Gilbert was a good-hearted gnome, but not as cautious as he should’ve been. He lived a good life in a small stump a few feet away from the home of humans. Every morning they prepared a feast. The wonderous smells roused Gilbert from his bed and called to him by way of a very rumbly belly. He got up with a skip in his step and a jaunty little tune on his lips, combed his beard, put on his best and only pair of pants and made his way to the house. It was the same every day and Gilbert was happy.
But today was different. Before Gilbert could reach the mouse hole that lead to the kitchen, a furry white beast pounced from the bushes and blocked his way. It hissed and swiped at him with its sharp claws. He froze in fright. The beast hovered over him. Its fishy breath made his stomach churn. Its whiskers grazed his face. His reflection in the beast’s large yellow eyes stared back at him.
Gilbert did the only thing he could think of and turned to stone. He hoped the beast would get bored and go away, but it didn’t.
It laid down in the grass and batted at him with its paws. The sun rose high in the sky. Its rays warming stone Gilbert. Finally the beast yawned and walked away, but it was too late for poor Gilbert. He’d been encased in stone for too long. The humans found him a few days later and wedged him between a plastic flamingo and a crop of poison ivy.
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