Jul 24, 2005

HR, 22

As his mouth searched for words, Hubert's hindpaws scooted back as if to leave, but his forepaws remained fixed on the ground. He swiveled his head to look towards the street and then quickly back to Harlequin, causing his ears to flap about dramatically.

"I do believe you intend to stay here," he said, at last. "Strangest little creature I ever met. You do understand what staying means?" He continued on before Harlequin could respond. "It means dealing with a large pack of dogs at least 10 times your size, with sharp teeth, and hungry bellies."

Harlequin grunted. "I like this field. Beautiful grass, a human, blackberry bushes, an incredible tree loaded with treasure and a nice home already dug at its base. Not to mention it's right next to a Chinese food place. Now why should I let a dog pack ruin that. I have big dreams for this place. Give me a chance, Hubert and help me out. If I fail, I get eaten and you don't have to worry about me anymore. If I succeed, you and me can turn this into a nice home in the city, and not a playground for a few dogs."

Hubert sighed and shrugged his shoulders. "Your funeral, little one. But I'll do what I can."

Harlequin laughed happily and rubbed his paws together merrily. "C'mon, Hubert! It won't be so bad. How much time, before the General arrives?"

"He might be here within the hour, but more likely he's running our new recruit through the trials at the freeway." Hubert replied.

"Well, let's hope it takes him a long time. Let's meet the natives, shall we?"

The sound of a startled squawk and blood-curdling yell behind them caught their startled attention. Homeless Tony and a pigeon were all tangled up. Homeless Tony was shouting angrily and swiping at the bird. The bird was so flustered she couldn't seem to fly straight and repeatedly collided with Homeless Tony with little explosions of feathers. Compounding the problem, she had only one leg and fell over awkwardly whenever she found a perch steady enough to launch from.

Harlequin watched the spectacle with an open mouth. Hubert leaned over and whispered in his ear:

"Here's the first of the natives. Pegasus the Pigeon. We call her Peg."

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