- Written by Charlietheowl
Boober strolled into Wembley's room, making his way down the stairs to the bed where Wembley was resting. It was normally Gobo's bed, but since Wembley had been suffering from an upset stomach, they agreed to switch places. This made it easier for Boober and the rest of Wembley's friends to care for him. It was hard to feed someone while standing on the top rung of a ladder.
Boober put his doctor's bag and picnic basket down on the floor, while giving Wembley a cautious gaze.
"Looks like your voice is getting a little stronger."
"Yeah, I think so. I'm not as tired as I was yesterday, so everything's a little stronger. I'll be better in no time!"
"Well, maybe. I still need to check you over, all right? Food poisoning can be stubborn."
Boober and Mokey had gone to the lilac caverns the other day on an expedition for soap, ink, and some sightseeing, leaving Wembley on his own when it came to dinner. Trying to make a radish pie, something went terribly wrong, leaving him tummy-aching and feverish after a couple bites. Luckily Gobo was able to keep him cool with a moss pack until Boober and Mokey got back, at which point Doctor Boober jumped into service.
Boober stood in front of Wembley, sizing him up like a giant Doozer tower before making his first move, leaning in very close to Wembley's eyes.
"Hmm…eyes look good. Pupils are correct size. Now open your mouth and say 'squeet'."
Boober peered down Wembley's throat.
"Everything looks good there. Tongue doesn't seem dried out. Do you know what happens to you when your tongue is dry?"
"Noaaaa," said Wembley, still holding his mouth open.
"You don't want to know," said Boober as he shook his head. "All I'll say is that it's a bad sign. Oh, you can close your mouth now."
Wembley let out a breath, closed his mouth, and gingerly felt the outside of it.
"Now let's check those glands." Boober began touching the underside of Wembley's snout and neck, while Wembley tried to not ask too many questions.
"Glands seem fine, not swollen. Now let's check that nose." Boober gently tapped the end of Wembley's nose, and then appeared to be listening for something only he could hear.
"What did you boop my nose like that for? Can I boop yours now?"
"Wembley, no time for games right now! I had to make sure your nose is still strong enough for a sneeze. I think you're fine now."
"Phew. It will be bonckleberry season soon!"
"Don't even get me started on allergies! Hopefully it won't be a bad season this year. Now let's check out those arms."
Wembley stretched his arms out in front of him while Boober checked for muscle tone, not that Wembley ever really had any.
"Your arms are skinny, but that's how they've always been."
"Maybe I better eat more vegetables then."
"You do eat a lot of sugary foods, and we all know what those will do to your body. You don't want to get all squishy."
"Like you?" Wembley poked Boober in the tummy and giggled. "Sorry!"
Boober sighed. "Very funny. Now lift up that shirt."
"I need to make sure your fur is still lustrous and firm."
And indeed it was. Boober then placed his ear to Wembley's heart, then his stomach, as if listening to a small child in there.
"Take a deep breath for me. In…..out. In……out. Good. Stomach sounds fine."
"Good. Now can I have my drink? I'm getting thirsty."
"Almost done. Have to check out your reflexes now. You can't lose those, what with all the creepies and crawlies around here. Slide your legs off the bed."
Boober took a small wooden hammer out of his doctor's bag, and tapped Wembley's knees, taking great care to not get smacked by his feet as they leapt up.
"Good reflexes, and your toes appear to still be working and wiggling."
"Now can I eat? I haven't had anything to eat all day. That means I'm getting better, right, that I want to eat something?"
"Yes, it does, but I need to check one more thing. Roll over."
"I need to see that baloobius. That's one of the most important parts of a Fraggle."
Wembley rolled over and Boober held his tail gingerly before giving the baloobius a small flick with a finger. The hair fringed out and Boober nodded his head in approval.
"All set, Wembley."
He quickly rolled over and sat up, eager for his lunch.
"So can I eat now?"
"Let me just compare your signs with how you were this morning."
Boober pulled a small book out of his doctor's bag and began making markings, while Wembley practically salivated at the sight of the closed picnic basket. He hadn't wanted to eat very much with his stomach bothering him so badly earlier, and now that it was finally better it seemed to want to make up for not eating over the past few days. After what seemed like a small eternity, Boober closed his book.
"Seems like you are well on your way to getting better. Your signs look good and it appears that you have not developed bacterial sufferosis, walking pneumonia, or the pebble pox. I'd say you should be all better by tomorrow."
"Oh goody! Now can I eat?"
"Sure! I made this extra special for you." Boober bent down and pulled out a small covered bowl from his picnic basket.
Wembley grabbed it from his hand in a snap. "Oh boy! You have no idea how hungry I am! I didn't want to eat for the past couple days, and now I do, and let me tell you, my tummy's ready for something tasty! Now….what's this?" Wembley lifted up a leaf of lettuce with a look of confusion on his face.
"Well, your stomach still can't handle anything too heavy, so I thought a salad would be best."
"But…where's the dressing? And the crumbled Doozer sticks? And the cheese? All I see are vegetables."
"You can't have anything too flavorful yet, something too spicy or sweet might upset your tummy."
"Oh. All right." Wembley sighed and lifted a forkful of salad into his mouth. He was hungry, after all.
"And I have a cup of moss rind tea if you're thirsty." He pulled out a cup with a tightly fitted lid on it. "This way you can drink it in bed and not worry about your sheets."
"You think of everything!"
Boober then sat down on the foot of the bed as Wembley ate, just sitting silently for a minute.
"Is there anything else you need? Another pillow? Some laundry to be done?"
Wembley swallowed and looked up from his bowl. "Could you tell me a story?"
Boober looked surprised. "A story?"
"Well, I don't have much to do staying in bed, and Mokey let me borrow one of her poetry books, and I finished that, and I've already looked at Gobo's postcard book twice, so I thought maybe you knew a good story to tell."
"Wembley, I'm not very good at that kind of thing. I-I don't really know any fun stories. Maybe you better wait for when Mokey stops by later."
"Please, Boober? Please?"
Wembley looked at Boober with such a bashful and cute face that Boober couldn't find it in him to protest anymore.
"Well, okay, but you know I'm not the best at storytelling."
"You'll do fine!"
Boober shuffled around in his seat awkwardly for a few seconds, adjusting his scarf and hat, clearing his throat, seemingly doing anything until he needed to start talking.
"Well, um, there was once this, uh, Fraggle. Yes, this Fraggle, and he-"
"What color was he?"
"Um, he was green, and-"
"Yes, like you." Boober smiled. "And this Fraggle, he, uh, went on a walk one day after he finished his work, because he wanted to, hmmm… exercise. Yes, exercise, because he knew it was important to exercise. And so this Fraggle went on his walk- but not before packing his pack first, because you never know what could happen out on a walk."
"Always bring water! I learned that when I went to Gobo's explorers' school."
"Yes, water's important. So he got his water and a first aid kit and some washcloths and a bag for food, because he knew that along this path were some crescentberries, and they make a great filling for pie."
"Mmm!" Wembley was clearly still a bit hungry.
"So, um, he took his pack and left for his walk. And as he was walking, he noticed all the plants on his way around. Some of them were very poisonous and bad for Fraggles. Like the moonleaf plant, which can cause a rash if you touch it. And the crazenberry plant, which can cause headaches, and the poison spotted fern, which can make it hard to breathe, and the-"
"Gosh! This Fraggle sure knows his plants!"
"Well, any Fraggle who goes walking out alone should know their plants, or at the very least carry a plant guide along with them to make sure they don't get themselves sick. It's very important to be prepared."
"Now, um, back to the story." Boober was beginning to feel a little bit more confident in himself and his story. "So the green Fraggle finally got to the crescentberry plant, and all the berries were bright blue and ready to pick, very ripe and beautiful. It was going to make an excellent pie filling. So he took off his pack, and took out his water and washcloths, and started to pick the berries, taking great care to rinse and dry the berries before packing them away. You never know what kind of germs might be on those berries!" Boober gave what appeared to be an involuntary shudder.
"Germs sure are bad when they are on food. I'm glad this Fraggle is so smart."
Boober smiled before continuing on. "And, uh, this Fraggle had picked and cleaned off all the berries he needed for a good pie. He was so happy that he had all this good food. Boy, were his friends going to be happy. Before he went back to cook, he wanted to take a little rest, and nearby there was a little mossy patch that he could lie on. So he took his pack over there and emptied it out to make a little pillow, and then he laid down to take a nap. The moss was so soft and he fell asleep really quick.
But right before he fell asleep, he saw something out of the bottom of his eye-"
"I'll get there, Wembley. Now he saw something out of the bottom of his eye, and as much as he wanted to fall asleep and take a nap, he decided to investigate. Close to the mossy patch, there was a little bush that seemed to have something shiny in the middle of all its branches."
"Ooh!" Wembley pulled on his blankets in excitement.
"So he walked up to the bush, which luckily didn't have any thorns on the leaves or any skin-irritating parts, and he pushed the branches and he saw, in the middle of the bush, hidden by all the branches, was-"
"I'll get there, Wembley!" Boober tried not to seem exasperated.
"Inside the bush, hidden away in the branches, was a pile of shiny, beautiful gems. All possible colors and sizes! Everything was there! Red, green, yellow, purple, blue, everything! He was stunned by the sight."
Wembley's eyes lit up at the thought of all those gems. "Wow!"
"Now this Fraggle was a smart Fraggle, and he knew that those gems had been lying there for a long time, so he ran back to the mossy patch, grabbed a cloth and came back down there. It was important to wipe off the gems, because there could have been some germs on them, not to mention lots of dust. So he polished off the gems, taking care to pick up each one.
After a long time, he had cleaned all the gems, and they shined even more than before!"
Boober was on a roll now with his storytelling, and Wembley was giving him a rapt audience.
"All the gems would make great presents for his friends! So he looked at the pile before him and decided to take the best back for his friends. He started looking through, trying to pick out the best ones, but it proved to be real hard. They were all just so beautiful!
So he thought that he would take the favorite colors of all his friends, because that made choosing easier. Still, as he got out the blue ones, and the red ones, and the orange ones, and the purple ones, there were still way too many!
He began to feel a little anxious about all the gems and what he was going to do about it. So he decided that he would just take a bunch of gems back in his bag to show his friends, and then they could come back later and get the rest."
"Gosh, that sounds a lot like me, having all that trouble making decisions."
Boober gave a small smile to Wembley and continued on.
"So he ran up to the hill and went to pick up his bag, but stopped before he ran back down. He stared at the berries sitting in their bag. If he took back the gems, then there would be no room for his berries! And they were some beautiful and ripe berries, which would definitely make a beautiful pie. And how did his friends love pie!
So he stood there, thinking and worrying. What was he going to do? Either he could make a great pie for his friends or he could bring back some of the gems. But there were so many problems with the gems, how many to bring, which colors, who to give them to. Just so much to think about, and it seemed too hard."
Wembley's face turned into a frown, as he clearly empathized with the situation by the unnamed green Fraggle.
"In the end, it all came down into what was more important: the gems or the berries. A simple gift to give to a friend or a set of berries to bake into a pie. Which would his friends like more? Which would be more fun?
Once he thought about it that way, the answer became clear to him. He packed up the berries back in his bag, put the cloths away and began walking back home. Sure, the gems were nice and pretty looking, but nothing was better than a good pie! His friends could help him make the pie, and they would always get to share in enjoying it, and plus there might always be leftovers. The gems might last longer, but they wouldn't be as fun.
Maybe he could come back tomorrow to get the gems, or maybe another Fraggle could find them soon. But the pie couldn't wait any longer. the oven had to be pre-heated after all!"
Wembley smiled and clapped his hands once he realized the story ended.
"Yay! What a nice story! I loved the ending! Pie is always so tasty."
Boober smiled too.
"Thank you. Pie is pretty tasty. Maybe once your tummy gets better I'll make you a crescent berry pie."
"Oh! My stomach's all the way better now. Definitely, for sure! Yeah. Maybe we can start the pie now!"
"I don't think so, Wembley. Better wait until tomorrow."