Andy brought his heel down on top of the red capped mushroom. Purple Wee-Folk ran for cover, spreading out across the lawn. Andy didn’t notice them. He was an unobservant boy – mean, with little regard for anyone other than himself.
“Andy, get off the lawn,” his mother admonished and she grabbed his hand, pulling him to the house.
When the coast was clear the Wee-Folk slowly, warily, began to return to the disaster site. It didn’t look good, but they all realized it could have been much worse if Andy’s mother had not intervened.
Grandpa Wee-Folk was dead. Crushed beneath the boot heel of that nasty Andy. At least he didn’t suffer. It had been quick.
Barber Wee-Folk, who had been cutting Grandpa’s hair at the time of the incident, was likely going to lose a leg and Blondie had been knocked senseless. First responders revived her and told her to watch for signs of concussion; but in general, she was OK.
The mushroom they’d been sitting under had, of course, been destroyed. There was no saving it but spores had scattered so replacements should grow in time.
A town hall meeting was scheduled for that evening at 8:00 o’clock and most of the residents were in attendance when the mayor banged his gavel on the podium and called for order opening the floor for input.
It became evident that the population had clearly divided into two disparate factions. The first speaker was Lumberjack Wee-Folk.
“This was the last straw, Mayor,” he shouted. “We must put a stop to this senseless and wanton destruction of our homes and our village; before more of us are killed. I propose to bring the boy down with a trip line. When he’s on the ground my crew of lumberjacks can hack him to pieces.” About half the crowd cheered and Lumberjack Wee-Folk shook his fists in the air defiantly. “This boy, Andy, killed Grandpa we demand justice! He must pay! An eye for an eye – that’s what the book says.” Those cheering continued to cheer; some of them were shaking sticks over their heads and screaming for revenge.
At that moment Pastor Wee-Folk stood and cleared his throat. The Pastor was the most charismatic of them all. The others always listened to what he had to say and the frenzy gradually subsided as they realized that the Pastor was going to weigh in.
“Fellow Wee-Folk,” he began, “this is not the answer. To kill this scourge would be viewed as an act of war by the other giants. I guarantee that if we go to war with those monsters, we will lose.” A few ‘amen’s’ rose from the crowd, murmurs and heads bobbing in agreement with what the Pastor was saying. “I propose that we seek a truce with the giants. We approach them under a white flag and request a parlay. I remind you all that the book also says that you’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. A diplomatic solution is what we need.”
Supporters of the Lumberjack began cat calling and booing the Pastor as he sat back down. The Pastors band of followers cheered and each group was trying to be louder than the other.
The Mayor banged his gavel three times, “Order, order!” he shouted. “We’ve heard from both sides. We must confer.”
The mayor and council members huddled at the front of the room in whispered conversation for only a short time and when they broke Councilwoman Politica Wee-Folk took the podium.
“A decision has been made,” she announced and a hush descended over the crowd. “Compromise is in order. Of course, we do not want war – but this travesty cannot be ignored. The council suggests that, in accordance with Lumberjack Wee-Folk’s suggestion a trip line be used to bring down the boy but we mustn’t kill him. We cannot hack him to death. The council orders that only his nose and his offending foot shall be removed. Preferably with an old saw, a rusty saw; and if his death should result it will not be on us. We leave it to you citizens, to work out the details and logistics of the operation.”
She pounded her gavel on the podium, “Meeting’s adjourned!” The five council members turned as one and filed from the room, leaving the others to plan the dirty work.