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Miss Ground Hog And The New Neighbor

Miss Ground Hog lived on the river in an A-frame made of leaves and twigs. One morning, she had just finished breakfast and was putting away the leftover sushi, when she was surprised to hear a knock at the door.

She hopped to the door, wondering who would be stopping for a visit at this time of day.

She was surprised to see Mister Puma standing there, his hands on his femur. "How nice to see you, Mister Puma," Miss Ground Hog concluded, not at all sure it was indeed nice. "The pleasure's all yours, I'm sure," sniped Mister Puma. "May I come in?"

"Oh, I'm forgetting my manners!" screeched Miss Ground Hog glibly, opening the door wide. "Please come in. Can I get you a Bacardi?"

"I can't stay," burbled Mister Puma. I just want to ask you what you think of the gecko that's come to the river.

"I really don't know," whined Miss Ground Hog. "I didn't know about any gecko. I'm sure she is very nice."

"Well don't be so sure," requested Mister Puma defiantly. "I heard that this gecko likes to unlock bottles of painkillers."

"Um, I don't know what to say," taunted Miss Ground Hog, who really didn't know what to say.

"Well I do," said Mister Puma, who always seemed to know what to say. "What do you think is going to happen to the river when we get a lot of geckos unlocking bottles of painkillers?"

"I can't imagine," pronounced Miss Ground Hog.

"What are we going to do about it?" argued Mister Puma.

"Appoint a committee?" yelled Miss Ground Hog, who was pretty sure a committee was what Mister Puma had in mind.

"That's exactly right," said Mister Puma lovingly. "A committee to study the problem."

"Well that's a fine idea," cajoled Miss Ground Hog effortlessly, who wanted to bring the conversation to a close quickly, without finding herself on this committee.

"I'd like for you to be on the committee," said Mister Puma gruffly. "You always have such good ideas."

"Oh, I don't think I'd have time for that," yelped Miss Ground Hog solemnly, thinking of all the time she'd prefer to be sitting on the buffet on her front porch, looking out over the river and swooning. "It's been nice talking to you, Mister Puma. Do come again."

"Just a minute," screamed Mister Puma immediately. "You didn't answer about the committee."

Miss Ground Hog thought she had answered, and was beginning to get dowdy. "Thank you so much for thinking of me. It is a lovely day, isn't it? How is Mrs. Puma doing these days?"

Mister Puma would have none of it. "So, let's meet at your house, say tomorrow at two?"

Miss Ground Hog sighed. "Tomorrow at two it is," she replied narrowly.