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

Sky Quarrel

~Every Little Thing Has Feelings~

The three slept very soundly that night. (Feebles snored.... but that was 'per usual', and Hoobie and Scatcat had grown used to it.) But at first Scat had said, "Sets my TEETH on edge, that log-sawer!"- to which Hooblinka had replied, "Does a TOOTH have teeth?"

"There's TEETH inside this tooth, alright!" he answered huffily. "How do you think I eat things crunchier than honey?" And he'd turned his back stiffly, but Hooblinka was chuckling and didn't mind his bad humor a bit. And on all nights since, the three slept easily in each other's company.

Early morning came and went. It was mid-afternoon before even one of them stirred. (There'd been no cock crowing and no morning light to wake them: just dark silence.)

Feebles was the first to awaken. Rubbing his claw sleepily on his face, he was surprised to feel not even a hint of morning warmth on his scaly cheek. "What the.......Hoobie! Hoobie wake up," he said shaking her. Hoobie opened one eye, annoyed. "What is it, Feebs?" she said groggily.

"THERE'S NO SUN! Surely we've been sleeping longer than 10 hours, and there's not so much as a dribble of sunshine!"

"Something's wrong," he said, looking worried.

Hooblinka got to her feet, looked around to see their sleeping patch, and all the trees and bushes draped in a cool bluish glow. "MOONLIGHT!" she said. "This makes no sense!"

"And there's not one bird," added Scat-- who'd awakened to find his two friends talking and sounding confused. Indeed there were birds, just no bird calls-- and the little buggers were walking around on the ground, looking stunned. "How does one find a BUG in this ghastly glow?" complained one of them.

"We're all HUNGRY, and this......oh, this has been going on for HOURS!"

Hoobie thought for a minute and said, "I think I'll check out Rusty's side. See if this infernal black-out is that far-reaching."

So she slipped away from them, touched her nose and 'snicked', and soon she was gazing out of Rusty's tear duct at a beautifully SUNNY AFTERNOON. "It's just on our end. Good. I can probably do something about it then."

Hooblinka sat down on a rock to think. She couldn't imagine what may have happened to the pesky sun. "I've never known him to be late," she mused. And before that thought was even finished, Hoobie heard a loud- "OH, I CAN'T GO ON WITH THIS! I MUST HAVE SOME REST!"

Hoobie looked up and saw it was the moon speaking. "Well I'm glad to see you're talking," said Hooblinka. "Why on earth are you still UP there? It's mid-AFTERNOON, sir!"

The moon rolled up his lip and pouted. "Why don't you ask HIM," he said, pointing east in the direction of the no-show sun. "Where is he?" Hoobie asked, puzzled.

"Jamaica," said the Moon. "Can you believe it? Although we're supposed to relieve each other at equal turns, that lazy good for nothing FIREBALL decided to roam off."

Continuing in the sun's voice, he said, "I think I'll have myself a vacation, Moon-- you always get all the prettiest songs written about you--Beethoven, even!--all the really romantic songs and poems, and what do I get?? A long, boring chorus from that HIPPIE musicial 'Hair' where everyone keeps repeating 'Let the sun shine, let the sun shine in, let the sun shine, let the sun shine in'-- and it's infuriating! I do half the work, YOU get all the glory."

Hoobie saw how exhausted the poor moon looked. "That's what JEALOUSY will get you," she said to no one in particular.

"HMmmmmmmmmmm....... hummed Hooblinka to herself (which always meant she was reading her 'mind book'.)

"I'm going to have a WORD with that Sun... Moon! Hold the FORT! I'm off to find that slacker but I'll be back in a blink...don't leave them in TOTAL DARKNESS... someone will get hurt!"- and off she shot.

Hooblinka did find the sun-- basking in a lawn chair and sipping cola. He looked completely relaxed, his rays resting comfortably on the chair arms. Knowing how very PROUD the sun is, Hooblinka spent the better part of an hour telling him how much everyone loves him.

She talked about the Aztecs of Mexico... and how they WORSHIPPED the sun at one time. And the ancient Egyptians with their god, Ra-- the Sun god. She reminded him that, scientifically speaking, he IS the center of the universe. How not a single plant could grow without him.

Hoobie talked on and on.....and then.......

Then she saw the sun rising and grinning broadly... BLINDING her. "I'm MAGNIFICENT!!" said the sun, who promptly took his rightful place in the heavens, brighter than ever.

Back in Gray World, the sun's first delicious rays began to lighten the moon-glow till finally EVERYTHING was as yellowy BRIGHT as as it should be... and not a moment too soon! (One scrawny bird was desperately trying to choke down a stone just before the first rays hit.)
"I MUST EAT! he said in despair-- but stopped as soon as he saw a sunbeam light on a skittering cricket-- "WE'RE SAVED!" they all chirped.

Feebles and Scatcat could not wait to ask Hooblinka how she did it, but when Hooblinka appeared beside them, she wasn't saying.

"I don't give up my secrets," she said, pleased with herself..."not like some folks."

Feeling guilty and not even knowing why, Feebles and Scat looked at each other. "What on earth could she be talking about?" they both thought....and Hoobie couldn't wait to tell them.

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