Incoming Giants

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Children Stories  |  House: Booksie Classic

Twiggy and Shrubs find themselves faced with yet another adventure in this sequel to "BUG OFF!". Their world expands beyond the forest life they love so much. The two friends are confronted with something that they never could have imagined in their wildest dreams; an encounter with humans.

INCOMING GIANTS

 

After racing all the way to the top of the tree, Twiggy and Shrubs lay panting on a branch, with limp, tired bodies. Neither of them spoke a word. The smell of the forest was so fresh and airy; it felt like the comfort of a hug. Pockets of light poked through the leaves and moving shadows traveled every which way on the forest floor beneath them.

Looking around, Twiggy broke the silence with a gigantic sigh of words, “There’s no end, is there Shrubs?” he let out.

“No end to what?” asked Shrubs.

“To anything you can see, no matter which way you look. The sky is boundless and the forest keeps going in all directions. Isn’t it marvelous?” Twiggy incited.

“You sound like you’re about to spew a poem or something Twiggy”, Shrubs teased.

“Nah, I just mean that I like living here. What more can we ask for?” nudged Twiggy.

“A snack,” Shrubs replied.

“Can’t that brain of yours think about anything more than a snack?” Twiggy kidded.

“Sure,” Shrubs said with a grin, “Two snacks.

They both laughed and then fell silent once more. It wasn’t until they heard Twiggy’s little brother, Coney, yelling their names, over and over, that the two friends stirred again. Suddenly, Twiggy pounced on Shrubs. “Shhh”, begged Twiggy, “Don’t answer him. Let him keep yelling until he loses his voice; I won’t have to listen to him for the rest of the day!”

“Do you really think jumping on me and squishing me will keep me quiet?” muttered Shrubs while he squirmed to get free.

“Oh, sorry, I just wanted your attention”, mumbled Twiggy as he sat back.

“I think you got it,” rebuffed Shrubs. “Alright, but if anyone asks me about this later; I know nothing, saw nothing, and heard nothing.”

“Agreed,” said Twiggy. So with stiffened bodies, eyes wide open, mouths shut, and ears fixated on Coney’s voice, they sat and waited. Then they waited some more.  But their names began to sound stronger, not weaker. It wasn’t long after that…

“Um, Twiggy”, Shrubs began in a very disquieting manner, “I’m pretty sure that that is your dad’s voice we are ignoring, not Coney’s”. He saw Twiggy take a big breath in, but didn’t let it back out. Alarmed, he shook Twiggy hard, almost knocking him off the branch. “Twiggy!” Shrubs yelled.

“What?” Twiggy bellowed back. “I know my own father’s voice; I just don’t have a plan on what to do about it!”

“How about answering him”, Shrubs suggested.

“I know that, but what do I say when he asks why I didn’t answer his calls.” Twiggy pleaded.

“Tell him that you thought he was Coney”, offered Shrubs. Twiggy just stared at Shrubs intently and didn’t say anything. Shrubs got the unspoken message. Twiggy’s dad could be mad just the same if he heard that big brother was goofing on little brother.

“Oh well, I’ll just go with the truth. Dad always said that the truth comes out sometime, no matter what, and it works the best for everyone”, Twiggy decided. Then he responded to his dad, shouting, “We’re up here dad.”

“Finally, come down will you, I want to talk to you guys”, Twiggy’s father hollered back, and added, “Right now!”

“Coming!” Twiggy and Shrubs bellowed in unison.

When they approached Twiggy’s dad, he didn’t seem to be angry at all. In fact, his father was pleased. This is weird, thought Twiggy, and wondered aloud, “What’s up, dad?”

“I’m glad you guys are together today; I have a job for the two of you,” his father said.

“Wait, what was Coney calling us for, and where did he go?” asked Twiggy.

“He’s playing outside somewhere. I had told him to find you because I wanted to talk to you but he gave up and I took over,” replied his dad. “This morning I attended a meeting with the Special Branch of elders and there seems to be some concern regarding problems stated by the fungi in collecting food and water from the forest soil for our trees.” He continued, “The fungi reported that all systems of the pipeline were functioning with ultimate efficiency.”

“Are the bark beetles back?” asked Twiggy.

“I asked the very same question, but I was told that there aren’t any signs of the beasts anywhere,” Twiggy’s father stated.

“So what is the problem?” Shrubs interjected.

“That’s just it, we don’t know,” answered Twiggy’s dad. “I would like the two of you to work together to find out. The Special Branch agreed that you have proven yourselves to be trustworthy following your performance during the beetle crisis.”

“Just how do we find out what’s wrong, exactly?” posed Twiggy.

“My advice would be to explore all areas of entry into the tree, and observe the fungi collection process for food and water.  You might detect something that the fungi themselves overlooked. It’s always useful to have eyes unaccustomed to the routine of things,” Twiggy’s dad instructed. “Report back to me immediately if you discover anything.” “Stay together, you’ll be smarter and stronger that way,” he included.

“When do you want us to begin?” inquired Twiggy.

“Straightaway!” his father ordered. “I’ve already spoken with Shrubs’ family about this, so you needn’t concern yourselves with that. The sooner we can resolve this, the better.”

“Okay, we’re on our way, then,” responded Twiggy. “Let’s go Shrubs.”

“Lead the way,” Shrubs motioned to Twiggy, stepping aside.

“Let’s visit the fungi friends first and investigate the pipeline,” stated Twiggy.

“Agreed,” answered Shrubs. And off they went feeling grown-up and responsible, both wearing a grin from ear to ear. Imagine that, even the Special Branch elders trusted them, they both thought. But now, they better not mess up, word of it would be everywhere!

After a discussion, and a debate, about the new construction of an ant hill being built between their two trees, Twiggy and Shrubs stopped to take a break. “Hey Twiggy,” Shrubs began, “Have you noticed anything different about the trail we’ve been following?”

“Why do you ask that?” asked Twiggy.

“Well, I remember walking the same way with you before, and we walked together, side by side. Now, it seems like there’s not enough room for us to do that. Did you gain a lot of weight or something?” wondered Shrubs.

“What? No! I did not gain weight. I probably am taller though. Anyway, I know what you mean. The trail seemed to be narrower,” replied Twiggy. “We can mention it to the fungi friends, I suppose.”

Along the way, the two buddies met with some unusual conditions that they were unaccustomed to. Shrubs kept tripping over rocks that suddenly were in front of them. They also found themselves bumping into one another frequently because it was much darker than normal for the middle of the day. By the time they arrived at the pipeline to talk to the fungi friends, they were quite irritated with one another. “Give me some space, will you Shrubs!” Twiggy bellowed.

“I’ll give you space just as soon as you stop ramming into me!” Shrubs shouted back.

“You’re the one banging into me,” screamed Twiggy.

Suddenly, they found themselves surrounded by the fungi friends. There was no need now to announce their arrival. Twiggy and Shrubs took a deep breath, looked at each other, and shook hands with a smile. They proceeded to talk at the same time. Then they stopped, and then they did it again, and stopped again. Well, the fungi friends turned around and began to leave.

“Wait,” Twiggy pleaded, “It’s important, can we please talk to you?”

After a short hesitation, the fungi friends turned around to listen. Twiggy and Shrubs took turns speaking and a conversation had begun. The fungi relayed that the trains were moving more slowly because they were scraping the walls as if they could no longer fit through the tunnels. Everyone also realized that they needed to stop and take a breath while they were talking. There is less air! “Is the tree shrinking or something?” Shrubs questioned and added, “The trails are smaller than they used to be”.

The fungi friends informed them that there was less of everything; air, space, food, water, and light, but they didn’t know why.

“Okay, we need to get back home and tell my father and the elders, right away,” Twiggy noted. He told the fungi friends that he would let them know if there were any developments in their investigation. They left to return to Twiggy’s place squeezing together on the path from which they had come.

“I’ll tell you what, why don’t I lead this time,” suggested Shrubs.

“Fine, but let’s hurry, I’m not sure what’s happening,” Twiggy said with a confused look on his grown-up face. 

There didn’t seem to be a whole lot to talk about on the way back. A sense of gravity in the diminished air filled Twiggy’s and Shrubs’ lungs. Time appeared to stretch out and slow down, creating a vibe of impatience in both guys. Compounding their state of uneasiness, the wood below their feet began to vibrate.

“Um, Twiggy, did you happen to feel that?” Shrubs asked.

“If you mean the world shaking, then yeah, I sure did,” Twiggy replied. “And before you ask me what is causing that, I have no idea.” In unspoken agreement, they darted forth as fast as their legs could take them.

When they arrived at Twiggy’s house, they barged through the front door without stopping, banging into Twiggy’s dad who was talking to Twiggy’s mom.

“Whoa! Boys! What on earth are you doing?” charged Twiggy’s father. “Stop, breathe, and tell me what’s happening.” With that, Twiggy and Shrubs collapsed on the floor in synchrony as if performing a dance.

“Ugh, get off me!” Twiggy shouted at Shrubs.

“I’m not on you! I’m just with you!” Shrubs retorted.

“Boys!” interjected Twiggy’s dad. “Please stay focused.”

“Alright, yeah dad, we’ve got stuff to tell you,” Twiggy started.

“The world is shrinking!” Shrubs exclaimed.

“One at a time, Twiggy what stuff are you talking about?” inquired his dad. Looking at Shrubs, he added, “Let Twiggy finish and then you can speak, okay?” Shrubs nodded yes.

With all the composure that he could muster, Twiggy relayed all the facts and observations that he and Shrubs incurred during their mission. In a cerebral and resolute manner, he said, “What Shrubs means by ‘shrinking’ is that we saw and felt like there was less of everything; like space, air, water, food, and light. The floor was shaking right underneath us. Rocks and twigs were everywhere as if our tree was falling apart or being squished.”

Twiggy’s dad turned to Shrubs indicating that it was now his turn to talk. In response, Shrubs declared, “What he said”.

“Boys, listen up,” Twiggy’s father instructed, “Your report supports my theory; it supports what I have feared. To confirm my opinions, we need to do one more thing. After that, we will have a conclusion with which to make a plan of action.”

“Dad, spill it already,” Twiggy urged. “What are you thinking, and what do we need to do?”

“I was getting to that. There is something called ‘soil compaction’ and it means that our soil is crushed by heavy weight which cuts off our trees’ means to sustain life. Even our communication to other trees in the forest network is threatened. This happened to my family when I was a boy; causing my whole community to relocate. We barely survived the event. The weight was caused by gigantic machines run by gigantic people. They are just known as giants, “ Twiggy’s  dad said in a sobering way.

“Where do these giants come from, and what do they do with their machines?” asked Shrubs nervously.

“The giants come from a land that starts where the forest ends. They sometimes come to a forest to cut down trees with their machines. We have never known why they do this, but we do know that it means the end of life for so many living things,” Twiggy’s dad informed.

“But your theory isn’t confirmed yet, right dad?” Twiggy interrupted. “There’s still one more thing you said, that we have to do. Maybe we can prove you wrong when we do that thing. What ‘thing’ do we have to do anyway?”

“We have to see the giants with our own eyes to be sure,” Twiggy’s dad told the two boys, whose jaws dropped at the same time. He responded to the alarmed look on their faces, “Don’t worry fellas, I’m not going to ask you to go; I’ll go myself”.

The two buddies looked at each other and professed in solidarity, “We’ll go”.

“Boys, it could be dangerous; I should go”, said Twiggy’s father.

Twiggy responded, “We know, dad, and it’s not a problem for us. We can handle this. Mom and Coney might need you anyway. Besides, we’re fast, can fit in tight spaces, and we’re raring to go, right Shrubs?”

With pride and confidence, Shrubs lifted his chin and assured, “Yup”.

“Very well then, go with caution and common sense. Don’t let the giants see you and don’t linger once you’ve accomplished your mission. If you’re not back here in one hour, I’m coming after you,” declared Twiggy’s dad.

“Got it,” Twiggy replied. Therewith, the quest to spy human giants commenced.

The two friends decided that they needed a high vantage point from which to view as much area as was possible, efficiently. They agreed that the branch at the top of the tree, where they were earlier, would serve this purpose nicely. The trip up was uneventful, but once there, all those qualities of tranquility they embraced before, like airiness and warmth, were absent now. It felt like a different place.

Their hearts were beating as fast as a speeding pipeline train, and their limbs were as stiff as drying glue; not to mention the scratchy throats due to the drought happening in their mouths. Brave and determined though, they roosted at the edge of the branch and scanned all of the area within view.

Almost immediately, their eyes fell upon the subjects of their investigation, the human giants, and their giant machines. Fear enveloped them but they would not let it jeopardize their goal to report the facts at hand.

“How do we fix this one, Twiggy?” Shrubs questioned.

“I really have no idea Shrubs, but there has to be a solution; we’ll just need to find it,” Twiggy stated with affirmation.

“Somehow Twiggy, you always manage to make me feel better,” offered Shrubs.

As they started to descend to a lower branch, Twiggy reminded Shrubs, “Don’t feel better just yet Shrubs, we don’t know the answer yet.”

“Okay, somehow Twiggy, you always manage to make me feel worse,” explained Shrubs. As Twiggy opened his mouth to speak, they heard voices. “You sound weird,” Shrubs remarked.

“That wasn’t me!” Twiggy whispered forcefully.

“Oh no, that means,” Shrubs froze.

“Look, over there, two giants.” Twiggy pointed out.

“Those are little giants; they’re smaller than those near the giant machines,” observed Shrubs. “Do giants have kids?” he asked.

“I’d have to say yes to that, they’re standing right in front of us,” responded Twiggy with bulging eyes. “Shhh,” he added.

Two children of one of the giant men, were talking and laughing with each other. Their giant hands held something that looked like a flat, round glass on a stick. They placed this in front of one eye and leaned toward the tree.

“Yikes! Do you see that Twiggy? Their eyeballs are growing to gargantuan size! Gross!” Shrubs shrieked.

“Run and hide!” Twiggy instructed. They both sprinted and ducked down.  Unexpectedly, they heard a loud voice coming from one of giant’s trucks.

A giant man yelled over to the two giant kids, “Eloise, Luke, what are you doing over there?”

“Hey, they have names, just like us,” Twiggy observed.

“Yeah, weird,” said Shrubs.

In response to the giant man, the giant children yelled, “We’re just exploring nature and looking at this tree with our new magnifying glasses, dad.”

“Okay, just don’t wander away, it’s easy to get lost in a forest,” commanded the giant dad.

Together, the giant children affirmed, “Don’t worry, we won’t.”

The girl giant, Eloise, was slightly taller than the boy giant, Luke. They both concentrated intently on their task. Luke’s eyebrows lifted as he said, “Eloise, look at this, I found a walking stick, maybe two.”

Eloise replied, “I see them Luke, but those aren’t walking sticks. Walking sticks tend to be shiny with long antennas, and they’re only active at night.”

“What are they then?” asked Luke.

“I have no idea, never seen bugs like that before, for real or in pictures,” Eloise commented.

Meanwhile, Twiggy and Shrubs were listening to this conversation with the daunting realization that they were being watched and talked about. They had frozen and could not move. What should they do now? If we move, will the giant kids grab us and squish us? If we don’t move, will they call their giant father over to look at us also? These are the questions both had racing through their minds.

Shrubs spoke up, “I’m going to tell them that we are not bugs!” And mustering up as much air and strength he could, he screamed, “We are not bugs!”

“Did you hear that Eloise?” asked Luke.

“I sure did,” stated Eloise.

“We are tree people!” hollered Shrubs. “We have parents just like you!”

Twiggy nudged Shrubs, “Maybe we shouldn’t talk to them; it might not be a good idea. We don’t know anything about them.”

“Well, I don’t like being called a bug. Besides, if we don’t talk to them, how are we going to learn about them?” incited Shrubs.

“You do have a point,” noted Twiggy. He then shouted, “We have names too! I’m Twiggy, and my friend here is Shrubs!”

“Twiggy and Shrubs, tree people with parents like us. Kids like us,” Eloise comprehended aloud.

“So cool!” Luke exclaimed. “You wanna play with us?”

Luke was 8 years old and Eloise was 10, while Twiggy and Shrubs were both 14. “Play?” Shrubs reiterated. “You want us to play with you? How?” he added. “You do know that we are not toys either, right?”

Eloise looked at Luke and instructed, “Don’t scare them Luke. We don’t even know if they do play.” She then focused on Twiggy and Shrubs with her magnifying glass and offered, “Maybe we can just be friends and talk, what do you think of that, Twiggy and Shrubs?”

With a sigh of relief, Twiggy and Shrubs yelled back together, “Yeah, we can be friends!” Immediately following, the giant dad called for Eloise and Luke to get into the giant truck because it was time for them to go.

“We have to go now, but we’ll be back tomorrow,” Eloise started.

“Yeah, and we can talk then, will you be here?” Luke continued.

“YES!” screamed Shrubs with excitement.

“Great, bye,” the two giant kids yelled as they were running towards their giant dad’s truck.

“Can you believe this Twiggy? We now have giant friends, who would’ve thought,” remarked Shrubs.

“Not me, that’s for sure,” Twiggy acknowledged. “We best get back to my house and give a report to my dad.”

“Yeah, let’s do that. I can’t wait to see the look on your dad’s face when we tell him that we have giant friends, it’s going to be epic,” smiled Shrubs.

“I don’t know if ‘epic’ is the word I’d use, but we’ll see soon enough,” replied Twiggy.

They trekked with a skip in their walk, as they were elated by their recent experience. Arrival at Twiggy’s house was much different this time around. They entered through the door chuckling about the size of the giant kids’ eyeballs. “Can you imagine a tear coming out of one of those things Twiggy, it must be like a waterfall,” joked Shrubs.

“Yeah, we might need to learn how to swim,” added Twiggy.

Twiggy’s dad was waiting for them and sighed a breath of relief when he saw the boys. “It’s good to see you boys are okay. Do you have any news for me?” Twiggy’s father questioned.

“Dad! “ Twiggy said excitedly, “You’ll never guess! We made friends with the giants.”

“Um, Twiggy, he doesn’t have to guess because you just told him,” Shrubs pointed out.

“Don’t bug me, Shrubs,” Twiggy demanded.

Twiggy’s father interrupted, “What exactly do you mean when you say that you made friends with the giants? How many are there? Where are they? What were they doing? Did they have machines with them?”

“Jeez dad, one question at a time!” Twiggy requested

“Actually, it was the giants’ kids that we became friends with,” Twiggy explained. “We talked with them and they told us that their names are Eloise and Luke. We didn’t have time to ask questions though because they had to go with their dad. There were two machines; one with a massive, sharp blade, and one with a long arm and claws at the end of it. There were two big giants, one being the dad, and the other one, I don’t know. Then, like I already told you, there were the two little giants. They all left in a smaller truck, until tomorrow.”

“How do you know they’ll be back tomorrow?” asked Twiggy’s dad.

“The kids told us so,” Twiggy answered.

“Okay, listen up boys. First of all, it was extremely dangerous to let the giants see you, and..” Twiggy’s father began to say when Shrubs interrupted.

“We didn’t plan on being seen, it just happened, mostly because their eyes got huge and they could see us,” Shrubs  reasoned.

“What on earth are you talking about Shrubs? This isn’t a great time for jokes,” Twiggy’s dad emphasized.

“I’m not joking; they had some kind of tool, a big, flat glass on a stick that they called a magnifying glass. When they held it to their eye, the eye grew and they could see us,” asserted Shrubs.

“I understand now, but I need to report to the Special Branch immediately; there is little time,” stated Twiggy’s father as he turned to leave. “Don’t go anywhere guys, I’ll be right back.” Within ten minutes, he had returned, and with a plan of action. As an adult, he knew all too well what it meant when giants came into the forest with machines; bad news. More than likely, they will lose their home. But giving up is not an option. They would deal with the problems caused by the giants, one by one.

Twiggy’s dad pulled him and Shrubs over to the side to talk, so Coney wouldn’t hear and become scared. “This is the plan, for now. We have to join forces with our fungi friends to redirect our tunnels for the pipeline. We need new connections to the tree forest network so that we can continue accessing food and water. This is only a temporary solution however, if the giants plan on cutting our trees down. If they attempt that, we’ll have to move out immediately.”

“Cut our trees down!” Twiggy and Shrubs chorused.

“All the evidence suggests that is the intentions of the giants,” Twiggy’s dad noted. “There is nothing we can do to stop them; they’re out of our league. Besides, it is quite likely that many trees will be targeted.”

Twiggy and Shrubs sat motionless as all energy seemed to leave their bodies. Their heads were invaded with despairing thoughts such as; “I can’t believe this is happening, this is just wrong. I thought that we could handle any problem that came along; we’ve done it before. We may not live through this; it can’t end like this.”

Twiggy cleared his throat and posed a question to his father, “Dad, isn’t there anything we can do?”

“The problem we are up against is immense, Twiggy. The soil, which is our lifeline, will no longer be healthy; it will become eroded from the disruption of density balance and water flow. Did you know that our trees serve as an anchor for healthy soil? Without trees’ roots to absorb some of the rain water, the soil would be swept away into the river. Also, without trees, our woodpecker friends would leave and animals would move out because shelter wouldn’t be available,” Twiggy’s father expounded.

Shrubs suddenly perked up and blurted, “We might not be able to stop the giants, but the little giants might be able to! They’re our friends, and we can talk them into it.”

“That’s very ambitious of you Shrubs, but I don’t think the big giants will listen to the little giants,” Twiggy’s dad offered.

“Why not? Little giants have ideas and thoughts, just like big giants,” Shrubs retorted.

“Well, let me rephrase that; big giants might not take what the little giants have to say very seriously,” Twiggy’s father replied.

“That’s not fair! Do you take Twiggy and I seriously?” Shrubs probed.

“Of course I do, you guys know that,” Twiggy’s dad defended.

Twiggy spoke up with determination, “Sounds like we have a new plan, dad. Shrubs and I will go and talk to Eloise and Luke to convince them to change the minds of the big giants.”

“I will agree to that, but, we must proceed with today’s plan as well. It can’t hurt to reorient and adjust our root systems in the event our trees remain standing while other forest trees in our network are cut down. It’s always worthwhile to be prepared. Furthermore, the Special Branch will be waiting for us at the pipeline, with as many bodies as they could gather, to do just that, so we better get going. You boys can implement your plan tomorrow when the children are due to arrive,” Twiggy’s father decreed. Twiggy and Shrubs nodded their heads in agreement.

The trio arrived at the pipeline to find the members of the Special Branch endeavoring to convince the fungi friends to comply with the established plan. The fungi friends had reluctantly decided to evacuate due to the impending danger from the giants and were just about to leave. However, the additional details of Twiggy and Shrubs’ plan to intervene with the giants’ kids, gave them enough hope to stay and help.

They all worked harder than any of them thought they could. After all, the forest trees were their homes. After rerouting the tunnels, they were so drained; it was too much effort to talk, for everyone, that is, except for Shrubs.

“Now all we have to do is talk to Eloise and Luke,” Shrubs announced with satisfaction.

“All I want to do is sleep,” Twiggy asserted.

“Oh, so you need a nap, do you?” Shrubs pestered.

“I don’t need a nap, I need sleep; there’s a difference,” countered Twiggy while giving Shrubs a look that said, ‘stop talking’.

“Got it,” Shrubs shot back with a smirk on his face.

Once they all were back at Twiggy’s house, they collapsed like dominoes in their beds. The night was eerily quiet. All the creatures of the forest seemed to be on alert; there was no movement under the trees, and most notably, no orchestra of persistent, chirping crickets.

Morning snuck up on Twiggy and Shrubs before any dreams could swallow them up. The boys relished dreams because it was like going on an adventure; unpredictable and usually quirky. Besides, dreams come in handy when telling stories. Oh well, a real life escapade will have to do for now.

“Phase II boys, get up,” ordered Twiggy’s dad. “It’s time for you to execute your plan.”

“Huh? We just got to bed,” grumbled Shrubs.

“That was last night, Shrubs, it is now morning,” updated Twiggy.

“Then where is the sunlight? It’s still dark,” Shrubs observed.

“You’re right, Shrubs, it is dark, but not because it’s nighttime, because conditions are worsening. Light cannot reach us like it used to,” apprised Twiggy’s dad. “Action is imperative.”

“Right dad, we’re on our way,” Twiggy replied.

Twiggy and Shrubs made it to the high branch in record time. The giants were not there though. The two boys were still trying to adapt to the change in light. It was so much brighter on the outside of the tree. Then the giant truck pulled up in the dirt, about 15 feet from the pine and spruce trees. The moment was at hand. Could Twiggy and Shrubs persuade the little giants to convince the big giants to leave the forest intact? The kid giants opened the doors of the truck, jumped out, and ran over to where Twiggy and Shrubs were. They both had their magnifying glasses in their hands.

“Twiggy and Shrubs, are you there?” Luke asked as he searched to and fro. “Eloise and I are back. Hello?”

“Hi Luke! We’re here, where we were yesterday!” screamed Shrubs.

“Yeah, we really need to talk to you guys!” Twiggy bellowed.

Eloise looked into her magnifying glass and said, “It’s so nice to see you, we couldn’t wait for today to come.”

“It’s great to see you too,” Twiggy yelled, “but we have a big problem, and we’re wondering if you could help us. Actually, our lives are in danger, and our families’ lives are in danger. Please help us?”

“Oh my goodness, what happened, and how can we help you?” Eloise posed with all seriousness.

“Well, first can you tell us if your dad and his friends are planning to cut our trees down?” Twiggy asked. “Because if he is, that is the danger that will kill us.”

“Oh no!” Luke exclaimed. “Do you guys really live in the tree?”

“Luke, of course they do, they are tree people, remember?” Eloise pointed out.

“We can’t let dad kill our friends Eloise!” Luke pleaded, shaking Eloise like a rag doll.

“We won’t let that happen Luke, but we need to convince dad somehow. Let’s go talk to him right now before they begin working,” Eloise suggested. “Twiggy, Shrubs, we’ll be back. Don’t worry; we’ll talk to our dad. He’s a good man; he’ll understand.” They turned around and ran over to their dad, who was busy unloading equipment.

“Don’t worry, she says, how do we do that?” Shrubs inquired.

“I really don’t know Shrubs,” Twiggy answered.

Meanwhile, Eloise and Luke had begun to talk to their dad about their new friends. “Dad, can we ask you something?” Eloise questioned.

“Sure kids, what’s up?” their dad responded.

“Well, we were wondering, are you and the men going to cut down those trees over there?” Eloise inquired, pointing to Twiggy’s and Shrubs’ trees.

“We sure are honey, that’s what we’re here for, why?” quizzed their dad.

“You can’t do that! I mean please don’t do that! We made some new friends yesterday and that’s where they live. You’ll destroy their home, and maybe even kill them. Please dad, don’t cut trees down, please,” pleaded Eloise.

Before their dad could respond, Luke jumped in, “Their names are Twiggy and Shrubs, and they live there, and they have parents and everything, just like we do dad!”

“Wow, that is really creative kids, but I’m afraid I don’t have time for games right now. That’s a great idea for a story though, write it all down and read it to me later, okay? I do need to get back to work now, so why don’t the two of you hop in the truck and work on your story. I may have some paper and pens in there somewhere,” the giant dad said.

“We’re not making it up! Our friends are real, and we can show you,” Eloise explained. “Come with us, dad, it won’t take long, they’re waiting for us.”

“Kids, I just told you that I don’t have time for games. Now you need to listen or I’ll just take you home right now,” their dad scolded.

Suddenly, Luke bolted to the tree where Twiggy and Shrubs were waiting, and plopped himself on the ground, declaring, “I’m not moving until you listen to us!” Eloise ran over to join her brother.

“Oh boy, you’re really testing my patience now kids, get yourselves up and in the truck, now,” ordered their father, who shifted from being amused to being agitated. He stomped over to the giant kids with closed fists and bulging eyes.

“Now that you’re here, dad, I want to introduce you to our friends here, Twiggy and Shrubs. You’ll need to look through my magnifying glass, though, because they are really tiny people, and they kind of look like bugs, but they’re not. Bugs, I mean,” Luke briefed his father.

“Stop this now, and go get in the truck,” demanded their dad.

“Why won’t you listen to us; we listen to what you have to say all the time. Besides, it’ll only take a second for you to look and see for yourself. Pretty please dad, this is so important to us!” Eloise wailed, as she began to cry.

“Fine, I’ll look, and then you both will get in the truck. Is that clear?” the giant dad compromised. “Give me a magnifying glass. I can’t believe I’m doing this.” He proceeded to look at the tree. The kids directed his gaze over to the branch where he saw Twiggy and Shrubs waving and yelling something. He kept staring, in silence, because he couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

“What’s the matter with him, Twiggy, he’s not moving, is he dead?” Shrubs asked Twiggy.”

“Maybe giants die standing up because if they fell over, the earth would shake,” Shrubs reckoned.

“That’s just dumb, Shrubs, all living things collapse when they die; I think you need a nap or something,” Twiggy suggested.

Just then, the giant finally spoke, “ What on earth are they? I’ve never seen anything like this in my life.”

Both Eloise and Luke reiterated, “They’re tree people, dad, just like we told you.”

“I actually see that now, wow,” their dad consented. “They don’t talk, right; you kids just gave them the names Twiggy and Shrubs?”

Screaming at the top of his lungs, Shrubs said, “We sure can talk. We walk, run, eat, breathe, and even dance! Do you want to see?”

“That’s way too much for me to handle. Which one are you?” the giant dad asked Shrubs.

“He’s Shrubs and I’m Twiggy. He’s always obnoxious like that,” Twiggy loudly interjected.

“Hey!” Shrubs retorted. “I am not!”

“I mean that in a good way, Shrubs,” Twiggy assured him. “You’re my best friend, and I like you just the way you are.”

“I have to think about that one,” Shrubs said.

Suddenly, the other giants were eliciting the giant dad to join them to begin their work. Twiggy, Shrubs, Eloise, and Luke, didn’t make a sound as they all perked up their ears to hear the plight of the tree peoples’ fate. It took many long, excruciating seconds for the giant kids’ father to declare, “Fellas, I’ve changed my mind about this location. The soil seems to be problematic; it’s too soggy to build the condos on. I don’t want to take any unnecessary chances because there’s too much money at risk.”

The other giants seemed surprised by this, but they did not argue. They started to pack up their equipment, mumbling to one another.

“Dad, you’re the greatest!” applauded Luke.

“Yeah dad, you’re the best!” joined Eloise.

“Well, this doesn’t mean that we aren’t still going to cut down some trees. What we will do, though, is find a place where wildlife won’t suffer so much damage. It may not be easy,” the giant dad acknowledged aloud. “Let’s go kids; I have a lot to do today.”

“You got it dad,” Eloise replied. The kids immediately ran towards the truck, but abruptly spun around midway and came back. Looking through their magnifying glasses once again, they focused their big eyes on Twiggy and Shrubs, who were all, sprawled out on the branch in relief, and said, “Hey Twiggy and Shrubs, maybe we can visit you some day, if our dad lets us. Would that be okay?” Luke asked.

“We’d like that a lot, but just one thing,” Shrubs responded, “don’t bring any machines with you next time.”

“Deal,” agreed Eloise.

The giants were gone as quickly as they arrived. Only once did the giant kids return to visit. They had all played a game of HIDE AND SEEK. No one had won because nobody could find each other. Nevertheless, they had a marvelous time; a time that will always be remembered with a smile.

With the giant machines gone, more light was seeping through the soil, and the sound of the pipeline trains could be heard in the distance. Twiggy and Shrubs knew that valuable nutrients could be replaced now and their trees would survive.

“I have an idea, why don’t you come with me back to my house, and we can take a nice, looooong , nap,” Twiggy suggested to Shrubs.

“Funny, I had the very same idea, but I didn’t want to say anything, that would be obnoxious, after all,” Shrubs razzed. They took turns nudging each other the whole way to Twiggy’s house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Submitted: June 23, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Penny Scribe. All rights reserved.

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