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Drabbles 2: 100 Word Stories
in the Worlds of
Edgar Rice Burroughs

by Members of ERB-LIST



Continuing the Drabble Challenge started in April, 2007:

A Drabble is a story of exactly 100 words (no more, no less) - the rules can be found here: http://www.meades.org/drabble.html

These short stort stories below are entertaining, and revealing, as to the author's insights and affection for the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs. A few of the stories broke the "rule" of 100 words (no more, no less), but were not excluded from this collection. Enjoy!

If you have a 100 Word Drabble in the worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs and would like to see it published here, send it as email to tangor@erblist.com.


Antitlement

John "Bridge" Martin

After Tarzan had his clock cleaned by Akut, he sat in a clearing gritting his teeth while George Washington Williams methodically applied ants to strategic locations on his body, their pincers clicking onto the open wounds to stitch them together.

"Just about got 'em all?" the ape man asked.

"Almost," said Williams. "But I see one more spot on your left arm. A couple of these critters should close that one up just fine."

Tarzan looked at the area Williams had indicated and shook his head. "You'll need more than that," he said. "That's at least a four-ant lesion."


Bad Billy

D A Smith

Without warning, an inebriated three-piece suit reeking of bad whiskey stumbled out of Bibbo's Bar and bumped into Billy Byrne minding his business in a saloon alley.

"Watch it, ya bum!" Byrne growled.

"Wazat?" the drunk slurred. "You again? Told you I ain't payin' for dance lessons."

"Ya prob'ly need 'em, you bumovitch. Get outta da way."

"Hussy!" the drunk roared, a backhand raised.

Billy clipped the "swell" with a short left and lifted a fat wallet from the man's pocket.

"I charge for dancin' lessons."

Smiling, Billy headed for Big Maggie's. Things were looking up for a Slow Tuesday...


La and the Pool of Dirty Water

Tangor

When Tarzan saw La drinking from a pool of algae-slime water, surrounded by the bleaching bones of unwary animals which had done the same, he shouted:

"Don't, La! That water will kill you!"

Regally, hands on hips, La replied:

"How can that be? After all, diatoms are a girl's best friend."


The Mangani Counting Song

Tangor

One, Two,

Knuckles--You're Blue

Three, Four,

Let's Fight Some More

Five, Six,

A Dum-Dum Stick

Seven, Eight,

Don't Be Late

Nine, Ten,

Eat Some Men!


The Seven Mangani

Bridge

Word had spread of the beautiful blonde who slept in the glass coffin. Tarzan heard and went to investigate. After all, he had nothing better to do. He saw the seven mangani midgets, their heads bowed in sadness, gathered around the sweet yet somber sight. Disengaging from his vine, he walked up and removed the glass lid. It was heavier than he thought but he managed. He started to kiss her lips but La came out of nowhere and plunged the sacrificial knife into the breast of the sleeping woman.

"Not this time, Tarzan," she hissed. "La always wins. Eventually."


Black Thurds

Tangor

Ras Thavas and the calot, on one of their many jaunts exploring Barsoom, came into a lost city with no name. A desolate dead sea bottom surrounded the crumbling ruins, edged by wind eroded mountains. Digging deeper into the city heart, the Master Mind of Mars noted relics, foundations, and other things of interest.

"Aha!" Ras Thavas cried after discovering a mural in a tower basement which had survived the march of time. On the wall, illuminated by his unhooded radium torch, was a funeral scene depicting a black race setting fire to two dozen bodies.

To the calot Ras Thavas remarked: "Four and Twenty Black Thurds baked in a pyre..."


The Ugly Ape-ling

Bridge

Once upon a time there was a little boy who lived with the apes. All of the apes made fun of him because he was still in his mother's arms, being nursed, long after the other apes were running, playing and scampering through the trees, eating insects and sometimes little balus that they snatched from the mothers' arms and killed and ate.

At first the little boy was ashamed of his bare skin but eventually he grew up and read a book on self-esteem in the cabin of his real parents, who had been killed by the apes. Now the human was proud of the way he looked and realized he was smarter, a more strategic fighter, and in all ways better than the hairy apes.

And from then on, whenever they even thought about mocking him, he kicked their butts.


Goldilocks and the Big Cat

Bridge

Once upon a time a girl with golden locks came upon a cabin in the jungle. No one appeared to be at home so she and her maid made themselves comfortable. That night a tiger tried to crawl in the window to eat them both up. But the owner of the cabin had returned and grabbed the tiger by the tail and yanked it from the window. The tiger then raked its talons at the man but missed. Nonetheless, the man was so frightened he ran away as fast as his legs could carry him.

Goldilocks lived happily ever after.


Jack and the Beanstalk

Bridge

Uncle Jack, arrayed in his Barsoomian accoutrements, appeared in my cabin on the Little Colorado, ready to tell a story.

"I had never seen a beanstalk so tall," he said, "especially on Mars. I thought for a minute I was on Jupiter." He told me he had climbed it to the clouds, where he had encountered a giant named Joog. They had battled across the clouds until Uncle Jack tripped the oaf and he fell, screaming, to his death.

"That's quite a story," I said. "I'll enjoy writing it."

"Sorry," Jack responded. "I've promised this one to your son John."


Ella's Bad Day

Bridge

The tiny mice—Fernando and Calprunia—struggled to move the heavy key upstairs so Cinderella could free herself from the chamber where her loathsome stepmother had locked her.

But Jad-bal-ja waited, and pounced. He made short work of the two mice, then headed downstairs, anticipating some strokes of his mane from the stepmother. The key lay forgotten on the stairs, Jad not realizing its purpose.

Soon the prince's prime minister gave up. The glass slipper fit no one in the house. He went to seek other women and Cinderella had to go back to cleaning house to make a living.


The Tower Tresses

Bridge

"Rapunzel! Rapunzel! Let down your hair."

Carson Napier awaited the liana of locks to tumble from the tower window above.

The hair spilled around him and he grabbed a healthly handful, yanking it to ascertain if it was securely fastened. He was reassured to hear an "ouch" from above. He climbed to the window and squirmed through.

Inside was the homeliest, ugliest, most repulsive woman he had ever seen.

He exited so quickly, that he lost his grip and bruised his butt on the ground.

Yet, Carson had learned to laugh at himself. "Wrong-way Napier strikes again," he groaned.


The Sugared Hut

Bridge

The Tarzan twins scattered crumbs of their submarine sandwich from the train's slopchute so they would have a trail to follow back to the tracks. Unbeknownst to them, monkeys were slipping from the trees gobbling up the morsels. They soon realized they were lost but found a thatched hut covered by sticky Sugar Daddys. A kindly old woman bade them enter. However, she slapped Dick into a cage and made Doc do housework. She was going to cook them, but Doc shoved her into the stewpot.

The boys ate well that evening and the lost submarine sandwich was soon forgotten.


The Lady and the Lentil

Bridge

"She's pretty, John," said Tars Tarkas. "But is she a real princess?"

"She says so," said Carter, "she's regal, she has a crown, and her clothes are...well, forget that. But how can I be sure?"

"Here's a pea I picked when the horde ravaged the Ptor brothers farm," said Tars. "Put it under her mattress; only a real princess can feel it."

"Great," said John. "but how do I get into her bedroom?"

Tars looked indulgently at him. "Quit blowing smoke at me, John," he said. "The whole Thark tribe knows you've been up there the last six nights."


The Antsy Man

Bridge

Obebe imprisoned the Alali woman in a filthy hut, promising to marry her if she could roll good marijuana cigarettes. An imp appeared and rolled them in trade for her first-born child. Obebe loved the smokes and married her. She balked at giving up her baby so the imp said he'd forget it if she could guess his name. The sly woman had seen it on his medical bracelet and said, "Zoanthrohago."

He blew up and stomped his foot and fell into a hole to Pellucidar. But she heard him exclaim, "Tarzan told you that! Tarzan told you that!"


Korak in Crete

Korak

While sight-seeing in Crete, Korak and Meriem visited the ruins of King Minos's palace. Nkima saw a mouse and chased it down a shaft. Finally Korak had to climb down and find him. Meriem gave him her ball of twine so he'd not get lost.

Deep under the city in a maze, Korak found a strange race of people who all had the heads of cattle. "We are the descendants of the Minotaur and his female victims," they explained as they handed him the small monkey, "living here all these years and no one but you ever found us before. We will allow you to leave if you promise to tell no one."

So Korak shook hands with them on it, and then he and Nkima came back out to Meriem.


An Encounter in the Marketplace

Bridge

Jane made her way slowly through the Bwana Bazaar, picking out the fresh produce she would need to make the salad to grace Tarzan's plate and compliment his main dish of raw, bleeding Bara the deer. She was surprised to come across one vendor, clad in a long dark robe and hoodie, who was selling Big Little Books of fairy tales instead of veggies.

"Where'd you get this stuff?" asked Jane.

"I picked them fresh this morning from garage sales, attics and Salvation Army Thrift Shops," said the merchant.

"Ahhh!" Jane replied. "I have at last met the Grimm reaper!


Battle in the Night

Bridge

Tarzan was locked in the loathsome, disgusting embrace of the slimy snake beast from Barsoom. The apeman was slowly but surely suffocating in the snake's six sinuous tails which crushed him harder each time he exhaled, while the serpent creature opened wide its slavering jaws, smelling of rotted flesh, preparing to sink its deadly fangs with its putrid poison into his shoulder. Tarzan tried to move, but could not. He could only yell at the unheeding beast. The cry awoke Jane with a start. "Tarzan, Tarzan," she said, unraveling the sheets that he had become entangled in, "You're dreaming again."


From a Nock to a Nick

Bridge

A double drabble

Tarzan of the Apes heard the low growl and, because it was accompanied by a ticklish vibration in his abdominal cavity, knew it was the rumble of his stomach and not that of one of the many jungle denizens.

It was time to eat and, as if commanded by some beneficent deity, the scent of Bara, the deer, was almost immediately wafted to his finely tuned nostrils.

But was it Bara after all? The scent was familiar yet, at the same time, somewhat different. It seemed to include the smell of tanned leather, metal, and perhaps even the aroma of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, like those Jane had made for the Waziri kids the other day.

His nostrils also told him it was a small herd, so his chances of success in bringing one down were increased.

He at last sighted his quarry and, swift as Ara the Lightning, loosed a bolt from his bow, sending it unerringly toward its target.

But before the arrow could strike, Bara and all of the other deer magically leaped into the air, towing a huge contraption.

"Curses," muttered Tarzan, in mild jungle Billingsgate, "they were just a little too lively and quick."


For Love of Jane

Bridge

A double drabble

For what seemed like hours, Tarzan had leaped from limb to limb in the middle terrace on the type of mission he would undertake only at the whim of his alluring mate, Jane. "We need some big leaves," she had told him, and no sooner had she spoken than he had leaped to the sill of the open window in the Greystoke bungalow and taken to the trees. He knew of only one tree in the jungle which sported the big leaves, the Large Liana Laden Lollapalooza Tree. Now, at last, he had reached the sheer escarpment where the trees grew and succeeded in plucking not one, but several, of the huge green things the size of elephant ears.

It was late in the evening when he returned, only to find a frowning Jane sitting in the bamboo chair, her arms folded, tapping her foot impatiently.

"Where have you been?" she demanded. "The Waziri got here right after you left and we couldn't wait so we went ahead and ate all the turkey and trimmings without you. I had to put one of our guests to work opening the closet and getting out those extra leaves for our Thanksgiving table."


Tarzan Handles a Problem

Bridge

Tarzan stared with disgust at the pathetic-looking things which had once moved so proudly through the jungle.

Now, they bore ugly scratches from numerous contacts with thorns, were blackened with jungle dirt and stains of uncountable squashed insects, and their smell made even the apeman's hardened nostrils wrinkle in revulsion.

"You two have seen better days," said the apeman. "But it's time to put you out of your misery."

So saying, Tarzan drew the gleaming, razor-sharp blade of his long-dead sire.

Then, he started his cleanup job, beginning with scraping the caked dirt from beneath his toenails.


For Want of a Blackboard...

Bridge

The Amity Island merchants were worried. A huge shark was gobbling up tourists. This could spell economic doom for the community.

One person thought they ought to put out poisoned shark bait. Another thought they ought to plant explosive mines. Another thought they should hire Tarzan to swim out and knife the shark.

A grizzled skipper named Quint grimaced at these ideas. To attract everyone's attention, he scratched his fingernails on the message board. Unfortunately, it was a whiteboard, not a chalkboard, so no one heard the screech, and they ignored Quint and more people got eaten by the shark.


The Escarpment

Bridge

"Tarzan, I hear something," said Jane.

"I know," Tarzan said. "I heard it half an hour ago. Just another safari."

"Shoot," Jane said. "First it was a safari once a year, then every six months, now we're getting one a week. And the natives are pretty restless because you keep using elephants to wreck their villages to rescue the white hunters. I would think the escarpment would be a barrier to most safaris."

"What escarpment?" said Tarzan. "There have been so many safaris that they've pretty much worn down the cliffs and it's an afternoon stroll to get here now."


Tarzan and the Turkey

Bridge

Tarzan caught the odor of wild turkey. "Ah," he thought. "And, it's Thanksgiving." He raced through the middle terraces. At last he alit on a branch and surveyed the scene, then jumped down.

"Hey, Bubba, who's that?" exclaimed a redneck white hunter sitting on an ice chest in front of his camouflage safari tent.

"I'm Tarzan of the Apes," the Jungle Lord announced. "I followed the spoor of your wild turkey."

"Well, enjoy some southern hospitality," drawled the redneck, uncapping a new bottle and reaching for another glass. "We're happy to share our wild turkey with you on Thanksgiving day."


Sheep Hunt

Tangor

Diana was furious. "She's gone! You find her, Bull!"

Bull growled—and shut up.

His wife turned a glowering eye: "Best wool!"

Bull shoved a hat on dark curly hair. He exited the hacienda to saddle a gelding. Before stepping up, Diana brought a tucker bag. She still looked cross, but stroked his face before he dug spur.

He tracked spoor near the homestead until full dark, leads that went nowhere. Diana's grub filled the inner hole behind his belt. At dawn, stiff from a blanket roll on hard ground, Bull raised up almost face to face with the errant sheep.

A lariat coil was instantly about her neck. Bleating piteously, Bull scowled, but not too sternly.

"Ewe are my sunshine, Sunshine. Giddyap home, darlin'."


The Warlord

Tangor

After 200 years as Warlord of Mars, John Carter, with Dejah Thoris at his side, was hailed by the cheering throng inside the Hall of Righteousness.

Knowing that their beloved warlord would finally be able to retire and spend time with wife and family—led by the Royal Arrow Smith—10,000 voices sang:

"Sweeeeeet De-Moooooo-Tionnnnnnnnn!"


Tarzan And Bond

korak

korak (little k) apparently missed the memo that Drabbles are entire novels in 100 words. Being a Bond fan he thought it was "films", and we all know that Bond movies come as a series. Such a trilogy follows...

Fateful Encounter

Tarzan sat at a cafe table sipping Allsopp Ale with a young 15-year-old named James Bond. Over the radio came Churchill: "... Battle of Britain has begun!" Let's go! The two leapt up.

High in the air, they met enemies: Goldfinger in one plane and in the other was Blofeld. "I met him." said Tarzan. "His real name is Romkoff."

All four crashed on an island. They had a four way gunfight on foot. Both Goldfinger and Blofeld swam into the sea in fright, where a U-boat picked them up. "We'll get you both!" They cried. Tarzan and Bond laughed.

The Critical Mission

"This is a critical mission," said Winston Churchill. Tarzan, young Bond, and Captain America sat in leather chairs listening intently.

"Hitler has created two Aryan eggs, from which will emerge the Nordic Superman and Woman who will inherit his iron fisted position of power. You must penetrate his fortress and crush his eggs."

Cap, Tarzan and Bond flew across the channel in the dead of night. They were in a special jet black experimental craft with vertical take-off and hovering ability.

They landed on the castle and sneaked into the giant hall of Der Fuehrer. Hitler was sitting alone, muttering.

Triangle of Terror

Cap tied Hitler's wrists behind his back.  Tarzan pushed him against the table. There, flopped on the desk before them, was displayed the two Aryan Eggs. The three heroes formed the triangle of terror around the Nazi dictator.

Bond's hammer pounded the plump egg sac, containing the seeds for the Aryan super-couple, flat as a pancake. The sac burst, spraying yellow yoke across the marble desk top. Hitler's head tilted back as he voiced a soundless scream in his mortal anguish.

Just as Bond prepared to hit Hitler in the head, stormtroopers rushed in, so they escaped to the roof.

Boltzmann's Brain

Roosevelt spoke solemnly with 3 heroes of WW II- Tarzan, Captain America, and young James Bond.

"The Nazis located Boltzmann's brain. It's preserved inside a quantum vacuum!"

Bond gasped in shock. "Holy Toledo! Where did they find it?"

"Jesuit priests retrieved it, floating near the orbit of earth."

"We must rescue it. Boltzmann never meant for Hitler to use it to reinvent reality."

Soon their stealth craft landed on Hitler's castle. Inside a mad scientist blocked their way. The Triangle of Terror tossed the cosmic brain jar to each other, until the mad scientist was driven sane. Thus, they escaped.


The Match

Tangor and David Allen Smith

Two legends entered a wrestling match and instantly it became obvious that both were equal. Neither could find advantage, or weakness, in the other.

Eight hours later Carter asked, while grappling, "Give up?"

"Not likely!" Tarzan growled heartily.

Eight hours later Tarzan asked:

"Had enough?"

"Just warming up," Carter replied.

Jane and Dejah Thoris yawned from the sidelines. Dejah Thoris peevishly observed:

"You both are immortal."

"And too damn stubborn to a fault," Jane added, leading the princess away. The door to the gym closed behind them.

"Are they gone?" the Warlord asked.

"Yes!" Tarzan grinned. "Absinth or Bourbon?"

"Both!"

The Match, Part II

Bridge

Carter and Clayton slipped out the back door of the gym, just in case Jane and Dejah were still out front, waiting for a taxi, and strolled down the alley to the rear entrance of Strothman's.

The bar was full of drunks and only two seats remained, at a table where sat an apparent body builder wearing a horned helmet, a bearskin loin cloth, and a sword slung on his back.

"He's been here awhile," observed Carter. "Must be two dozen empty tankards in front of him."

"What do you expect?" asked Clayton. "Don't you know that's Conan the Barbeerian."

The Match, Part III

Tangor

Jane looked over to the Martian princess. "Men."

Dejah Thoris sighed as the masseuse found the kink in her shoulder. "They can't help it."

Later, under mud packs, Dee observed:

"Idiots! Do they think we don't know?"

"That they are strutting, pompous asses?"

The Martian giggled. "No, silly, trying to deceive us. If they really wanted to both would be dead ... and I wouldn't like that."

Jane's laugh was as bright. "Still, pretty dumb if you ask me. This combat to see who is best..."

"...is to accommodate some crazy readers of Ed's books."

"Who really should know better!"

The Match, Part IV

Bridge

(Note: Not technically a Drabble as it is 2.59 times the length of a traditional Drabble)

"Who should know better?" asked Dejah. "You talking 'bout ERB or his crazy readers?"

"Well, both," said Jane. "If ERB hadn't written all those stories there wouldn't have been this need for them to try to out-macho each other."

"And," added Dejah, "there never would have been that awful 'John Carter' movie."

"Hah!" said Jane. "You're worried about one stinking movie? What about all the film mischaracterizations of Tarzan and me? And some of those actresses who played me...Ew!

"And you're safely up there on Mars," Jane continued. "Down here we have to deal with the constant fallout of political correctness on my John's thefts from Opar, hunting elephants for ivory and killing lions to win bets. And then there's those racism charges that won't go away -- white lord subjugating the black savages and all that."

Dejah jumped to her feet, sloughed off the thin veneer of the mud pack, and extended her clawlike fingernails. "Oh yeah," said Dejah. "What about me, being paraded naked in front of a lot of disgusting green males and females, being an object of lust for every Red Barsoomian jeddak just because I'm incomparable, and having to constantly watch my back around that homicidal Phaidor..."

"I don't need to wait for you to turn your back," hissed Jane, flashing her own set of long, sharp talons. "We'll just see who's the incomparable one..."

Tufts of head hair and bits of dried beauty mud quickly filled the air, along with the shrill screams of the two ladies, as they closed on one another.

The Match, Part V

Tangor

"How are they?" Ed asked the doctor, glancing through the open ward door to four beds. The figures were wrapped in bandages, broken limbs were suspended from wires, IV bottles were draining by drops.

"They will live," the doctor replied, shaking his head.

"What happened?" the author inquired.

"The two men got drunk, something was said... As for the girls, well it appears an illegal substance was in the mudpacks. It was," consulting charts "PCP. Made them crazy."

"When can I take them home?"

"Anytime you like, after all, they're fictional characters."

"Yeah. But try to convince the readers of that!"


One Day In New York

Bridge

She slammed the ERB Canaveral edition onto the counter.

"What do you mean, publishing and selling this trash!" she spat.

"Who are you, lady, and whaddya mean by 'what do you mean?' " demanded Jack Tannen who, with Jack Biblo, ran the bookstore.

"I'm Jane. Lady Greystoke to you. And I'm suing you for publishing this slimy, sexploitation novel about my man, Tarzan."

"Sexploi--- What?" said Tannen. "That's nothing more than ERB's previously unpublished Tarzan novel."

"Hah!" retorted Jane. "How can it be with a title like 'Tarzan and the ...' Oh! I guess I misread it. I thought it said 'Madam'."


Thanksgiving In Africa

Bridge

"I don't feel like cooking a bird this year," said Jane. "Why don't we just eat out and let the Waziri fend for themselves."

"Well, I enjoy cold turkey sandwiches afterward," said Tarzan. "But that's okay. Let's try that new place in Nairobi."

"KFT?"

"Yes," said Tarzan, "Kenya Fried Turkey. "I like their plaintain pudding."

"That's fine," said Jane. "As long as I don't have to cook. And Tarzan....."

"Yes dear?"

"I understand that you'll miss your cold turkey, but I've a surprise for you. There's a big Tom in the pen out back."

Tarzan smiled. "Raw turkey! Even better."


The Christmas Ham

Tangor

Jane greeted her husband at breakfast with a shopping list for Christmas dinner. "I need you to pick up a few things."

Tarzan grinned. "A ham! Wonderful! Have not had Horta in..." The jungle lord almost squirmed with anticipation.

Jane admonished hubby, who had pulled out his father's knife to check the keenness of its edge. "Remember optics, dear. Go get the ham from the grocery store. That's where meat comes from, you know."

"But, Jane!" Tarzan passionately implored. "I have always gone hunting for dinner..."

"Not any more! Do as I say," Jane firmly replied.

"Yes, dear," Tarzan sighed.

The Christmas Ham Drabble — Part 2

Bridge

Tarzan left Greystoke bungalow at a steady trot that he could keep up for hours.

But he was not heading to the store to pick up a ham for Christmas dinner, but instead to the surrounding jungle to seek out Bara the deer to bring to Jane, after, of course, cutting off a juicy steak from the raw and bleeding form to munch on while heading homeward.

When Jane had concluded her instructions to him, Tarzan had suggested, "Yes! Deer!" and Jane had not said no, thus confirming to him that she agreed with his alternate suggestion for Christmas dinner.

The Christmas Ham - a drabble in drabble parts, this is part 3

Tangor

Greystoke shed his thin veneer of civilization trotting between the enormous trees. Soon his sensitive nostrils detected the scent of Bara, the Deer. He immediately leapt to the lower branches of the nearest tree to continue stalking the agile and swift creature and...

"Hey, you!" a stern voice shouted. "Get down here!"

Tarzan scowled as Bara vanished. Seething, he dropped down to approach the park ranger.

"Something wrong, officer? I was on my way to the supermarket."

"Right, and I'm Tarzan."

"But I'm—"

"Name?" park citation book in hand.

Wallet in his other pants, Tarzan politely answered: "John Clayton."

The Christmas Ham -- Part 4

Bridge

"And your date of birth, Mister ... uh ... Clayton?"

"Uh, some chronologists say 1888," replied the interviewee. "Some say 1972. Some say something else, depending on how they work out the Korak discrepancy."

The ranger grimaced, hauled out his .45 and pointed it at Clayton, flipped open his cell phone and dialed a number with his thumb. "I need backup out here," he said. "Got me a wiseguy. You can GPS my coordinates.

"All right Mr. Clayton...or whatever your name is. Looks like we'll have to take you in for fingerprinting."

"That should prove me Greystoke," said the ape man.

The Christmas Ham -- Part 5

Tangor

"Inspector," Clayton said, entering the office with a guard at his back. "Want peace or war?"

Clouseau blinked as he looked upon the tall, muscular form clad in loincloth and boots. "Yipes!" To the guard he cried:

"Are you nuts? Get out! My apologies, Monsieur Tarzan! Please, sit!"

Alone in the office, Clouseau asked:

"You went hunting again?"

"What can I say. It's in my blood."

"And you will have me bleeding if you don't stop!"

Clouseau brought out Cuban cigars and a bottle of absinthe. "Jane will have my hide!"

"And mine. I haven't picked up the ham, yet!"

The Christmas Ham -- 6

Bridge

"Why boots?" asked Clouseau "You going Larson or Lara on me?"

"Things change," mused Tarzan. "I wear them occasionally to keep my feet in shape for when I have to take Jane shopping in Nairobi."

"Like my teeth," said Clouseau. "They said I have to wear these dentures constantly, so my mouth will get accustomed to them. But I hate them!"

So saying, he yanked his top denture out and tossed it into the air, pulling out his revolver and shattering the thing with a bullet.

"Now you're going to have a heck of a time eating ham," Tarzan observed.

The Christmas Ham (7)

Tangor

The two shook hands firm and steady. "See you at the plantation," Tarzan bid Clouseau goodbye.

As he was in town, after the arrest that had been settled as "no arrest!" he stopped by the grocery.

"Ah!" the butcher exclaimed upon seeing Tarzan. "The usual?"

"No. Ham. Virginia if you have it."

"Indeed! Anything else?"

Tarzan's nose quivered. "Is that Bara tar-tar?"

"You like a sample?"

"Please!"

* * *

"Honey, I'm home!"

"What a lovely ham!" Jane exclaimed. She let her gaze run over his magnificent form. "I can't believe it. You good boy!"

"Aren't I—always?" he smiled.

The Christmas Ham—8

Bridge

Tarzan extracted his sweating feet from the boots as Jane slid the ham into the oven.

"I'm excited about the year ahead," she enthused. "Cold ham sandwiches, hot ham sandwiches, ham and potato soup, ham and eggs... ."

"Whoa," said Tarzan. "I like ham, and pork and bacon—but I like other animals too... Why are you talking only about pig?"

"Let me put it this way," replied Jane. "How much did that ham cost?"

Tarzan plucked the receipt from his loin cloth and glanced at it. "$20.19," he said.

"Exactly," said Jane. "2019 is the Chinese year of the Boar."

The Christmas Ham—9

Tangor

Jane kissed Tarzan then drew back with a sharp look, as her nose was nearly as sensitive as her husband's. "Bara? Did you go hunting anyway? After I told—"

Tarzan squeezed her just enough to cut off the sharp retort. "I did not," then grinned and told her what happened.

"Well," Jane said, "we'll see about Ranger Rick's ticket... if he wants any of my blueberry pie!"

"You are ferocious, my dear," Tarzan said. "I love you."

"Oh!" she squirmed in his embrace, pouting. "Me, too!"

"Ham be damned!" Tarzan kissed Jane again.

Merry Christmas! And to all, goodnight!