As the crackling of the fire slowly subsides, yet another sound prevails. It is the sound of light wind rustling leaves of near-by trees. Harold finds a spot close to the dying fire, curls up and is lulled into a deep sleep. He dreams of mounted gnomes chasing him though a haunted forest. Despite being a fast runner, gnome horsemen soon over-take him. One gnome reaches out to grab him, miraculously the gnome’s pudgy hand grasps nothing but thin air. Other gnome horsemen flank him and dangerously lash out, but again it as if he were invisible. Then he lets out silent screams as horses hooves seemingly trample him; he feels no pain. Over time he slowly becomes accustomed to a new found invincibility, and his fear of the on-rushing gnome hordes slowly subsides. But then, cold bony fingers, they abruptly latch onto his forearm and begin to shake him; his heart beats violently. Harold swings his arms wildly to break free.
Harold: “(yelling) No!!! Let me go!!! I’m too young to die!!!”
He abruptly awakes in a pool of sweat and stares up into several blurry Prootwaddle faces staring down at him. His head slowly clears and the faces focus into one, the face of his friend—Tharq, the prootwaddle saucier .
Tharq: “Harold! Wake Up! I have news!”
Harold: “(groggy) Uh, oh.”
Tharq: “Not bad news.”
Tharq: “Not good news.”
Tharq: “I have a new friend”.
Harold rolls his eyes upward in disbelief, then turns his head sideways where he is relieved to see his friend Galdor’s hound Zelda wagging her tail rubbing up affectionately against Tharq’s leg.
Harold: “Yes Tharq, wonderful. You and Zelda have been getting along fabulously. Can I go back to sleep now?”
Harold sits up to scan the surrounding area. When he is satisfied that there is no one else around the campsite, he lies back down.
Tharq: “No, you silly harlequin! I mean a real friend, you know, like a person friend. (smiles)“
Harold closes his eyes and pretends to snore.
Harold: “Tharq, maybe we can meet your friend later today, I’m sleeping right now.”
Tharq: “(sigh) I was really hoping I could introduce him to you right now.”
This time Harold sits up more abruptly and actively surveys the campsite. He is startled by a big head bashfully peeking out from behind a large tree. The head quickly disappears again.
Harold: “(yelling) What was that?”
Tharq: “(gulp) An Ogre?”
Harold leaps to his feet cynically laughing aloud. He then grabs Tharq by the shoulders shakes him vigorously.
Harold: “Tell me you’re kidding.”
Tharq: “Relax Harold, don’t have a cow. Spotted-Ogres aren’t meat eating carnivores like their cousins, they’re omnivores. You know, OMNIVORES, they eat vegetables.”
Harold shakes the prootwaddle even harder.
Harold: “Tharq! Look at me! Look at me lad! Omnivores eat both vegetables and MEAT!!! Do you get it? MEAT!!!”
Tharq’s head droops down low, he begins to sob. He tries to wiggle free of Harold’s grasp and run away, but Harold simply out-muscles him. Harold places a hand over the prootwaddle’s mouth to muffle the whimpers and the cries.
Harold: “(scolding) That’s enough”.
Tharq bites Harold’s hand.
Harold instinctively releases his grip and suddenly has a revelation. He begins frantically turning his head this way and that, as if searching for something.
Harold: “(alarmed) Tharq? Where’s Galdor? Dammit!!! Where’s Galdor?”
Tharq: “(stuttering) uh… Maybe Yogi ate him?”
Harold: “(angrily) Yogi?”
Tharq: “(stuttering) uh… The ogre?”
Harold grabs Tharq by the shoulders and stares him straight in the eyes.
Harold: “(yelling) What in Praxis’ name have you done lad?”
Harold shakes Tharq.
Harold: “(screaming) What have you done? ... Tharq, what have you done?”
Tharq interlocks his fingers and and places his hands over Harold’s mouth. He then peeks over his shoulder in the direction of the ogre. Harold turns his head to look in the same direction. They are surprised to see the ogre playing with Zelda. The ogre is down on all fours and Zelda is lying on her back. Meanwhile, Zeppo, Harold’s pet shrew pokes his head out of his leather pouch, points his long nose up into the air and begins sniffing. The red-elf and the prootwaddle look at each other shruggingly.
Harold: “I can’t believe this is happening. (rolls eyes upward)“
Tharq: “Yogi, come over here—it’s ok. I want you to meet my friend Harold.”
Yogi: “Ug! (smiles)“
Harold: “uh…Tharq, mind if I ask where you found this… uh ogre?”
Tharq: “The zoo.”
Harold: “You’re kidding? You stole the ogre from the zoo?”
Tharq: “Oh come on now, I wouldn’t exactly call it stealing… let’s just say that Yogi doesn’t like cages. What was I supposed to do? Just walk away and leave him locked up like some kind of ferocious animal?”
Harold: “Well..uh… yes, the thought had occurred to me.”