<xmp> <body> </xmp> The Witch, The Tooth, And The Dragon

The Boy With Super Powers

~Hoobie Saves The Day~

While Scatcat and Feebles were dozing, Hooblinka sat with her face in her hands, knobby knees up, and worked out all the details for helping Master Blue Eyes... then happy and smug, she curled up between her two friends for eight hours shuteye.

"If one is to perform at the TOP of one's game, it takes careful planning ahead of time," she mused, then yawned, then nudged Feebles' tail out of her way to give her more stretching room-- and drifted off to sleep beside him.

The next morning, Hoobie slept in-- so exhausted was she with hopping back and forth between two worlds and working out plans, but Scatcat and Feebles had already found some buttercups for breakfast.

"These aren't ANYTHING like butter!" Scat complained. "And they certainly aren't sweet." He chewed his flowers sadly, but Feebles was delighted with eating YELLOW. "Yellow has a flavor," he told his friend. "It may not taste sweet, but it surely is delightful," and he ate his sprig of buttercups with gusto.

Hooblinka sleepily stumbled over to where the two were discussing their breakfast and said, "I think I'll take a walk this afternoon. A solitary walk-- 'solitary', meaning --by myself," she added. Her two friends looked at her, puzzled. "You don't want us around?" they asked.

"Oh, you geese!" she said, as she was apt to do when they frustrated her, "I'm simply........

"I'll be.....well....

"...I'm simply going off alone to make my CHRISTMAS LIST for next year," she offered. "Can't leave that to the last minute, you know!" -and she wandered away with the two of them staring after her.

"Gees!" said Scat. "She really starts EARLY with that stuff," he said. "I just grab whatever's at hand........ a rock, a piece of wood, a fly once..... and wrap it up and hand it over."

"OH, you WOULD give a fly!" spat Feebles, shocked.

"If your friend happens to be a frog," Scat said, "then it is a very GOOD gift!" - and he harrumphed loudly, turning his back on Feebles.

As morning stretched into afternoon, Hoobie walked and walked, thinking the whole time. "I must be very alert to catch his calling me," she thought- and sure enough, out of the foggy air came a high-pitched, panicky cry of "HOOBIE!" the signal they'd agreed upon.

Hoobie flew out of Rusty's left eye like lightning, to find herself standing on a sidewalk, with Rusty crumpled into a ball while three big bullies laughed and teased him. Rusty was sniffling softly, looking miserable.

"Remember what I told you," said Hooblinka in a whisper a half inch from Rusty's ear, knowing he couldn't see her, but hoping her words were reaching him loud and clear.

"First you get up and stagger around a bit. Act groggy. Then you take a hard swing at the biggest one, but miss him by a mile. Aim for the telephone pole," Hoobie instructed. "Don't hit it... just make it look like you did. I'll do the rest in a second flat!"

Rusty slowly got to his feet, saying, "Gee, guys. I'm pretty sick of you tripping me all the time, and......Whooooooa," he said, spinning and moaning. The boys laughed like donkeys, getting a kick out of Rusty's groggy antics. Rusty swung to his left and only managed to hit some hydrangea bushes-- knocking off several blooms, and the boys roared.

Jumping up and down, swinging her own little arms like a boxer, Hooblinka said, "Good! GOOD, Rusty! Make them think you're no threat at all!" as she giggled and hooted, cheering him on.

Rusty rolled his eyes and stumbled around as he swung RIGHT, twirling and looking like he was about to fall over-- with his fist traveling in the general direction of the biggest boy, but he was off by a mile. It looked for all the world like he was about to smash his fist into the TELEPHONE POLE instead, and the boys choked with laughter.

"Good FAKE!" Hoobie said, as she suddenly squinted, locked a laser beam with her piercing eyes as she targeted the pole, said "SNICK!" --and, Omagosh!-- the pole SPLIT IN HALF just as Rusty's fist stopped a mere quarter-inch from contact-- (but the boys didn't know that.) All they saw was the telephone pole cracking-- veering right, then crashing into the open field beside them.

"Wow! That was funny," Rusty said, still acting punch-drunk. "I meant to hit.......YOU," he said, as he steadied himself and took aim at his tallest tormentor-- but the boys were already running-- yelling and falling over their own feet to get away as quickly as possible. Hooblinka CHEERED and jumped up and down. "YOU DID IT! YOU SCARED THEM OFF!"

In an instant, she enlarged herself to two inches so Rusty could see her. Then she ran up his pant leg, skipped up his shirt- laughing the whole way -to finally plant a small, victorious witch kiss on his blushing cheek.

"Way to GO!" cried the happy witch 'godmother' (which is what Hoobie felt like at that moment.) "Perfect timing, boy! You had absolutely perfect timing-- and those brutes will think twice about bothering you again. Not only that, they won't mention it to a soul, for fear they'd think them crazy. It was perfect! --and no one got hurt."

"See? It just takes a little planning, my man. A little intelligence to outwit human fur balls like those three."

"Gotta run!" Hoobie added, jumping back into the corner of his eye-- "my friends are HOPELESS at finding something decent to eat-- and it's almost dinner!"

"Take care, Rusty...but we're always close by," she added, laughing.

Somehow Hooblinka just knew Rusty would have little need of her help in the future: big bullying cowards like those three learn quickly, and she'd taught them an awfully good lesson.

Smiling happily to herself, she plopped back down in her gray world just in time to hear Scat say, "ABSOLUTELY NOT! YOU DO NOT ADD WALNUTS TO FISH CHOWDER, FEEBLES! IT JUST ISN'T DONE!" And with that, Hooblinka knew she was home.

But there was something besides walnuts moving in the soup...

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