He suffered a bad, maybe fatal wound to the back in the action, but Not Jon Deere, as we’ll keep calling him, was dead; killed by the same butcher knife that might do him in. The larger forest entity knew he didn’t have much time before rejuvenation, drew his trusted stabber, pounced on the little yellow fellow, tried to make him his subordinate. But the lemony dude was slippery, harder to catch and pin down than NJD remembered. Pear had taught him some evasion tricks before he left the woods for greener pastures. And Tomato showed him how to fake wounds to seem more injured than he really was: down in the red barn he was still, just over the ridge. Lemon (as they called him — true name: George Meanie) was ready for a confrontation, as ready as he’ll ever be, they declared. Then girlfriend Grape cried and cried, saying he *wasn’t* ready and that she loved him still despite their very different personalities, as far across the spectrum as one could possibly get, she gathered. The gals she surrounded herself with — her bunch — warned her of the differences. Better to stick with a red, like Tomato down there over the ridge in the barn. Or even greener Pear. Choose wisely, they warned. But Grape would have none of it; followed her heart to his glaringly yellow side, proposed to him in a role switcheroo right then and there. “Train him up!” she commanded to the others. “We have a common enemy to our marriage and our community as a whole. Some say he is Jon Deere, the 420 God. That bony, skull topped *deity* is *not* Jon Deere, thank you very much. We’re on the wrong side of the continent.”
And so it went, and so it keeps going. Knife still in back — his little stubby yellow arms not long enough to retract it — Lemon (George) kept going, heading toward the former lair of NJD to see what disgusting secrets lie within. NDJ’s skeleton corpse lay slumped against the rocks below. He starts counting Mississippis to prolong his life, postpone death as long as possible. 3 Mississippi, 4… but energy was ebbing out, vim receding, vigor draining. If only, if only there was something (huff) in the lair (puff) to save him (*collapse*).