Jul 6, 2005

HR, 4

It was toastily warm at the front of the van. The loud engine rumbled it's heat through the cheap upholstery holding up Harlequin. He closed his eyes and let the bumps of the road rock him to a near sleep.

The van came to an abrupt halt; Harlequin's eyes snapped open as his body lurched forward, back onto the kung-pao man's shoe. The kung-pao man had already begun his exit from the vehicle. When the foot touched ground, Harlequin hopped off and let out a yawn.

He was in a parking lot facing a large black and red building, with a red plastic dragon glowering on top of the roof. It was sandwiched in between other buildings of different colors, stretching as far as he could see in both directions. He turned around, to see a busy street, merging into another, behind which were several giant office buildings. Every way he looked, he saw city; for the first time in his life he couldn't see forest. He couldn't even see a tree.

That last thought made him feel a little lonely and homesick.

"None of that now, Harlequin," he said to himself. "We're here to have adventures and make something of ourselves."

He stood up resolutely and puffed his chest out. He felt better immediately.

"First, though," he replied to himself, " we've got to get something to eat."

He saw the driver and the kung-pao man, still arguing, disappear through the doors of the dragon building. He guessed that they were delivery men and the dragon building was some sort of chinese restaurant. He knew from his days of raid Mushu Wu's that humans didn't take kindly to a chipmunk making his way to the front door. Threats of death often followed such an endeavor. The best way was to find their trash. Humans throw away a great deal of excellent food, and a patient chipmunk like Harlequin could treat himself to a feast from it.

He surmised that the best place to start was the back of the restaurant, and so he set off across the parking lot, looking for a way round.

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