TOBIAS BILGE and the GREAT MOVE WEST A VERY SILLY TALE
Tobias Bilge, a stout and ugly man from the small Protersian town of Grail's Wharf, was having a particularly horrible life.
"I can't believe this!" Tobias cried. "I've nothing. Nothing at all anymore. Not a thing left in the whole world!"
Oliver Sundry happened to walk through Tobias' front gate just then. Oliver was a tiny little man, often mistaken for a wood nymph. He had been captured in many a folklore enthusiasts' net, though none was as strong as that of Tobias' friendship.
"Na, hey, don't be so hard on yourself," Oliver said to Tobias, destroying a bed of flowers as he obliviously clopped straight through them. "It's not half as bad as you think. Remember, she said, 'Not in a million years.'. Nothing eternal, see."
"I couldn't bear the thought of ever seeing her again," Tobias whined like a kitten, sobbing into Oliver's jacket. "No, she's ruined my reputation. Who would have me now?"
Oliver gave Tobias a gentle push away, brushed the tears and grime off his tiny green jacket, and said, "Come on, now, don't be like that. Tell you what we'll do... We'll pack up and move to Bask! I hear that in Bask, they grant you a sinful woman of your choosing."
"Bask?" Tobias asked with unwarranted zaniness.
"That's right, Bask," Oliver said. "I think it's in the east. Like, in the water. Not in the water. An island. Or, a big island, a continent. Or something. Average temperature, balmy, major exports are slaves and corn."
"Well, that settles it, then," Tobias said, grinning like an idiot. "Bask it is. That's far away, yes?"
"Oh, yes," Oliver assured his friend. "I could definitely not run there, without stopping at least once."
Tobias raised his eyebrows, and in a very high-pitched voice said, "And you can run, Oliver. You can run."
Oliver blushed and picked a daisy. "Yeah. It's true," he said. He threw the daisy at Tobias and giggled.
Together, both of the men cried, "Bask!" and then stood awkwardly for a good ten minutes or so. A woman pushing a stroller walked by and said something to them about how stupid they looked, but neither of them noticed.
"She'll be livid," Tobias whimpered.
"Well, she did tell everyone in town about your... indiscretions," Oliver said, poking Tobias in the belly.
"That infernal demon mastress!" Tobias growled. "I curse her and this whole rotten country that spat her out its womb. I don't like corn, though."
"What's that to do with anything?" Oliver asked.
"The food, corn," Tobias responded.
"Yes, what of it?" Oliver asked again.
"They grow a lot of corn in Bask, you said?" Tobias answered with a question.
"Ah, yes," Oliver said, finally realizing what his obtuse friend meant. "It's true. A very cornful place."
"Wait a minute," Tobias said abruptly, shooting a fat finger up into the air, and scaring the cat. "What of your job, and your wife and ten children?"
"Well..." Oliver said, "...Bask!"
"Never have wiser words been spoken," Tobias said. He twirled the ends of his mustache lecherously and continued, "I'll to my house and trunk what little she'll afford me. Though it's sure to be little. Woe! I worked for the money, I chose to spend it in good faith, and now my toil and my will have been usurped by a woman untrue!"
Oliver put his hand on the top of Tobias' head and looked him straight in the mouth. "I'll no more of it," he said. "We'll leave tonight. Tonight, to end, tomorrow's beginning!"