"Hand me that needle, would you?"
"Sure. Here you go," answered Herby.
"Thank you, Nurse Heimlech. Scalpel?"
"Here's your knife. You're welcome, Dr. Koala-Fuzz."
The ermit stared at the cheep and then continued. "Revolver?"
"Revolver. What do you want with a re—"
The ermit aimed the gun, and the cheep quickly hid under the table. "Pop! Darn bunnies . . ."
"Oh dear."
"Suction.... tube thingy?'
"Suction tube," said the cheep, as he handed it over to the doctor.
"Rubber gloves?"
"Gloves? Dr. Ermit, you're supposed to put your gloves on before you start to operate . . ."
"Rubber ducky! I need the rubber ducky! Quickly! Hand me the rubber ducky!"
"What the . . . Okay, okay," sighed the cheep as he handed him to the ermit. "Blood pressure rising rapidly, sir!"
"Quick! Hand me those electric thingies! Clear!"
"Poomf."
"Clear!"
"Poomf."
"Herby, you don't need to 'poomf' for me."
"Sorry, sir."
"That was a close one," said the ermit. He held out his fuzzy paw once again. "Five-iron."
"I think the three-wood would be more suitable for this situation."
"Are you questioning my fuzziness?"
"What? What are you talking about you crazy ermit?" shouted the cheep. No response from the ermit. The cheep gave him the five-iron. "Be the club! Go the distance!"
"There we go. Now, the chainsaw?" said the ermit, extending his arm out, once again.
"Chainsaw?" asked the cheep.
"You heard me. Hand it to me."
"Okay."
"Thank you."
"Why are you talking in such a funny voice?" asked the cheep as Enry pulled the rope on the chainsaw.
"What funny?"
"Your voice. It's so... deep."
"Ah yes. Well, don't all doctors talk this way?"
"No."
"Exactly my point."
"You sure you're a doctor? I mean—"
"Of course I am! I've saved lives. I once saved my pet goldfish from drowning."
"Hmm . . ." hmmed Herby while scratching his head.
"Is 'hmmed' a real word, Nurse Herby?"
"No. Don't call me 'Nurse Herby'. Why would you ask?"
"I dunno . . . I just had the weirdest feeling."
"I think you need to sit down, Enry, I think I can take it from here."
"No! Everything is A-Okay, Number One. Under control. I am fully operational. Get it?! HAHA! OPERATIONAL!"
"Yes, yes. Now shut up."
"Okay."
"Doctor?"
"Yes?" replied the ermit.
"Are you sure you've done everything you're supposed to so far?"
"Yes. Why do you ask?"
"Well . . ."
"Ohhhh . . ." the gerbster groaned. The gerbster was the creature that the ermit and Herby were working on.
"Conscious? What do you mean he's still conscious?" Enry slapped the cheep. "Oh dear. Where am I?" asked Fenry.
"You've been asleep for three days, Mr. Gerb," said Enry.
"What?"
"You were unconcious for a while . . . you were in a coma," said Herby.
"Or so he would have us believe," interrupted the ermit, while raising one fuzzy eyebrow.
"What the . . ."
"Sorry, Mr. Gerb, but we're having a few technical difficulties as you can see with Dr. Ermit. Please hold on a sec."
"Mr. Gerb," said Enry, "When we found you, you were sprinkled like a donut with small chocolate candies and soaked in Dr. K soda. Wanna explain that for us?"
The gerbster looked confused, "I don't know what you're talking about."
"Chickens, perhaps?" said Enry with a large grin on his face.
"What? Oh right. It's all coming back, now."
"What is?" asked the cheep. Then, the gerbster went into his long story.

"Okay, now there I was, just taking a li'l stroll in the park when 'WHOOSH'!"
"Did it really go 'Whoosh', Fenry?" asked the ermit.
"Oh shut up."
"Sorry."
"Anyway, there I was when 'THWACK'!"
"Hehe."
"What?" asked the gerbster, trying to raise one eyebrow.
"Oh never mind."
"Okay. Now, there I was, in the park, when I saw something hit the ground next to me. It was just a little popped balloon. So, I just thought it was a wee little kid playing around with his wee little water balloons, but no, and to my surprise I looked around and saw a rabbit. Now, this was no ordinary rabbit. He had sharp, pointy teeth . . . like this!" Then, the gerbster took his paw and put it up to his mouth, while forming two rather scary, sharp, pointy, bunny's teeth with his thumb and pinky finger. Somehow.

"I watched the bunny for a minute. He appeared to be holding an object in his paws. I looked a little closer and noticed he was holding a yellow balloon in his paw. I saw that it appeared to contain a liquid of some sort. "Ha!" I laughed, "Little bunny. No water balloon shall hurt me." Then, the balloon landed on my foot. I stood there, a minute in silence. Then, I looked up and saw that the 'bunny' was no longer there. It appeared to be retreating. But, no, it was flying . . . or levitating perhaps. I don't know what, but it was 12 feet into the air, by now. It was gripping something in its tail. 'A coconut?' I thought, 'In Haletown?"
"It could grip it by the husk . . ." said the ermit.
"What?" asked the gerbster.
"Nothing," said Enry.
"Then, the great battle began. The enemy was fierce, with fangs, claws, and balloons. Terribly frightening, it was. I was flinging little candies and belly button fuzzies at them as fast as I could, but the enemy was gobbling up the ammunition."
"That's nasty," said Herby, with a strange look on his face.
"Meanwhile, Babyzilla was gnawing on my ankles. I didn't know what to do as the Chipmunks of Chumbawumba kept approaching. Then it appeared that they were retreating, like the rabbit had before. 'Oh no!' I thought, 'What now?' They started to float, in the air, towards me! What is it they are gripping in their claws? Tiny water balloons! Haha! Water does not hurt a gerbster. I stood bravely, until . . . the first balloon hit.
"'eep!' I yelled, out loud. Some brownish (somewhat fuzzy) liquid covered me. 'What is this? BIG K soda?' I looked down at an empty can from the little litter-bug critters. It said in small, grey, yet shiny, letters 'BIG K SODA!' It was. I screamed. Not ever in my life time had I ever beheld something so frightening. As I stood there, screaming like a little giddy school girl, I remembered my secret weapon, given to me by my hero of all heros: Xena, Warrior Princess. I was named after her, you know."
"Of course," said Herby.
"Anyway, my secret weapon: the chakram. I threw it and sliced through every balloon. The last thing I remembered was laying in this field as it rained chipmunks all across the land . . ."

"And that's what happened, eh?" asked Enry.
"No, I made that up,"
"Right," said Herby.
"Hey, you're in this story, too Herby," said the gerb.
"Am not! Well, maybe I'm just the main character."

So one day I was strolling along in the park. My little blue cape fluttering behind me as pretty as can be. I was picking flowers for my dear Papa. I come home later and see the bad news. Attached to the front door with some tape is a note from my Pa, "Grandma is hungry. Go feed her." A little annoyed that Grandma still refuses to feed herself after the incident of last year's picnic, I says to myself, "Alas, I must go feed Grandma." I started to cry.

So there I was. On my way, to go feed grandma. I had a nice little basket of goodies in a basket. Right. I made her some turkey and some chickens. Grandma is a carnivore and she says "nono" to any vegetables or fruits. She just pushes them aside and munches on the meats. Anyways, while I was on my way, I decided to munch on some flowers. I was hungry. I knew if Grandma knew I had been munching on her meats (and she always does) that I would be done for. I hadn't brought myself any nice food, and I'm sure flowers are nutritious ... maybe not, but there I was having lots of fun walking to Grandma's house.

All of a sudden, this giant monkey of a creature pops down in front of me, little Herby. I says, "aieep! save me!" and the creature says, "Hallo." I says, "aieep!" and he says "Where ya headed?" I says, "aieep!" and he says, "I see." After awhile, I calm down. He scares me and I scream. So now I was not alone anymore. Me and my basket had another friend to come along with us, perhaps. We asked the monkey creature what his name was. He was a big guy. Maybe he was eight foot tall. His name was Fenry. "I am Fenry," he says.
I say, "Are you going to eat me?"
"Depends, got any ketchup?" says the monkey.
"aieep!" I scream.
"aieep!" screams Grandma's basket.
"It was a joke," says Fenry, "Do not be scared."
"Not a very good one," I say.
"Right. Well where are you off to?"
"I'm going to my Grandmother's house." That's what I said.
"Mind if I come along? I am sure hungry."
I say, "nonono! Grandma will eat you! Munch on the flowers."
Creature Fenry says, "I am not afraid of your Grandma, but I do like flowers... munch munch munch munch (he was eating now)."

So we are on our way. Fenry and I, Herby the happy cheep, walking to Grandmother's house. About an hour later, we arrived at Grandmother's house. She would be so happy to see us. We knocked on the door. "Grumble grumble grumble," we hear. She was happy. We walked inside.
"Grandma, grandma, we have brought you your chickens and your turkey! Are you happy?"
"Grumble grumble," replies Grandma.
"Ah. Well here you go," I say. I gave her the munchy food. "Grandma, you do not look so good today. What a big nose you have!"
"Grumble, grumble, grumble," she replies.
"And Grandma, what big toes you have!"
"Grumble, grumble, grumble," she replies again.
"And Grandma, what big teeth you have!"
"Grumble, grumble, grumble." That was Fenry's tummy. He was very hungry. He munched on Grandma's basket.
"Noo!" I scream.
"Raaaaaaaaaaar!" That was Grandma.

And she ate us. My grandma was a wolf. A wolf did not come in and eat her, steal her clothes, and develop her English accent that she had. My grandma has always been a wolf . . . at least as long as I can remember. Fenry was not too happy that Grandma had eaten us. I did not mind too much. We had to get out though.


Meanwhile, on the other side of the forest . . .


"Oh, what a great Ermit I am! I make trees fall. I am so great. Enry the tree loving, tree hugging Ermit I am," Enry was hugging down trees. He owned a large company, which was a partner of the Mongrel Munchies Mill and Gerbster Baby Food Industries. They were good partners. They needed a lot of wood and Enry was great at making trees fall over to be carried to the factory. Enry would walk up to a tree, hug it with a bit of love, say "Fall, you tree," and it would fall over. Don't ask me how. They were running low on trees though. Enry decides to go look for some new, happier ones. After about an hour of searching, he hears, "grumble, grumble, grumble."

"Oh what could that be?" Enry asks himself, "It sounds like a tree! (Enry thought that everything sounded like a tree). I shall go find this tree and give it some love. It will fall like my other trees and be happy." So Enry Ermit goes out to look for this nice, little tree. It sounded so upset. Enry loved to make trees happy, by tipping them over. He believed it made them happy. Nobody else had this talent of the ermit's though.

Enry spotted a tiny little house. He heard grumbly noises coming from it. "That must be where my tree is!" he thought. He walked up to the door, knocked and heard, "Grumble, grumble, grumble."
"Do not be afraid, Mr. Tree, I will help you."

The ermit had gone inside and helped us out. It turned out to be that my Grandma really was not a wolf. She was a mean, meat-loving tree. The ermit was so nice. He hugs my Grandma tree and says "Tree. Be happy," and so it was done. Trees loved the ermit. He had no special powers. They just loved him and listened to him. "Fall, you tree," says Ermit. She swooned and was sent off to the Gerbster Baby Food factory. She was turned into a nice cereal and we had her for breakfast. Papa would have been proud.

- Micah Hale
(written 1999)

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