Because everybody knows that the leaves on the Krephiloff Tree had three points. But they also had four points too.
Kriffle of the Triplifer tribe is preparing to take over his father’s position as leader of their tribe. He struggles to get to the Fleedenhall due to all the leaves clogging up his home. Leaves in his broth, leaves burying him at night while he sleeps, leaves everywhere! Kriffle knows he must win this debate and get elected so that his side of the Tree can use the Shears.
Kriffle knows the leaves on his side of the Tree have three points. In his frustration, he drags his protesting rival, Fargeeta of the Quadrigon tribe, over to his side of the tree. Fargeeta then takes him to her side, showing him the impossible: four-pointed leaves! But even after he finds out that the other side’s leaves have four points, he has a hard time getting anyone to listen to him, and so Kriffle and Fargeeta vow to get to the root of the issue.
Don’t let this cute story fool you – there’s much more going on under the surface. Gould does a wonderful job creating these characters that even children will love, and their parents can dig deeper for satirical layers reminiscent of Dr. Seuss – with less rhymes.