Grovelites—another episode in the series of “Robert’s version—Carl’s version.”


Carl’s version: Once upon a time I discovered the mouth of a great cave. I might have passed by, but I thought I heard whispers echoing secrets from the center of the earth. A poodle might have been afraid to venture in, a Corgi wouldn’t, and I wasn’t.

            Down and down I journeyed and journeyed. Suddenly I was surrounded by black creatures who hissed and sniveled as they closed in. I thought to fight but there were too many of them. I decided to surrender, for the moment, until I could come up with a plan.

            Every second of every day I gathered information. Soon I discovered why the creatures were so ornery and why they made disagreeable sounds. They had no one to tell them stories.

When they were all gathered together, I began with words from a famous novel. “Inkie hobbled from his home, his heart light and cheery. I would run, if I were able. The delightful tastes of marrel cakes and checkelberry juice lingered in his mouth. It is always such a fine start to the day when one begins with one’s favorite breakfast.”

Before I was more than a few paragraphs into, “The Five Names” by Robert Hansen, the Grovelites’ nerves settled. By the time I recited the book’s last line, from memory, we were fast friends. Most of then threw themselves at my feet, groveling (thus their name) begging me to stay on and be their king.

I politely declined, but in the end, they sent me on my way, loaded down with precious gems.

The moral of the story? Reading Robert Hansen’s novels and memorizing them, may make you rich—and a king—of dark creatures—from the center of the earth—maybe.


Robert’s Version: Carl was playing with an empty plastic plant pot.

Which version is true?


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