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Toppknott the Gnome put his wheelbarrow to the ground and said to his friend Kindling, “Caught anything?”

“No, there’s nothing moving in these waters. Few seasons ago, I saw a couple of jumpy froggers, but since then, it’s been nothing but waterlogged crisp packets and silt.”

“Can’t live off silt.”

“Can’t live off crisps, neither.” And with that, the pair of them stared at the grey murk of the little pond that Kindling was dangling his rod in. Just then, as if by normal, a smiling Magic gopher appeared to them from underneath the mossy grass.

“Good hello my gnomic friends, I am a Magic Gopher! How are you both on this fine and glorious bog?”

The two gnomes were astounded and confused.

“Fine, thanks be.” said Kindling, “But gophers don’t live in these parts, though. I reckon they’re from the lands from across the Coldlantic.”

“Ah well,” said the slightly less happy Magic Gopher, “I am a Magic Gopher and…”

“That’s true” said Toppknott to Kindling, interrupting the Magic Gopher’s rather grandstanding speech, “Our furry burrowers are mainly blindmoles, maybe some meeses or Shroes. Praps a spinyhog or two. Gophers aren’t seen in these parts ever. I’d say that there’s litt lorno gap in the biological marketplace for gophers.”

“I AM A MAGIC GOPH…!” said the almost (well entirely) irritated Magic Gopher.

“Aye tistrue, that Topknott. I’d say that as an invasive species, gophers would just be fixings for foxxys pretty soon. I think that they’d need the softer sandier soil of them prairies to be able to digs out their burrows, and they find it reet rough goings in this denser, chalkier soil we’s got here. They’d only get a few farthits down before they’d get plum tuckered out and a foxxy or a adding viper would have an easy meal. No, Gophers’d find it titty tough round these parts.”

“LISTEN TO ME YOU FOOLISH LITTLE GNOMES!” Shouted the now exasperated Magic Gopher.

“I am a Magic Gopher, so the issues of invasive species, competitive species, soil types and predating apex hunting species are pretty much irrelevant to me. Because of my supernatural powers, I am capable of feats way beyond any normal gopher. Or groundhog. Or chipmunk, possum, pine martin, vole, meerkat, hydrax, tenrec or stoat. I can dispense magic, my petty little friends with your silly party hats, magic! Magic, which is the major surprising feature of my appearance, not the abnormal phenomena of flora and fauna or environmental concerns!. Magic! Magic! Magic! Watch this you stripy shirted little poxants!”

And the Magic Gopher pointed its little paws at the murky water that Kindling was dangling his rod in, and it suddenly turned into a large and fast flowing blue stream, teaming with silvery fish of all kind, tench and perch and carp and trout and salmon and rock eels. All of which eager to take the bait of Kindling’s fishing rod.

“Wow!” said Kindling.

“And watch this!” Said the Magic Gopher and pointed his little paws at Topknott’s wheelbarrow, which suddenly filled with solds and gilvers and shining sabbies and sparkling rubires and gleaming gemeralds of all sorts and colours.

“Blimey!” Said Topknott.

“Magic, you see?” Said the Magic Gopher.

The two gnomes thanked the Magic Gopher over and over again. They could now just pull delicious fish out of the stream whenever they wanted, and had all the riches they could ever need. They had an easy life ahead of them and thanked the Magic Gopher again before he left them to surprise more of the forest folk that needed a bit of Magic Gopher in their lives.

“We can’t thank you enough, Magic Gopher!” said Toppknott.

“Thank you ever so much!” said Kindling.

“You are welcome my Gnomy friends. I am sorry I became short with you, I’m just not used to such literate and educated forest folk. This is why I have given you all you will need for all of your lives.” said the Magic Gopher,

“Just one more thing,” Said Kindling, a bit like Columbo (which being forest folk and Magical Gophers, none of our characters had ever seen before, so it is unlikely that they were trying to make that impression) “You do know that Rock eel is an incorrect name for a type of dogfish which are marine creatures, and as such would never be able to survive in a freshwater environment such as this?”

“Yes, and you’ve filled my wheelbarrow with spoonerisms, which, despite their obvious visual attractiveness, are not likely to be recognised as a commodity with any kind of tradable or sellable value at current market prices?”

“Fine, fuck the pair of you .” said the Magic Gopher and turned them both into stone.

 

 

 

This is how the intolerably petty and spectacularly ungrateful gnome folk were turned into stone garden ornaments for you pleasure/irritation. Sometimes, on cloudless nights, when the wind is at the right pitch, you can still hear them occasionally…

“Wind is at a pitch? Wind is the movement of air, whilst pitch is the vibration of an object causing soundwaves. The wind isn’t at a pitch, it’s maybe at a speed, and may cause something else to vibrate at a certain pitch, but the wind itself is pretty much silent. I can understand trying to keep within a certain tonal wordplay environment, but, factually, ….(etc., etc.)”

When this happens, just remember, you don’t need a Magic Gopher, just a weighty sledgehammer. Or even a hefty throw. Or maybe a dense bit of rock. Your choice dear reader, your choice.

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