Buckskin Bean and the Grouchies
by Daniel Talsky

Once there was a little Navy Bean who got a brand new pair of buckskin pants. She lived in a house on a cliff overlooking the ocean. She was a fine little bean and tasty, too, with soft, tender bean skin.

Her friend, Garbanzo, lived down the street, and when she got a longing and a hankering, she would go down the street. They would sit in the woods together or watch movies and she would lay her little Navy head in Garbanzo's lap and he would rub her head until the longing, or the hankering, or maybe even the grouchy went away...or at least calmed down.

One day, though, she had a longing and a hankering and a little bit of grouchy, and she went to Garbanzos' house to get some good head rubbing. Garbanzo rubbed and rubbed until her bobby pins fell out, and her head started to get a little sore, but the longing and hankering, and especially the grouchy were still there.

"You know about such things, Garbanzo," she sighed, "What should I do when I have a longing and a hankering and MORE than a little bit of grouchy?"

"Well," said Garbanzo very matter-of-factly, "We shall go on a trip on a sailing ship."

A sailing ship was rigged and outfitted. The hatches were battened and the mast was raised. They walked fore and aft, port and starboard and sometimes just around in circles. The sea was wide and boundless and shook them up like milk. It went to the north and it went to the south and finally landed back home. By the time they got back, the wind had blown her little bean head all about and dampened her buckskin pants. Her head was cold, her toes were cold, and she still had a longing and a hankering and the grouchy looked like it was hanging in for the long haul.

"Oh Garbanzo!" she said. "What shall I do now that I have a longing and a hankering and a FAIR HUNK of grouchy?"

"Well..." said Garbanzo with a twinkle in his eye, "we shall go to dine at a 26 star restaurant, where they have prawns and crepes suzette and ice sculptures on every table."

Navy put a fancy belt on her buckskin pants and glossed her lips up but good! Even Garbanzo, who was not normally for such things preened and fussed and got looking sharp. The tablecloths were crisp and the waiters sufficiently snooty. The courses came on tiny gold plates, but the prawns were undercooked and the crepes were burnt and the ice sculpture (which was of a green bean dancing with a lima bean in the light of the moon) melted all over the table and dribbled on her buckskin pants! Her tummy was hurting, her toes were cold, and she still had a longing and a hankering and the grouchy was digging a moat around it's castle.

"My sweet Garbanzo," she moaned, "What shall I do for a longing and a hankering and QUITE a bit of grouchy?"

"Well..." said Garbanzo, with a furrowed brow, "We'll go to the Spa and be pampered beyond our wildest imaginations!"

They took a super stretch Rolls Royce limousine to the Spa, where they were greeted by greeters and set down in chairs with huge comfy cushions. They used Zen Groove nail polish and Lush Love facial creme and were just about to send her in for the deep ultra-steam when the steam machine went out of whack. It oversteamed her and then dumped five gallons of water right onto her buckskin pants. Her skin was pink and sore, her toes were cold, and the grouchy was recruiting other grouchies for its own private army of grouchies, prancing around and singing little grouchy victory songs!

"Garbanzo, Garbanzo, Garbanzo," she cried, "What can I POSSIBLY do with my longing and hankering and an OUT-OF-CONTROL grouchy?"

"Well..." said Garbanzo, "How about if you come over to my house and I rub your head until you go to sleep?"

So Garbanzo sat on the floor and the little Navy Bean in her buckskin pants lay down all curled up and lay her head on his lap. He took out her bobby pins and rubbed her head softly until she and the grouchy went to sleep.

In her sleep, the grouchy was no longer in a little spot in her head, but as big as her, along with it's whole grouchy army. "Go away Grouchy!" said the little Navy Bean.

"Ha, ha, ha," said the Grouchy, "I will stay as long as I like and you can't do anything about it, stinkyface!"

The Navy Bean tried to run away, but her Buckskin pants were soaking wet and she couldn't run as fast as the army of grouchies. She tried to attack the Grouchies with her bobby pins but the Grouchies were stronger and disarmed her quickly. Finally, she just said, "Ok, I will ignore you, Grouchies, and you can just do whatever you like!", but the Grouchies just held a little Grouchy Dance Fever Party in her noggin and she was miserable!

She cried and cried and wailed at the top of her lungs. Finally, when she was all tired out, she turned to the Grouchies and said with resignation, "Grouchies, I guess if you are going to stick around, you might as well have a good time. We could go on a trip in a sailing ship together! Feel the wind in our hair and see foreign shores. We could go to a 26 star restaurant, and eat the finest escargot. We could go to the spa and have some Swedish massage! Come on, it'll be fun!"

The grouchies started to look a little uncomfortable.

"Please? We can have Grouchy Solid Gold USA!"

The grouchies started looking at their watches..."Wow," they said, "Look at the time. We REALLY need to be going."

"But grouchies, grouchies...wait," the little Navy Bean began to chuckle as she began to wake up. There was Garbanzo, fast asleep, with his hand on her grouchiless head. And her Buckskin pants were dry!

the end

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