Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Chapter 4 - Roger Rubbertree Disappears 

The days turned into weeks and the weeks into months, and Fernando was still in the office building. The air coming in with the people had turned warmer, but the air where he lived turned colder. And the colder it got, the more miserable Fernando felt.

Fernando tried every way he knew to get back home. First, he tried to talk to the people coming in and out of the building. Apparently, all people just didn’t have good hearing. Some looked at him when he spoke, but all they saw were his leaves being moved by the air conditioning. Of course, Fernando didn’t understand why people weren’t answering his questions. He was being as polite as he possibly could.

Every week, a person would come and check Fernando’s roots and fluff his leaves. Fernando kept asking this person if he could help him get home, but, again, he never got an answer.

Fernando got more and more discouraged. Although he had Roger to talk to, all he wanted to do was go home. There had to be a way.

One day he woke up to see a new plant where Roger had been. “Hello friend,” Fernando said. “What’s your name?”

“Hrumpf,” muttered the plant. “My name is Philoneus Palm and I’m not your friend! I don’t know you.”

Fernando, always polite, said, “I’m sorry. I should have introduced myself. I’m Fernando. Do you know Roger Rubbertree?”

“Fernando, Shernando.” snorted Philoneus. “I don't care who you are. I’m not your friend and don’t want to be. So leave me alone!”

“But where’s Roger? Roger Rubbertree?”

“I have no idea,” shouted Philoneus. “Now, LEAVE ME ALONE!”

Fernando was sad. His friend, Roger, had disappeared and this plant was just plain mean. The open space was so big there was not another plant in sight, and the people couldn’t hear. Now who would he talk to?

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