Chapter 2: The Investigation
Onward and onward the quadrant of Yoshis pressed through the jungles of the island, the foul stench still filling the air, the Yoshis wheezing or even coughing with every inhalation. The Yoshis weren’t the only ones surprised by the smell. One would notice Grinder monkeys in the trees, not chattering as they usually would, but instead coughing or even lying on branches, sickened by the terrible odor.
Bushwhacking through the jungle, the four Yoshis continued to endure the stench. Yoshi kept a determined look on his face, not at all letting the smell force him to turn around, as he remained deep in thought about what this smell could be. Boshi kept a tough, stern visage. Kroshi kept his hands over his nostrils, much more annoyed by the stench than anyone else in the group. Rashi tried to keep his breath held for as long as he could, taking a breath only every now and then.
A Yoshi’s nose was super-sensitive. By simply following the smell, the Yoshis would be able to lead themselves right to the source. The trouble, of course, was that said smell was unbearably horrendous… unbearable for Kroshi and Rashi at least, but horrendous for all four.
They continued on at the fair pace. All were silent until Kroshi had a complaint. “Ugh… That smell is making my head hurt…”
“Aah, quit your whining!” Boshi snapped. “Show a little backbone, will ya?!”
“Slow, deep breaths, Kroshi,” Yoshi said. “I know it smells really bad, but we need to find out what’s causing it…” He stopped when he noticed Rashi, whose cheeks were turning red. “Hey! Easy, Rashi. You can only hold your breath for so long. You’re not a whale, after all.”
Rashi exhaled, then put his hand to his aching cheeks. “Well… I wish I was a whale… Ugh… My cheeks hurt…”
Boshi rolled his eyes. I’m surrounded by wimps… he thought. “Look, if you two can’t take it, we’ll just leave you behind! Got it?!”
Yoshi performed a well-executed face-palm, then gave Boshi a stern look. “We’re not leaving anyone behind… Got it?”
“… Hmph… Whatever…” Boshi muttered. “I just want to find the smelly whatever-it-is so we can smash it!”
“Boshi, listen to me. I need you to—” Yoshi was suddenly interrupted by a loud *BOOM*. The ground shook slightly. The four Yoshis jumped, then began looking around in every which-way.
“WowWEE!” Rashi exclaimed. “Did you guys hear that?!”
“Of course. We’re not de— OOF!” Boshi was interrupted by Yoshi’s elbow. Yoshi gave him an angry stare that meant “cut the sarcasm!”. Boshi gave in, and corrected himself. “I mean… Yeah! Yeah, I heard it, too!”
“What was that, anyway?” Yoshi asked. “Hey, Kroshi, could you climb that tree and tell us what you can see?” Yoshi jumped and giggled, noticing that he had unintentionally made a rhyme.
“… I’m hoping you didn’t just rhyme on purpose…” Kroshi said. “But I’ll scope it out.” Kroshi went to the tree Yoshi had pointed out and climbed up the trunk. He shoved his way past the thick vines, then nearly fell off after a jumping Grinder monkey surprised him. Reaching the top of the tree, Kroshi looked all around across the treetops.
“What can you see up there?” Yoshi called from below.
“…Uh… Treetops…” Kroshi called back.
“Besides that, you moron!” Boshi yelled.
Kroshi continued to look around, until something very unusual caught his eye. “Wait… I see… uh… What are those things?”
“What is it?” Rashi called. “What’s it look like?”
“There’s a whole bunch of big, yellow, monstrous things over there in a big clearing,” Kroshi called back.
“… Clearing?” Yoshi said, puzzled. “I know this jungle like the back of my hand, and I’ve ever seen a clearing around here.”
“Then maybe you don’t know this jungle as well as you think…” Boshi mused.
“HOLY COW!” Kroshi cried in shock. “Those things are strong!”
*BOOM* The ground shook again. The three on the ground jumped.
“There’s that noise again!” Rashi cried. “What’s going on here?!”
“Hey Kroshi!” Yoshi called. “What happened?!”
Kroshi was already climbing back down the tree. Upon landing back on the ground, he spoke in a shaken tone. “Those yellow things are dangerous! One of them knocked a whole tree down!”
Yoshi, Boshi, and Rashi gasped in surprise. What were these things? If they were strong enough to ram down an entire tree, they could cause serious trouble for the village.
“Well…” said Boshi, “that explains the—” *BOOM!* “… Those…”
“W-w-w-what could they be?” Rashi asked, shaking in fear.
Boshi saw this as a great opportunity to scare the shoes off of the kid. He snuck up behind Rashi. “Gee… I don’t know,” he said in a cold voice. “Maybe it’s… A MONSTER!”
Rashi shrieked and hid behind Yoshi, who saw how frightened he was, then gave Boshi a furious look. “Boshi… That… was mean…”
“I couldn’t resist…” Boshi said, shrugging.
Yoshi sighed. “… Well, whatever they are, looks like we’ll have to stop them ourselves.”
The others jumped. “Are you crazy?!” Kroshi cried. “If they could knock over a whole tree, they could do much worse to us!”
“Come on!” Boshi said. “Don’t be such a wimp!”
“There’s strength in numbers, guys,” said Yoshi. “Besides, we can’t let them cause any harm to the village…” Yoshi swallowed hard, as he wasn’t very comfortable with this either. “… Also, the smell is getting stronger in that direction. What choice do he have?”
Kroshi could see that there was no turning back now. “… All right…”
“Rashi, you stay next to me, okay?” said Yoshi to the kid.
“O-okay…” Rashi said, still shaking.
The four proceeded forward in the direction of the noise and the stench. Another loud thud shook the ground… then another… then yet another. With every thud, the Yoshis became more and more nervous. Even Boshi, the Yoshi with the tough-as-nails demeanor, grew slightly uneasy.
The clearing Kroshi had seen was just beyond some underbrush and trees. The Yoshis slowly walked through the shrubs until they were right at the edge of the clearing. From there, they could see everything that was going on. The area was mostly brown dirt, with many, many tree stumps scattered around, and the river flowing nearby. The “big yellow monsters” could be seen rolling around, bulldozing trees out of their way, with thick, black smoke puffing out of funnels on their tops.
“… Uh… Wasn’t there like… seven-or-something dozen trees here before?” Boshi asked.
“Why are those things knocking the trees down?” Kroshi asked.
“What are those things anyway?” Rashi asked.
Yoshi pondered. He knew he had seen these yellow things before... That was it! Back at the Mushroom City dockside. These were exactly the things he, Mario, and Luigi had seen the previous day. Suddenly, he then knew what the nasty smell was.
“… Bulldozers…” he uttered.
The others looked at him. “… Bulldozer?” Kroshi asked. “… Sounds like the name of a plant or something…”
“No no no. Bulldozer is what those are,” Yoshi explained. “I’ve seen them in the Mushroom Kingdom.”
“You mean they destroy things in the Mushroom Kingdom, too?” Rashi asked.
Yoshi sighed. Of course, he had to be patient. Boshi, Kroshi, Rashi, and pretty much the rest of the village hadn’t yet been to the Mushroom Kingdom, and as such, wouldn’t know about these facts.
“… No, Rashi,” Yoshi continued. “People in the Mushroom Kingdom use them for tearing things down when they need to make extra space. Also, they’re not living monsters or whatever. People control them.”
The others began to calm down a bit. “So… they’re not out to get us?” Rashi asked.
Yoshi chuckled. “No, they’re not. They don’t cause any harm,” he said, then abruptly paused, as he heard a cracking noise from behind him.
“YOSHI! LOOK OUT!”
Yoshi whipped around to see a large tree falling towards them after being hit by an approaching bulldozer. The Yoshis jumped out of the way, seconds before the tree crashed down onto the spot where they had been standing.
The four Yoshis stood back up, breathing heavily. “… That… was close…” Kroshi said.
Rashi quickly turned to Yoshi, a horrified look on his face. “I thought you said they don’t cause any harm!” he cried.
“… Well… they don’t when you’re not so close to them…” Yoshi said, he himself a bit shaken.
Kroshi suddenly whiffed the full brunt of the stench. “Ugh!” he sniffed. “Guys… I think we just found out where that smell is coming from…”
“I’ll say we have,” Yoshi said. “It’s the bulldozer’s exhaust. The breeze must be carrying it all across the Island.”
“You mean that thing passed?” Rashi asked.
Yoshi chuckled again. “Eh… Something like that…”
Boshi noticed a figure sitting inside the large machine. The person was a Toad in a large, hard hat. Boshi angrily yelled to the Toad. “Hey! Watch it, will ya?!”
The Toad turned and looked down at the Yoshis. The Toad wasn’t particularly a polite person either, and returned fire with an insult. “Why don’t you slimy lizards just mind your own business?! I’ve got work to do!”
Boshi froze, then stared up at the Toad with and extremely furious glare. “Hey! You best keep your mouth shut! Don’t make me come over there and hurt you!”
Kroshi was angry as well. “I resent that remark!” he snapped. “Yoshis are not slimy!”
“Guys!” Yoshi said. “That’s enough! Let’s not draw any unwanted attention.”
Unfortunately, they were too late. Two more bulldozers drove up, and other people, Toads and Koopas, all wearing yellow hats, came up on the scene. “Hey, get outta here!” someone yelled at the Yoshis. “You’re in the way!” More harsh orders followed.
“No trespassers! That means you!”
“Why don’t you four just crawl back to where ya came from?!”
“Go, before we make chopped lizard out of you!”
The Yoshis were surrounded and outnumbered. The angry Toads and Koopas continued to yell out harsh insults and orders at them. Yoshi tried his best to keep calm, but Kroshi and Rashi were terrified. Boshi, meanwhile, continued to hurl insults back at them.
A Toad worker ran up to a trailer on the other side of the clearing. He hastily pounded the door. When the owner of the trailer didn’t answer immediately, he pounded the door again.
Moments later, the door was answered by a large, red-shelled Koopa, also in a yellow hat. He stared down from the door at the worker. “What is it?” he asked.
“Uh… sir?” said the worker. “We have a little disturbance going on…”
The oversized Koopa groaned irritably. “More delays…” he muttered. “The boss won’t like this…”
“What’s going on?!” someone else inside the trailer called. “What won’t I like?”
“There’s something crazy happening out there!”
A groan was heard from within the trailer. “More delays… All right, let’s go handle this…”
Rashi was hugging Yoshi in fright, terrified as the Toads and Koopas continued yelling at them. “W-w-why don’t they just leave us alone?!” he cried.
“It’ll be all right, Rash,” Yoshi reassured. “If Boshi over there would shut up…”
Boshi was still hurling insults back at the angry people, attempting to shut them all up himself. “Why don’t you idiots just get those bulldozer things outta here?! They smell terrible!”
The crowd refused to listen. One person picked up a small stone and chucked it at the Yoshis. The stone struck Rashi in the back of the head. Rashi yelled, his hands on the back of his head. Yoshi, Kroshi, and Boshi saw this happen. Kroshi became enraged. “Hey!” he yelled. “Whoever threw that, that was totally uncalled for!” Immediately, he was hit in the nose by another rock.
“These guys really needn’t throw things…” Yoshi grumbled, ducking to avoid another stone.
“All right! I’ve had it!” Boshi said angrily. “If these guys don’t back off, I’m gonna—” He was interrupted when he was struck by a flying stone, knocking his shades off. Boshi froze, then suddenly rage built up inside him. “… That… DOES IT!!!” he bellowed. “Nobody knocks my shades off and gets away with it!”
With that, Boshi randomly selected someone from the crowd, then charged and tackled that person (a Koopa), even though this one wasn’t exactly the one who had thrown the rock. Boshi proceeded to punch the Koopa in the face repeatedly.
“Boshi!” Yoshi yelled. “Stop! Control yourself! Get off of him!” Yoshi was about to run over and force Boshi to cease his anger, when a loud voice ceased it all.
“EVERYONE KNOCK IT OFF!!!”
As fast as a light being switched off, silence fell. The crowd stopped yelling, the people who had been throwing rocks dropped the ones they held, and Boshi stopped beating on the Koopa.
Everyone looked over to see a blue-spotted Toad in a suit and holding a megaphone in front of his mouth. Next to him stood a large, red Koopa. The Toad continued to speak. “I want to know why there’s more chaos going on over here and less work!”
“These four are trespassing!” someone (a Toad) said, pointing at the four Yoshis.
“And one of our men is injured,” someone else (another Toad) said, pointing at the Koopa whom Boshi had attacked. The Koopa was bleeding from both his nose and his mouth, and had a black eye.
The suited Toad stared over at the Yoshis, then at the injured worker. He then turned to everyone else. “I’ll straighten things out here with our unexpected guests. The rest of you get those dozers rolling! Oh, and take our injured man to the first aid tent! Gogogo!”
The workers immediately sprang back to work, some hopping back into their bulldozers. Two men helped the injured worker away.
The suited Toad turned to the Koopa and whispered, “Let me do all the talking.”
“Okay, sir,” the Koopa replied.
The Toad and large Koopa advanced toward the Yoshis. By now, Rashi had calmed down, though he continued to rub the back of his head. Kroshi was also rubbing where he had been hit in the nose. Boshi picked his shades up off the ground and put them back on, then turned sharply to the Toad and Koopa. “I hope you’re happy!” he snapped. “Your men almost killed us with that tree, then they nearly stoned us to death!”
“My apologies if my men caused you any trouble,” the Toad said, trying to sound polite and calm. “They can be rather rash at times.”
“Oh, not at all,” Yoshi replied. He then noticed, he had seen this Toad and his rather large Koopa partner before, on the docks with Mario and Luigi before he left.
“Allow me to introduce myself,” the Toad continued. “I am Price T. Jones, though I like to go by the name Boss T, as my high school friends called me. And this is my assistant, Ricky.”
Yoshi wasn’t so sure, but decided it wouldn’t hurt to introduce himself and the others as well. “… I go by Yoshi,” he said.
Boss T. and Ricky looked at each other, then turned back to the Yoshis. “… Um… Correct me if I misunderstood,” said Boss T, “but… you’re just named after the species?”
“Long story…” said Yoshi. “Oh, and this is Kroshi, Boshi, and Rashi.”
“Um… Nice to meet you?” Kroshi said, though somewhat uneasy.
“Hiya!” Rashi said.
“Whatever…” Boshi muttered.
“The pleasure is all ours,” Boss T. said, before noticing the bruise on Kroshi’s nose. “… Ricky, run and get our guests some bandages, would you?”
“Yes, sir,” Ricky replied, and ran off.
Kroshi couldn’t help but comment on Ricky’s large build. “… Your assistant there is pretty big for a Koopa…” he said.
“Oh yes,” Boss T. chuckled. “He works out everyday of the week, and he’s one of my toughest men.”
“Ha!” said Boshi. “You ain’t seen tough until you’ve met me!”
Boss T. chuckled again. “You versus Ricky, huh? That’d certainly be a show to watch!”
“Um… Mister… Boss T,” Yoshi said. “If you don’t mind my asking, what’s going on over here exactly?” Boss T. was silent for a moment. Yoshi knew why. “… I know. It’s none of our business…”
“Well, why do you ask?”
“We just… want to make sure all this doesn’t disturb anything around here, namely the other Yoshis who live here.”
“Ah. I understand your concern. What we’re doing is merely helping the economy. I assure you, our business here has nothing to do with you Yoshis.”
“… Well…” Yoshi said. “… All right then.”
“Just make sure you keep all your… econama-whatever stuff away from the Yoshis!” Boshi snapped.
“You have my word that we don’t wish to bring any trouble to you,” Boss T. replied.
At that moment, Ricky returned with the bandages and handed them over to the Yoshis. Kroshi stretched a bandage over the spot where Rashi had been hit in the head, then stretched one over the bruise on his nose. Yoshi was about to place one on the side of Boshi’s face where his shades had been knocked off, but Boshi stopped him. “I don’t need that thing!” he said. “They’re for—”
“Don’t say it…” Yoshi interrupted. He turned back to Boss T. and Ricky. “Anyway, we must be going.”
“All right then,” Boss T. replied. “Do enjoy the rest of your morning.”
“Hey, you guys should do something about those bulldozer things,” Boshi called as they began to walk away. “They smell horrible.”
“We’ll try to cut down on the exhaust,” Boss T. called back.
With that, the Yoshis began the long trip back to the village. Re-entering the jungle, they could see several Grinders in the trees. The monkeys seemed rather sad, some of them whining softly. The Yoshis all noticed this. “Hm… The Grinders seem a little down about something…” Boshi said.
“Yeah,” Kroshi said. “I wonder why…”
“Well, I wonder what my mom will say about this bruise…” Rashi said.
“Just tell her you hit your head on a low branch,” said Boshi.
While the others continued to converse, Yoshi still stared upward at the disappointed Grinders. These active creatures almost always hung out (literally) in the trees, but a good chunk of the jungle had been demolished by bulldozers. Yoshi understood. This was the home of the Grinders, and it was being mowed down by these newcomers. Yoshi became concerned, unsure of what would happen in the future and how it would affect the jungle.
Chapter 3: The Temporary Solution
Most of the village had finished breakfast by now and were carrying on with their own everyday doings. However, today was far from normal. The rather nasty smell still continued to flow in the air, which was quite an annoying and sickening distraction for the Yoshis. Most of them had found breakfast to be much less enjoyable, and not just breakfast, but everything else. Some Yoshis found it difficult to enjoy a nice walk around the village, some found it hard to find a place to rest and relax, and some found it hard to converse without making even one complaint about the terrible stench. Even the children found it hard to enjoy a game of tongue-tag (basically tag, but with the person who is “it” using his tongue to tag instead of the hand). Needless to say, the village was not at all having a good morning.
A few Yoshis just outside the village (one being Rashi’s mother, who anxiously awaited the return of her son) would notice four figures approaching in the distance, all different colors: one green, one red, one dark blue, and the last being orange.
The Yoshis watched as Yoshi, Kroshi, Boshi, and Rashi re-entered the village. As they arrived, Boshi whispered to Yoshi, “Get ready to answer a bunch of questions…”
“I know…” Yoshi replied. Then, just as Boshi had predicted, the Yoshis instantly crowded them, beginning a seemingly endless barrage of questions.
“So, what’s happening?”
“Where’s that odor coming from?”
“Can we stop it, whatever it is?”
“Rashi!” Rashi’s mother breathed in relief. “Did you stay out of trouble?”
“I’m fine, Mom,” Rashi replied. “No trouble at all.”
Meanwhile, Yoshi went on to try and silence the crowd. “Hey, one at a time, you all,” he said. “Anyway, what’s happened? Well, it seems a few unexpected guests arrived on the island overnight. Where’s the smell coming from? These unexpected guests brought a bunch of heavy equipment with them, which is letting out one monster of a foul smell. Can it be stopped? Well, I’m not to sure.”
The Yoshis began to chatter amongst each other. “Are these unexpected guests more tourists?” someone asked.
“No,” Yoshi answered. “From what we know, they appear to be building something, though we never actually found out what. Whatever these people are trying to do, they don’t seem to be taking any interest in us.”
“Not to mention,” Kroshi added, “where they’re working, there’s like… nine-dozen trees completely knocked over.”
The Yoshis began chattering again. As the Yoshis conversed, Boshi spoke. “You know, it just occurred to me… Why worry?” Everyone looked at him strangely. Boshi continued. “The number of trees they got rid of is hardly even a piece of the jungle. There’s a lot more left that they never touched. Besides, like Yoshi said, whatever they’re doing isn’t aimed at us. We should be perfectly safe.”
The Yoshis again chattered. Boshi seemed to be making some sense, though making sense wasn’t exactly Boshi’s specialty.
Yoshi and Kroshi were still concerned, however. “But Boshi…” Yoshi said. “The smell…”
Boshi stared. “Oh… that… I guess all we can do for now is just take some vines or something and tie pieces of banana tree leaves over our noses…”
Yoshi sighed, but agreed. “… I suppose. At least we wouldn’t be able to smell it… as badly…”
“Well, let’s just go find as many palm leaves as we can,” Boshi said. “Anyone want to help?” A few of the Yoshi’s raised their hands.
“I’ll catch up with you guys,” said Kroshi. “I’m going to head over to the river and slap some water on this bruise. It’s stinging a little bit.”
“Let me go with you, Kroshi,” Rashi said. “Don’t the rules say you can’t go off by yourself?”
Kroshi stared down at Rashi, then chuckled. “Nice to see you know the rules of the village well.”
“I got ‘em all in my head!” Rashi said, beaming proudly.
“Gee, Boshi…” Yoshi mused as they and the other Yoshis who had volunteered headed back into the jungle, “why don’t you follow the rules like Rashi?”
“I’m a loner. That’s why…” Boshi laughed.
Kroshi and Rashi, meanwhile, headed in the direction of the river. As they walked away, Rashi’s mother caught sight of the bandage on the back of her son’s head. “Rashi!” he called. “Did you hurt yourself while you were gone?”
“Don’t worry, Mom,” Rashi answered back. “I only hit my head on a low branch. It kinda stings so I wanted to wash it with Kroshi, too.”
“All… right then…” Rashi’s mother replied, though somewhat concerned.
This part of the jungle was one of the many banana tree-filled areas. Grinders could be heard chattering all around in the trees as the Yoshis gathered banana leaves to use as gas masks. Whilst picking leaves the Yoshis conversed, including Yoshi and Boshi.
“I wonder exactly how long we’re going to have to put up with this stench…” Yoshi said. “I don’t think we can just wear these leaves on our faces forever…”
“I guess it depends on how long that Boss T. guy and his men plan on staying here,” replied Boshi, as he began tying a segment of a vine on both ends of a banana leaf. “Speaking of Boss T, I still want to know what in the world ee-con-noh-mee means…”
Once Boshi had finished tying, he had completed his gas mask. He turned to Yoshi. “Here. I finished one already. Try it on.”
Yoshi shrugged, then tested it out by slipping it over his head. The leaf was stretched across the front of Yoshi’s nose and the vine laced around the back of his head. This felt strange to him, but wasn’t too uncomfortable. He looked at Boshi, who laughed. “You look ridiculous…”
Yoshi grunted. “You won’t be laughing when you’re wearing it…” he retorted. Sarcasm aside, he faced facts. “I do have to say, I can’t smell the odor as badly while I’m wearing this.”
“Told you it’d work,” Boshi said. He was suddenly thrown off, as a Grinder landed on his head. “Oof! What the?!” he exclaimed. The Grinder chattered loudly, holding a banana in his hand.
“Who looks ridiculous now?” Yoshi said, laughing hard. Boshi simply grunted, but was slightly amused by the Grinder’s sudden greeting.
The Grinder chattered again, holding the banana down in front of Boshi’s mouth. Yoshi chuckled as he watched the rather amusing scene. “Aww, that’s cute,” he murmured. “He’s offering you a banana.”
Boshi just looked at the Grinder with a raised brow, then decided he might as well accept the Grinder’s offer so as not to disappoint him. “Uh… Thanks?” he said, somewhat uncomfortably. He extended his tongue forward to the banana and pulled it back into his mouth.
Yoshi looked up in the trees. There were many more Grinders around here than he had been before. Yoshi was quite amazed by this. “Quite a few Grinders up there today…” he commented.
Boshi looked up as well, as did the Grinder. “Heh… yeah. More than usual, in fact. Is it breeding season already?”
“Nope…” Yoshi replied. “Maybe some of them migrated to this area.”
“Where from? Other Grinder territories?”
“I would guess so… “
Yoshi and Boshi went back to tying the banana leaves and vines together, while the Grinder hopped off Boshi’s head and onto the ground, deciding to hang around them for a while as he curiously watched them. Yoshi and Boshi chuckled, not minding the Grinder’s company at all.
As Yoshi tied another leaf and vine together, he began to think about what Boshi had just said. Migrating from other Grinder territories… Yoshi pondered, then thought to himself, Like near the construction site…
“Yoshi, look at this…”
Yoshi snapped out of his trance, then looked down to see the Grinder holding a leaf-and-vine mask, which the monkey had tied together himself. Chattering softly, he held it to Yoshi, who simply stared in amazement. “… Wow… Monkey see, monkey do…” he chuckled.
Elsewhere, Kroshi and Rashi had arrived at the river. They both waded in the river and began splashing the cool water onto their bruises. As they did so, Kroshi spoke. “I still can’t believe those men were rude enough to throw rocks at us…” he said to Rashi. “I can take insults, but rock throwing? That’s going a bit overboard, don’t you think?”
“Yeah,” Rashi agreed. “That was really scary. I’m happy that Boss guy stopped it all before something really bad happened. And I’m kind of happy Boshi beat that guy up…”
Kroshi stopped, then looked at Rashi. “Don’t pick up Boshi’s bad habits. Two wrongs don’t make a right after all.”
“Yeah… I guess you’re right.”
Kroshi nodded, then proceed to rinse his face again. This time, a surprise suddenly rose up to meet him (literally), as a small Blurp fish burst from the surface of the water and landed on Kroshi’s snout. Kroshi nearly fell in surprise.
Rashi laughed as he watched this happen. “Hey! It likes you!” he giggled.
Kroshi couldn’t help but laugh, too. “I guess it does!” He chuckled as the fish flopped itself off the Yo’ster’s nose and back into the river, gracefully swimming away.
Kroshi turned to Rashi. “I can’t let you go back to the village on your own, so you’ll have to come with me. Would you like to help the others make leaf masks?”
“I guess…” Rashi said. “I never could tie a good knot…”
“I’ll teach you. Come on, let’s find Yoshi and the others.” With that, the two headed off.
As Kroshi and Rashi arrived the Yoshis continued their assembly line of leaf masks. This was an irritably long and slow process, but eventually they had tied together more than enough masks for the entire village, even sacrificing their lunchtime to do so. Rashi, meanwhile, was quite a fast learner at tying knots.
Later, after arriving back at the village, Yoshi called all the Yoshis to the center of the village to begin distributing the masks. Everyone pushed and shoved their way forward, wanting a mask over their face as soon as possible. Boshi and Kroshi struggled to keep the crowd under control as Yoshi handed the masks out as quickly as he could, though his arms were beginning to wear out. “Hey! No need to shove!” he shouted. “There’s enough of these for everybody, even some extras!”
The crowd gradually eased off, which was quite a load off of Yoshi, Boshi, and Kroshi’s backs. It took quite some time, but eventually, not a single Yoshi in the village was left without a mask.
Over the next few days, the Yoshis kept their masks on at all times, xcept when doing anything active, to avoid possibly ripping them. These masks didn’t completely prevent the Yoshis from whiffing the stench, as sensitive as their noses were. However, they did help quite a bit in blocking the odor (most of it at least) from their nostrils, so most of the Yoshis were satisfied.
Though the masks were effective, Yoshi and Boshi knew they couldn’t wear them forever. The leaves and vines would eventually break. Besides, who knew how long Boss T. and his crew planned on staying, or what exactly they were doing here for that matter? This question particularly bothered Boshi, who was still puzzled by the word “economy”.
One night, Yoshi was fast asleep on his hammock. He had been thinking about the well-being of the Grinders ever since Boss T. arrived on the island. As he slept with this thought still in his head, he fell into the hand of the dream demon…
“Ugh… So… weak…” Yoshi could barely stay on his feet. The stench was just too sickening for him to bear anymore. He couldn’t eat, he couldn’t sleep, he couldn’t even breathe. The odor greatly affected him inside. It seemed as though his entire body would just shut down at any moment.
His location was the jungle. All around he could see nothing but sick Grinders in the trees, some slowly trying to get to their feet, while some didn’t move whatsoever.
Yoshi’s weakened body couldn’t stand anymore, and he finally fell onto his belly. He struggled to move, but his muscles refused to pull himself back up. He became extremely numb; there was no more feeling in his body.
Worse still, one tree suddenly snapped at the trunk and fell, while some of the Grinders were still in its branches. It crashed to the ground with a great “BOOM”. Another tree toppled over… then another… then yet another…
Directly ahead of Yoshi, a huge tree began to uproot. By unlucky chance, it tilted in Yoshi’s direction, falling straight at him! Yoshi was completely helpless as the falling tree’s shadow came over him. He was unable to move, but not unable to scream.
“Yoshi! Wake up!” someone whispered out of nowhere, before the falling tree could touch him…
“Yoshi! Wake up!”
Yoshi jumped, nearly falling out of his hammock. He breathed heavily, catching his breath after realizing he had only been having a nightmare. “… Woah… What a dream…” he panted. “What brought that up?”
“Yoshi…” Yoshi turned to see who was calling him. There was Boshi, standing next to the hammock, looking a bit serious. Yoshi raised a brow.
“… Boshi? What are you doing up?”
“I can’t sleep…” the shady blue Yoshi explained. “Not while I still don’t know what those men are doing. It’s been bothering me the entire week, and I really need to know what’s going on over there…”
“I see…” Yoshi replied. “And you’re coming to be about this because…?”
“Because I’m going back over there to find out for myself… And you’re coming with me, buddy!”
“I thought you were a loner…” Yoshi mused.
Boshi groaned irritably. It was true; he enjoyed being on his own most of the time. He couldn’t tell a lie. Regardless of the fact, this situation was different. He looked at Yoshi again and spoke. “Well, I just thought you’d be interested to know, too. Aren’t you?”
Yoshi scratched his head. “Eh… well… I am a bit curious… Especially since Boss T. never really explained his purpose for being here…”
“Exactly. All he said was something about helping the ee-con-noh-mee… Doesn’t exactly tell you much, does it, considering none of us really know what that word is supposed to mean.”
“Well, you’re curious, and I’m curious. Shouldn’t we get going then?”
Boshi nodded, and Yoshi forced himself out of his hammock. With that, the two exited the hut and made their way toward the entrance into the jungle, both focused on finding out the answer to this question.