Aug 13, 2005

HR, 42

When the steam parted a few minutes later, Peg appeared, flapping her way over the northwest wall. She cooed and squawked and beat her wings together to rouse the creatures of the field from their holes and hiding spots.

"Dogs all gone. General gone. Big mean dog gone. We win! We win!" She repeated this last part excitedly as she flew around the field.

Humboldt jumped to his feet and led the mice in a series of cheers. Sergei and Mitzi cawed happily. The old squirrel danced about with bewildered pigeons, tripping over his own trip wires.

Harlequin sat in the midst of the celebration, his face blank and his eyes fixed on the door in the alleyway. Peg swooped to his side and landed gamely on her sole foot. She cackled in laughter.

"The Big Dog chased me right into human building. Humans were very angry, caught dog. Didn't catch me," she crowed.

"We won battle," she continued, smacking precociously at Harlequin's slumped back with her wings. "Dogs all gone!"

"Hubert's gone," Harlequin mumbled. "The man..."

Peg blinked. She did not understand. Harlequin sniffed a little and shed one tear. With a cough, he cleared his throat, and turned to face Peg, bright resolution renewed in his face.

"You're right. We did win." Harlequin hopped spryly to his feet and joined in the celebration. Within a few moments, Harlequin's sadness departed, replaced by the glorious new ideas he had for the field.

"We're to make this field an animal city for all the animals lost in the human city!" he shouted to cheers led by the zealous Humboldt.

Indeed, they did. The legend of the mighty chipmunk who defeated a demon cat and an entire pack of dogs spread far and wide, and with it travelled the hope of freedom and safety in the city. Animals of every stripe, feather and scale would flock to the field: new friends, new resources and new problems for Harlequin and his band.

THE END (Rough Draft)

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