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

Raining Bananas

~Trio Meets Marauding Monkeys~

A soft, squishy SPLAT of something hit tooth smack in his molar top. He reeled around dizzy-like, but smelling a sweet aroma, tried with all his might to reach his little tongue waaaay up to the top of himself to lick it off--- and didn't succeed.

Meanwhile Hooblinka and Feebles ran for the shelter of some trees, getting SPLATTED themselves, step by hurried step. Mushy, cream-colored handfuls of a substance sweet and fragrant kept pelting down on them, flung by seven or eight monkeys, who swung from tree to tree, chittering and making gleeful monkey sounds.

Scatcat the tooth was the only one not bothered by this surprise attack. Loving sweets, he dashed about, mouth open, saying, "Here! Here! Here!" but mostly the lobbed banana grenades missed hitting him.

Hooblinka looked by turns both furious and puzzled. "Are those MONKEYS, Feebles? What on EARTH are monkeys doing here?"

Feebles, trying as best he could to fit under some low branches, bending himself nearly in half, said, "Hoobie. LOOK at us. A witch, a dragon.....a CAT-tooth, for heaven's sake. NONE of us quite 'belong' here, do we? Who cares how they got here. Let's just try not to be completely covered in- (he paused a moment to stick a dragon claw into some of the gooey stuff that had fallen on his belly, then tasting it).........BANANA! They're engaged in some sort of banana warfare against us. OH DEAR," he continued, "why must I always be the subject of somebody's nastiness?"

The monkeys jumped and hooted every time they struck a direct hit. They seemed to know that only the molar WANTED them to hit him, so they purposely missed and aimed for the witch- and the dragon (who was a marvelous, easy target due to his size.)

Just as quickly as they appeared, they swung themselves branch to branch, then shimmied down a tall tree and ran off. Only one, the smallest monkey, got left behind-- the branches being too far apart for him to make the leap. He sat up there, chittering in fright, his little form shivering.

The little monkey WAILED and clung to the branch he was sitting on for dear life.

"Just LOOK at that little bandit," Hooblinka said. "We should catch him and ROAST HIM UP FOR DINNER!"

This caused the monkey to cry louder, shake harder... and Feebles started to feel sorry for the little guy. "I'm tallest. Let me see if I can get him down here without breaking his head or something. They RAN OFF WITHOUT HIM, Hoobie." Hooblinka just scowled up at him, not softening in her anger at all. "Tooth!" the dragon called. "You remember what it was like when you fell out of that cart and all your friends just drove off. Let's all have a heart here. He's soooo small."

Scatcat the tooth was busily slurping up all the squished banana he could find from the ground. When he started in on the dragon's toes, Feebles said, "ENOUGH! I'm ticklish. Stop that dog-like licking!" That made Hoobie laugh. Then the molar laughed too-- banana smeared all over his face.

"Alright," said Hooblinka. "See if you can get him down. We won't eat him," she added sadly, "though some meat would be mighty welcome right about now." But she said it just to watch the baby monkey tremble in overhearing her.

Feebles reached his great neck and his giant head up as FARrrrrrr as he could, the monkey pulling himself as tightly to the tree trunk as possible, eyes big as plates. Very, very gently, Feebles grabbed the monkeys tail softly between this lips and pulled him inch by inch until he swung free of the branch, then carefully lowered him to the soft grass, right in the middle of Hooblinka, Scatcat and himself.

The monkey was wearing a FEZ -(which is a rounded, flat-topped hat, with a tassel hanging over the side.) A fine, bright RED it was, and on the back it said, "Property of the BUCKLEY TRAVELING CIRCUS."

The baby monkey shivered, his eyes huge-- his fez tassel jumping with twitching monkey nerves.

"He's a CIRCUS MONKEY," Scatcat said. The little guy nodded his head vigorously, his eyes pleading. Hooblinka said, "Snick! Snick! Snick!" and studied him with great concentration. "Snick! Snick! Snick!" she said again.

"Get that hair out of your mouth so we can decide what to DO with this thing," said Scatcat.

"That's NOT what I'm DOING, you goose. Not this time. It's come to me that 'snick snick snick' is part of a spell. I don't know how I know it, but I do. I mean... I was only BORN YESTERDAY, for Pete's sake, but somehow.... somehow I just KNOW STUFF, and right now, I know I can transport this circus monkey back to his friends if I say it just right and concentrate hard enough."

Then, "Snick! Snick! Snick!" said Feebles. "SNICK, SNICK, SNICKETY SNICK!!!" said Scatcat. (Hoobie glared at them, knowing the spell wouldn't work for anyone but her-- but she let them go ahead and think they were helping.)

Suddenly, like a giant invisible hand had swept in and SCOOPED up the monkey, the red-hatted, scared little stranger was gone. Just POOF! Gone! And in the distance the three friends heard excited chitters and happy chatters as the monkeys welcomed their smallest member home, and off they went in search of the circus train they'd escaped for an afternoon's mischievous adventure.

"IT WORKED! WE DID IT!" exclaimed Feebles.

Scatcat was studying the pattern of banana that covered the three of them, and the ground and the tree trunks. He was licking his lips in anticipaton, his belly growling furiously.

"Let's jump in that stream and get cleaned off," said Hooblinka, "or sure enough, we'll be set upon by bees and wasps looking for a quick treat!" They ran down to the water, but Scat remained, licking not only himself, but the ground, the trees.... burping and eating sloppily and looking on regretfully as Hoobie and the dragon washed themselves clean of the gooey banana.

"You shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth," said Scat. "I've never known what that saying means, but it has something to do with enjoying what's given to you." He licked and licked, so that the giant spider that was creeping up behind him was not even noticed, not even a little...... till he pounced.

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