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Mister Partridge And The New Neighbor

Mister Partridge lived on the jungle in a manor house made of lath and plaster. One morning, he had just finished breakfast and was putting away the leftover French fries, when he was surprised to hear a knock at the door.

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

He was surprised to see Mister Lizard standing there, his hands on his piehole. "How nice to see you, Mister Lizard," Mister Partridge muttered, not at all sure it was indeed nice. "The pleasure's all yours, I'm sure," blubbered Mister Lizard. "May I come in?"

"Oh, I'm forgetting my manners!" swore Mister Partridge recklessly, opening the door wide. "Please come in. Can I get you a chocolate milk?"

"I can't stay," continued Mister Lizard. I just want to ask you what you think of the troll that's come to the jungle.

"I really don't know," chattered Mister Partridge. "I didn't know about any troll. I'm sure he is very nice."

"Well don't be so sure," spoke up Mister Lizard arrogantly. "I heard that this troll likes to pack fossils."

"Um, I don't know what to say," sputtered Mister Partridge, who really didn't know what to say.

"Well I do," said Mister Lizard, who always seemed to know what to say. "What do you think is going to happen to the jungle when we get a lot of trolls packing fossils?"

"I can't imagine," invited Mister Partridge.

"What are we going to do about it?" bellowed Mister Lizard.

"Appoint a committee?" drawled Mister Partridge, who was pretty sure a committee was what Mister Lizard had in mind.

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

"Well that's a fine idea," hummed Mister Partridge calmly, who wanted to bring the conversation to a close quickly, without finding himself on this committee.

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

"Oh, I don't think I'd have time for that," laughed Mister Partridge needlessly, thinking of all the time he'd prefer to be sitting on the floor on his front porch, looking out over the jungle and playing solitaire. "It's been nice talking to you, Mister Lizard. Do come again."

"Just a minute," snarled Mister Lizard wryly. "You didn't answer about the committee."

Mister Partridge thought he had answered, and was beginning to get queer. "Thank you so much for thinking of me. It is a lovely day, isn't it? How is Mrs. Lizard doing these days?"

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

Mister Partridge sighed. "Tomorrow at two it is," he replied pityingly.