Guerrillas in the Glen
Gordon Stearns

Chapter 9
Hyde Makes War
page 2 of 5

The Dad was dwarfed by the big, beefy man striding at his side. "Now remember, Mr. Oxmoor," The Dad was saying emphatically, "don't destroy any more trees than absolutely necessary. We've been over all this before."

Despite himself, Figan felt a brief surge of warmth towards The Dad and The Mom. The Dad's trying hard to save trees, Figan thought, and The Mom did feel sorry for Hyde's favorite tree. But Figan quickly pushed away these troublesome doubts. The battle was about to begin. Hyde's tree must be avenged. The glen must be saved.

The men grew silent as Mr. Oxmoor efficiently barked out orders for the morning's work. The trees slated for destruction were tied with red plastic ribbons. Figan continued to watch the humans intently. He learned that some trees were doomed, but that the tide of destruction would sweep only a short way down the slope. But the great black cherry tree was marked by a scarlet band.

A flurry of activity began. Hyde shuddered as a host of chain saws coughed and roared into life. Near the thicket, one of the worker humans was bent over, tugging at his saw. His large belly spilled over his belt as he puffed and grunted. Like lightning, Hyde flashed from the thicket, and like a thunderbolt, his pike zapped the human in his plump behind. With a surprised yelp, the human jumped upright clutching his bottom. As the other workers whirled toward the sufferer, Hyde melted back into the thicket.
"Hey, Cecil. Can't you even start a saw without hurtin' yourself?" shouted Mel, biggest of the worker humans.
"Aw," Cecil complained, "some bee stung me right through my jeans."
"Some bee!" Mel responded as the other workmen laughed raucously.

Figan patted Hyde on the head but warned, "that was very brave, Hyde, but you might have given away our position."
Hyde, however, could barely contain his excitement. "I get that fat one with my pike, Figan!" Hyde's eyes gleamed red. He had conquered his fear.

By now, the glen was filled with the ferocious whine of chain saws ripping into living wood. The worker humans grimly and effectively went at their tasks. Wood chips sprayed like miniature geysers from the hapless trees, and dust choked the air. Saplings were sliced down like matchsticks. The big trees slowly toppled, crashing through levels of lesser trees, and smashing onto the forest floor with sickening thuds. Figan trembled to see the destructive power that humans could unleash.

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Guerrillas in the Glen Copyright 1997, 1998 Gordon Stearns
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