Guerrillas in the Glen
Gordon Stearns

Chapter 9
Hyde Makes War
page 1 of 5

Hyde spent days preparing for the upcoming conflict. He had sharpened his pikes to razor points. He had improved his pike-throwing accuracy and practiced lightning-fast escapes into thickets and trees. Figan provided enthusiastic support and offered gentle consolation when Hyde grieved for his tree. Figan was not sure if the humans could be stopped, but he realized how much Hyde needed to fight the humans to work through his terrible loss.

It was several days since the death of the favorite tree. A rosy sunrise colored the sky. Concealed within a large thicket, Figan and Hyde again waited anxiously. Birds chirped cheerfully. Chipmunks and squirrels scurried playfully about. Suddenly a small red squirrel perked up his ears and dashed to the nearest tree. Chipmunks darted into the underbrush. The birds grew silent.

"They're coming," Figan whispered tensely.
Branches cracked and undergrowth snapped violently. A force of big humans armed with chain saws surged into the glen. They were heavily muscled. They sported blue hard hats and black shaggy beards. They strode about, surveying their intended victims, lighting up cigarettes, and joking. Some pointed to the little pile of logs the Dad had cut and began to laugh.
"Hey, he's a real lumberjack ain't he?"
"He'll put us out of business - - in about a hundred years!"

Figan shook his head slowly. "This is bad news, Hyde. These humans are ogres, much bigger than The Dad. And each of them has a horrid eel-tooth."

Although the abrupt entrance of this human army had frightened Hyde, determination now flashed into his eyes. "I rather die than hide," he whispered fiercely, remembering the death of his favorite tree. He studied the humans milling about.

"What are those white smokey sticks stuck in their mouths?" Hyde inquired, scrunching up his nose at the acrid odor.
"Those are cigarettes, Hyde. They cause disease, but lots of humans smoke them anyways. They feel they can't live without them."
Hyde smiled wickedly, and his eyes blazed savagely. "So," he gloated, "they not live without their cigarettes."
"Look, Hyde," announced Figan, "The Dad is coming."

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Guerrillas in the Glen Copyright 1997, 1998 Gordon Stearns
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