Scrufty's Magic
Juju Shoppe


"You gave him my trumpet?" Scrufty asked when Marty returned to the shop. "Bless my bunions, why ever would you do a thing like that?"

Marty shuffled nervously. "Well, you see, Slippy is a big bad nasty weasel. That silly old trumpet would never make him listen. Surely you must have something else that will help me?"

Scrufty scratched his grizzled badgery head. "Well I don't know, young Marty," he said after a long sigh. "It strikes me that you're the kind of squirrel that goes around giving trumpets to weasels. Not a good move. Frankly, I'm buggered if I know what I can do."

"Oh please Scrufty," Marty pleaded. "My conkers are at stake here."

The magic wand of justice

Oooh - the magic wand of justice!

Scrufty huffed. "Indeed. And perhaps you should have thought of that before you started handing over other people's instruments to nasty weasels. Well really, I never did!" Seeing the desperate look in Marty's eyes, Scrufty took pity and grumpily conceded. "Oh alright. Look, what you need is the law on your side. Here, take this." He reached behind the counter and produced a crooked stick.

Marty viewed it uncertainly. "Bit of a step down from the trumpet, isn't it?" he sniffed.

"It's the Magic Wand of Justice," Scrufty said irritably. "Just wave it through the air, and Slippy will have to obey all the laws of the forest... But, if you don't want it -"

"No, no - I'll give it a go," Marty said, trying to summon up some enthusiasm, and he sighed as he took the wand and left the shop.

Scrufty heard no more of Marty until later that evening. He was sitting in his little room behind the counter, tucking into a scrummy chicken dinner, when he heard the bell tinkle. "shop!" he heard Marty call. Passing through the little archway, he found Marty leaning on the counter, chin resting dejectedly on his hands.

"Fat lot of good that was!" he said.

"Did you use the Magic Wand of Justice?" Scrufty asked.

Marty nodded. "Sort of," he said, and he held up a slim white box. "I swapped it for an ipod."

"You..." Scrufty drew a sharp intake of breath through clenched teeth. "You know Marty, you're starting to get right on my tits," he mumbled.

Scrufty gets cross

Marty gets on Scrufty's tits.

Marty ignored the remark. "So, anyway," he said, looking around him. "What can we try next?"

"Nothing," Scrufty said. "Nothing at all."

"What about this magic rock, here?" Marty said, pointing to a jaggedy stone on the counter.

"It's not magic," Scrufty said. "It's just a paperweight."

"Okay, okay," Marty said, searching around again before his eyes fixed on a crookedy wooden box high up on a shelf. "Ah ha!" he exclaimed. "An enchanted box."

"It's not enchanted," Scrufty sighed. "It's just where I keep my paperclips. And no, before you ask, they're not magic paperclips. Look Marty, there's nothing more I can do for you. I gave you a trumpet so you would have a voice, but you didn't want to be heard. I gave you a wand so you could use the law of the forest, but you didn't want to exercise your rights. I can't help you if you're not prepared to help yourself "

Marty fell silent. He shuffled his feet dejectedly for a while. Then he looked up and spied something behind Scrufty, beyond the archway. "What about that?" he asked. "The higgledy-piggledy bone basket."

Scrufty turned. Marty seemed to be talking about the chicken carcass on the table. He was about to explain that it was his dinner, when he had a sudden thought. He popped through and retrieved a small piece of bone, and placed it in Marty's paw. "That," Scrufty said, gesturing back at the remains of his supper, "is the preserved skeleton of the last known Mystical Valiant Bird - the bravest and noblest of all creatures that ever hobbled around a farmyard and pecked at corn." Scrufty pointed to the piece of bone in Marty's palm. "And that is a piece of its spine. Keep it with you, young Marty. Hold it tight, for it will transform you into the bravest little squirrel this side of the Shining Cliffs."

Marty looked at the bone, awestruck. "Golly," he said.

"Golly indeed," said Scrufty. "Now go! Go and give that nasty Weasel what for!"

With a newfound spring in his step, Marty scampered from the shoppe. Scrufty watched him go, then bolted the door after him and settled down to watch the snooker.



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