00280608

“I’m so sleeepy, Hoppy. Must be the place. Oops.

“There I go again, geez. Can’t — stop — yaawninnnngg *Zzzzzzzzz*.”

—–

He could hear his mother calling from across the schoolyard. “Her-BERT?! Herbert DUNE! YOU come HERE right this *INSTANT*.” It was the call for dinner. He wasn’t going to budge from this hollowed out tree. He liked the swing here; no one bothered him. Oh, Martha Ram would sometimes come out on her porch and look his way, wondering if he was mere shadow or actual man-boy. But that was about all. Squirrels maybe. “Her-BERT!” Mom could search and search and couldn’t find him here. He was about ready to escape. “Her- BERRRRRRRRT!”

—–

He woke up, looked over at the swing. A bear reared up in the distance behind it, complaining to another bear about him finding too many fish to eat.

He wondered if he was still dreaming, since he usually doesn’t understand Bear language. Now he’s saying he feels emasculated because of it. Strange — not what you’d think a bear would say.

“You’ve been talking to us a lot,” suddenly piped up Hoppy still in front of him, ears flopping here and there. “We’ve decided to talk *back*.”

Herbert decides to pinch himself. Didn’t work!

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