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A Heart of Gold

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by TogetherAgain, Dec 19, 2006.

  1. TogetherAgain

    TogetherAgain Well-Known Member

    Chapter Seventy-Seven

    As the gaggle of Muppets marched towards Robin’s school, flanked on all sides by every monster associated with them, Miss Piggy was hard at work on her cell phone, using every contact she had to alert the media. She didn’t bother trying to be classy about it. “No, you twerp, of course Robin isn’t giving any interviews! None of us are giving any interviews to anyone until we are absolutely certain that we’ve done everything we can to fix what they’ve done to him!” She hung up and growled.

    No one else spoke as they walked, but even when Miss Piggy was done making calls, it didn’t feel quiet. They were too angry for that. And when they reached the school and saw what was waiting for them there, their anger only mounted.

    It was a small protest—a dozen people, at most—but they were right next to the school playground, kept away only by the chain-link fence. They were shouting to see Robin, and their picket signs had horrible phrases like, “Robin, would your uncle kill YOU?” The police had arrived, and a handful of officers was herding the group away from the fence, but they couldn’t make any arrests. Technically, no laws had been broken.

    “Freedom of speech, at its finest,” Clifford spat.

    Miss Piggy put one silk-gloved hand on her waist. “I think those officers need a teensy bit of help convincing those people to leave,” she said sweetly, and she turned to the monsters. “Boys?”

    With more than a few smug chuckles among them, the monsters were more than happy to join the police officers and stand with their backs to the fence, giving the protesters plenty of dirty looks.

    Fozzie was trying to hide behind his tie to avoid reading the picket signs. “Let’s go get Robin,” he said, and the remaining Muppets went inside. Sweetums was the only monster who joined them.

    The building was eerily quiet. They went into the front office, where two very tense women were sitting behind the desk. Upon seeing the Muppets, they both jumped to their feet. “Charlotte, go get him,” the older woman ordered, and the younger woman bolted through a back door. “Oh, thank heavens you’re here. We’ve been keeping him in the principal’s office so no one would see him if they tried to come in,” the first woman explained.

    “He’s not alone there, is he?” Fozzie demanded.

    “Oh, no, of course not!” the woman said. “His teacher, Ms. Stewart, hasn’t let him out of her sight. The poor thing! He’s so brave, you know. He hasn’t cried at all.” She wrung her hands together. “He may be the only one in the school who hasn’t,” she confessed. “It started during recess, you know. We brought everyone inside right away, and they’re in an assembly now…” She bit her lips and shook her head. “It’s just awful.”

    The back door opened, and the younger woman re-appeared. Behind her, a woman with puffy red eyes and her blonde hair tied back in a ponytail was carrying Robin in her arms. That was technically against school policy, but no one was about to say anything about that. She set Robin down, and he immediately ran to the Muppets and flung himself into whichever arms caught him first—which happened to be Scooter’s, although all of them were reaching for the little frog. Miss Piggy wrapped her arms around both of them, and Fozzie still managed to find enough room to put his hand on Robin’s cheek. They all crowded together in a tight group hug.

    Safely wrapped up in the center of the group, Robin clung to Scooter’s jacket and cried.

    No one tried to hush him. No one told him it was alright. It would have been a lie.

    “I’m Ms. Stewart, Robin’s teacher,” said the woman who had carried the little frog in, not expecting anyone to answer her or to really listen. “The police have agreed to guard the school yard for the rest of the year. Just as a precaution. There’s only three weeks left.”

    “We still might not send him to school on Wednesday,” Rowlf rumbled without looking up from the all-important group hug.

    Ms. Stewart nodded quickly. “That would be fine,” she said. “Would it—could I call, later tonight, to check on him? Would that be alright?”

    “Sure,” Rowlf said. “But we’ve been screening our calls lately, so don’t be offended if it goes to the machine.”

    “That’s fine.” Ms. Stewart wrapped her arms around herself.

    Robin sniffled and wiped his eyes, but the tears kept coming. “I wanna go home,” he whimpered.

    Scooter nodded. “That’s where we’re going,” he said quietly.

    “We’re here now, Robin. We’ve got you,” Miss Piggy murmured.

    “He does need to be signed out, before you can go,” Ms. Stewart said quietly, and Clifford reluctantly detached himself from the group to fill out a single line on a clipboard. With that done, they shuffled out of the office.

    Before they left the building, Sweetums bent down. “C’mere, Little Buddy,” he said, and he scooped up both Scooter and Robin to cradle them protectively against his chest. The rest of the Muppets gathered around him, so that he was at the center of the crowd. Between the arms of the go-fer and the huge monster, Robin was scarcely visible at all, and certainly couldn’t be reached by any outsiders.

    Together, they marched out of the school, where the rest of the monsters circled them once more before they went home to the Muppet Boarding House.

    Floyd and Animal were waiting on the front porch, and even Floyd’s white-knuckle grip on the chain couldn’t hold Animal back when the other Muppets came in the yard. “SMALL FROG! SMALL FROG!” he shouted, charging forward.

    The Muppets made a path for him, mostly to avoid getting trampled, and Sweetums knelt down so the drummer could see the little frog still tucked in Scooter’s arms.

    “SMALL FROG!” Animal declared as he came to a stop and stared intently at Robin. “Small Frog?”

    Robin peered up at him. “Hi Animal,” he said quietly.

    Animal tilted his head to one side. “Small Frog okay?” he asked, his voice full of concern.

    Rather than answering directly, Robin reached up and gave the drummer a hug. Animal gently cuddled him and settled him back in Scooter’s arms to be carried inside.

    They spent the rest of the day on the phone with the swamp. Robin was held and cuddled and given all the chocolate and milkshakes and cookies a five-year-old could want while he talked and listened to his family—both of his families.

    But the one family member he wanted to talk to most was the one he couldn’t reach at all.

    “Can I write a letter to Uncle Kermit?” he asked softly in a rare pause between phone calls.

    The Muppets looked at each other nervously, trying to communicate a thousand thoughts with silent glances. Miss Piggy put her hand on his back. “Of course, Robin,” she said. “But… but maybe… it would be best if… if you didn’t tell him what happened today.”

    “No. That isn’t right,” Rowlf said. “Let him talk to his uncle about this. He needs to, Piggy. You know that.”

    “Of course I know that!” Miss Piggy pulled Robin tight against her. “But I also know that if anything happened to Robin right now, Kermie would blame himself for not being here. Do you know what it would do to him if he knew what those people are doing—and doing to Robin—because of Kermit’s choices?” She let the fire go out of her eyes and her voice as she turned to the little frog, gently cupping his cheek in her hand. “Robin—do—do you understand what I’m saying?” she asked shakily.

    Robin nodded. “Uncle Kermit would be upset,” he said sadly. “And he would stop doing what he’s doing, which is important.”

    Miss Piggy nodded. “That’s right,” she said softly.

    Tears sprouted out of his eyes again. “I want him to come home, Aunt Piggy!” he said, pressing himself into her arms and hugging her with all his might, which was a great deal more than she expected. “I want it to be over! I want my uncle back!”

    “I know, Robin… We all do,” Miss Piggy whimpered, and she cried with him as she rocked him back and forth.

    That night, the Muppets all slept together in one big pile in the living room, with Robin safely nestled in the middle of everyone. And when they woke up with stiff backs from sleeping on the floor, nobody complained. The idea of going to their own bedrooms hadn’t even crossed their minds.

    The next day was Tuesday, and since Robin’s school only met three days a week now, he had the day off. He spent most of the day halfway up the steps on his new playground, sometimes just sitting, sometimes coloring, and sometimes very carefully working on a letter to Uncle Kermit. He was much quieter than he usually was between school days, not that anyone really had to wonder why. They offered to play all sorts of games with him, and to play with him on his playground, and to spoil him in just about any other way they could think of. He accepted most of the sweets they offered—he did stop before he got a tummy ache—but he had no interest in running or playing.

    So the Muppets were very surprised that evening when he got his backpack together and set it by the front door, ready for the next day of school.

    “Robin…” Fozzie took his hat off. “You don’t have to go to school tomorrow, if you don’t want to,” he said.

    “Yeah, we don’t know if—” Gonzo hesitated. “If those people will still be there or not.”

    But Robin stood up as straight and tall as he could. “I’m going to school,” he said firmly. “I don’t like those people. But they’re not gonna stop my Uncle Kermit, and they’re not gonna stop me!” He stared at all of the Muppets with his fists clenched, waiting for them to argue. For a moment, no one said anything.

    And then someone started clapping, and several others joined in. Miss Piggy laughed—not a mean laugh, but a happy laugh—and she scooped Robin up and kissed his cheek, which made him squirm. “That’s very brave of you, Robin!” she said. “I’m so proud of vous! And Kermie would be so proud of you, too!”

    “We’re all proud of you!” Scooter declared.

    “Yeah, c’mon everybody, three cheers for Robin!” Rowlf said. “Hip hip—”

    “HOORAY!”

    “Hip hip—”

    “HOORAY!”

    “Hip hip—”

    “HOORAY!”

    “HIP HIP HOORAY!” Animal belatedly shouted.

    Robin beamed as Fozzie scooped him out of Miss Piggy’s arms and into his own. “But if you change your mind, that’s okay, too,” the bear said. “Even if you’re already at school. You can still come home.”

    “I won’t come home,” Robin declared. “Not until I’m supposed to!”

    And so it was that Robin marched to the bus stop the next morning with his head held high—escorted, of course, by eight other Muppets. He climbed on the bus without a second thought and even grinned at the other Muppets and waved goodbye as the bus pulled away.

    But his bravery had waned some by the time they reached the school. He gave the fence around the yard a long, hesitant look when he got off the bus, but the only people there right now were some police officers. So he went inside.

    For a few hours, everything was fine. He traced the alphabet a few times, and he sat with everyone else while Ms. Stewart read them a story, and then had a delightful time making a big mess with the glue and the glitter for an art project. He loved using glitter because it was messy, and because he was pretty sure it had something to do with the “razzle-dazzle” stuff they always talked about in the theater.

    But when he carefully carried his glittery creation to the window to dry before their first recess, Robin happened to look outside. There, beyond the playground, beyond the police officers… those people were back. He couldn’t hear them, even with the windows open, so they probably weren’t shouting this time… But just seeing them again, he didn’t feel very brave right now.

    “Clean up, everyone! We can’t have recess until everything is put away,” Ms. Stewart reminded them. Then she came and crouched down next to the little frog who was staring out the window. “Robin?” she said softly.

    Robin didn’t look at her. “Those people came back, Ms. Stewart,” he said.

    She glanced out the window, even though she had already seen what was there. “Yes, they did,” she said, and she took a deep breath. “Robin, I think it would be best if you stayed inside with me for recess today.”

    Now he did look at her. “For both recesses?” he asked. A second recess had been a necessary part of the longer school days.

    “We’ll see if they’re still here for the second recess,” Ms. Stewart said. “I’ll need you to line up with everyone else when it’s time to go to the playground… but don’t go outside, okay? Just stay right next to me.”

    Robin nodded. “Yes, Ms. Stewart,” he said.

    They were almost done cleaning up when Robin’s friend and fellow Frog Scout Andy hopped over to him. “Hey Robin! Wanna play on the monkey bars with me?” he asked.

    Robin shook his head. “I’m not going outside for recess,” he said.

    Andy frowned. “Why not?”

    Robin squirmed a little. He didn’t want to talk about the angry people, even with Andy. “Ms. Stewart said for me to stay inside,” he said.

    “How come?” Andy asked.

    Robin shrugged.

    “MS. STEWART?” Andy called out. “WHY CAN’T ROBIN GO OUTSIDE?”

    “Uh—inside voice, Andy,” Ms. Stewart said quickly.

    “Oh. Sorry,” Andy said. “Why can’t Robin go outside?”

    “Robin can’t go outside?” Charlie asked.

    “Why can’t Robin go outside?” Lila asked.

    “Robin, are you in trouble?” Tony called out.

    “Inside voices, Tony,” Ms. Stewart scolded.

    “Sorry.”

    “Why can’t he go outside, Ms. Stewart?” Andy asked again.

    Ms. Stewart took a deep breath. It wasn’t an easy issue to explain, but it didn’t look like she had much of a choice. “Calm down, everyone. Settle down,” she said, not entirely sure if she was addressing her students or herself. “Let’s all… Why don’t you all sit down on the rug with me,” she said, and she sat on her stool as if she were going to read them another book.

    The children quickly sat down on the rug, all peering up at her, silently demanding answers. Robin squirmed uneasily and finally sat down at the very edge of the rug, off to her side.

    Ms. Stewart folded her hands in her lap and took a deep breath. “Do all of you remember the people who were outside by the playground on Monday?” she asked.

    Two dozen students bobbed their heads.

    “Well, those people are here again,” Ms. Stewart said carefully. “They’re here because they’re angry at Robin’s uncle. But they can’t talk to Robin’s uncle about it, so instead, they’re being very mean to Robin.”

    “But that’s not FAIR!” someone in the back shouted out.

    For once, Ms. Stewart didn’t remind the offender to use an inside voice. “No, Gummo, it isn’t fair,” she agreed. “It isn’t fair, and it isn’t right… but there’s nothing that we can do to stop them. So instead, we’re keeping Robin in here, where they won’t say anything mean to him.”

    “So he can’t ever go outside, ever?” Kelsey asked.

    “He can go outside,” Ms. Stewart said. “But while… the angry people are here, it’s better if he stays inside, until it’s time to go home.”

    “But ROBIN didn’t do anything wrong!” Trevor protested.

    “No, he didn’t,” Ms. Stewart said, and she gave the frog in question a gentle, encouraging smile. “In fact, Robin is being very brave.”

    Robin hugged his knees a little tighter. Brave? Now, he was being brave? He didn’t feel brave.

    “But Robin shouldn’t have to stay inside!” Emily said. “That isn’t fair!”

    “Ms. Stewart?” Andy said, raising his hand like everyone had forgotten they were supposed to do. “If Robin has to stay inside, can I stay inside with him?”

    “Yes, Andy, if you want to,” Ms. Stewart said.

    “Can I stay inside, too?” Charlie asked.

    “And me, Ms. Stewart?” Trevor asked.

    “Yeah!” Emily said. “If Robin can’t go outside, then we can stay inside!”

    “Yeah, and then Robin doesn’t have to be all alone!” Raymond said.

    “Can we, Ms. Stewart? Can we all stay inside?” Sammy asked.

    “Calm down, everyone, quiet down,” Ms. Stewart said, raising her hands to quiet them. “Yes, anyone who wants to stay inside for recess is welcome to, but no one has to stay inside, alright? Anyone who wants to go outside can do that, too. Now, who does want to go outside?”

    She waited.

    Robin picked his head up. He started to smile a little.

    No one was raising their hand.

    “I want to stay with Robin,” Charlie said.

    “Me too,” Trevor said.

    Ms. Stewart let her hands settle back into her lap. “Alright,” she said softly as a smile traced its way across her lips. “Alright, then. We’ll all stay inside with Robin.” She beamed at her students, and the tears in her eyes had nothing to do with the headache she would surely earn herself by holding recess indoors.
    We Got Us likes this.
  2. theprawncracker

    theprawncracker Well-Known Member

    Brilliance. Utter brilliance. You've heard my full thoughts... but I just love it. What stands out most is Animal hugging Robin. So simple... but so, so good. Then the ending with everyone staying inside for recess... sheer perfection. Just adorable and wonderful and perfect. But the highlight of the entire thing... the climax, if you will, was Robin standing up proud and saying no one is going to stop him. Just breath-taking. More please.
    We Got Us likes this.
  3. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    A most wonderous chapter that certainly played with our emotions. The thing that got to me,almost tearing up, was when Robin reached up to give Animal a hug. Those two were close as the two youngest as part of the Muppet Babies, even moreso once the hoppity hopper was able to leave the confines of his fishbowl (or would that be a frogbowl?) Robin being hugged by Scooter and then both by Sweetums and then at the center of the Muppet pile... That's raw emotion, further echoed by his wanting to send his uncle a letter and the bravery in going to school the next day. Dunno what this says about me, but whenever there was a shutdown strike or semi-protest at my university, I'd call early in the morning to the security offices in order to find out if classes would be held that day. And when you're visually handicapped dependant upon making arrangements with your family members—who have schooling or other schedules of their own—for being chauffeured to and from school, that proves to be rather important information.

    *Loves how the other frogs showed a solid front of solidarity once they learned about Robin's situation. No, it's not fair that those people are picking on the young frog just because they can't challenge the elder frog. But hopefully what the main frog's doing will open their eyes to the other side of the argument and they'll learn something about themselves.

    Thanks for posting this Lisa. Have a great night. :batty:
    We Got Us likes this.
  4. We Got Us

    We Got Us Active Member

    Oh gosh........not sure what to say that hasn't already been said by Prawnie and the Count. This was so beautiful...I told my sister right before I read it. "Lisa posted another chapter on Heart of Gold, so don't be surprised if I start crying." I was kidding, but then you really made me tear up.
    This:
    Did it, I think. Such a hard thing to swallow, but they do it so beautifully. Oh...gosh. Kudos Lisa for being absolutely brilliant. Personally *I* am off to find a muffin for myself. I need one right now.

    I was almost so busy crying my eyes out and hugging everything in my blurry sight that vaguely resembled Robin >gasp<, I forgot to mention how wonderful your writing the relationship between him and Scooter. Love, just sssssoooo mmmuuuccchhh lllooovvveee......
  5. Muppetfan44

    Muppetfan44 Active Member

    This chapter was so dang heart-wrenching and just adorable- Loved the help from the Muppet monsters- Loved the part between Robin and Animal and absolutely loved how Robin still wanted to go to school and how all his classmates wanted to stay inside with him-definitely some very high quality writing- I would say it's definitely one of the best chapters of the whole story-Very well done!

    Anxiously awaiting to read more, as always!
  6. redBoobergurl

    redBoobergurl Well-Known Member

    Solidarity. A tough concept for some adults to even understand and these children just totally get it. SO unbelievably sweet the way they all chose to stay in with Robin. That is a beautiful scene. And like everyone else, I love the part with Animal. My heart melted right there.

    More please.
  7. bouncingbabyfig

    bouncingbabyfig Well-Known Member

    Ok, I am not cuahgt up with this one yet, I'm still on chapter 52! But I am curious and frightened of something which I am about to ask...*Deep breath* Is the child corpse real? I was afraid to look it up, but I'm afraid of what I'll find... Other than that, It's a beautiful fic! I also just finsihed Flippersteps in the Sand! Also good!
    >Awaits more story<
    We Got Us likes this.
  8. Aaron

    Aaron Active Member

    So wonderful!
  9. TogetherAgain

    TogetherAgain Well-Known Member

    No. It is NOT from real life. To the best of my knowledge, nobody is brainwashing five-year-old kids and handing them guns. The war in this story started in about the same place and the same way the war in real life started... but it went to a much different, darker, and more desperate place.

    Which is not to say that real life isn't plenty awful. What is real, which I have just learned, is that an American soldier serving in Iraq or Afghanistan is more likely to come home and commit suicide than they are to be killed while in service. So if you have any military personnel in your life... be supportive. As horrible as this fictional world I'm writing is, the real life problems are much harder to fix.
    bouncingbabyfig and We Got Us like this.
  10. We Got Us

    We Got Us Active Member

    And thank goodness it's not, although there have been horrible isolated instances I've read where children were involved in things like suicide bombings. I have two great-grandfathers who were in the service, one grandfather who was a pilot in Vietnam, and one who was in the coastguard. Luckily, they are well adjusted people, but the stories of their comrades don't always have such happy endings. War is just hard on everyone, but what people don't understand is that it's necessary, and the people involved in it aren't villains for protecting and fighting for the ones they love. I'll be done ranting now. This story conveys all of what I've just said in a humorous and bittersweet way, and we can't wait for more of it!
    bouncingbabyfig likes this.
  11. bouncingbabyfig

    bouncingbabyfig Well-Known Member

    Oh thank heavens! I was slightly angry and wanted to write a letter to government and tell them to stop the war. Actually that's still a pretty good idea... Anyhoo, I am loving the atory and how you capture the muppet's and soldiers emotions! It might be just me, but what I have seen in the eyes of men is quite terrifying. They have fone to ****(pardon my French) and come back alive physically, but it would appear that many have lost their humanity and sanity in the process.:( God Bless them. Reading this story, I find myself having new respect for the soldiers alive and past on, and for my country, my flag, and my freedom. Thank you, Lisa.:attitude:
    *Hands Lisa muffin* As for Wiggie, I might be able to scan the pictures and a recent photo of myself this friday, until then: Speak to me! I mis my wiggie pudding!:laugh:
    We Got Us likes this.
  12. TogetherAgain

    TogetherAgain Well-Known Member

    Chapter Seventy-Eight

    The nation was in an uproar.

    It was bad enough that gas prices were so astronomical that whole industries had collapsed and the entire American lifestyle was all but shattered. It was horrendous and horrifying that they were entangled in a seemingly endless war overseas where their soldiers were ordered to shoot at children. But the fact that their own citizens had gone so far as to antagonize a helpless, all-American child while he was at school, when he was too young to even understand what was happening in the world… That was beyond unacceptable. How could this go on?

    The nation was still divided, but what and where those divisions were was no longer clear. No one claimed that it was acceptable to hold a war protest outside of a school and direct it at a student with a loved one overseas, but there were subtle differences in the rhetoric surrounding this atrocity. “Attacking our children reduces these protesters to the same level as our enemies” meant something much different from “These protesters have sunk to the same level as the very thing they’re protesting.”

    Some political commentators felt the incident was proof that the country’s involvement in the war and the fuel crisis had clouded—if not destroyed—all sense of judgment and justice, and that was why this blasphemy had occurred; therefore, the best and quickest way to ensure the safety of innocent American children was to withdraw from the war immediately. Others insisted that America could not afford to be bullied by a handful of cowards who went so low as to threaten young students.

    While debate and discussion ensued, families across the country came forward to tell how they, too, had been antagonized or discriminated against because they had a parent, child, or spouse who had enlisted or been drafted.

    “This is criminal,” said one politician on the campaign trail—a senator whose chances of re-election were slim because he supported the war. “These families are already sacrificing so much so that their loved ones can serve our country and defend the basic civil liberties that every individual should have. We, as Americans, as citizens of this nation and this world, should be thanking our soldiers and their families! Remember when we were grateful to our troops? No matter what we feel about the war itself, our men and women in uniform and their families deserve our support!”

    As the first family to have come forward about the discrimination against military families, the Muppets were being hounded for interviews. Everyone particularly wanted to talk to Robin, and while the Muppets shielded him as best they could, his biological family was understandably concerned.

    “How is he holding up, with all the pressure? Is he alright?” Mom the Frog asked over the phone one day when Robin was at school.

    “He seems to be okay. We’re taking care of him,” Rowlf said.

    “He takes after his uncle,” Fozzie said fondly. “He wants to give an interview.”

    Mom laughed. “Oh, heavens to Betsy. Are you going to let him?”

    “We haven’t decided. We wanna talk to his parents about it, first,” Rowlf said.

    “Mm-hm, and then we have to decide who to give the interview to… and how many of us will be sitting next to him during it,” Miss Piggy said firmly.

    “And which of you will be sitting with him, I’m sure. I would guess most of you will want to,” Mom said.

    “Yup, probably,” Scooter said.

    “Well, I’m sure you’ll take care of him there… But I do think with all that’s been going on, he ought to have some time at home in the swamp, when school’s out for the year.”

    The Muppets hesitantly looked at each other for a moment.

    “Well… Yeah, that—that probably would be best for him…” Scooter said reluctantly.

    “The trouble is that vous might have a hard time convincing us to let Robin out of our sight, Mom,” Miss Piggy said gently.

    “Oh, well I never said anything about THAT,” Mom the Frog said. “You’re all invited to come, too, you know. Anyone who calls me Mom or Grandma is plenty welcome here.”

    Again, the Muppets were strangely quiet for a moment. “…So, anyone except for Rowlf?” Clifford said.

    Mom laughed. “Anyone who is SUPPOSED to call me Mom or Grandma, then!”

    “You do know that we can be really destructive, right?” Fozzie asked nervously. “We might not be good for the swamp…”

    “Oh, of course I know that, but you’re family. Just make sure Harry leaves his detonator at home, and I’m sure we’ll be fine.”

    They laughed, and Rowlf shook his head. “You’re a brave woman, Mrs. the Frog,” he said.

    “Rowlf, when you raise as many children as I have, you HAVE to be brave. Besides, all these frogs who have been calling you for months would like to meet you face to face. And if Robin comes for a visit, he’ll have a chance to see his Uncle Greg before—oh… fiddlesticks.”

    The Muppets straightened up. “Has Greg decided to enlist, after all?” Miss Piggy asked.

    Mom sighed. “He wanted to tell you himself. I wasn’t supposed to say anything. But, now that I’ve gone and opened my mouth, and you’ve already figured it out… Yes, Greg is going to enlist. He’s more physically fit than Noah, so he doesn’t think it will be an issue.”

    They sighed. “I don’t suppose he’s given any reasoning?” Rowlf asked.

    “Oh, yes. I’ll let him explain all that himself.” Mom let out a heavy sigh. “But, all that aside. Are all of you coming here for a visit after the school year, or do I have to brag about my cooking to convince you?”

    “I’ll help ya out here, Mrs. the Frog,” Rowlf said, and he turned to the other Muppets. “Her cooking’s delicious. Besides that, it’s edible. Any questions?”

    Fozzie addressed his question to the phone. “Do you have any recipes without insects?”

    Mom laughed. “Oh, plenty! And I know how to adjust the ones that do have insects, too. Now, how much more persuading do you need? Should I have Maggie call you, too? She’s got quite the talent at arm-twisting.”

    “We’d better just agree, guys,” Rowlf said. “Mrs. the Frog is just as stubborn as Kermit, and Maggie’s even worse.”

    “I’m just concerned about the safety of the swamp,” Scooter said. “But Mom, if you’re sure…”

    “Oh, I’m sure, Scooter!” Mom said. “And Rowlf is right on the nose about my persistence. Dad’s rubbed off on me over the years.”

    “Mom, do vous have any beds in the swamp?” Miss Piggy asked.

    Mom laughed. “We’ll figure something out,” she promised. “And it sounds like I’ll be seeing you in a couple weeks!”

    The Muppets knew there was no getting out of coming to the swamp at that point—and really, they didn’t want to get out of it. A visit to the swamp was, perhaps, exactly what the doctor ordered.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~​

    Betty Sue Rivers was glad the school year was almost over. Of course, that meant she would have to spend more time at home, trying to avoid her father… but she could spend more time with Craig, too, and maybe he would let her help with some of the fundraising he’d been doing. Unfortunately, all the talk about discrimination against military families wasn’t doing much to gain support for the war. As she ate her lunch, rather than looking over the notes for her next class, she kept a pencil in her hand and tried to think of some new ideas to raise funds for the war effort.

    “THERE you are, Betty Sue!” Stacey shoved her books and her lunch onto the table as she rushed forward, then halted all her momentum to glance over her shoulder and slowly sit down as gracefully as she could, just in case any boys were looking. “You will never believe what jest happened!” she said excitedly, brown eyes sparkling as she smoothed her chestnut hair against one shoulder.

    Betty Sue set her pencil down and sighed at her best friend. “Alright, what jest happened?”

    Stacey’s hands danced into the air and flattened themselves on the table. “Amber Jacobsen jest invited both of us to her party. Look! I got the invitations right here!” She flung open her algebra textbook and pulled out two pieces of paper. “See?”

    Betty Sue wasn’t impressed. “Stacey, she told us a month ago she was gonna invite us.”

    “That was before her parents said she could invite boys,” Stacey said, and she started unwrapping her lunch. “It’s only two weeks away, Betty Sue. That doesn’t give us much time. We’ve gotta figure out our hair, and get some new clothes, and I’ll see I can convince my sister to let us use some of her makeup and show us how to put it on.”

    “Jest because there’s gonna be boys there?” Betty Sue raised an eyebrow and bit into her sandwich.

    “Not jest any boys, Betty Sue! Amber says she’s invitin’ the whole track team. And Adam is gonna be there.”

    Betty Sue knit her brows together. “Who’s Adam?”

    Stacey sighed and rolled her eyes. “Adam Castle! The boy who can’t take his eyes offa you in science class!”

    “Oh, him.”

    Oh, him? Betty Sue, he is the cutest boy in the whole school!”

    Betty Sue nearly laughed. “Stacey, you think every boy is the cutest boy in school.”

    “That ain’t true,” Stacey argued.

    “Oh, yes it is. Last week, you couldn’t stop talkin’ ‘bout Tony What’s-his-face…”

    “Tony Abrams. And you still haven’t even looked at him, have you?”

    “The week before that, it was Michael Whoever…”

    “Michael Williams, and I never said he was cute. I said he was hot. There is a very big difference.”

    “I see,” Betty Sue said skeptically.

    “It’s true!” Stacey insisted, and she fanned herself with her hand. “That boy could melt a glacier,” she sighed.

    Betty Sue shook her head. “I can’t say I’ve noticed.”

    Stacey let out a frustrated huff. “I swear, Betty Sue, if I didn’t know better, I’d think you was either blind, you hadn’t reached puberty yet!” Then something occurred to her, and she leaned in close. “Or are ya jest not into men?” she whispered. “Is that it? Because you can tell me, Betty Sue. I wouldn’t judge ya fer that.”

    With quite a bit of difficulty, Betty Sue managed to keep a straight face. “Stacey Melissa Lee,” she said solemnly, “Have you never seen me watch absolutely anything that stars Ashton Kutcher?”

    Stacey thought about this, blinked, and then laughed. “Well, I dunno, Betty Sue. Have you ever remained conscious when Ashton Kutcher was on the screen?” she teased. “Alright, so you like Ashton Kutcher. Adam sorta looks like Ashton Kutcher…”

    “Who’s Adam?” Betty Sue asked, this time just to fluster her friend, which worked quite well. She laughed.

    “My point is, Betty Sue, we gotta figure out what to wear and how to do our hair for the party!” Stacey said. “I was thinkin’ ‘bout my red butterfly shirt, but I was already gonna wear that for the graduation dance. An’ besides, I don’t have a good necklace to go with it. I think we oughta go shopping, is what I think. Besides, none of your clothes bring out your eyes. You oughta wear somethin’ blue for the party. That’s good for your eyes. And then if we get some new clothes, we can get some nice jewelry to go with ‘em. I saw some earrings at the mall the other day that would be jest perfect with that new dress we was lookin’ at in the last issue of Seventeen.”

    Betty Sue had all but stopped listening. “Stacey, how can ya even think about buyin’ all that junk? Ya never wear any of it more than once, anyway.”

    Stacey blinked and stared at her friend. “It ain’t junk,” she said. “It’s called accessorizing, Betty Sue. It’s important!”

    “It’s a waste of money, is what it is,” Betty Sue said. “Did ya ever even think about givin’ that money to the troops? Nobody really needs all those accessories. And did ya think about how much fuel it takes to get the merchandise here?” She pulled her long braid off of her neck and let it hang over her shoulder. “If it weren’t for the war and the gas prices, then maybe we could afford to care about somethin’ as—as—trivial as jewelry. But it’s more important to help our soldiers. Ever think of that?”

    Stacey sat back and let her hands settle in her lap. Her friend’s speech and the fire behind it had quieted her considerably. “No, Betty Sue, I hadn’t thought of all that,” she said humbly. “Y’know I don’t pay much attention to all that political stuff… But I guess yer right. It couldn’t hurt to help the soldiers.”

    Betty Sue nodded and glanced at the half-forgotten invitations. She frowned at the date and time. “Shucks… I can’t go to that party, anyway, Stacey. Craig’s doin’ a fundraiser then.”

    Stacey looked surprised. “What’s that got to do with you?”

    Betty Sue gave her a pointed look. “I am goin’ to my brother’s fundraiser, that’s what,” she said firmly. Then she shook her head. “I’ll have to call Amber tonight and give her my regrets.”

    Stacey sighed and let her shoulders slump, dropping her chin into her hand. “You may have a point about payin’ more attention, Betty Sue, but I wish ya wouldn’t take life so seriously. We’re jest kids, really. We ain’t even in high school quite yet.”

    Betty Sue quietly packed up what was left of her lunch. She thought about all the beer her father kept in the house these days, and the trauma her brother tried to pretend he didn’t have. “Life is serious, Stacey,” she whispered. “We ain’t kids no more.”
    We Got Us likes this.
  13. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    That last line there, that's probably the one that packed the most wallop. Particularly because it's true.

    *<3 the Muppets talking to Mom about going back down to the swamp.
    :crazy: Leave behind my detonator? *Sadface.
    The bit about Mom having recipes without insects in them, heh, you've been reading up on Kermit's eating habits from other fic authors around these parts, that made me smile.
    *Wonders why :attitude: hasn't gone on the trail or pundentry shows himself.

    Thanks for another fun update.
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  14. TogetherAgain

    TogetherAgain Well-Known Member

    I haven't, actually... It'd be more accurate to say that I've come to the same conclusion as other fic authors around these parts, based largely on the famous Fly-Shoe Pie recipe in Before You Leap and the centipede and barley soup in Kermit's Swamp Years. I'm afraid I'm very much behind in my fanfic reading.
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  15. We Got Us

    We Got Us Active Member

    Yay Lisa! >hops up and down like a cheerleader< This was great, refreshing, and...hard. But I don't have to tell you things you already know. The Muppets are so amazingly tight-knit right now, it's the silver lining on the cloud of the stressfull situation their in:

    >huggles Scooter doll< :D

    I laughed. Not sure how to make that clearer. ;) I love your mom, Kermit. And Clifford and Rowlf, too.

    Aww fozzie. :flirt: Kinda sounds like my Grandmom giving me instruction for packing for a sleepover.

    Over the phone arm twisting?! :news: MAGGIE IS MY SISTER!! ;)

    And then we move on to the harder stuff. Betty-Sue and her friend talking about impressing boys VS. spending money on a worthy cause. Oh man, been there, done that, although never in those pressing circumstances. And I normally give in to temptation. As a matter of fact, I was at a sleepover last night when this kind of subject came up. We were talking about make-up shopping, and someone mention they were saving to help the persecuted church, and the conversation...became so different from then on. You don't even think about it as selfish until you realize how much you COULD be helping. And poor Betty-Sue has a brother who needs it. :sympathy: >huggles Betty-Sue<

    Great, (and about twenty-three other praise-filled adjectives) stuff Lisa. Can't wait for more!
  16. theprawncracker

    theprawncracker Well-Known Member

    Thats was funny when the muppets did that! lol good job! but how is kermit mom also everybodys mom? I didn't get that part tho... but good job! i like betty sue. She's my new fovarite muppet. hope she likes high school!! i didn't...

    More plz!!11!!!1
  17. TogetherAgain

    TogetherAgain Well-Known Member

    Danke sehr for the review, Wiggie! Also... I tried to contact you with MC's "Conversation" feature, but it seems you have that disabled. So if you could drop me a line... that would be most lovely.

    And, Prawnie... Who stole your keyboard? :p
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  18. Ozymandias

    Ozymandias Well-Known Member

    This is good. This is very, very good. I'm only up to Chapter 25 (reading this between classes and assignments), but I'm really enjoying what I've been reading so far. *thumbs up*
  19. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Stole his keyboard? More like who hacked his account?
    Seriously, the Prawn we all know knows about your fics Toga. He knows who the Muppets are, he knows who Mom the Frog is, and he already knows who Betty Sue is from when you introduced her waaaaaaaaay back in Ch38 or so.

    To figure this out, we need an explanation. We need answers. Why, we need a detective!
    :search:!
    We Got Us likes this.
  20. We Got Us

    We Got Us Active Member

    Sorry, I did disable it when I first started here because my Dad is pretty nervous about online chat sessions. Anyway, it's off now, and I'm too much of a goober to figure out how to start one, SO...when your back on, try again please? :D I'd love to talk to my mentor. ;)


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