Who Knows More than the Muffin Man?

(No, not that one. The other one. We’re talking huckleberries, not raspberries.)

Stoov Rumpkin thought hard about the choice. It had even gone so far as charts, graphs, and spreadsheets. Not that that had added much clarity to the whole deal, but still, there was something satisfying about filling up little unreal boxes with cold, hard numbers. Not to mention all the delightful stylings that could be applied: borders, colors, angles, arrows, muffins, and crosshatching. Some of those numbers even related to real things! Like how many stuffed weasels lived in Aunt Augustina’s gold filigreed hatbox. Really, a surprising number.

It wasn’t every day that Rumpkin had to make a decision like this. There was a lot riding on it. The whole day might go pear-shaped if he made the wrong decision here.

Suddenly a hobgoblin writing on a scroll and riding a warthog leapt over the ottoman and presented Stoov with a bill for damages. He reluctantly accepted the bill ($4,372 for bent and broken cutlery; $572 for scorched linens; and, $17 to replace a nice set of gardening gloves that, inexplicably, were missing three fingers between them) and the hobgoblin rode off, ululating all the while.

Stoov stewed for a bit. Crumpled up the bill and tossed it on the pile. Of other bills. For damages. To things. So many things.

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