Story and pictures by Jackie Mondalimare
Many curious creatures and critters dwell on the rich meadows of the Jungle Bungle. Not all of them can be seen easily, some are so small and stealthy, only the most observant of eyes can sometimes be lucky enough to catch a glimpse. One of those witty wights is the rarely found Shlabberwonk. While it may seem small and unimportant enough to go unnoticed, the Shlabberwonk is responsible for the biggest mayhem caused in the bright lands of Jungle Bungle.
With only inches from head to toe, the pink-skinned human-esque creatures blend in perfectly with their colourful surrounding, one of their most useful traits. Being an imp in their very core, they’ve kept the love for pranks and tricks but adapted well to their home.
They live completely off chocolate, which is provided in huge amounts, and since this rather unusual setting attracts many a visitor, the Shlabberwonks find their victims without even having to search – they simply have to sneak up on them, their wide clothing rustling in the wind like leaves, and watch their plan unfold.
Depending on the mood and the size of their group, they might play simple pranks on the visitors. Some bite their toes. Some climb up their legs and hide inside their pants, stuffing itching powder into their underpants. But some of the Shlabberwonks have started to neatly plan their practical jokes in big groups – for a big effect.
The most famous prank needed weeks of preparation and a night of hard work. With united strength, they misplaced the path leading in and out of the lands! Many chocolate stones disappeared during that night (some people assume the Shlabberwonks ate them, psh!) but in the morning, they found that their path led directly to the lake of pure chocolate in the very center of the meadows.
They didn’t have to wait very long for the first visitor to arrive. A rather dumb blond with big.. feet. It was indeed a man, but they say hair colour really determins one’s intelligence, not gender. One of the Shlabberwonks ran ahead of the man while the others settled into place near the lake. With its tiny voice, the runner called for help, sounding as distant as one can, it was way down on the ground after all. And the dumb farmer’s son did as predicted and followed.
When he finally arrived at the lake, the runner shouted out “Help me! I’m in the lake” and the blond one bent down to look over the waves of sweet chocolate. And here came one of the spectator-wonks and shoved another great portion of itching powder into the farmer’s pants. We all know that farmers don’t wear underwear, so this wasn’t too hard.
And with the sudden itch, the blond youngling lost his balance and – oops – fell right into the lake! It is said that to this day, he grows bigger and bigger everyday as he tries to drink the whole chocolate in the lake. And when you manage to climb on his foot and tickle it really hard, you can sometimes hear a muffled giggle from deep down.
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