A Burly and Grum Tale BURLY AND GRUM AND THE SECRET CITY by Kate Tenbeth Copyright 2011

Kathryn E L Tenbeth

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CHA TER ! The ri$er glistened and sparkled in the sunlight as it hurried on its %ay to the sea" *ragon lies dipped and darted across the sur ace' their %ings bu++ing noisily" ,illo% trees along the bank draped their long branches la+ily into the %ater %hile nearby ducks di$ed and bobbed and %aggled their tail eathers" Burlington Bear -Burly to his riends. stood in the shallo%s o the ri$er under the cool shade o a large oak tree" /e %as staring as i hypnotised at the ri$er' sure that at any moment a large' at ish %as going to s%im by" 0ust a e% yards upstream %as Grum the groblin %ho %as up to his ears in mud" Literally" 1ud or a groblin %as apparently the best thing in the %orld" Burly kne% this because on the %ay to the ri$er Grum had talked endlessly about ho% %onder ul mud %as and ho% the thicker' blacker and stickier it %as the better" 2ersonally' Burly al%ays tried to a$oid mud because it stuck to his ur and he %as $ery proud o his thick' glossy coat but he3d tried to look interested as Grum had chattered on" All Burly could see o Grum no% %ere his eyes' the tips o his ears and the top o a red stra% that he used to breathe through" /is lucky stra% he called it" Burly liked peace and 4uiet" /e liked ish" /e kne% he %asn3t ha$ing any luck catching ish because his human riend' 1a5' %ho %as a !ust a e% yards upstream o Grum %as scaring them a%ay" As soon as they3d arri$ed at the ri$er' 1a5 had run up and do%n along the ri$er bank like an e5cited puppy until he3d disco$ered a tree that had allen so that part o it hung o$er the ri$er like a di$e board" /e3d %hooped %ith delight at the disco$ery and immediately raced along the tree trunk and di$e bombed into the %ater" /e3d spent almost an hour doing this and each time emerged rom the %ater %ith a huge smile and a

sparkling clean body" 6ne clean riend' one muddy riend thought Burly" 7o%' be ore & go any urther & eel & should e5plain a couple o things" & kno%' o course' that you kno% %hat a bear is because the chances are you ha$e one o your o%n at home -not a real li$e one o course. and' being human yoursel -& hope.' you %ill kno% %hat a human being is' but you may not kno% %hat a groblin is so &3d better e5plain" Groblins are creatures that li$e in the %ild %here there are no humans so you %ould probably ne$er ha$e seen one" They are pea green in colour' %ith large red eyebro%s and red eyes" They3re $ery $ain and boast about the number o %arts they ha$e and the crookedness o their yello% teeth" They3re not $ery tall 8 maybe about the si+e o a large child but they are $ery strong and they argue a lot amongst themsel$es" They speak their minds and this can make them seem rude but they don3t mean to be' they !ust see things di erently" Their arms reach the ground and they s%ing them or%ard %hen they3re %alking 8 they can mo$e $ery 4uickly like this" 6h' and their a$ourite ood is rotting meat and insects" But unnily enough' despite all this' they can be $ery endearing" 1aybe it3s because their honesty is re reshing" ,ho can say9 Burly' Grum and 1a5 had been riends or !ust a e% %eeks" They(d met %hen Grum had been thro%n out o his home by his t%o brothers' Gripe and Grimly' %ho(d told him he couldn3t come back until he3d pro$ed himsel to be a bra$e and %orthy groblin" Grum met Burly %ho took him under his pa%' and together they %ent to a human to%n so that Grum could ind a %ay to pro$e he %as bra$e" &t %as %hile they %ere there that they met 1a5 %ho3d sho%n them around and taught them ho% to use a skateboard" To other bears' humans and groblins it may ha$e seemed an unusual riendship but none o them noticed" E$en though the summer air %as so t and %arm' the ri$er %as icy cold and 1a5 shi$ered as he clambered out o the %ater" /is goosebumps had goosebumps but still he couldn3t resist running along the tree trunk !ust one more time and di$e bombing into the clear %ater" :/ey' Burly;< he shouted and %a$ed his arms' :look at me 8 &3m going to see i & make a %a$e big enough to splash Grum"< Burly politely tore his ga+e a%ay rom the %ater" :&3m %atching;< he called back" 1a5 took a deep breath then ran as ast as he could along the tree trunk until he got to the point %here it hung o$er the ri$er %hen he !umped' 4uickly curling up tightly in a ball" :&ncoming;< he yelled as he barrelled through the air" /e hit the %ater like a ton o bricks" 0ust abo$e the mud' Grum3s eyes %idened as he sa% the e4ui$alent o a large bucket o %ater come lying through the air in his direction" /e s4uirmed and tried to bury himsel deeper but didn3t mo$e ast enough and clean %ater hit him s4uare on top o his head" /e pulled his lucky breathing stra% rom his mouth and %riggled his %ay to the sur ace" :&3m so going to get you;< he shouted" 1a5 laughed and s%am a%ay" :Come on then;<

Grum muttered and grumbled as he slurped his %ay out o the clinging mud" Burly smiled but then heard a disturbing sound # his stomach rumbling" :& think it3s time %e had something to eat' don3t you9 Are you ready or a picnic9< he called" They %ere magic %ords" 1a5 and Grum immediately orgot their s4uabble and turned and headed or the ri$erbank %here three separate bags sat %aiting or them" 1a5 got there irst" /e grabbed a large to%el and %rapped it around his shoulders be ore rummaging through his backpack to see %hat his mum had prepared or him" /is teeth chattered noisily %ith cold" :C""c""come on you guys'< he called" But as Grum got nearer' ho%e$er' a strong and horrible smell hit him" 1a5 %rinkled his nose' :1aybe you should sit do%n %ind a little bit 8 are you sure that %as mud you %ere lying in9< Grum shook himsel like a dog and lumps o thick mud le% e$ery%here" :,hy don3t you check9< he snickered" :E% gross"""< said 1a5 as he picked a sticky glob o gunk o his to%el" :Burly' can3t you stop him rom being disgusting 8 that could ha$e gone in my sand%iches;< Burly sat do%n hea$ily ne5t to 1a5 and the ground shook a little" :Grum' beha$e'< he said' :and &(m a raid & ha$e to agree %ith 1a5' you can(t eat %hen you(re co$ered in mud # go and ha$e a 4uick %ash in the ri$er"< Grum looked horri ied" :But the mud"""< :& kno% that mud is a good thing to you'< said Burly as kindly as he could' :but it(s only manners to be clean %hen you sit do%n to eat"< Grum pouted but turned and made his %ay to the edge o the ri$er" /e touched the sur ace o the ri$er and shuddered" :Go on'< said Burly" Grum put a large hand in the %ater' scooped a little bit up and lightly sprinkled himsel " /e turned to ace them' a %ide smile on his ace" Burly raised his eyebro%s" :A bit more than that # go on;< Grum(s ace ell and he %aded into the ri$er" *ark mud spiralled a%ay rom him as the %ater lo%ed around him" /e looked crest allen as the mud disappeared do%nstream" A minute later he stomped out o the ri$er' clean and almost sparkling' and back to their picnic area" :,ell done'< said Burly" :1a59< :=ou smell a lot better'< said 1a5 handing him his bag' :%hy don(t you see %hat your mum(s packed or you9< A huge smile illed Grum(s ace and he rummaged through his bag %ith e5citement" :& kno% %hat she(s gi$en me' all my a$ourites' and she3s the best cook e$er""" look # crispy ried ear%igs %ith green ungus sauce' ancient tree mould' reshly baked cockroaches and mushrooms seasoned %ith"""""< :)top;< 1a5(s ace paled" :That is all !ust so gross 8 and don3t put it out' & don3t %ant to see it' it3s horrible and smells re$olting"< Grum looked o ended" :Actually it smells great and & ha$en3t commented on

all the stu you3$e brought along"< /e pointed at 1a53s pile o ood 8 sand%iches' biscuits' apples and crisps" “That3s all good stu and none o it smells'< replied 1a5" :)top it both o you'< instructed Burly sternly' :and 1a5' & ha$e to agree %ith Grum this time" /e may eat ood that(s di erent to yours but you ha$e to accept that i you %ant Grum as a riend"< Grum stuck out his tongue at 1a5" Burly rolled his eyes" :& suggest you both ignore %hat the other one is eating" 7o%' %ho3s going to un%rap this bag o cupcakes or me' it3s a bit di icult %ith these cla%s"< :& %ill'< 1a5 $olunteered" :My are really clean'< he added pointedly to Grum" :My hands are really clean'< mimicked Grum" :6h go eat your grasshoppers or %hate$er they are'< replied 1a5 as he tore open the packet o cup cakes" :Ear%igs'< said Grum tetchily' :they3re ear%igs and you should try them' they3re really crunchy and tasty"< 1a5 made a ace" :& don3t think so someho%" /ere you go Burly' they look nice 8 are they ones that 1ike made9< 1ike %as a riend o Burly3s" /e %as an angel %ho li$ed in the orest and %hen the three o them had got into a trouble in to%n he(d come to their rescue" Although 1ike %orked ull time as an angel his hobby %as baking cakes" Burly3s hobby %as eating cakes" They %ere $ery good riends" :1mm' yes'< Burly %iped some pink icing rom his mouth" :/e made them resh this morning" /e sends his lo$e by the %ay 8 he(d liked to ha$e come along' but he3s $ery busy at %ork at the moment"< :& can imagine it must be a tough !ob being an angel'< said 1a5 solemnly" :&ndeed it is'< said Burly" :/e does look $ery tired sometimes"< :1aybe %e could take him something back as a present 8 y3kno%' cheer him up a bit9< suggested 1a5" :That3s a good idea'< said Burly' :%hen %e3$e eaten let3s go and e5plore' see i %e can ind him a nice lo%er or rock or something"< :1aybe something to decorate his slide9< said Grum" 1ike had a steep red slide that Grum lo$ed" :Good idea'< said 1a5" They ate in peace or a e% minutes %hen Burly said' :)hhh' %e ha$e a .

hy %as & e$en surprised9< The deer %alked daintily to%ards them" :/ello'< she said and li ted her nose to sni the air" :Are those peanut butter sand%iches you3re eating9 They smell good"< :/ere you can ha$e one'< o ered 1a5" :)mooth or crunchy9< :Crunchy"< .hy thank you'< replied the deer" 1a5 dropped his sand%ich" :)he""" it""" the deer"""< /e looked at Burly and pointed at the deer' :"""spoke"""< Burly raised his eyebro%s" :Any reason %hy she shouldn3t9 =ou3$e been talking to a bear and groblin or a e% %eeks no%"< Grum sniggered" :& suppose you($e got a point'< muttered 1a5 picking up his sand%ich and licking o the bits o dirt" :.$isitor"""< Grum and 1a5 stopped eating and looked around" Burly nodded in the direction o a sil$er birch tree" )tanding close by the trunk o the tree' %atching them %ith large %ary eyes %as a deer" Burly lo%ered his $oice" :&t(s alright' %e %on(t harm you'< he said to the shy creature" The deer stepped out into the clearing" )he had a dappled honey bro%n coat and delicate eatures> she %alked daintily past them to the %ater3s edge and lo%ered her head to sip the %ater" :6h %o%'< said 1a5 4uietly' :this is such a cool place"< Burly nodded his head and smiled" :&t certainly is'< he replied" :7o%' & think %e should !ust carry on but be !ust a bit 4uiet so %e don(t righten her"< They continued their picnic" :/ere'< said 1a5' :do you %ant a peanut butter sand%ich Burly' mum al%ays makes %ay too many"< Burly sni ed it %ith his snout and popped it in his mouth" :1mmm' good'< he mumbled' :crunchy"< :The only %ay to go'< said 1a5" :)mooth peanut butter is rubbish"< The deer inished drinking and shook her head" *rops o %ater plinked into the ri$er" :)he3s beauti ul'< said 1a5" :.

< /e picked up the shiny ob!ect and rubbed it on his shorts" Burly ambled do%n to see" :.o%'< said 1a5' :that %as really cool" And odd" Cool and odd" And %eird"< :The orest'< said Burly' :is all o those things' no% come on you t%o' let(s get looking or something to take back or 1ike"< The three o them inished o their lunches and packed all their rubbish a%ay tidily" Grum stretched and patted his stomach" :That %as great' my mum(s the best cook in the %orld'< he declared' :Come on' let(s e5plore" .e don(t kno% %here they %ent # maybe to another orest" They le t their buildings and e$erything they had"< :.hat is it9< 1a5 scraped o some dirt and held it up to the sun" :& think it(s a coin # y(kno%' money"< Both Grum and Burly remembered money' they(d got into a lot o trouble %hen they(d gone to to%n and had lunch %ithout being able to pay or it" Burly %inced at the memory" :&t(s nice and shiny'< he commented" :1aybe 1ike %ould like it'< said Grum" :/e can stick it on his slide"< 1a5 e5amined the coin" /e(d ne$er seen one like it be ore' it %as $ery old and' no% it %as clear o mud' it %as a shiny yello% colour # gold9 6n one side there %as a picture o a bird and on the other side a man(s head' and the man seemed to be %earing some kind o hat made o eathers" /e handed it to Burly %ho sni ed it %ith his large snout and looked at it closely" :Could be rom one o the 6ld 6nes'< he said" :6ld 6nes9< 1a5 elt a 4ui$er o e5citement in his stomach" Grum laughed" :/umans don(t kno% much do they9< Burly ro%ned" :There(s no reason or them to kno%' Grum' e$erything has been lost"< :.:Ah' thank you' but & pre er smooth"< Burly laughed out loud at the e5pression on 1a5(s ace" :=ou %ant some crispy ear%igs instead9< asked Grum" The deer licked her ears and looked around" :& must be going'< she said politely" :Good day'< and she disappeared 4uietly into the %ood" :.o%' oh %o%'< breathed 1a5" :?eally9 A secret city9 Are the buildings .hat9 .< 1a5 %as really e5cited no% and hopped rom oot to oot" :1en used to li$e here'< said Grum" Burly nodded" :A long time ago there used to be a big to%n in the middle o the orest" The story says that they %ere good people %ho li$ed %ell %ith the animals but one day they all disappeared" .e should go that %ay'< he pointed randomly into the orest" :/ang on'< said 1a5' :& !ust %ant to %ash my hands"< /e ran to the ri$er through the little hoo marks that the deer had made and bent to s%irl his hands in the %ater" At the bottom o the ri$er bed he sa% something glinting and reached do%n to pick it up" :/ey guys'< he shouted' :&($e ound something.hat(s been lost' tell me.

still there9< :)ome'< shrugged Burly" :1ostly they($e allen do%n no% and it(s a dangerous place"< :1e and my brothers play there all the time'< said Grum %ho could tell 1a5 %as interested" 1a5(s eyes %ere shining" :?eally9 Can & go and see it' please' please9< The thought o going to see a secret ruined city in the middle o the orest made 1a5(s head almost e5plode %ith e5citement" Burly looked slightly troubled" :There(s nothing there 1a5" &t all happened a long' long time ago and some things are best le t alone"< :But %hat i %e ind something' you kno%' stu they le t behind9 6h please Burly"""" it %ould be great""""< Burly looked do%n at 1a5" All his instincts %ere telling him it %asn(t a good idea but he %asn(t sure %hy" :.hat can happen9< CHA TER " A narro% road %ound its %ay like a black ribbon through the dark orest" 7ot many humans used the road because they ound the tall trees that loomed on either side o them 4uite scary and threatening" E$en in summer %hen the sun %as shining the road %as dark and cool %ith little or no sign o the sky abo$e" 7o one %illingly stopped along the road but a large scru y %hite $an had dri$en ..ell' maybe not 4uite the same %ay' but this isn(t to%n 1a5' this is a orest and it can be dangerous"< 1a5 took Burly(s pa%" :Burly & trust you and & promise &(ll listen to %hat you say"< :6h go on'< said Grum" :..hat do you think Grum9< he asked" :=ou and your brothers play there' is it sa e9< :Course it is'< said Grum' :and there(s loads o stu like that'< he took the coin and e5amined it closely" :& think 1ike %ould really like it"< 1a5 almost screamed" Treasure' there %as treasure. :2lease' please' please Burly"""""< Burly hesitated" :& %e go you ha$e to listen to me' the %ay %e listened to you in to%n"< The memory o skateboarding le% through his mine" :.

A little dart lashed out" Almost immediately there %as a loud s4ueal ollo%ed by a crashing sound" Tyre trotted into the undergro%th and a couple o minutes later' grunting and s%eating' pulled out a large hairy boar by its ront legs" :Cor blimey'< he gasped' :that %as a great shot )ir' you($e got a great eye"< Captain @ Tee %alked o$er and nudged the pig %ith one oot" :/e(ll still be sleeping %hen %e get back" Tie him up Tyre and %e(ll take him back %ith us' there(s nothing 4uite like resh bacon" And Tyre9< Tyre mopped his bro% as he pulled the boar closer to the $an" :=es )ir9< :/urry up"< “=es )ir' course )ir' sorry )ir"< Tyre 4uickly tied the boar(s legs together and hauled him up and into the back o the $an" Aour large cages %ere inside the $an and Tyre locked the pig in one o them" /e hopped out o the $an' padlocked the door and ran to the Captain" :?ight'< said Captain @ Tee" :Let(s go get oursel$es a bear then shall %e9< Grum(s mother %as preparing tea %hen she stopped and as still as stone %ith only her ears 4ui$ering as i listening care ully to something" /er red eyebro%s knotted together in thought" :Gripe. Grimly.< she bello%ed at the top o her $oice" Gripe and Grimly %ere in the orest collecting dried up mushrooms %hen they heard her shout" They immediately dropped their baskets o mushrooms and ran # %hen their mother called they didn(t %ait around" &t took them a couple o minutes to get back to the house %here she %as already %aiting or them" )he didn(t look happy" .atch'< commanded the Captain" /e raised the ri le to his shoulder' aimed it into the darkness o the orest and s4uee+ed the trigger" 2ou .o it and parked bet%een t%o large trees" T%o men stood ne5t to the $an" 6ne %as young' tall and handsome but %ith sharp eatures" /e had broad shoulders and thick blond hair that had been gelled irmly into place" /e %ore a brilliant %hite t#shirt that sho%ed o his muscles and held a ri le %ith both hands" /is name %as Captain @uentin Tee" The second man %as $ery short and at" /is light bro%n shirt and shorts %ere too tight and dark s%eat stains sho%ed under his armpits and do%n his back" /e %ore a lat cap to hide the act he had no hair" /is name %as Tyre" :.

< /e stepped into a small clearing and 1a5 rushed in a ter him" 1a5 stood and ga+ed at the scene in ront o him' a huge smile on his ace" A tall' thick cur$ed %all co$ered in a sea o green $ines and i$y rose out o the orest as i it %ere an ocean liner ploughing through %ater" )ome parts o the %all had crumbled and broken and beyond it he could see the ruins o a large city" .< Burly' Grum and 1a5 %alked in single ile through the orest" The deeper they %ent the denser it became' the trees became larger and gre% closer together so it %as di icult to see the sky' but Grum led the %ay con idently' s%inging and marching %ith ease %ith 1a5 directly behind him' his head ull o ruins and treasure' and Burly taking up the rear" )omething %as troubling Burly but he couldn(t lay his pa% on %hat it %as" But i there %as one thing he was sure about' it %as that he had good instincts and at the moment they %ere on ull alert" /e(d ha$e to keep a $ery care ul eye on Grum and 1a5" :7ot much urther no%'< said Grum" :&n act # %e(re here.< They turned and ran" :A%'< said Gripe as they crashed through the undergro%th' :not again.“.< she yelled and clapped her hands" :Go no%.hat took you so long9< she demanded" Gripe and Grimly opened their mouths but she interrupted" :=our bother is in trouble' go and ind him"< Gripe(s !a% dropped" :/o% do you"""< :& kno%'< said his mother sternly" :Bs mothers al%ays kno%" Grum is in trouble" /e(s %ith Burly and that skinny human # %here did they go9< Grimly shook his head" :&(m not sure' & think Grum %anted to sho% them some mud"""< :Go no%' go and ind him and don(t # & repeat don’t come back %ithout him'< demanded their mother' :or your ears %ill be red or the rest o your li$es"< They stood like deer caught in headlights" :7o%.

Grum %as e5cited to be sho%ing 1a5 something special" :This is only part o it'< he said' :it goes on ore$er once you(re inside"< :There(s more9< said 1a5 %ho already could not belie$e his eyes" :Lots more'< said Grum" :Come on' &(ll sho% you %here my bothers and & hide out' it(s really great" This %ay.< he shouted' :race you to the top. =ou coming Burly9< :/old on there both o you'< said Burly irmly' :it(s getting late' too late to e5plore' %e should turn around and head back"< :A%%%%%%< came the cry rom 1a5 and Grum" :There(s plenty o time'< said Grum sulkily" Burly ro%ned" :=our mothers %ill be %orried and %e need to lea$e no%" &t(ll be dark in a couple o hours"< /e looked at their disappointed aces" :Look' %e can come back tomorro% morning and then you can ha$e all day to e5plore' ho% about that9< Grum looked at 1a5" :&t does get dark 4uickly in the orest and %ell' you($e met my mum' & don(t %ant to be late home"""< 1a5 stuck his hands in his pockets and looked up at the building standing .hat(s that9< 1a5 pointed at a building at the top o the steps" :*on(t kno%' man stu & guess'< replied Grum" :There(s lots o things there made rom the same metal the coins are made o # %e can ha$e a look or something or 1ike"< 1a5(s eyes %idened %ith delight" Treasure.< And they ran o to e5plore %ithout a second thought" Burly ollo%ed more sedately behind them' noting that the orest had allen silent" Grum and 1a5 spent a happy hour e5ploring the to%n that lay %ithin the %alls" There %ere hundreds o small houses' narro% alley%ays and shops" )ome houses still had urniture in them' bo%ls and cooking pots lay scattered' s%ords' bo%s and arro%s looked as though they(d been tossed aside' abandoned" They also ound lots more coins and 1a5(s pockets %ere soon bulging" The orest had' o course' mo$ed in" 2lants and trees gre% %here$er they could and many small animals' birds and reptiles li$ed in the shelter the buildings pro$ided" All the streets led into a %ide' cobbled road at the end o %hich %ere steep stone steps that %ent up and up" :. :Come on.

This is a good day' Tyre # boars' bears' boys""" %e could retire i %e play our cards right"< :Cor blimey Captain Cutie' that %ould be good' my poor old bones""""< :Tyre9< :=es )ir9< :*on(t call me Cutie again"< :=es )ir' sorry )ir' !ust sort o slipped out )ir"< :7o% come on' let(s ollo% these tracks" 6ur ortune is at the other end"< :Comin( )ir"< :Lead the %ay then Tyre"< .there !ust %aiting to be e5plored" :=ou promised you %ould listen to me'< reminded Burly" :.< 1a5 nodded" :6kay'< he said slo%ly" :Let(s go home"""< Captain @ Tee %as by the ri$erside e5amining the prints le t on the ground" /e ro%ned in thought" :There %ere three animals here'< he obser$ed" :The large bear that %e(re looking or' a deer and""" and""" something else" &($e ne$er seen anything like those prints be ore" Tyre9< Tyre peered at the huge ootprints that %ere Grum(s" :7e$er seen anything like Cem be ore either )ir"< :& you look closely you(ll also see hand prints""" no' knuckle prints"""" close to the oot prints' as i it %ere mo$ing by using its hands"< /e stood up and scratched his chin" /e couldn(t scratch his head because o all the gel there" :Could be %e ha$e a rare animal here Tyre'< he said and rubbed his hands" :1oney' & smell money"< Tyre beamed" :.e can come back tomorro%9< asked 1a5" Grum grinned" :=es' and & can sho% you e$erything properly' it(ll be great and Grimly and Gripe can come along as %ell.e could do %i some o(that )ir'< he replied" :&ndeed' indeed" 7o%' %hat(s this9< /e stooped do%n once more" :Tyre' there %as also a child here"< :A child )ir9< :A child' maybe ten years old or so' look' ootprints are all o$er the place"< :*(you think the bear ate him )ir9< The Captain scratched his head and ollo%ed the ootsteps back to %here Grum' 1a5 and Burly had had their picnic" :7o' no & don(t think so # he sat do%n %ith them here # look"< :Could he be a %ild boy )ir' y(kno%' like Tar+an' brought up by %ol$es and stu 9< :*on(t be stupid'< Captain @ Tee snorted' but then he hesitated" :Although maybe not so stupid""" a %ild boy9 A %ild boy""" %hat an attraction.

:=es )ir"< Tyre ound the three pairs o tracks leading a%ay rom the clearing" :7ice and easy tracks )ir" That bear(s a big un' he(s lattenin( e$erything in sight"< Captain @ Tee held his ri le irmly in his hands" :Let(s hope %e latten him irst Tyre' let(s hope %e latten him irst"< CHA TER # Gripe and Grimly reached the ri$erbank not long a ter Captain @ Tee and Tyre had le t" They looked around' pu++led" Like most creatures o the orest' groblins ha$e $ery sensiti$e noses and they %ere both soon sni ing the air # the Captain(s eau de cologne had a $ery distincti$e smell" :That(s horrible'< obser$ed Gripe making a ace and co$ering his nose %ith the ne% blue scar his mum had knitted or him' :%hat is it9< Grimly shook his head" :)mells like""" & don(t kno%"""< /e looked do%n at the ground and sa% the clear ootprints" :1an"""< he said" :1an""" men ha$e been here' look' they put things on their eet and there are their ootprints"< Gripe elt his heart beat aster" /umans didn(t come into the orest' they !ust didn(t" .hat are %e going to do9< :Aollo% them'< said Grimly" :Let(s see %hat they(re up to' but Gripe' %e($e got to be care ul' this isn(t good"< :.e ha$en(t got time to go back no%' but & think someone else %ill do that' ha$e you noticed ho% 4uiet it is9< Gripe hadn(t and he immediately pricked up his ears" =ou could ha$e heard a pin drop" /e paled" :&($e ne$er heard it so 4uiet'< he %hispered and shu led closer to Grimly" :The alarm(s going to go o any second'< said Grimly' :no% come on"< Grimly %as taller and bigger than him and he leant or%ard' grabbed both ends o Gripe(s scar and pulled hard' :& said # come on.hat about the alarm9 )houldn(t %e set o the alarm9< The orest had its o%n system or dealing %ith intruders and an alarm could be set o %arning all the animals that li$ed there that something %as %rong" :.hy %ere they here9 Grimly shook his head" :Let(s !ust ha$e a look around' double check Grum %as here shall %e9< /e spotted the area %here they(d sat or lunch and headed o$er there" :/e(s de initely been in mud'< he said looking at the drying blobs splattered all o$er the grass and bushes" :And here(s one o mum(s crispy ried ear%igs he(s dropped'< said Gripe picking it up o the ground and popping it in his mouth" :/e(s been here alright and it looks like they headed in that direction" The humans ollo%ed them" 1um %as right' Grum(s in trouble"< :A%'< %hined Gripe' :%hy does he al%ays do this9 .< They disappeared into the orest' ollo%ing the tracks" .

hat(s the matter9< he asked" Grum put his ingers in his ears" :.hat orest alarm9< 1a5 asked" :& there(s a serious problem in the orest %e ha$e an alarm signal'< said Burly" :A high pitched bird song o sorts # can(t you hear it9< :6h""" a %hat9 A bird song9< /e strained his ears but could hear nothing that sounded remotely like a bird song" :& did say o sorts'< replied Burly' :it(s a di icult noise to e5plain but either %ay % e(d better hurry up ' the t%o o you need to be home"< 0ust as they started to hurry along the path the deer they(d spoken to earlier sprang in ront o them> she looked terri ied' her legs %ere trembling and e$ery part o her %as alert' ready to run" :*on(t go that %ay'< her $oice %as rightened" :There are hunters' they(re ollo%ing your tracks' you(re going to meet them soon i you continue"< And %ith that' she bounded a%ay into the depths o the orest" Burly tried to sound calm as he ga+ed at the t%o rightened aces looking up at him" :6kay' you heard %hat she said' there are hunters" Airst thing' let(s get o the track shall %e9 Aollo% me"< /e immediately turned and led the %ay deeper into the orest" :1a5'< he called o$er his shoulder' :you stay close to me" Grum' you kno% the orest' try to co$er up the tracks as %e go"< 1a5 elt his heart beating %ildly and he hurried along ne5t to Burly' %ho %as mo$ing 4uickly" Grum sprang into action and tried to co$er up the act a bear that %eighed a ton and %as the si+e o a small house had %alked that %ay" :Gi$e me the easy !ob %hy don(t you'< he muttered as he looked at the trail o broken branches and s4uashed $egetation behind them" Tyre and Captain @ Tee %alked steadily along the path that had been made earlier by Burly" :/e(s a big one'< said the Captain" :/a$e you noticed ho% 4uiet it(s gotten )ir9< asked Tyre behind him" :That(s because they kno% %e(re here' they kno% %e(re hunting them' they(re a raid Tyre" This is the best part Tyre' the hunt' the ear" 7o% come on"< .Burly %as leading the %ay back along the narro% %inding track %hen the orest alarm %ent o " /e stopped in his tracks and 1a5 bumped into him" Grum %as startled' it %as the irst time he(d e$er heard the alarm properly although he(d been through lots o drills" 1a5 looked at the aces they %ere making" :.hat' you can(t hear that9< he asked' scre%ing up his ace" :/ear %hat9 Burly9< 1a5 tugged Burly(s ur" :The orest alarm has gone o "< Burly said" :Aorest alarm9 .

hich %ay %e gonna go ' )ir9< Captain @ Tee stood up' :The bear' Tyre' the bear' let(s bag him irst and then %e(ll get the boy' come on.e($e got to split up # take 1a5 back to groblin territory and then make sure he gets home sa ely' and &(ll lead them a%ay" *o you understand9< 1a5(s eyes immediately illed %ith tears" :7o Burly.< Burly looked at the trampled $egetation behind him and kne% it %as !ust a 4uestion o time" :1a5'< he said gently" :1a5' you ha$e to do %hat & say" &(ll be alright & promise" =ou both promised you %ould do as & asked' no% &(m asking you to lea$e" Grum' take 1a5"< Grum(s ace %as pale' but he took 1a5(s arm" :7o.hat9< he asked tetchily holding t%o bits o broken branch" :The hunters'< said Burly' :t hey(re a ter me' not you" .< And they $eered o the track in the direction that the $oice had come rom" Burly %as running or his li e through the orest' the earth shook beneath his eet and bushes and undergro%th pulled and tore the ur he %as so proud o " /e didn(t %ant to con ront the hunters because he kne% they %ould ha$e guns and that guns al%ays %on" /e headed or the ri$er' thinking that he could head do%nstream through the %ater and they %ouldn(t be able to ollo% his tracks" &n e$ery single ibre o his ur he could eel them coming or him" The Captain stopped and e5amined the ground" :They split up Tyre # the boy and creature %ent that %ay' the bear this %ay" /e(s running no%' he kno%s %e(re a ter him"< :. .e($e got to go" Good luck Burly"< Grum turned 4uickly so Burly couldn(t see that he' too' %as close to tears" :*id you hear that9< asked Captain @ Tee" :Thought & Ceard a boy cry out'< said Tyre" :Came rom o$er there'< he pointed o the track" The Captain smiled slo%ly" :& %as right Tyre' & %as right # there(s a boy loose in the !ungle" This is our lucky day # this %ay.< shouted 1a5 and held on to Burly(s ur" :1a5' & can mo$e aster' &(ll stand a better chance %ithout you' do you understand9< 1a5 %iped his nose" :6h Burly"""< :Come on'< said Grum' tugging 1a5(s arm" :. =ou can(t do that.< /e started to run" :/urry up Tyre' %e($e .e(ll come %ith you' %e(ll lose them someho%.Tyre looked an5iously at the trees around him and scurried along a ter the Captain" Burly %as thinking hard" &t %as only a matter o time be ore the hunters ound their tracks and he had to get 1a5 and Grum to sa ety" /e made a decision and stopped" :Grum'< he called" Grum(s ace appeared behind a straggling bush he(d been trying to make look natural" :.

< Tyre(s short legs ran aster" Burly stood by the side o the ri$er and looked at it as it raced by" & he %aded in no%' he(d be out in the open and easy prey but i he didn(t""" he looked o$er his shoulder""" they(d ind him any%ay" /e had no choice' he had to try to lose them" /e %alked into the ri$er" The orest behind him seemed to hold its breath" Then there %as a noise' a breathless pou . and a dart hit him in his hind4uarters" Burly crashed into the shallo%s o the ri$er and the cool %ater trickled around him" CHA TER $ 1a5 and Grum ran in the opposite direction' Grum dragging on 1a5(s arm the %hole time" But 1a5 suddenly pulled ree and stopped in his tracks" :Grum.e can(t lea$e Burly.< :=es.< he .< he shouted' :.< Grum stopped and rolled his eyes" :& kno%' & kno%' & %asn(t going to go much urther # !ust ar enough to ool the hunters' o course %e(re going back.< 1a5 punched the air" Grum put his hands on his hips " :Look' this is the orest' e$ery sound at the moment is carrying # !ust be 4uiet %ill you9 Aollo% me and be 4uiet"< 1a5 nodded solemnly and they headed back along their path" :)orry'< said 1a5 4uietly" :& should ha$e kno%n you %ouldn(t lea$e Burly"< :=eah %ell'< sni ed Grum" :/e(s a riend' & don(t lea$e my riends in trouble okay9< :6kay'< nodded 1a5" They came to the place %here they(d parted %ith Burly' and Grum sni ed the air" :They($e been here'< he said' :can you smell that9< 1a5 sni ed the air" :That(s 1an/unk'< he said" :1y dad uses it" 1y mum hates it"< :And you ha$e the ner$e to say us groblins smell bad'< said Grum" 1a5 grinned" :&t is a bit gross"""< :Burly %as right'< said Grum' :they(re ollo%ing him' look' they($e run a ter him" & don(t suppose you($e got a plan9< :A plan9< Grum sighed hea$ily" At that moment he heard a rustling" :)hhh.almost got him.

< :Look'< said 1a5" :Burly led them a%ay rom us to sa$e us and he(s in trouble" .e(ll probably be dead by the end o the day' may as %ell get it o$er and done %ith"""< They ollo%ed the track or a e% minutes" :/e(s heading or the ri$er'< said Grum" :&s that good9< asked 1a5" :2robably hoping to make it do%nstream # they %on(t be able to ollo% his tracks i he(s in the %ater"< :/e(s pretty smart'< said 1a5" :.e(ll see'< said Grimly" They made their %ay as 4uietly as possible through the dense $egetation until they came to a clearing that led do%n to the ri$er" :)hhh'< hushed Grum" :/ide' %e(re not going out there until %e(re sure it(s clear"< They hunkered do%n behind the trunk o a large oak tree and peered out into the open area" There by the ri$er %ere t%o men and Burly" Burly %as lying motionless in the shallo%s o the ri$er and the tallest man %as resting one o his eet on Burly(s hind4uarters" Burly.e($e got to take you home'< said Gripe' :or she(ll kill us"< Grum looked back at 1a5 and then at his brothers" :Can(t and %on(t'< he said" :.e($e got to ind Burly"< :.hat9< s4ueaked Gripe" :=ou can(t do that # they(re hunters' hunters.signalled to 1a5" :/ide. They(ll kill you.< he said" Grum grinned %idely" :. Burly %as dead. They(d killed him.hich %ay9< he asked" Grum pointed to the lattened bush" :That %ay"< :7o.e(re going to help him %hether you like it or not" These hunters are men' & can talk to them"< Grimly looked at the t%o o them and elt a amiliar tingle o e5citement" :.< They di$ed behind a bush" Gripe and Grimly strode into the opening" Grimly sni ed the air" :They %ent that %ay'< he said" Grum couldn(t help himsel " :Grimly' Gripe.hat a re you doing here9< :Aollo%ing you as usual'< replied Grimly" :1um sent us' said you %ere in trouble"< :1um in a million'< said Grum happily" :.< groaned Gripe' t%isting the end o his scar " :7oooo' mum(ll kill us"< :Then go home'< said Grimly" Gripe thre% his arms up in the air in de eat" :Let(s !ust do it shall %e9 . 1a5 elt a large green hand clamp itsel o$er his mouth be ore he could cry out" :Take a picture'< he heard the tall one saying to the short at one" The at .< he shouted and sprang out o the bush" Gripe almost collapsed' and clasped his hand o$er his heart" :Grum' don(t do that.

one bustled about and took a small camera rom his top pocket" The tall one smoothed his eyebro%s and stood proudly ne5t to Burly" :& ain(t ne$er seen such a big bear' )ir'< commented the short at man as he snapped a%ay" :=es' he(s in his prime'< said the tall man happily" :/e(ll etch a pretty penny"< 1a5 elt his heart skip a beat' maybe Burly %asn(t dead" /e looked at Grum ne5t to him' %ho %as %atching the scene intently" 1a5 signalled or him to mo$e his hand rom his mouth" :Let me talk to them'< he %hispered' :maybe & can con$ince them to let Burly go"< Grum raised his hairy red eyebro%s" :7o" They(re hunters" Let(s !ust see %hat they do ne5t' they(re in our orest' they %on(t go ar # ho%(re they going to carry him or one thing9< 1a5 drummed the tree trunk impatiently %ith his ingers' then he %alked out into the open" :/ey.ait.< said 1a5" :& ha$e money" & you let my riend go &(ll gi$e you money.here(s your riend9< asked the Captain" :Ariend9< asked 1a5" :*on(t play me or a ool boy # there %ere three o you' the bear' you # and a creature"< :Ah"""< 1a5 tried to think 4uickly" :/e got scared and ran a%ay"""< /e heard a mu led s4ueak rom the bushes behind him" :& !ust %ant to see Burly"< :The bear9< asked the Captain" :The bear has a name9< :/is ull name is Burlington' Burly to his riends" =ou(re not allo%ed to call him anything'< said 1a5 bra$ely" :)o'< said the Captain' :you are a %ild boy a ter all" Tyre' tie him up"< :=es )ir.< The Captain snorted" :=ou9 1oney9 )ho% me"< 1a5 rummaged in his pockets" The Captain kept the ri le trained on him" 1a5 pulled out a hand ul o the coins he(d picked up at the secret city and thre% them on the ground" :)tep back' boy'< said the Captain" :Tyre' ha$e a look"< Tyre trotted o$er and picked up a couple o the coins" /e brushed them o ' held them up to the light and then bit them" :Gold )ir' they(re gold' ain(t seen nuthing like them be ore )ir"< .< said Tyre" :.< he shouted" /e heard the rustle o bushes behind him and guessed that Gripe and Grimly %ere restraining Grum" The t%o men stopped %hat they %ere doing and turned to look at 1a5" :.< commanded Captain @ Tee and raised his ri le" 1a5 s%allo%ed and put his hands up like he(d seen them do in ilms" :.ell'< said Tyre" :There(s your %ild boy )ir' but he don(t look much like a %ild boy t(me"< :)top right there.

here did you get them boy9< :& told you' &(ll sho% you i you orget about the bear"< The Captain raised his ri le and aimed right at 1a5(s heart" :Tell me'< :7o'< 1a5(s knees %ere shaking" The ri le %as slo%ly lo%ered" The Captain turned' looked at Burly then looked at the coins and made a decision" :=ou ha$e a deal' sho% me"< 1a5 elt relie lood through him and his legs almost ga$e %ay" :& %ant to see Burly properly'< he said" :Go on then'< the Captain %a$ed the ri le" 1a5 splashed through the %ater and thre% his arms around Burly(s neck" :/e(ll %ake up in a e% hours'< said the Captain" :/e(ll be cold in the ri$er'< said 1a5' :can(t you pull him out9< The Captain laughed" :=ou($e had enough rom us" 7o%'< he pulled 1a5 by his shoulder' :you sho% us %here the gold is okay9< 1a5 looked do%n at Burly' he seemed to be alright' !ust sleeping" /e nodded" :6kay'< this %ay" As he headed back into the orest he looked or signs o the three brothers but there %ere none" /e didn(t doubt' ho%e$er' or one second' that they %ere %atching and keeping an eye open or him" CHA TER % 1a5 led the %ay back to the ruins" The %alk seemed to take ore$er and he deliberately slo%ed do%n on occasions' pretending he %asn(t sure %here he %as going" :.hat is it Tyre9 And don’t call me Cutie"< :=es )ir' sorry )ir" Er' it(s going to get dark soon' %e ha$e to lea$e enough time to get back %hile it(s light"< :&(m a%are o that Tyre" /o% much urther boy9< .hat(s this creature %ho %as %ith you9< demanded Captain @ Tee' poking him in the back %ith the ri le" 1a5 staggered or%ard" :& don(t kno% %hat you(re talking about"< :& told you' boy' don(t treat us like idiots' &($e been hunting since & %as born and &($e ne$er seen tracks like that' it looked like the animal %as %alking on his eet and knuckles"< :6h' that %as me !ust messing around'< said 1a5" /e %as pushed in the back again and this time stumbled and almost ell" :&(ll ind it boy' don(t you %orry' &(ll track it do%n and &(ll ha$e it stu ed and mounted but don(t %orry' you can still come and $isit"< /e laughed nastily" :Cap(n Cutie' )ir9< asked Tyre" Cutie9 1a5 snickered # he got another sharp poke in the back or that" :.:/o% many ha$e you got 9< asked the Captain" :A e%'< said 1a5" :But & kno% %here there are a lot more" & you promise to let Burly go &(ll sho% you %here they are"< :Bring them here Tyre' let me see"< Tyre took the coins to the Captain %ho inspected them" :They(re de initely gold" .

:Ai$e or ten minutes"< 1a5 %as %ondering i he could spin it out until it %as dark and then the hunters %ould be at a disad$antage" :And the gold9< :The gold(s right there or the picking"< :Gold )ir'< said Tyre happily" :&t would be nice to Ca$ some money )ir' maybe buy mesel a little bit o(land some%here"< :=es' Tyre' but let(s make sure %e get it irst shall %e9< 7o matter ho% slo%ly 1a5 %ent' it %as still broad daylight %hen they arri$ed at the edge o the ruins" The Captain and Tyre ga+ed up at the crumbling %alls" :.ell'< said 1a5" :& ound the coins lying on the ground in lots o places' mostly in homes and stu # you(ll ha$e to %ander around like & did and pick them up"< The Captain stopped in his tracks" :&s that so9 =ou think %e should %ander around until it(s dark' collecting coins and then your creature riend can attack us' is that it9< 1a5(s eyes %idened" Actually' that had sort o been his plan" :=ou must take us or idiots" Tyre' put a transmitter in there'< he pointed to a crumbling house" :.< :They(ll ind some%here else to li$e' no% go boy' sho% us %here the gold is"< 1a5 ound the large opening in the %all and led them through" The Captain beamed %ith pleasure as he sur$eyed the city lying be ore him # this %as more than he could e$er ha$e hoped or"< :Bit e5citing this )ir ain(t it9< said Tyre" :?emember %hen you %as a boy and dreamt o inding old cities and pirates and stu 9< :& %as ne$er a boy Tyre' no% get mo$ing"< 1a5 %ound through the ma+e o narro% alley%ays" :.< 1a5 %as immediately angry" :=ou can(t let tourists in here.ell &(ll be"""< said the Captain impressed" :A secret city hidden in the orest" Good hea$ens Tyre' do you kno% %hat this means9< Tyre scratched his head" :Lots o old buildings alling do%n )ir9< :7o Tyre' it means money' more money" 6nce %e($e taken the gold %e can open it up to tourists' sho% them around 8 %e(ll be rich beyond our dreams. They(ll spoil it # %hat about the animals9.here are you taking us9< asked the Captain" :.e(ll head back no% but return tomorro% %ith more men' more guns and set up camp" =ou'< # he pointed to 1a5' :%ill come %ith us' &($e got !ust the place or you" & hope you like pigs but actually' it really doesn(t matter much i you don(t"""< he laughed and grabbed 1a5 by his t#shirt and sho$ed him along the narro%' cobbled street" Cool %ater lapped around Burly' gently splashing his ace" The little deer stepped daintily out into the shallo%s and sni ed him gently" /e %as still ali$e but sleeping deeply" )he nudged him %ith her nose" 7o mo$ement" )he looked around' she had to do something to %ake him up" )he spotted some ducks s%imming by" :/ey'< she called' :come here"< The ducks s%am o$er to see %hat she %anted" They bobbed in a ro%' %aiting or her to speak" :This bear'< said the deer' :has been shot by men"< Loud 4uacking broke out amongst the ducks" .

< The 4uacking stopped and the ducks s%i tly retreated' %aggling their tails in triumph" :Ah'< said the deer politely' :& see you(re a%ake"< :1y head hurts'< groaned Burly" :& think it(s going to hurt a lot more in a moment""""< replied the deer" 1a5 stood in a small cobbled street %ith crumbling houses on either side" The Captain still had the ri le poked irmly in the small o his back but %as talking to Tyre" 1a5 looked around' no sign o Grum or his brothers any%here" .< he shook his shoulders" :.< said 1a5 hotly" :=ou didn(t gi$e him a chance"< .:=es' yes' & kno%' but they(re not here no%" /e(s asleep but & need to %ake him up" Any ideas9< The ducks %ent into a huddle" Then they split up" /al o them s%am up to Burly(s head and hea$ed themsel$es upright> they stood up in the ri$er and lapped their %ings so that %ater %as scooped and licked o$er Burly(s head" The other section o ducks %addled up along Burly(s back and inspected him closely" And then they started 4uacking" &n Burly(s dreams it %as raining hea$ily and he %as being attacked by millions o ducks' all o them 4uacking loudly" /e reached out a pa% to s%at them a%ay but they !ust kept 4uacking and 4uacking and 4uacking""" /e ro%ned more deeply and tried to ignore the noise but they %ere persistent""" and that rain""" and that 4uacking""" /e could take it no longer" /e sat up and roared" :.here %ere they9 As i they %ere reading his thoughts' he heard a %hining $oice' :A%' %hy me9 & got shot last time"""< and Gripe appeared in ront o him # it looked as i he(d been sho$ed" The Captain and Tyre %hipped around and stared in ama+ement at the green creature trying to steady himsel " Gripe smiled and ga$e them a little %a$e %ith his ingers" &n l ess than a second the Captain had raised his ri le and shot Gripe in the shoulder" Gripe didn(t e$en ha$e time to look ama+ed and ell like a brick to the ground" 1a5 rushed o$er to him" :Gripe' Gripe.< The Captain stood o$er Gripe(s body and ga$e it a little sho$e %ith his oot" :1y goodness that(s one ugly creature and %hat a smell"< /e %rinkled his nose" :=ou don(t smell that great yoursel .ill you stop that 4uacking.hy did you do that9< he demanded angrily" :/e %asn(t going to hurt you.

< The Captain shrugged" :.e(ll ind out more later' mean%hile' Tyre' & suggest you bag it and then %e(d better get going"< Tyre %hipped out a large hessian bag rom his pack and started to roll Gripe into it" 6nce he %as inside' Tyre tied the top and then picked him up and thre% him o$er his shoulders" :Cor blimey )ir' it %eighs a bit"< Tyre(s legs %ere de initely buckling" :=es' yes'< said the Captain' :&(m sure it does' but ne$er mind !ust keep %alking Tyre' %e($e got a long %ay to go"< 1a5(s head %as spinning' %hy %ould Grum and Grimly do such a thing9 2oor Gripe' yes he %hined a bit' %ell' a lot actually' but he didn(t deser$e to be shot" But as he sa% the s%eat on Tyre(s ace and his legs tremble under the %eight' understanding began to da%n" They %ere slo%ing the hunters do%n' making them tired and $ulnerable" The !ourney back %ould be a long and interesting one"""" Burly tried to stand up properly but his legs %ere %obbly" /e closed his eyes and tried to concentrate %hile the deer illed him in" :The last & sa% the human had been taken prisoner and three groblins %ere ollo%ing them' they seem to be going back to the place %here the 6ld 6nes li$ed"< Burly tried to talk but his mouth seemed to be glued together' it %as dry and tasted horrible" /e bent his head and took a long drink o %ater rom the ri$er" :Thank you'< he e$entually said' :thank you or your help"< There %as a loud 4uacking and the sound o splashing %ater" Burly looked at the bobbing ducks all lined up looking e5pectantly at him" :And thank you as %ell'< he told them politely" :=ou did a great !ob"< The ducks bustled a%ay' %aggling their tail eathers in a pleased %ay" The deer smiled politely" :The orest alarm has been turned o e$eryone is mobilised' those humans %on(t get out o the orest"< but :& don(t think %e should hurt them'< said Burly 4uickly" :&(d like to think %e(re better than them"< :A e% o the big cats are eeling peckish so it(s not like they(d go to %aste'< replied the deer' surprised" :?ecycling' you kno%' it(s all natural" Also' i the cats are ed' &(m a bit sa er or a %hile"< Burly smiled at the logic" :=ou(re right' that is $ery important'< he admitted" :&(d better go' ho%e$er' and sort this out be ore anyone gets seriously hurt" Thanks and & o%e you"< The deer nodded then bounded neatly a%ay" .The t%o o them ignored 1a5 completely' they %ere !ust trans i5ed by the green creature in ront o them" :.hat is it' )ir9< asked Tyre" :& ain(t seen nothing like that be ore"< :& ha$e no idea'< said the Captain" :&t(s a ne% type o creature and it(s going to make us more money than %e($e e$er dreamed o " =ou' boy' %hat is it9 =ou kno% it' don(t you9< :=es' & kno% Cit('< replied 1a5' :and it(s a really nice creature # you didn(t ha$e to do that.

ithout him &(d be useless"< :6h & don(t kno%'< said 1a5" :=ou(re really strong and pretty smart"< Tyre made a ace" 1a5 couldn(t tell %hether it %as a smile or pain" :Al%ays Ca$ been strong son" )hort and strong my old mum used to say but smart' nah' brains don(t run in our amily' the Cap(n takes care o( the thinking"< There %as a rustle o undergro%th ahead o them and the Captain strode back to%ards them" /is handsome ace %as lushed red %ith anger" :7o talking. This is the orest # %e could be attacked at any moment.< The Captain turned on his heel and stalked ahead o them" :/e(s an old bossy boots'< %hispered 1a5 out o the side o his mouth" /e %as sure that the grunt Tyre ga$e %as in agreement" 6n and on they %alked" Light %as alling 4uickly around them and the .< :=es )ir' )orry )ir"< Tyre shi ted the %eight a little" :7o more talking.ell' the Capt(n %ill keep him # in good conditions mind so you don(t Ca$ to %orry Cbout that' he(ll get ood n(stu # and then he(ll probably sho% him' y(kno% like in a +oo"< :6h" Er' ho% long ha$e you kno%n the Captain9< Tyre %as pleased to talk' it took his mind o the pain that %as shooting do%n his back and legs" :Long time son' long time # Ce looks a ter me y(kno%"< 1a5 raised his eyebro%s" :/e is kind o rude to you isn(t he9< :(e looks a ter me'< repeated Tyre" :.hat are you going to do %ith him9< asked 1a5" :.< he commanded" :Alert Tyre' you ha$e to remain alert.Burly took a e% unsteady steps' sho ok himsel all o$er' and then strode into the orest" /e %as going to rescue 1a5" CHA TER & The Captain aimed the ri le at Gripe(s head" :&(m going to lead the %ay'< he told 1a5' :i & turn around at any point and you are not %alking right ne5t to Tyre & %ill shoot your green riend again and this time the ri le is loaded %ith bullets # do you understand9< 1a5 looked at the large sausage shaped bundle that %as Gripe and nodded" :?ight' !olly good' let(s go' it %ill be dark soon" Tyre' %hat are you %aiting or9< :)ir' ready )ir"< 1a5 almost elt sorry or Tyre> although he %as $ery strong he %as ob$iously struggling under the %eight o a ully gro%n groblin # s%eat poured do%n his ace and each step %as an e ort" 1a5 decided on another tactic" As the Captain turned and led them a%ay rom the city o the 6ld 6nes 1a5 beamed his best smile at Tyre" :Can & help at all9< he asked politely as they %alked along" :7ah son' this is man(s %ork'< grunted Tyre" :.

ell as long as it(s the human %ith the gun they eat and not me & don(t care'< said Grum" :/old on' %hat(s that9< Arom belo% came a loud crashing sound and it %as getting nearer" Grum grinned happily" :/al the orest is coming do%n # & kno% %hat that is # Burly.< Burly sat do%n %ith Grum dangling rom him like some kind o odd necklace" :Grum' you(re ali$e.< Grum thre% his long arms around Burly(s neck in a big hug" :=ou(re alright.< Burly looked around" :.shado%s deepened" 1a5 listened intently or any sign o mo$ement # he %as sure the groblins %ere out there some%here and had some kind o plan' they %eren(t ar rom the ri$er no% and time %as running out"""" Groblins use their long arms not only to mo$e 4uickly along the ground' but to s%ing rom branch to branch and Grimly and Grum had mo$ed s%i tly through the treetops and %ere no% almost at the picnic spot" The lo% menacing sound o %ild cats snarling and gro%ling nearby' ho%e$er' made them stop on a branch and pause or a moment" :Bh oh'< said Grimly" :Bh oh9< echoed Grum" :The big cats are closing in" They lo$e a orest alarm and a crisis # one %ay or another it usually ends up in a meal or them"< :.e thought you %ere still knocked out.< he punched Burly play ully" :The t%o humans ha$e got 1a5'< said Grimly' :they(re on their %ay back to the human road no%" 6ur plan %as to %ait or them in trees %here the track runs alongside the ri$er and ambush them # they %on(t be e5pecting an attack rom abo$e"< :And'< said Grum happily' :%e($e slo%ed them do%n. 1a5' %here(s 1a59< he said" :/ello Burly'< said Grimly %ho %as standing on the sidelines' a broad smile across his ace" :/o% are you9< Burly ble% out a large sigh" :1y head eels like it(s been trampled on but &(m okay"< Grum inally let go and dropped to the ground" :.e(d better hurry"< The Captain stopped dead in his tracks and scanned the track ahead' light %as .here(s Gripe9< he asked" Grum grinned" :6h they ha$e him as %ell # he(s %hat(s slo%ing them do%n # great idea eh9< Burly %as lost or %ords" :They(ll be here soon'< said Grum' :%e(d better get a mo$e on so %e can ind the right hiding place and %ait or them" A sudden roaring and snarling illed the air and a lock o birds screeched and s4ua%ked and took to the air' eathers lying" :The big cats are practicing'< said Grimly" :.< /e !umped to the ne5t branch do%n and then on to the ground # and %as almost run o$er by a stampeding bear" Burly screeched to a halt' lea$es and dirt scattered e$ery%here" :Burly..

Ca% ca%. Listen' that(s them.e should choose another signal"""< %hispered Grum loudly" :7o'< came the s%i t reply' :it(s too late no%' and hush up %ill you"""< :& think a duck %ould be good'< continued Grum' :%e(re near a ri$er"< :.ill you /B)/.hoe$er sa% or heard the hunters irst %ould make a ca%ing sound like a ra$en" The minutes ticked slo%ly past and the orest seemed eerily 4uiet" All o a sudden there %as a rustling sound s%i tly ollo%ed by loud ca%ing and Burly tensed" :*on(t mo$e.< hissed Grimly rom across the track' : alse alarm # that really %as a ra$en"""< :..ading 4uickly no% and he(d heard the cats" As a pro essional hunter he kne% that the tables had turned # they %ere the ones no% being stalked" /e smiled a slo% smile and continued %alking # hunting or being hunted' he lo$ed both" Behind him staggered Tyre %ith 1a5 right ne5t to him" :*id you hear that noise9< %hispered 1a5 trying his best to sound scared" :)ounded like cats # lions or something"""< :7ot lions son' this ain(t A rica y(kno%'< came the reply" :.ell they didn(t e5actly sound like any house cat &($e come across'< replied 1a5" There %as a sharp but loud crack and a pou o dust ble% up !ust in ront o 1a5(s eet" 1a5 looked up" Captain @uentin %as staring at him do%n the barrel o the ri le" :& thought & told you""" 76 talking.< Burly %iggled his bottom in anticipation o the pouncing and then he' too' heard the so t crunching sound o human ootsteps trying to %alk 4uietly through the orest" /e strained his ears' he could only hear one pair o ootsteps" The delicate crunching came closer and closer" Then' rom no%here' came a cry that %ould ree+e the blood o any animal # the groblin %ar cry # and Grimly ell like a ton o bricks onto Captain @uentin Tee" Burly burst out rom behind the bush but all he could see %as a pair o legs and arms sticking out rom underneath Grimly" A ri le had allen to the side .< :*id you !ust shoot at me9< demanded 1a5" :*on(t push it son'< ad$ised Tyre" :But he"""< :@uiet or the ne5t time & %on(t miss'< commanded the Captain" :Tyre' stay close to me' it(s going to get tricky"< Tyre trotted as best he could up to the Captain" :=ou boy' i anything happens' remember & shoot your riend irst # & can al%ays sell his body to scientists # it doesn(t matter to me i he li$es or dies" *on(t think you can outsmart me' &(m the best hunter in the %orld"< :/e is that an( all son'< obser$ed Tyre" They continued %alking" :/e(s still really horrible to you'< %hispered 1a5 out o the side o his mouth" Tyre did not reply but looked straight ahead' his ace a picture o concentration" Burly hid as best he could behind the largest bush he could ind" Grum %as perched up in a tree abo$e him and Grimly %as on the other side o the track" They(d agreed a signal" .

< yelled 1a5' his arms in the air' :Go Grum.here(s Grum9< Grimly looked around" There %as no sign o Grum" Grum %as' at that precise moment' lying through the air on a $ine at a hundred miles an hour heading straight to%ards Tyre" Tyre couldn(t see a thing because o the s%eat pouring do%n his orehead into his eyes and didn(t stand a chance" Being hit by a groblin mo$ing at a hundred miles an hour is enough to s%eep anyone o their eet and that(s !ust %hat Grum did # he smacked Tyre s4uare in his stomach %ith his eet and Tyre %ent do%n like a skittle at a bo%ling alley" :=ay.ell that %as easy'< said Grimly' a big smirk on his ace" The arms and legs %riggled as the hunter ought to be ree" :7o use him doing that"< Grimly(s bottom %as placed s4uarely o$er the Captain(s ace" :Actually it 4uite tickles"< There %as a mu led protest rom beneath him" “& think'< said Burly' :that you(d better tie him up and 4uickly' there(s a second hunter and he %on(t be ar" .< he cried' :6h thank goodness' let me look at you both"< /e made Grum and 1a5 stand still and inspected them" :1a5' did they hurt you9 Are you okay9< 1a5 thre% back his shoulders" :7ah' %e(re ine # look' %e put handcu s on him"< Tyre %as still lying on his back like a tortoise that had been turned o$er' %a$ing his arms and legs and trying to catch his breath" :& think & knocked the %ind out o him'< grinned Grum" 1a5 high# i$ed him" :Let(s get him to his eet'< said Burly' :and make our %ay to the picnic site # .o the track and he immediately hurried o$er and pushed it %ith his snout into the long grass sa ely out o the %ay" :.< Burly galloped onto the scene and skidded to a halt in ront o them" :=ou(re alright.asssup9< murmured Gripe in his sleep be ore turning o$er and nestling do%n into some so t grass" Grum nudged him %ith his oot' :/e(s okay.< Grum landed on the ground and then thre% himsel like a %restler across Tyre(s ample stomach' pinning him do%n" :@uick'< he yelled' :tie him up or something"< 1a5 didn(t need to be asked t%ice" /e unhooked a pair o handcu s rom Tyre(s belt and snapped one end on to one %rist then on to the other" The moment Tyre %as secure Grum !umped o him and ran to the bag that contained a still snoo+ing Gripe" /e tipped Gripe out onto the ground" :.

hen they got back to the camp area' Grimly %as perched on top o a large boulder %atching the Captain" Captain @ Tee had been tied securely to a large tree trunk' his ace %as lushed and angry as he struggled to get ree" /e %as shouting at Grimly' :That %as disgusting # %hat kind o animal sits on someone(s ace # &(ll put you in a cage or the rest o your li e' you see i & don(t' you"""" you green reak you.< commanded the Captain" :& order you to ight # ight man.ell' %hat do %e do no%9< asked 1a5 as Grum rummaged through Tyre(s pockets" A lo% gro%l $ibrated through the air" :The cats are almost here'< said Burly" :7o% listen care ully # no matter %hat these humans ha$e done to us %e ha$e to get them back sa ely"< :But they($e seen the secret city' and he'< said 1a5 nodding in the direction o the Captain' :%ants to bring lots o people to the orest to see it # the orest %ill be ruined and the animals %ill lose their homes"< Burly looked glum" Grum %ent up and prodded the Captain %ith his inger" :=ou sure %e can(t let .< Grimly curled back his lip in an eerie smile" :)tand %ith your back against that tree'< 1a5 told Tyre' pointing to another tree a e% eet a%ay rom the Captain" :Tyre' Tyre' don(t you dare do %hat he says.< Burly took a step closer to Tyre and breathed %armly on the back o his neck" Tyre trotted o$er to the tree and %aited to be tied up" :)orry Gu$'< he said apologetically" 1a5 got a length o rope and tied him securely to the trunk" :Look or kni$es and stu as %ell'< ad$ised Grimly' :look %hat & got rom the other one'< he pointed to a small arsenal o %eapons deposited on the ri$er bank' %ell a%ay rom the Captain" :&(ll do it.Grimly(s holding the other one there"< Grum %alked o$er to Tyre' put his ace right up against his and grinned as nastily as he could' sho%ing all his broken' yello% teeth" A little noise that sounded like :eep or eek< came rom Tyre" Grum grabbed him and hauled him to his eet" Tyre looked around in desperation" :& you run'< said 1a5' :either %e(ll get you or the cats %ill"< :1ind you' &(m 4uite peckish mysel '< said Grum smacking his lips" Tyre paled" /e didn(t understand %hat Grum %as saying # the %ords sounded like a %ild animal slobbering and snarling # but he kne% instincti$ely it %asn(t good" :)top playing %ith the human'< said Burly' :let(s get back to Grimly' he(ll be %ondering %here %e are and it(ll be dark soon"< :&(ll bring Gripe'< said Grum" :& suppose &(d better' mum(ll be cross i & lea$e him behind"""< /e bent do%n and picked up Gripe' s%inging him casually o$er his shoulder" .< $olunteered Grum' :& 4uite like scaring this one.< /e smiled %ickedly and approached Tyre %hose chubby knees buckled" :.

ell'< the Captain spoke calmly or the irst time to 1a5' his $oice like ice" :& may not understand %hat your riends are saying' but & do understand one thing' it(s too late # look behind you"< 1a5 turned around" Aacing him %ere t%o large mountain cats' their po%er ul golden bodies muscular and scarred' their amber eyes calculating and cold" CHA TER ' Grum(s mother appeared as i rom no%here behind the cats" )he had her long skirt hitched up %ith one hand and a tight grip on a large rolling pin %ith the other" )he took in the scene %ith a single glance" :&(d mo$e i & %ere you boys'< she said in a irm but clear $oice to the cats" The larger o the t%o turned to ace her and t%itched the tip o his tail # in all his years in the orest he(d ne$er seen anything 4uite like her" Grum' Grimly and 1a5 shu led closer together' placing themsel$es bet%een the cats and the capti$e humans" Burly stepped or%ard and the second cat gro%led and hunkered do%n' %riggling its hind4uarters' positioning itsel to leap at him but Burly stood his ground> he seemed to double in si+e and roared so loudly the %hole orest shook" The cat hesitated" Grum nudged 1a5" :/e did that to me once # pretty scary eh9< :.the cats ha$e them9< he asked" :&t %ould sol$e a problem' & mean' they(re so horrible & don(t think anyone %ould miss them"< :.ell' apart rom the act night is alling and big' hungry cats are only a e% eet a%ay' i & don(t get Grum and Gripe home soon mum is going to kill me"< :6h yes'< said Grum slo%ly' :mum # &(d orgotten about her"< Burly looked uncom ortable' he(d met Grum(s mother and kne% she %as a orce to be reckoned %ith" /e hadn(t met 1ike(s mum but he had a eeling she %as also probably someone not to be tri led %ith" 1ums seemed to be like that %hen it came to their children" :.< Tyre ga$e a %a$ering smile" 7either o them understood Burly or the groblins but kne% rom %hat 1a5 %as saying that their ates %ere being decided" :6kay'< said Burly decisi$ely' :here(s %hat %e do # %e make our %ay to 1ike(s # he(s the only one & kno% %ith enough po%er to make these t%o orget about the secret city"< Grum sighed hea$ily" :6h okay' let(s get going"< :There is another problem'< said Grimly" They all looked at him" :.ell'< said 1a5' :he(s really mean # he shot at me and %as going to put Gripe in a +oo or people to look at # but the other one(s sort o okay"< The Captain %riggled and shouted' :.o%'< breathed 1a5 impressed" :)o %hat(s it going to be boys9< Grum(s mother asked the t%o cats" :=ou seem to be in a bit o a tight spot here # you(d better get going be ore & use this and the bear has you or break ast'< she %a$ed the rolling pin at the cat acing her" /e lattened his ears and snarled' sho%ing long sharp canine teeth and .hy you little""" you %ait till & get ree rom here' &(ll soon sort you out.

hy is it al%ays you9< she demanded' her red eyebro%s knotted in e5asperation" :Eeek"""< s4uealed Grum' %ho %as no% on his knees" :.here(s Gripe9< she paused in the ear pulling or a moment" :Er' o$er there' sleeping""" %e didn(t orget him"""< %himpered Grum" /is mother let go o his ear and marched o$er to inspect the snoo+ing Gripe" )he prodded him %ith her oot be ore turning around" /er bla+ing ga+e homed in like a la+er on Burly" /is eyes %idened and he took a step back' 1a5 bra$ely stood beside him but held on to his ur" :=ou.< )he raised her rolling pin up once more and silence ell" )he %alked slo%ly o$er to Captain @uentin Tee" Aor the irst time in his li e he elt real ear %ash o$er him' a deep desire to run a%ay o$er%helmed him but although he %riggled %ildly he %as tied ast" /e s%allo%ed and closed his eyes" )he stood in ront o him and sni ed the air" :This one'< she said' :is bad inside' really bad" 1aybe & should ha$e let the cats ha$e him"< )he %andered o$er to Tyre %ho s4uirmed" )he poked his bulging %aistline %ith her rolling pin" :They(d ha$e had a good meal rom him'< she obser$ed" Tyre ainted" Burly coughed and bra$ely interrupted" :&t(s getting late'< he said' :and %e all should be getting home be ore it gets dark" &(ll take these t%o to a riend o mine %ho %ill make sure they orget e$erything # they(ll ne$er e$en remember they($e been in the orest"< Grum(s mother raised her red eyebro%s" Burly had raised a good point # it %as getting late and it %as time her sons %ere sa ely home" :1um'< said Grum' :& %ant to go %ith Burly"< /er eyebro%s shot up a notch" :6h you do' do you9< Grum rubbed his throbbing ear" :=es' & do" .< she said" :& thought you %ere a responsible bear. And %ho are these creatures9< )he %a$ed her rolling pin in the direction o the t%o hunters %ho %ere %atching the scene %ith their mouths %ide open # not a sound could be heard rom either o them" There %as a sudden rush o in ormation as e$eryone tried to ill her in' :hunters""" humans""" shot Burly""" +oo""" knocked out Gripe""" scientists""" guns""" gold""" tourists"""< :/old it.< she said' grabbing him by a green ear and t%eaking hard' :%ere meant to go and get your brother and bring him home sa ely not put him on the lunch menu or cats"< :)orry' sorry'< s4ueaked Grimly" :&t(s not his ault"""< started Grum but aster than a cobra can strike his mother had grabbed his ear as %ell" :.< Grum(s mother ad!usted her skirt and strode to%ards Grimly" :=ou.e should all stick together"< There %as a gentle th%acking sound as she smacked the rolling pin against the side o her skirt" :Actually'< she said' :this time & think you(re right # %e need . E$ery time he meets you he gets into trouble.s%iped out a pa% to scratch her %ith his cla%s" )he s%atted it easily a%ay %ith the rolling pin and the cat ga$e a 4uick gro%l o pain" &t backed a%ay" The second cat !oined it" )lo%ly' care ully' gro%ling so tly to themsel$es they retreated rom the clearing" :?ight.

hat9 .to make sure these t%o are out o our orest and ne$er come back and as & can(t trust you &(m coming %ith you" Burly' lead the %ay"< Burly %as lost or %ords but scrambled his thoughts together 4uickly" :Grimly' collect all those horrible %eapons and hide them # %e(ll destroy them later" Grum untie the humans" 1rs""" er"""" sorry & don(t kno% your name"""< :*a odil"< 1a5 giggled" )he turned and i5ed him %ith a glare" :&s something %rong9< 1a5 stu ed his ist in his mouth" :7othing""" sorry"""< :&(m 1rs Gri to you and don(t you orget it"< :=es' sorry"""< 1a5 turned and busied himsel helping Grum untie the Captain" &n a couple o minutes they %ere all ready" The Captain and Tyre had their hands tied together and stood 4uietly as 1rs Gri patrolled up and do%n in ront o them' her rolling pin grasped irmly in one hand" Their %eapons had all been collected and hidden and they %ere ready to go" :&(m sure %e($e orgotten something"""< said Burly glancing around the clearing once last time" Arom the grass came a lo% moaning sound" :Gripe.< shouted Grum and rushed o$er" :1o$e yoursel Gripe.here am &9< /e staggered to his eet and looked around blearily" :7e$er mind'< said Grum putting an arm around Gripe(s shoulder' :!ust come %ith us and &(ll tell you all about it on the %ay"< And so' !ust as dusk inally ell in the orest' the little band headed or 1ike(s house" 1rs Gri did not hold %ith angels but she kne% that 1ike' small and skinny though he %as' %as actually $ery po%er ul and %hen they arri$ed at his house she strode or%ard to meet him" :*a odil'< she said holding out a large green hand" :Burly9< asked 1ike ga+ing around at the group" /e could eel the t%itch o a smile on his lips" Burly rolled his eyes indicating the green hand being o ered" :6h' er' sorry' good e$ening' hello *a odil'< 1ike said hurriedly' shaking her hand %ith a irm grip' :nice to meet you"""< Grum ga$e him a little %a$e" :Grum' good to see you # oh' and Gripe and Grimly are here too""" and 1a5""" and' er"""< he looked the Captain and Tyre' :they are"""9< /e looked up at Burly en4uiringly" :Long story'< said Burly" :Cake9< o ered 1ike" :6h yes please.< said his mother' :you($e had a long enough nap' no% hurry up"< :1um9 .< said Burly %ith eeling" :Cake %ould be $ery good"< :*o sit do%n'< said 1ike' :there are a e% chairs !ust o$er there behind the .

< came a loud cry rom Tyre" :&t(s an angel # look Captain Cutie' it(s a real angel # Ce(s got %ings # my mum al%ays told me they %as real"< :Ah'< 1ike spun around and smiled at him' :yes' o course' Tyre isn(t it9 & remember your mother' lo$ely lady"< :Bless Cer'< sni ed Tyre' tears springing to his eyes' :she %ere lo$ely %eren(t she9 Best mum in the %orld"< 1ike nodded gently" :7o% Tyre' you !ust sit do%n and & %on(t be a moment" /o% %ould you like some honey cake9< Tyre(s head bobbed up and do%n as he tried to sni back his tears" :6h or goodness sakes Tyre' stop blubbing like a girl'< sneered Captain Tee" Tyre turned his back on him" And so they all sat do%n to tea and cakes %hile Burly care ully e5plained e$erything that had happened" 1ike listened 4uietly and ro%ned in deep concern %hen he heard that both Burly and Gripe had been shot" &t %as all $ery serious" /e occasionally glanced across at Tyre %ho had been untied and %as happily eating honey cake %ith them' and then at the Captain %ho %as standing to one side glaring at them %ith a %ithering look o contempt on his ace" :)o Burly' 1a5' Grum' Gripe' Grimly""" er""" *a odil' thank you or not letting the big cats eat the humans'< said 1ike" :.slide i you %ouldn(t mind sorting them out Burly # &(ll be %ith you in a minute' &(ll !ust get some cake" 6h' and also &($e got some crispy ried ear%igs in the cupboard # & made them this morning !ust in case Grum dropped by"""< /e turned to go to his home" :Cor blimey.hat are you going to do about those t%o9< asked *a odil crunching ear%igs -she %ould ne$er ha$e admitted it' but they %ere !ust as good as those she made." :=ou can(t let them go and tell e$eryone about the ruins in the orest i they(re going to bring lots o humans in # you mark my %ords' they(ll co$er the orest in stone and %e(ll lose our home"< :& agree'< said 1ike seriously" :But don(t %orry' in actual act they can(t e$en lea$e this clearing unless & let them # it(s all to do %ith energy and stu you kno%' but ob$iously & can(t keep them here ore$er"< *a odil looked ner$ously around" *espite the act night had allen' there %as a so t golden light in the air that sent a shi$er do%n her spine" Grum grinned %idely' :=ou okay mum9< he asked cheekily" *a odil glared at him" Burly %iped a e% cake crumbs rom his mouth" :Can you help them orget about the secret city o the 6ld 6nes9< he asked" :=es' yes & can'< said 1ike' : that(s easy' but &(d pre er to try and let them see %hat a %onder ul place the orest is and ho% much more %orth%hile it %ould be keeping it as it is" Tyre9< Tyre stopped short o licking the plate and looked across at 1ike" :/o% %ould you like to stay %ith me or a %hile Tyre9< asked 1ike" :& ha$e lots o animals here that need looking a ter' you could help me"< Tyre(s !a% dropped open" :)tay %i$ you9 CEre9 *(you mean it9< he looked around in %onderment" :=es'< said 1ike' :stay here %ith me"< .

ell' that(s one sorted # %hat do %e do about the Captain do you think9< Burly rubbed his hind4uarter as he remembered the dart" :*e initely more di icult'< he commented' :he(s got a bad heart that one"< :& think %e should put him in a +oo'< said 1a5' :gi$e him a taste o his o%n medicine"< Captain @uentin Tee(s mind %as %orking uriously" The odd group in ront o him %ere talking about him but he could only understand 1a5 and Tyre # e$eryone and e$erything else sounded like a series o s4ua%ks and grunts" /e had to get out o here # this %as a story o a li etime' he(d sell it to the ne%spapers or millions' he(d capture the green creatures and sell them to +oos and scientists" /is eyes darted greedily to and ro as he thought o all the money he could make" 1ike looked at him sadly" :/e(s going to take a lot longer to sort out'< he commented" :/e has a ine understanding o %ild creatures # that(s %hat makes him a good hunter' but he seems to ha$e lost his %ay" &(d like to see i & can change the %ay he thinks and keep him here in the orest or a %hile # he %on(t be able to lea$e or hurt any o the animals and maybe in time he(ll come to appreciate the orest or %hat it is"< *a odil olded her arms and ga$e a loud harrumph" .:1y mum al%ays said a miracle %ould Cappen' yeah &(ll stay Cere please and Celp the animals"< Tears sprang to his eyes again and he %iped his nose %ith his slee$e" :Good' good'< said 1ike smiling" :/ere' ha$e a tissue Tyre" .e(ll go %ith them' %on(t %e Gripe9< declared Grimly' :don(t %orry mum"< Gripe let out a lo% groan but nodded yes" *a odil raised her eyebro%s and looked 4uestioningly at Burly" &t(s impossible or a bear to look in$isible' especially %hen they(re sitting at a table eating cake and Burly kne% he %as beaten" :6h okay' & suppose you didn(t get to see much o it today and & did say you could go back'< he inally .< he shouted o$er his shoulder as he crashed through the undergro%th" The groblin brothers pushed back their chairs ready to gi$e chase but 1ike held up his hand" :*on(t %orry' & promise you he %on(t be able to lea$e the orest" .ithout a %ord o %arning the Captain broke into a run and disappeared into the depths o the orest" :=ou(ll ne$er get me.ell' not until &(m sure he(s ready to lea$e"< :.hat about them cats9< asked Tyre an5iously' :they seemed pretty peckish and he ain(t got no gun"< :/e(ll be ine'< replied 1ike' :& %on(t let anything bad happen to him & promise"< *a odil ga$e another loud harrumph %hich %as then ollo%ed by a long silence" :Can %e go back to the )ecret City tomorro% Burly9< asked 1a5" :& don(t think & can take any more e5citement'< replied Burly' reaching or another cake" :&(ll look a ter him'< said Grum" :6h no you %on(t young groblin'< said *a odil irmly" :.

.< shouted Burly and *a odil together" Grum and 1a5 looked taken aback but then started to laugh" :6kay'< agreed 1a5' :no tunnels"""< :"""this time'< added Grum be ore s%i tly changing the sub!ect" :/ey' can %e go on your slide 1ike9< :*oes look like un'< said Grimly" :=ou($e got to try coming do%n head ir st'< said 1a5" :Go on'< said 1ike' :you($e all had a tough day today' you may as %ell en!oy yoursel$es" *a odil' some more crunchy ear%igs9< :*on(t mind i & do'< replied *a odil" :Burly9 Cake9< :Thanks 1ike' it(s turned out to be a great e$ening' thank you"< :1y pleasure'< said 1ike' :my pleasure"< :6h'< said Tyre' :shall & make another pot o tea9< :=es please'< said 1ike' :that %ould be nice"< And so they sat back in their chairs in the golden glo% o light and %atched as the groblins and 1a5 ran around and laughed and slid do%n the slide" :/old on.replied' :but no running o and getting into trouble"< :Cool'< grinned 1a5' :that(s really cool' thanks Burly"< /e turned and ga$e Grum a high i$e" :&(ll sho% you the tunnels that run under the city' they(re un'< said Grum" :76. Thank you so much or reading this story about Burly and Grum and & do hope you en!oyed it -& kno% & en!oyed %riting it.< Burly and 1ike laughed out loud and the e$ening %as per ect" THE END 2)D Aor those o you %ho are %orried about the boar locked in the $an' 1ike did o course' set him ree and he trotted sa ely home to his amily." & you %ould like to kno% more .< Grum(s $oice suddenly cut through the air' :no one told me there %ere steps at the back.

Kate .burlyandgrum.com" Thank you.about Burly and Grum' you can $isit their %ebsite at http://www.

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