. This was perfect mint-chip weather! Dash picked a tiny mint pod from a stem in front of her. Carefully, she opened up the green pod, plucked the tiny mint chips out, and popped them into her mouth. “Mmm,” she said. “Just right!”
“How are the new chips?” asked Minny. The young Mint Fairy flew over to Dash. “I’ve been waiting for those to ripen. How do they taste?”
“Perfect,” Dash reported happily. She handed a pod to Minny. “Let me know what you think.”
Minny put a handful of chips in her mouth and quickly agreed. “Yum, these are good,” she said. “Dash, you are the master of mint!”
Dash blushed. She was excited about the mini mint chips. She thought they’d be perfect toppings for chocolates or even for ice cream. Just thinking about the yummy treats made her stomach rumble.
“Maybe we should take a break for lunch,” Dash suggested. She rubbed her belly. “I’m starving.”
Minny laughed. “Dash, you are always hungry!”
Dash couldn’t argue. “I might be small, but I do have a huge appetite!” she said, laughing.
There wasn’t a candy in Sugar Valley that Dash didn’t love . . . although some she liked more than others!
The two Mint Fairies settled down under the shade of a few large peppermint leaves. Dash was thankful for the rest—and the delicious fruit nectar that she had brought for lunch.
“Oh, look, Dash!” Minny exclaimed. “There’s a sugar fly note for you.” She pointed to the fly circling over Dash’s head.
Sugar flies brought messages to fairies throughout Sugar Valley. The flies could spread information—or gossip—to fairies far and wide. Dash quickly opened the note and then flew straight up in the air.
“Holy peppermint!” she cried. She zoomed around and then did a somersault.
“What did that note say?” Minny asked. She leaped up in excitement. “Must be extra-sweet news.”
Dash flew back down to the ground. “I just got the best invitation,” she told her friend. “You will not believe this. I can’t believe this!” She shot up in the air again.
“What?” Minny begged. “Come down and tell me!”
“This is so mint!” Dash gushed. “Wait till all my friends hear about this!” She scribbled off a note and handed it back to the sugar fly. “Please take this back to Meringue Island as fast as possible,” Dash instructed. “My answer is YES!”
Minny’s eyes grew wide. “Meringue Island?” she said. “Why, that’s all the way in the Vanilla Sea!”
“Yes,” Dash said. “And right near Mt. Ice Cream.”
Clapping her hands, Minny cheered. “I know—were you invited to race in Double Dip?” she shouted.
“Sure as sugar!” Dash said, flipping in the air again.
“Dash, that is minty cool!” Minny exclaimed. “I’ve only read about that race. And now you are going to be in it!”
“I can’t believe it,” Dash repeated, landing back down on the ground.
Minny sighed. “I’ve never been all the way to Meringue Island,” she said wistfully. “I’ve heard that the Cone Harbor Festival weekend is supersweet. They have all these amazing flavors of ice cream and candy toppings for fairies to taste, and lots of carnival rides and parties.” She blushed when Dash raised her eyebrows. “I read all about the festival in the Daily Scoop,” she confessed.
Dash smiled. “I know. I’ve read those articles too! The festival seems totally mint,” she said. “And I’ve heard the Double Dip course is one of the most challenging sled races. The race is the last day of the festival.”
“Does that mean you’ll have to race against Menta and Peppa?” Minny asked. “They’ve been the champions for the past two years.”
“So you know about those Mint Fairies?” Dash said, raising her eyebrows. “They make mint ice cream and live on Meringue Island. They definitely have an advantage because they’ve run the course so many times. But this year the race is going to be different.”
“Why?” Minny asked, taking a sip of her drink.
“Because this year I’m in the race!” Dash boasted proudly. “I’ve never been to Mt. Ice Cream. But now that I’ve been invited to go, I can’t wait! It’s not every day that a fairy gets invited to race in Double Dip!” Dash’s mind started to flood with ideas. “I can’t wait to start working on a new sled. I’ll need a double sled for this race,” she explained. “And I know just the partner to pick to ride with me.”
“Who?” Minny asked. She leaned in closer to Dash.
“The perfect fairy for the job,” she said. “She’s fearless, and she knows chocolate inside and out.”
“Oh, I’ve read there is that chocolate-coated part of the course,” Minny said. She tapped her finger on her head. “I’ve heard that is the part where lots of fairies fall off their sleds.”
“Exactly!” Dash exclaimed. “So with my secret chocolate partner, I’ll have the winning edge.”
“And a good friend to race with,” Minny said, giggling. “I know you are talking about your friend Cocoa. She’ll be fantastic.”
Taking a bite of a mint, Dash nodded in agreement. “I hope that she agrees. We’d make a sugar-tastic team.”
Dash called over another sugar fly. “I wonder if Carobee the dragon would take my friends and me to Meringue Island. The journey would be so sweet on top of a dragon! I hope he will agree to fly us across the Vanilla Sea.” She wrote her note and handed it to the sugar fly. “You’ll find Carobee in the caves on Meringue Island,” Dash told the fly. “Please hurry, and wait for his reply!”
Dash imagined the green-and-purple dragon getting the sugar fly note. She and her friends had met Carobee when they’d been searching for gooey goblins. While they had been looking for the mischievous creatures, they’d found Carobee. The fairies had become fast friends with the dragon after that adventure. Dash hoped that Carobee would be part of this adventure too!
The fly buzzed off toward Meringue Island. Dash leaned back and took a deep, slow breath in and out. “I just know this is going to be my year to win,” she said. “To win Double Dip is a huge honor.”
“And to beat Menta and Peppa would be a great accomplishment,” Minny added.
“Hmm,” Dash said, closing her eyes, thinking about the moment of glory. “Can’t you see Cocoa and me in the winner’s circle?” She sighed. “This is going to be so mint!” she exclaimed. “But first I have to ask Cocoa to be my partner!”