The Stand for Nature

By Blaze Koopa

Chapter 6: The Stand

The hoard of twenty-one Yoshis marched boldly through the forest, all focused on one thing and one thing only—standing their ground and protecting what was theirs. Yoshi and Boshi led the way, Boshi with a serious, stern look, as though he meant business, and Yoshi looking almost the same way, though calmer and a bit more controlled. Behind them were Kroshi and Rashi. Kroshi seemed very eager to get this done, as he was very interested to see how this would turn out.

However, no other Yoshi in the group could match the rage and determination of the little orange kid, Rashi, who was ready to do all means necessary to get back at these men for causing illness to his mother. It was seemingly more revenge he sought than anything, and he knew this, but didn’t care one bit. He wouldn’t let anyone get away with harming his mother.

The Yoshis, before leaving, had taken some time to gather up eggs for their own stock of ammo (excluding Rashi, who was too young to make eggs and too small to throw them). They were going to need to be as rough as possible to get this done right. As Yoshi and Boshi could tell after eavesdropping on Boss T, the suited Toad was bent on fortune and would seemingly stop at nothing until wealth was his. It was his carelessness that started everything, and the time was now to end it.

The Yoshis conversed with each other as they traveled through the forest, all talking about the execution of this plan and their predicted outcome of it.

“Yosh,” Boshi said to Yoshi, “I tell you, I can’t wait to see the look on Boss T’s face. He’ll be so shaken! Come to think of it, so will everyone else! Say, I wonder if I should eat one of them alive, just so I can really scare him silly… Or should I just chew ‘im up and spit ‘im back out?”

“How about both?” Yoshi replied, chuckling.

“Ah, that works!”

Behind them, Kroshia and Rashi began to talk as well. Kroshi looked down at the little orange Yo’ster. “You scared?” he said.

Rashi looked back up at him with a mean look, then suddenly burst into laughter. “Scared? Ha!” he laughed. “No way! If anybody should be scared, those people should! You just wait until I get my hands on them! They’ll be sorry they ever messed with us!”

Kroshi admired Rashi’s spirit. Quite eager and alert, the orange kid was. Kroshi chuckled as he and Rashi high-fived.

The Yoshis continued on through the jungle. Unknown to them, something was watching them from the canopy of the trees. It waited until the group of Yoshis was directly underneath, then dropped from the limb it was perched on.

Boshi was still thinking about what to do with the men once they came face-to-face, when something suddenly dropped onto his head. Boshi stumbled in surprise, nearly falling. “What the?!” he exclaimed. Looking up he could see that the object that had dropped onto him was a Grinder, chattering happily. It then reached down and offered the blue Yo’ster a banana. Boshi then laughed, recognizing the Grinder as the same one he had seen the day they tied leaf masks.

“Hey Bosh!” Yoshi chuckled. “It’s your little friend!” The other Yoshis noticed this and laughed, too.

“Heh… Whadaya know?” Boshi said, humored by the scene and accepting the banana offering. “I guess he can come along then.”

The Grinder cried happily as he rode on Boshi’s head, and the Yoshis continued on through the jungle.


The full moon shone in the night sky. All was quiet at the construction site for the night. All the workers were fast asleep in their tents and all the guards were out for their nightly patrol around the area, their rifles fully loaded just in case any intruders were to stick their noses in where they didn’t belong. Boss T, however, was once again kept awake by the stress of the project, and Ricky would give anything to make him calm down. The candlelight shone through the window of the trailer (which had a plastic bag duct-taped over it after it was smashed by Boshi) as the two were discussing matters.

“All right…” Boss T. muttered. “These constant problems have been plaguing us from the start. I don’t know what’s next, but then, I don’t want to find out either.”

“Sir…” Ricky said, trying to tone Boss down a bit. “I really think you’re trying a little too hard…”

“No. I’m not trying hard enough. We were supposed to start attaching the pumping engines today, and we would’ve gotten further into it had that crane motor not expired.”

“Well, I don’t think we should rush things. You had everyone working their tails off the other day. You wouldn’t even let us have a lunch break.”

“Who has time for breaks? Ricky… do you want wealth?”

“… Well… yeah?”

“Do you want everything you’ve very dreamed of?”

“Of course! That’s why you hired me, isn’t it?

“Yes, and if we’re ever going to reach that goal, we need to toughen up and work more efficiently.”

“But if I may, most of the processes we’ve gone through usually take a while. Precision should be taken over spped, you know?”

“Well… fine… Just be quick about it. I’m not resting until I’ve got a house full of cold hard cash!”

“… Boss, you need to rest. Your eyes are looking a bit heavy there, not to mention red…”

Boss T. groaned, impatient, but admittedly tired. He had been on this case for days and it was probably time he took a load off his mind for the night, and get some rest. “… I suppose…” he said, letting out a long yawn. “But tomorrow, I expect a perfect, delay-free day!” With that the Toad walked away to take off his suit, as the heat of his clothes was making him sweat.


Outside, the guards continued to patrol the site, their flashlights shining brightly to aid them in the darkness. The men were all on their toes, with lightning fast reflexes to aim and fire at anything they saw moving (except each other, of course).

The Yoshis, meanwhile, had finally arrived, and were slowly and quietly crawling through the underbrush just outside the construction site, staying as low as they could, to the point where they were dragging their bellies across the dirt. Boshi (with the Grinder still on his head) looked back at the group and stuck out his hand, signaling them to stop, which they did, waiting for further instruction.

Boshi began to give their orders. “Okay, guys,” he said. “Listen up. We can’t all just jump out at the same time or they’ll probably surround us. First we need to get rid of those guards. I’ll go first. If any one of those guys comes back here, jump ‘em, and be sure to take his weapon. Now then, Yoshi.”

“Yes?” Yoshi said.

“You wait for about a minute before sending two more of us out. I’ll send you the signal if something happens, and when I do, you send everyone out.”

“Got it.”

“Good, now…” He stopped when a fowl stench caught his attention. “… Um… Something smells rotten…”

“Probably just the exhaust haze in the air again…” Yoshi said, rolling his eyes.

“No…” said Boshi. “It’s not that. In fact, it smells like something died over here.”

“… Um… Guys?” another Yoshi (red) said from near the back of the group. “Something did die, back here…”

Boshi and Yoshi looked at each other, while the Grinder scratched his head. The two then crawled back to the spot the red Yoshi pointed out, and there, lying motionless next to the bush, was another Grinder. Boshi’s Grinder jumped off the Yoshi’s head and crawled to it for a closer look. Indeed, it was one of his kind, covered with small insects trying to eat off of its skin.

Everyone else crawled as well to see what it was. Upon closer examination, Yoshi came to a rather disturbing conclusion. “… It’s… dead…” he uttered. “… They… killed it…”

The Yoshis were dumbstruck, and their Grinder was whining softly. Boshi put his hand to the monkey’s back. Boshi and Yoshi were both shocked and quite annoyed. First, air pollution. Second, jungle demolition. Third, river pollution. Now this, an innocent creature shot to death for seemingly no reason. This was the final straw. This tore it. It was time to finally put an end to this.

Yoshi pounded his fist in anger, then turned to Boshi. “Well, make the first move, pal.”

“Gladly…” Boshi said sternly. The Grinder crawled back onto Boshi’s head, also ready for action. Boshi looked up at the Grinder and nodded, then turned to a purple Yoshi near him. “You…” he said.

“Yes?” the Yoshi answered.

“Come with me.”

Nearby, a guard (a Toad) had stopped to rest his feet for a moment after walking around the area several times. He leaned against a parked truck. While resting he suddenly heard a stick crack in the bushes and trees just ahead. He jumped, then stared at the spot. Something… or someone… is trespassing… he thought to himself. Heh heh… I’ll fix ‘em! Locking his gun and loading a bullet, he  slowly advanced toward the bushes with his flashlight.

Boshi, the Grinder, and the other Yoshi slowly snuck by, with the guard not even noticing them in the darkness. The Yoshis ducked behind the truck, then bent down, looking ahead under the bottom of the vehicle to see two pairs of feet belonging to two guards on the other side. Boshi whispered to the purple Yoshi. “Okay, listen… eh… what’s your name?”

“Orshi,” the Yoshi replied. “But call me Ore.”

“Okay, Ore. Here’s what I want you to do...” Boshi whispered something.

The other guard slowly entered the bushes. He looked all around, his flashlight pointed straight forward into the darkness of the trees. So far he’d seen and heard nothing, until he suddenly felt something grab him by the shirt collar and pull him downward. He slammed face first into the dirt, then was forced over onto his back. Frightened, he tried to stand back up, but someone suddenly jumped on top of him to pin him down. He then tried to aim and fire, but his gun was stripped away from him before he could do so. Others stood around him, eyeing him angrily. The guard gulped, realizing what was going on. “So it’s you slimy lizards again, eh?” he said. “The boss is gonna eat you alive!”

“Quiet, you!” one of them snapped. “Or you’re a midnight snack!” The guard instantly and wisely ceased his chatter, certainly not wanting to be eaten alive.

“Well, what do we do with this one?”

“I guess we just hold onto him for now. Anyway, time for the next pair. You two, go.”


“Here we go.” The two advanced forward into the area.

One guard (a Koopa) walked up near a truck. He suddenly heard what sounded like a footstep. He got close to the truck, sure that something was on the other side. He decided to play it smart, however, and bent down quickly to look under the truck. To his surprise, he saw nothing. He stood back up, still facing the truck and now scratching his head in confusion. Then, as an even bigger surprise, he was rammed from behind, causing him to slam his head against the truck, which knocked him unconscious.

Another guard (another Koopa) heard a noise that sounded like banging metal. He looked over to see another man lying on the ground. He rushed over to see what had happened. As he bent down to check if the man was all right, someone tapped him on the shoulder. He turned, only to see the spots of a flying egg coming straight at him, and following that was a blur.

“Next two!” Yoshi ordered. “Get going.” A blue Yoshi nodded and entered the area while a yellow Yoshi followed suit.

A guard (a Toad) had his back turned. He was occupied with a dieing battery in his flashlight. As he repeatedly slapped the light to force it back on, he was tackled hard from behind, with the force of the hit knocking both his flashlight and his rifle out of his hands. The flashlight, upon hitting the ground, was knocked back on. Another guard (Toad) nearby had seen everything and was about to yell, but an unfamiliar hand suddenly wrapped around his mouth. He was forced to turn around, facing what he recognized to be a Yoshi (blue). He tried to shoot but the Yoshi easily stripped away him gun, stomping on it when it hit the ground. The Yoshi held the guard up off the ground, staring angrily. All the guard could do was swallow hard. This will hurt… he thought.

“Next?” Yoshi said. Two more Yoshis (cyan and green) proceeded.

So far everything had gone smoothly, as Boshi had planned, but this was on the verge of changing. One guard (a Koopa) had witnessed the Toad guard being tackled by a yellow Yoshi and a blue Yoshi grabbing another guard and knocking him out. Seeing this, he rushed away in the direction of the workers’ tents.

A guard (Koopa) caught sight of Boshi and the Grinder from a distance and took aim. Boshi, who was punching out a Toad, then noticed him. He jumped, knowing he wouldn’t have time to react. The guard was just about to pull the trigger when a long, sticky tongue wrapped around him from behind. The guard found himself flying backwards, losing his flashlight and gun. Seconds later he was surrounded by darkness and saliva.

Boshi gave Ore a thumbs up, the Grinder did likewise, and Ore returned the gesture as the guard viciously squirmed and grunted within the Yoshi’s mouth. Ore suddenly noticed Boshi jumping in surprise, staring at something coming from beyond Ore. The purple Yoshi raised a brow, then heard someone yelling.

“It’s those Yoshis again!”

“Get ‘em! Get ‘em!”

Ore froze, then whipped around to see a large hoard of workers charging straight towards them! Someone had awakened them all!

Immediately Boshi decided it was best to give Yoshi his signal. He then yelled loudly at the top of his lungs. “YOSHI!!! NOW!!!”

Across the area, Yoshi heard the call and sprang up onto his feet. “Okay, go guys! Now! Go! Go! GO!!!” The remaining fourteen Yoshis jumped to their feet and sprinted out into the open area, all but Rashi carrying eggs. Yoshi then brought up the rear.

The Yoshis who had already been sent out also heard the call and caught sight of the charging Toads and Koopas. As they came nearer, the Yoshis noticed something: the just-woken guards were weaponless. Boshi smirked at this. “Heh… This’ll be easier than I thought…” he said. He looked up at the Grinder. “You ready?” he asked. The Grinder chattered with eagerness. “Then let’s get moving!”

He then called out to the other Yoshis around him. “Don’t let them intimidate you! Just run ‘em over! Gogogo!” The Yoshis immediately charged head first toward the workers. Boshi noticed Yoshi and the rest of the Yoshis coming up not too far behind. Boshi nodded, then charged ahead, the others following.

With that, the clash was on, as the workers and Yoshis slammed into each other… with the Yoshis easily getting the best of them due to a weight advantage.

A yellow Yoshi drove a Toad backwards into the ground, with the force of the hit instantly knocking the worker out. Near him, a Koopa was knocked ten feet backwards after being headbutted by a blue Yoshi, causing another instant knockout. One of the men on patrol (a Toad) ran up to take aim, but Ore ran up and spat out the Koopa guard he had eaten, causing him to go sliding belly up on his shell straight into the Toad, sending him flying back as his gun fell out of his hands. Upon impact the Koopa began tumbling across the ground. When he finally stopped, he began complaining about his arm.

Three Toads and the Koopa all tried to pile on top of a red Yoshi. They worked together to throw all the weight they had on top of the Yoshi. However, it wasn’t enough, as the Yoshi overpowered them, throwing the men off easily. Meters away, a Toad jumped to tackle a cyan Yoshi, but the Yoshi caught him and threw him to the ground with ease.

Kroshi biffed a Koopa to the ground, but was caught off-guard by a gun-wielding guard (Koopa). The guard prepared to shoot, and was instantly knocked to the ground by a swiftly thrown egg. Kroshi turned to give the Yoshi (orange) who had egged the guard a thumbs-up. Seconds later a Toad ran up in front of him and jumped on him, grabbing his face, then pathetically attempted to wrestle him to the ground. Kroshi wouldn’t budge an inch. He simply gave the Toad an annoyed look. The Toad, still hanging on to Kroshi’s nose, saw that he was getting nowhere fast, and smiled nervously. Kroshi violently shook, flinging the Toad off and into another Toad who wasn’t paying attention.

The Grinder saw an opportunity to help. He leapt off Boshi’s head and onto that of a Toad, who was distracted by another Yoshi (green). The Toad yelled in surprise as the Grinder repeatedly pounded on the Toad’s head. When the Grinder was finished hitting him, he jumped off to leave him for Boshi, who tackled the Toad to the ground. The surprised Toad coughed in the dust, then spoke to Boshi. “Hey! What is this?!” he said. “Wha… wait… I remember you! You’re the Yoshi whose shades I knocked off that day!”

Boshi stopped. “What?! You mean I beat up the wrong guy?!”

The Toad then realized he had just made things worse for himself. All he could say was “Shoot…”, then brace himself as Boshi’s fist approached his face.

Two Koopas sneak-attacked Yoshi from behind, jumping onto his back. The Koopas tried to force him to the ground, but to no avail, and Yoshi simply threw them off like a bucking bull. One of the Koopas tried to get back up but was knocked back to the ground again by Rashi. The orange kid stood on the Koopa’s belly, staring menacingly at him. The Koopa lay dazed, surprised, and spooked.

Once Boshi was finally through beating the Toad, he spat on him. “That’s what happens when you mess with the Bo’ster!” he laughed. The Toad couldn’t respond, as he was unconscious. As Boshi gloated he was suddenly grabbed by the chest by a mammoth hand. He suddenly found himself suspended off the ground. The attacker, Ricky, held him up and glared angrily at him. “I should’ve known this was going to happen,” Ricky said coldly through gritted teeth. “Maybe I should just ring your stinkin’ neck!” He did so, and Boshi began coughing and wheezing for air. The Grinder saw this and rushed to help him, jumping up at Ricky. However, the oversized Koopa easily swatted him away like a fly.

Other Yoshis nearby noticed Boshi in trouble and began piling up on Ricky. However, Ricky was very heavy and proved to be quite a toughie. The Koopa had six Yoshis trying to force him to release Boshi as they rammed into him head on, put weight on his shell, or pegged him with eggs. Ricky would stumble slightly here and there, but was otherwise resilient, stubbornly staying on his feet and trying to force the breath out of Boshi.

Meanwhile Boss T. practically jumped up from his cot after hearing the commotion outside. He had only just gotten to sleep prior to the fight, and now there was seemingly no hope of him ever getting back to it. Annoyed, he threw his covers off and went to the window (that is, the window that wasn’t broken) to see what was going on. When he saw the large group of Yoshis wailing on his workers, his jaw dropped to the floor.

Eventually there were a total of thirteen Yoshis struggling to bring Ricky to the ground. Ricky was on the verge of falling. He finally released Boshi and turned his attention to the Yoshis slamming and jumping on him. He viciously tried to force the Yoshis off, but more and more Yoshis came to pile on him. The last Yoshi to join the pile was Rashi, who cried out “Yoshi pile!”, then jumped up on Ricky’s head. Ricky flinched, then finally fell to the ground due to the intense weight of the hoard of Yoshis.

Boshi sat up to catch his breath. Yoshi walked up to him and helped him up. “Are you okay?” he asked.

Boshi continued to breathe heavily, then finally answered. “I’m all right…” He turned to the rest of the Yoshis. “Ten of you stay on that guy! Make sure he doesn’t get back up! The rest of you, come on! It’s time we had a little chat with the Boss…” Boshi pointed to the trailer across from where they were, and Yoshi, Boshi, the Grinder, Kroshi, Rashi, Ore, and the remaining seven Yoshis all charged toward the trailer.

Boss T. panicked upon seeing the Yoshis heading straight for him. There was nothing he could do against twelve Yoshis. He frantically tried to figure out what to do. Before he could think of an idea, he suddenly felt his trailer begin to shake.

Outside, the Yoshis were ramming against the trailer, trying to force Boss T. to come out. Ore jumped up and tore the plastic bag off the broken window, then tried to squeeze through the opening. Boss T. jumped back, startled, but relieved that the purple Yoshi could only squeeze halfway through. Ore stared at him angrily. “So you’re the one whose been doing all this!” he yelled.

Boss T. took a breath, and tried to sound cool. “My my my…” he said. “Wouldn’t it have been easier to use the door?”

A rock was thrown, shattering the window next to Ore. Boss T. shielded his eyes from the glass. When he opened them again he saw Kroshi, also trying to squeeze through the window. “See? Not funny when someone throws rocks, huh?” Kroshi said laughing.

“… Ah… I remember you,” Boss T. replied. “You were one of the Yoshis I met on our first day here. If I remember right, I apologized for my men’s rash behavior, so I’m curious as to why you just gave me a cheap shot. Now, what is all this about?”

“You and your carelessness, that’s what!” Kroshi snapped. “Now come out here! We just want to talk to you!”

“You know…” Boss T. said, taking a moment to regain his balance from the rocking trailer, “we could’ve just handled this in a more civilized manner…”

“Cut the sweet talk and come out here!” Ore snapped. “Or we’ll make you come out!”

Boss T. was about to say something when he heard loud bangs on his door. Boss T. shook his head. “Tell your friends they’re only wasting their energy. That door’s locked tight—” He was interrupted by an even louder BANG, and he heard the lock bolt beginning to break. Boss T. swallowed hard.

Ore and Kroshi laughed. “Never underestimate the strength of a Yoshi!” Kroshi said.

Finally the lock broke, and the door burst open. Boss T. looked over to see Yoshi and Boshi entering and approaching him. Boss T. backed up nervously. He tripped backwards, and the two Yoshis stood over him. All right, Boss!” Yoshi said. “It’s time we discussed a few things!”

“Come on, you!” Boshi snapped. He and Yoshi grabbed Boss T. by the arms and dragged him out. Ore and Kroshi watched them exit, then, with slightly difficulties, un-wedged themselves from the windows.

Soon Boss T. was cornered between his trailer and the hoard of Yoshis. He stared at them all, and they didn’t look too thrilled with him. He took a breath, then spoke. “All right, so you all have dragged me out here…” Boss T. said. “Now what is it you want?”

“You don’t think we know what’s going on here?” Boshi said. “Ever since you came to the island, everything’s been terrible!”

“And how is that?” Boss T. asked.

“Don’t play dumb!” Yoshi snapped. “This entire area used to be one beautiful jungle, and now you’ve destroyed part of it! Do you know how many creatures live here?”

Boss T. knew there was no way he could sweet talk his way out of this one. “To be perfectly honest,” he replied, “I couldn’t care less…”

“We can tell!” Kroshi said. “If I’m not mistaken, one of your men shot and killed a monkey!” The Grinder yelled loudly and angrily, agreeing with Kroshi.

“Ah… I believe I remember someone mentioning that…” Boss T. said. “Tell me more…”

“The air used to be so clean and fresh!” Yoshi continued. “Now your exhaust is killing it!”

“And that tells me you guys never cut down on the bulldozer use like I asked on the day!” added Boshi. “You said you’d do it, you liar!”

“And on top of that,” said Yoshi, “you dumped your fuel in the river!”

“And now my mama’s sick!” Rashi fumed.

Boss T. rolled his eyes and shook his head. “The fuel spill was accidental,” he said. “But none of this matters, and I don’t give a care about your mother! It’s not my problem!”

Rashi bared his teeth.

“You listen here!” Boss T. continued. “I’m chasing a goal here. That goal is wealth, riches, and cold hard cash. I don’t care what happens, but I’m not stopping this project until I’ve reached that goal!”

“Whatever happened to helping the… ee-con-oh-mee?” Boshi said.

“Forget the stupid economy!” Boss T. said. “That’s not the important thing right now.”

“… Oh… I see it now…” Yoshi said. “I know your greedy kind…” After saying this he immediately thought of an old “friend” in the Mushroom Kingdom going by the name of Mario… with a “W” in place of the “M”.

“Now, I suggest you take your tails back to where you came from, before my men get back up.”

“That’s another thing,” said Kroshi. “Your men. No one on this island is safe with a bunch of men with guns walking around. In fact, no one is safe with you around here period!”

“We’re not going to just sit around while you wreck this place!” said Yoshi. “You’re threatening the animal life, the plant life, and nature itself! Now how about you do us a big favor and leave?!”

The other Yoshis agreed and took a step towards Boss T, who flinched. “You’re not… going to make me,” Boss T. said sternly. “I’m going to finish this project, and there’s nothing you can do or say to make me change my mind!”

Boshi growled. “Guys…” he asked, “what’re we gonna do about this?”

“… Well…” said Yoshi, “I’m feeling a little hungry… How about you?”

Boshi then saw where Yoshi was going. “… Yes… yes I am… Say, are you guys hungry, too?” he asked everyone else.

They all agreed, then eyed Boss T. deviously. The Toad swallowed hard. “Err… Surely you guys are eating… me… are you?”

“Well… we could,” said Kroshi with a smirk. “If we can have Shy Guys for breakfast, and we can…”

Ore walked toward the Toad, making him jump. The Yo’ster sniffed Boss T. a few times. “Besides,” he said, “you smell pretty tasty…”

“Yeah…” said Boshi. “And your size shouldn’t be a problem. I think there’s enough of you to go around!”

The Yoshis slowly advanced towards the Toad. It seemed he didn’t have much of a choice. Either off the island, or into the Yoshis’ stomachs. He thought best to give up...

Then he remembered something. He began to feel a bit better about giving up the oil project. He spoke to the Yoshis. “… All right then…” he said calmly. “It seems my mind has been changed for me. Fine. If it makes you feel any better, I’ll gather all my men and equipment, and we’ll leave first thing in the morning.”

“You promise you’ll go away?” Rashi asked.

“I cross my heart and hope to drop dead. You’ll never hear from us again. Besides, there’s more than one way to wealth…”

“Good,” said Yoshi. “We’ll be back in the morning to make sure. Don’t pull anything funny.” He turned to the other Yoshis. “It’s done, guys. We’re going home!”

With that, the Yoshis headed anyway, cheering and chattering, and the Yoshis who had been sitting on Ricky followed suit. Ricky shot back up and was about to pursue them.

“Ricky!” Boss T. yelled. The Koopa stopped where he was. “That’s enough. This project is over. Everyone, pack up… um… as soon as you recover… We’re heading back to the ship first thing in the morning.”

“… What?” Ricky asked, raising a brow.

“Just… do it…”

On the way back to the village, the Yoshis continued to chatter, pleased with their job. They had made a stand, and it stuck. With Boss T. finally leaving, the Yoshis could once again roam free in the paradise that was Yoshi’s Island.

“What a dope!” Boshi laughed. “I can’t believe he actually thought we were going to eat him alive! … Come to think of it, I actually would’ve…”

“Yeah, yeah…” Yoshi chuckled. “I’m sure you would’ve… But anyway, I’m glad it’s finally over.”

“Well, I’m wondering how long it will take before the air is clear again…” said Boshi. “Ah… At least we know it won’t get any worse…” The Grinder, perched on Boshi’s head again, noisily agreed.

“I hope I never see that Ricky again…” added Yoshi. “He almost choked you to death…”

“Yoshi… let’s never speak of that again…”

“Oh… all right… Anyway, the only thing that’s bugging me is that giant, ugly space in the jungle.

Rashi was the most excited of the bunch. “Oh boy!” Rashi cheered. “Wait until I tell Mama! She’ll be so happy! Then we can make her feel better again!”

“I’m sure she’ll be very happy,” Kroshi said, winking at Rashi, who returned the wink. “Tell you what,” continued Kroshi. “Tomorrow, you and I can go pick some berries for her. It’ll be our own little berry hunt. What do you think?”

“Okay!” Rashi chimed excitedly. “Sounds great!” He ran forward ahead of the group, ever so eager to tell his mother the great news.

That kid’s full of life… Kroshi thought with a chuckle, as they all headed back for what they called home.

Read on!

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