NOSEY: Greetings, cybernuts! This is I.B. Nosey, your official unofficial reporter. Today I’m visiting with FoldySocks and the Three Pairs and— aaiii! *trips and falls face first. Pushes to all fours and shakes head* Hey, there oughta be a road sign!
SQUEAKY VOICE: Whoever heard of road signs in forests?
NOSEY: Huh? *gazes around* Who said that?
CC: Over here to your right. And since I was told to be on the lookout for a long-nosed klutz wearing a psycho blazer, you, Mac, are not here to interview any FoldySocks and Three Pairs.
CC: You’re to interview Gloria Repp, author of Pibbin the Small.
NOSEY: Who says? *stands to feet* Look right here, dude— *pulls paper from pocket*
CC: So you ate lunch at Twinkie Stinks Diner, huh?
NOSEY: Er, how d’ ya know?
CC: By that striped skunk napkin.
NOSEY: FYI, pal. It’s where I wrote my schedule for today — but, um, well, it’s sorta disappeared beneath the spilled ketchup, heh heh.
CC: Hm mm. Mr. Nosey, who ties your shoelaces?
NOSEY: Well, I— hey, wait a minute. *peers down* You can’t be Gloria Repp.
CC: What gave me away?
NOSEY: Listen, fella. Nobody fools me, the official unofficial Pukelitzer award winning journalist. Er… *scratches head* For some reason, you look like a chipmunk.
CC: You think?
NOSEY: Oh. Um, well. Heh heh. Guess your name’s Alvin, huh? So… Where’s Simon and Theodore?
CC: Being interviewed by a real reporter.
NOSEY: *snarls* Watch ya lip, fuzzball. Don’t cha know who you’re talking to?
CC: *rolls chipmunk eyes* And don’t you know you’re here to ask information about Ms. Repp’s book?
CC: Like I said, the title is ‘Pibbin the Small’. And I, Cheeco the Chipmunk, have been given permission to answer your questions — which, I fear, is bound to be a real, um, adventure?
NOSEY: Ya hit it right on the nose, squirt! *puffs out chest* Ad Ven Ture with I.B. Nosey, the intrepid internet reporter. The newsiest dude with the nosiest mike. Heh heh. That’s stamped on all my business cards. See? *extends one*
CC: Are we going to spend all day talking about you?
NOSEY: *blinks* Whoa, fella. You sure got some beady glittering eyes in that twitchy-nosed face.
CC: *taps foot on log* Ahem. Ms. Repp’s book, Pibbin the Small. Remember?
NOSEY: Think I’d forget? I’m a professional, ya know.
CC: Don’t remind me. *sighs* Dear Mr. Nosey, I suggest you read the blurb. I just happen to have a copy of the book, because you didn’t bother to bring one along, did you?
NOSEY: Seeing as how FoldySocks and the Three Pairs—
CC: Never mind. *slaps book in Nosey’s palm* You can read, can’t you?
NOSEY: Well, I dunno… *scratches chin*…that print is awful small. Kinda like you, Alvin.
NOSEY: Yeah, I’m hunky and cheeky. I don’t just wear these glasses to look like a movie star, ya know. *waggles brows*
CC: *chipmunk whiskers flare* I’ll read the blurb. *takes book back* Now, let’s see: Pibbin is desperate to help Sheera, his injured friend. It’s a long journey to the doctor’s house, and the other frogs tell him he’s too small to go. ‘You’ll run into snakes and that giant bullfrog,’ they say. ‘Black Snapping Crabs might eat you.’ But Sheera’s leg is still bleeding! Pibbin finds a pal, and they hurry off on the dangerous trip, hoping to return before she gets worse. No one knew to warn them about a crazy toad-driver, or stolen leaves, or a terrible, misted swamp… The two pals end up in more trouble than anyone ever expected.’
NOSEY: *scratches wrist* Uh huh, uh huh. Not a bad little blurb as some little blurbs go, but that last line… *clicks tongue* Nope. Won’t work.
CC: I don’t believe I’m asking this, but… why not?
NOSEY: Trouble’s all around in this place. I told ya there oughta be road signs.
CC: But you—
NOSEY: Sure. Sheera got injured, right?
CC: Um…er…well, yes, she did.
NOSEY: And so did I. Since this Nose for News searches all, sniffs all, knows all, and is all in all, nothing gets past me — unless there’s something’s hiding away, something really sneaky. Something like a — a thief! A thief stealing road signs!
CC: *gnashes chipmunk teeth* Will you forget the road signs?
NOSEY: But I woulda seen a road sign! And so would’ve Sheera. How’d she get injured? Huh? Because no road sign warned her there was a big tree root in the way, I bet ya.
CC: As a matter-of-fact, I’m glad you asked, because I know just about everything that happens in Friendship Bog.
NOSEY: Sure ya do, Alvin.
CC: As I was saying… There’s a big sandy road called Rumble Road, and Sheera was crawling across it, taking her time, like turtles do. Then a big truck came rushing along, and it sideswiped her.
NOSEY: *gasps* No!
CC: Yes! Ma says it’s just lucky the truck didn’t crush Sheera to smithereens. Wow! That would’ve been something to see!
NOSEY: Ugh. *blanches* My lunch at Twinkie Stinks looked something like that.
CC: Well, Mr. Nosey, you can see how a road sign couldn’t have prevented anything.
NOSEY: Ha. You sayin’ a road sign warning of ‘Watch Out for Crazy Fluttering Dragonflies Who Are All Dumb Blonde Drivers’ wouldn’t’ve helped? C’mon!
CC: *stares* What dragonflies?
NOSEY: *snorts* You mean you’re talking about that itty-bitty creature Sheera and you don’t know she’s a dragonfly?
CC: *groans* No, no, Mr. Nosey. Sheera isn’t a dragonfly, although she does like to eat them.
NOSEY: Say what?
CC: That’s right. And sometimes she uses dragonfly wings in her secret mixtures.
CC: She’s what they call an herbalist. That’s a complicated word—
NOSEY: Herb who?
CC: Ahem. Herbalist just means that Sheera uses stuff like leaves and roots to make medicines. She gave us some red-root juice that fixed up my cough just fine.
NOSEY: Holy Halls Mentho-Lyptus, I didn’t even know you’d been sick!
CC: I’m all better now, thanks to Sheera. She might look like a plain old big turtle, but she’s pretty smart. Like me.
NOSEY: If she’s so smart, she better stay away from speeding trucks. I guess it was manned by that toad-driver behind the wheel, eh, or — heh heh, was that some wacko blonde dragonfly?
CC: Excuse me?
NOSEY: You know — a woman driver.
CC: Ah, I see. Well, it’s like this, Mr. Nosey. The toad-driver told me all about his big plan to get rich, but he never said anything about a woman. I’m not surprised. He’d want to keep all the loot for himself.
NOSEY: *scratches elbow* Rich plans? Loot? Wait, are we still discussing this book about a Small named Pibbin?
CC: Of course. It’s the same story. Pibbin, Sheera, giant bullfrogs—
NOSEY: *whistles* Cousin to giant leaping lizards, right?
CC: Ha ha! *grabs chipmunk tummy and bowls over with chipmunk glee* You can’t stump me on that one, Mr. Nosey. I know the answer: Yes! Why? Because they both jump!
NOSEY: Er…*takes cautious step back* Good one, Alvin. Sure, whatever.
CC: And there’s Black Snapping Crabs too, remember.
NOSEY: Yikes! *jumps and looks over shoulder* Where?
CC: In Pibbin’s tale!
NOSEY: *frowns* Why are black crabs snapping at his tail?
CC: Tale, Mr. Nosey, spelled t-a-l-e, like in his story.
NOSEY: Whew. *wipes relieved hand across brow* I thought you meant here in this forest. *gives nervous chuckle*
CC: Oh, you never know. They might turn up.
NOSEY: Uh, really?
CC: They can turn up anywhere.
CC: Mr. Nosey, if I say they can, then—
NOSEY: They can’t turn up on Gum Drop Island, Alvin, ‘cause no Black Snapping Crabs are allowed. So there.
CC: Who says?
NOSEY: The sign planted on the beach!
CC: *groans* I should’ve known.
NOSEY: Hey, dude. *scratches neck* Why didn’t Pibbin go there and ask for me? I might could’ve given the little guy some help.
CC: Huh? Pibbin had to find a doctor, not a reporter.
NOSEY: Yeah, but—
CC: Unless…*chipmunk face wrinkles in thought* you have a secret cache of Strawberry leaves?
CC: Doesn’t matter. *waves dismissive hand* I think Gum Drop Island sounds like a fun place. By the way, does it have any candied nuts?
CC: Is that where you got your tweedy-weedy blazer?
NOSEY: My Be Nosey line of famous blazers? *smirks* Admire ‘em, do you?
CC: Um, let me just say that… *chipmunk nose twitches* I guess Pibbin would look pretty good in a blazer like yours.
NOSEY: You know it! *struts around like gorgeous hunk of male model on The Price is Right tv show — *cough, cough* but then again, maybe not*
CC: Uh huh. ‘Cause his colors are green and lavender too.
NOSEY: Cool! How about one for your friend Sheera? I’m branching into these dynamo blazers for gals too, heh heh.
CC: I dunno about Sheera. There’d be a problem with her shell.
NOSEY: You kidding? All we gotta do is doll her up with a coat of good ol’ Sherwin Williams—
CC: *shakes head* And actually, neither of them especially cares about getting attention.
NOSEY: Yeah, but—
CC: However, me? I’d love to have a cool blazer like yours! *nods*Everyone in Friendship Bog would admire it!
NOSEY: *scratches ankle* Sold, my man! Sold!
CC: Say, Mr. Nosey. *narrows gaze* Why haven’t you kept still during our chat? You’re scratching like you’re allergic to your Be Nosey blazers.
NOSEY: Hush your chipmunk-mouth! Not allergic at all. Just…*looks at hands and gasps* There’re red spots! I must’ve fallen into poison ivy! See, if there’d been a sign to warn me—
CC: You fell into Fools Folly, but there is no poison ivy in this forest.
CC: Wait. Those red spots are moving. Uh oh, Mr. Nosey. Army ants!
NOSEY: What’s that mean?
CC: *whips out magnifying glass from secret chipmunk pocket* Let’s just see here…
NOSEY: Gimme that! *snatches glass and looks through it. Ant face glares back*
COLONEL: This is Colonel Ant E. Freeze. You, long-nosed reporting man, are interrupting my Company R.A.I.D.’s seek-and-devour maneuver.
COLONEL: Memo alert: We cared absolutely nothing for the remains of your lunch at Twinkie Stinks.
NOSEY: Uh huh. Okay. So…?
COLONEL: Second memo alert: However, my soldiers have reported an antennae-tingling horde contained in Area P2.
NOSEY: Uhhh… what’s Area P2?
COLONEL: Your left-side blazer pocket.
NOSEY: *gulps* Not my Gum Drop Island chocolate!
COLONEL: Affirmative. We shall capture the horde as our booty.
NOSEY: No way! I ain’t sharing!
COLONEL: Surrender. Resistance is futile.
NOSEY: Nothing doin’! *kicks at advancing army battalion* Scram, you little pesties. Think this intrepid internet reporter is afraid of some little bugs like you?
*A blanket— no, a mountain, two mountains, three mountains, more— of ants cover Nosey from head to toe. Nosey leaps into jitterbug-like jig* Ooh, ouch, ow! They tickle, they itch, they— *yelps*They bite!
CC: Eek! *scampers off log and scurries down chipmunk trail*
NOSEY: Wait! *runs after CC* Grab a water hose! ALVINNNN, help!
CC: Sorry, Mr. Nosey. *speeds ahead in lickety-split chipmunk marathon pace* If there’s one thing that I, Cheeco the Chipmunk always does, it’s to follow the advice of road signs!
Available at Amazon
Visit Gloria’s Website
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