Red Sugar

People thought Tural dreary, but she wasn't. Tural

seldom smiled, even when she was happy, but her eyes

would twinkle to make up for her mouth's rudeness.

Her face was such an open, pretty one, that old ladies

tut-tutted that she cloaked herself in black and wore

her hair back in a tight braid.

Tural was just very shy, sensitive, and thoughtful,

that's all. She was too shy to smile, for she'd fallen

down a staircase a few months before and had lost her

two front teeth. She was afraid to be laughed at. Her

sensitivity put her all in black. Tural's favorite

kitten, Stubble, had died, and she was still in

mourning. (That was 2 years four months and 13 days

ago, so you can see yourself that she was sensitive!)

Tural was also very thoughtful. She looked at the

Kool-Aid sweating in her palm and thought something

until she decided to say it out loud.

"Pical," she said to her twin brother, for that was

his name, "How do you suppose the red gets into


"Oh, I don't suppose at all, I know" answered Pical,

for he was full of the knowledge of many things.

"Well?" asked Tural.

"Well." answered Pical, who didn't know what else to


"How does the red get into Kool-Aid?" Tural wasn't

annoyed. She knew with a sharp mind like her brothers,

one often had to dig a little to find anything


"Oh that." answered Pical "It's so simple I didn't

think you were serious.

Pical was going to take a sip of his own Kool-Aid when

he noticed that Tural's cheeks had gone pinker than


"I'll tell ya, then. It's red sugar is all."

"Red sugar? who ever heard of such a silly thing?"

Tural was offended and almost left then and there.

"I seen red sugar plenty o' times at the market. It's

in funny little pill bottles, and you can see the

sugar right through it. There's all sorts o' colors,

not just red; blue, yellow, green, purple.

Ask Mom if you don't believe me!"

Tural assured her brother that she believed him. In

fact she remembered having seen the funny pill bottles

herself, only she hadn't known what they were.

"I wonder where does red sugar come from?" Tural asked

as if to no one in particular.

"Oh don't you know anything?" Pical put down his cup,

and stood facing his sister. "Color sugar comes from

the same place as white. Only color's worth more, it

being rare and all.

Far away in the North, where it's nothing but snow all

'round, that where you find sugar mines."

Pical got into his tale then, and looked far past the

yard, as if he could see the snowy mountains that

stood there.

"They started off as caves, see? But when some miner

or other hits a color vein, they take in dynamite and

all sorts of bombs in things, then they blow it all

up. Soon the caves become deep, dark tunnels.

They put train tracks in the tunnels, but they ain't

got no trains, only funny carts that they tote sugar

in. Each miner has two carts, a pick, and a shovel.

The pick's to bang on gray rocks until they get sugar

pouring from it. The shovels are to shovel the piles

of sugar into one cart, and the other cart is to put

and diamonds or rubies or gold nuggets and things they


"And that's how the miners are paid!" interrupted

Tural, clapping her hands at the thought of so many

sparkling things.

Pical looked disgusted. "Of course not, Stupid!

Diamonds and rubies and such are alright, of course.

But they aren't that easy to get rid of unless you can

find a pirate who needs some for his treasure chest or

a princess or something like that.

Everybody needs sugar, though. The miners take half of

what they find home. They never have to buy sugar

again, and they sell the rest."

"And the other half is sent to factories and put into

little pill bottles!" Tural cried, sure she was on to

something at last.

Pical smiled. "Yeah, that's right. I suppose you

aren't too stupid after all."

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