And now Part Two, which is the only other part aside from the first one, which is here.
It was a long ride to the part of the forest where lived the Jurangodon, but the citizens of Hoogerville loved their children with a vengeance and were determined to have them back. They rode and they rode, and when they finally arrived at the home of the Jurangodon they found a quaint little cottage with flowers out front and a green green lawn that was very well-tended. In other words, not at all what they’d expected from such a foul and terrible beast. They had hoped to coordinate a full-scale assault, with flanks and rear-guards and what-not, and for the moment they were so confused they were unable to think.
The little girl saw this as an excellent opportunity to influence the outcome, as she had hoped. She pointed out what should have been obvious; this was just a quaint little cottage and a full-scale assault upon it would not be at all proper.
“Then what ought we do?” asked someone.
“We ought knock at the door, of course,” said the girl.
The citizens were disappointed. This was not like any assault they had heard of, but they nevertheless agreed. For the knocking, they chose the Mayor.
The Mayor approached the door and knocked thrice. There was no answer, and no sign of the Jurangodon.
“Hallo!” said the Mayor. “Mr. Jurangodon?” No beast of the forest had ever been called mister, but the Mayor later explained that it had just slipped out, what with the beast’s home being such a proper little cottage.
Still no answer, and no sign of the Jurangodon. Someone without much patience said the journey had been such an inconvenience that they ought to coordinate an assault anyway, proper cottage or no, and this went over well.
The little girl found this unacceptable. “We have already decided it would not be proper to make war upon this pretty little house. Perhaps the Jurangodon is out back, gardening.”
The citizens thought this unlikely, and said as much. No beast of the forest had ever kept a garden, they said.
“And neither has one kept so lovely a cottage nor so well-tended a lawn,” said the girl. “His keeping a garden, I think, seems rather likely. We ought to at least check.”
“Very well,” said the citizens.
They went around back of the cottage, and lo! They did find a most lovely garden, and the Jurangodon and the missing children as well. The beast was not gardening, but sitting on the grass, a blackboard in his lap, and all the children were gathered around him, spellbound. It seemed a safe and pleasant situation, and plans for a full-scale assault were completely scrapped, much to the little girl’s delight.
“Er, excuse me,” said the Mayor, “but are you the Jurango–, I mean are you Mr. Jurangodon?” The Mayor later explained the mister was this time intentional. It seemed appropriate, considering the circumstances, he said.
“At your service,” said the Jurangodon in a surprised but melodious baritone.
“Er, well then,” said the Mayor. “I see you have children about you, and they look rather like ours. Ours are missing you see, and we’ve come looking for them.”
This got the children’s attention. They turned to see the citizens, and some jumped up and ran to hug their parents. Others simply smiled and waved.
“Ah, you must be from Hoogerville,” said the Jurangodon, putting two and two together, “for that is where these children are from, and they seem to know you. I have just been teaching them their letters.”
A great rumbling of surprise went up among the citizens. They thought the children already knew their letters. Moreover, they had been expecting to hear something much more foul and terrible. The little girl, however, was quite pleased with the way things were unfolding, and she clarified. “You mean,” she said, “that you are doing nothing foul and terrible at all, but only teaching them to spell?”
“Why yes,” said the Jurangodon. “To spell.”
“But they know already how to spell,” said the Mayor, pointing to his sash. “See? They gave me this because I am the Mayor.”
“I beg to differ, sir,” said the Jurangodon. “I mean, I do not doubt that you are the Mayor, and a fine one indeed, but your sash indicates that you are not the mayor at all, but rather the mayo, which means mayonnaise. The word is misspelled.”
There was a collective ah from the citizens as they all finally realized why they sometimes had mad, unexplainable desires for ham sandwiches.
“You see,” said the Jurangodon, “I passed through Hoogerville recently and traveled down a street I noticed you spelled m-a-n-e. That means mane as in the hair on the neck of a horse or a lion. I thought what you meant was m-a-i-n, as in Most Important Street in Hoogerville, so I investigated other spellings. I learned you feed your children surreal, as in something bizarre or fantastic, when what you mean is cereal, or a crunchy grain product served with milk. You also feed them Bengals, as in a breed of tiger, when what you mean is bagels, a tasty bread product akin to the donut. I decided that something needed done immediately, and I took matters into my own hands.”
“Quite literally,” someone added.
“Goodness,” said the Mayor. “So you burgled our children with intent to instruct them in precision spelling.”
“Precisely,” said the Jurangodon.
The Mayor looked up at the Minister, and the Minister down at the Mayor, as if in consultation.
“Well, Mr. Jurangodon,” said the Mayor, “we appreciate your concern and kind intent. However, we love our children vigorously, and though we don’t mind their disappearing so much, we greatly mind their not coming back. We thought you had thieved them for reasons foul and terrible, and we had come to eliminate you and re-burgle them.”
“My goodness!” said the Jurangodon.
“Why,” said one of the citizens, “did you not simply alert us to our error and help us correct it?”
The Jurangodon said, “At the time, I thought you were set in your ways and would refuse, but I knew the children to be open-minded. I am sorry for causing such trouble.”
“It would seem,” said the little girl, “that there has been a terrible misunderstanding.”
“Hear, hear,” said the citizens. Someone suggested that plans to eliminate the Jurangodon now be scrapped. This delighted everyone, especially the little girl.
The Mayor looked up at the Minister, and the Minister down at the Mayor, as if in consultation. They nodded in agreement, and the Mayor puffed out his chest. This meant he was about to use his Mayorly Voice that the citizens so loved.
“And now,” said the Mayor, “I speak on behalf of my people when I say that we, the citizens of Hoogerville, would be honored if you, Mr. Jurangodon, would continue to instruct our children in the art of spelling, provided of course that they return when graduated.”
Hearing this, the Jurangodon blubbered with joy. “I would very much like that,” he said.
“Then it is settled,” said the Mayor. “Now hear this, Hoogervillians, let all return to Hoogerville with our new friend, Mr. Jurangodon and celebrate the occasion with ham sandwiches!”
“Hooray!” shouted everyone. They all went back to Hoogerville, and the Jurangodon with them. When they arrived, however, they decided they were rather tired of ham sandwiches, and they opted for grilled cheese instead.
As they ate their sandwiches under the enormous green and white striped tent on what would hereafter be Main Street, the citizens thanked the little girl for her help. Without her, they said, things may very well have turned out badly. What’s more, the children would soon be excellent spellers, and there would be no more of their disappearing and not coming back.
To this the girl replied, “That is exactly what I’d hoped for all along.” She was delighted, and this made everyone else even happier. The Jurangodon was extremely happy already, and now became quite giddy.
A committee was organized to ensure that all words in Hoogerville were spelled correctly, especially those on cereal boxes and bagel bags and street corners. The Jurangodon proved extremely helpful in this regard. To this day, however, the Mayor still wears a nice white sash on which is printed the word MAYO. This is to remind everyone of this story’s happy ending. Sometimes the citizens still dash home with a mad desire for ham sandwiches, but at least they now understand why.