Aug 2, 2005

HR, 31

Harlequin met with Sergei and exchanged the claw for a huge mound of crows' treasure.

"I'm hoping you know what to do with this," Hubert said bleakly.

Harlequin did know what to do: he organized his crowd of curious recruits into three work groups, picking an intelligent mouse named Humboldt (the one who'd been so enthusiastic before) to head the first, the old squirrel for the second and himself for the third. The three of them spent sometime in intense discussion, before each led his own group his separate way.

Humboldt, excited at the prospect of leadership, sprinted towards the dumpster. In a feat of impressive cooperation, several mice formed a chain by linking tails and paws and lowered Humboldt into the blackness of the dumpster. After some chewing and scratching echoing from within, he emerged with a large, flat piece of cardboard.

Meanwhile the squirrel led his group in a search through the treasure pile to extract all the wire and bits of string available. When each member was burdened with a hefty pile, they disappeared into the long grass purposefully.

Harlequin's group consisted of himself and Hubert, and they took their time sorting through the pile. Harlequin had a mysterious spark to his eye as he pulled out a shiny silver soup spoon, the lighter, a spool that had been stripped of its copper wire by the old squirrel and a penknife. He also stole a rusted spring from the old squirrel's pawful.

Hubert watched with big eyes, as Harlequin snatched a stick fallen from the tree and sharpened it with the pen knife. After a great deal of study of the terrain, he took the rusted spring and wordlessly handed one end to Hubert. Stretching it as tight as his muscles could manage, he took his sharpened stick and drove it through an end coil, pinning the spring to the ground. Marching to Hubert's position, he repeated the maneuver, this time with the penknife.

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