At Scrufty's Magic Juju shoppe you could get whizzy fizz bombs, and liquorice danglers and all sorts of wonderful sugary flopsicles. And sticky pillows and sherbet bubbles too - but this wasn't why most people went to Scrufty's Magic Juju shoppe. Oh no. People went because Scrufty was the wisest old badger in all the forest and whenever you had a problem, Scrufty would have the answer.
At Scrufty's Magic Juju Shoppe you could get sugary flopsicles.
That's why Marty Fuzztail went. Marty had a problem, a big big problem. You see, every year, when the conkers fell, all the forest folk would hurry and scurry about the undergrowth to gather them all up and store them for winter in a big old hopper. And as everyone knew that Marty owned the biggest and bestest conker tree of all, he was put in charge of distributing the conkers to whoever needed them.
So when Moley needed conkers to shore up the embankment after the spring thaw, he would trundle his little wheelbarrow along to the hopper, Marty would pull the chain and with a chugga-chugga-chugga the conkers would rumble down the chute and fill his little barrow. And when the Hedgehog twins needed conkers to clear the path by the meadow, Marty would pull the chain and with a chugga-chugga-chugga, the conkers would tumble down the chute and fill their buckets. And when Mrs Gander needed to repair the fences around the duck pond, or Yappy Woofworth wanted to gather up the dewdrop harvest, or Flaps Feathertop had to clean up the leaf moss in the dell, all Marty had to do was pull the chain and with a chugga-chugga-chugga they would have all the conkers that they needed.
Slippy had a certificate in conker management.
But that was all before Slippy Wriggleton came along. Slippy was the leader of the weasels, and he told Marty that he was going about it all wrong. Through a combination of better management, more efficient allocation and careful investment, Slippy said that they could meet all their regular conker requirements, and still have a surplus at the end of the year. Well, Slippy was very persuasive, and he also had a certificate in Conker Management, which none of the other forest folk did, so Marty agreed to let him handle the conker distribution.
And that's where it all started to go wrong, because after a while it seemed that there weren't enough conkers to go round. Oh, there were plenty of conkers for Slippy's friends - the weasels, the slimy toads and the crafty foxes - but the rest of the forest folk had to go without. So the embankment crumbled after the thaw. The path by the meadow became impassable. The fences around the duck pond rotted away, the dewdrops turned sour before they could be harvested and the leaf moss was left to fester in the dell.
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