December 30th 2008 12:59 pm
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The three friends walked into the woods, unaware that danger lurked behind them.
Myron found a tree that was just the right diameter and Tollis knocked it over with one push. As soon as the tree fell, Myron got to work and sawed off two thick pieces of the trunk. He had Tollis place his feet on the circles of wood and traced around it until he had two perfect outlines. He then took a small saw from his bag and began the painstaking task of cutting the outlines from the wood.
While Myron was working, Bernie the Brave ventured off towards Myron's cave to pack them some food and other things they would need for their trip. He was almost to the edge of the woods when suddenly he felt an icy chill race down his spine. Bernie the Brave tried to move but found he could not. He tried to yell for Myron and Tollis but his mouth wouldn't open. He was frozen!
"Ah ha...it is the nosy pest! I was hoping you would be the first one I caught" The witch stepped out from behind a tree and walked over to Bernie the Brave. He struggled and struggled but could not move a muscle.
"Don't bother, pest! You won't be able to move unless I allow it to happen!" The witch flashed an evil grin at Bernie the Brave. Her teeth looked like a bombed city-blackened and broken. Bernie the Brave would have cringed if he were able.
"Now I am going to go take care of your friends!" She walked off towards where Myron and Tollis were working.
Once her back was turned Bernie the Brave tried again to move, but it was no use. He prayed that Myron and Tollis would be ok. Suddenly he caught a bit of movement out of the corner of his eye. A moment later he heard a voice : "Hello. Are you ok?"
Bernie the Brave tried to see who was talking to him but they were out of his line of sight. He was able to grunt in response, hoping that the stranger would know he was not ok.
"Oh my! You don't sound ok...what happened? Where is your friend?"
Bernie the Brave let out a series of frustrated grunts.
"I will go find him for you. Stay here!' Bernie the Brave could hear the stranger take off into the woods. He hoped they were faster then the witch.
Meanwhile, Myron had just finished cutting out the outline of Tollis' left foot and was starting on the right when he heard a noise.
"Tollis did you hear that?" Myron asked.
"Yeah, what was that"
"It sounds like the mating call of a Northern Hooded Buckbilled Jayhawk!"
"It is a bird, and a rare one! I have been birdwatching for 15 years and I have never seen one. Nobody in this area has! I have to go see if I can get a glimpse. Do you mind? I will be right back."
"No, I don't mind. How exciting! Good luck!"
Myron grabbed his binoculars and bird book from his bag and took off in the direction that the bird call had come from.
A few moments after he left, a rabbit ran out of the woods. It skidded to a stop once it saw Tollis and started to run away.
"Wait!" Tollis called to the rabbit. The mama rabbit turned and looked at Tollis, her whole body was shaking with fear, but something in his voice made her stay and listen to what he had to say.
"I am not going to hurt you. I remember you from earlier, you ran by me with your baby. Is it ok? I am sorry I scared you."
"Y-Yes. My baby is at Myron's house. I came out here to warn Myron and Bernie the Brave, but I think I am too late"
"Warn them? About what?"
"About the witch. A squirrel saw her hiding in a tree, watching you and Bernie the Brave. It didn't see Myron with you so it ran to his house to warn him, but it had just missed him. It was too scared to come back, so I left it to watch my baby and I came myself. On the way here, I saw Bernie the Brave. He was just standing there and he didn't talk to me, he only grunted! I think the witch did something to him!" The rabbit started to cry.
As the rabbit was talking, Tollis began to get more and more angry. By the time she finished her story, his face was beet red and he looked like he ought to have steam coming out of his ears.
"That WITCH!" he cried. "Ms. Rabbit, show me where you saw Bernie the Brave!"
The rabbit ran off into the woods and Tollis followed, pushing trees out of his way and making the ground rumble with each step.
"There he is!" The rabbit pointed and Tollis reached the spot in 2 huge steps.
"Bernie the Brave, are you ok? Can you move?" Tollis' rampage through the forest had moved the earth so much that Bernie the Brave had tipped over. Tollis touched him with the tip of one finger.
"He feels as hard as stone!"
He gently picked Bernie the Brave up and placed him in the front pocket of his shirt. Bernie the Brave's eyes peeked out from over the top of Tollis' pocket.
"Thank you Ms. Rabbit. Please go back to Myron's cave, I will take care of that witch once and for all!"
He walked back towards where he and Myron had been sitting, working on the new shoes. He was almost there, when from out of no where a bird flew right at him and started pecking at his face and head.
Tollis slapped at the bird.
The bird was screeching madly and thrashing against Tollis' skull. Bernie the Brave started to grunt wildly. Tollis was swinging his arms around, trying to keep the crazy bird away from him. He blundered deeper into the woods and the bird followed.
Tollis was not watching where he was going and so it was no surprise that he tripped on a log and fell down to the ground with a huge *THUD*
He started to get up, but the bird was coming! He covered his head with his hands. Then he remembered Bernie the Brave. He was in his pocket! He was probably crushed in the fall! Tollis was crying so hard that he couldn't see anything in front of him. He reached into his shirt pocket with fingers that shook like jello-and found the pocket empty!
***************to be continued***********************
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