On the fourteenth day of the fourteenth month, the final draft of the manifesto was circulated and approved by quorum vote. Of the abstainers, only Miliczet Ferenczi had the nerve to say out loud what was on everybody’s mind.
“What if she doesn’t listen to us? What if she takes this little piece of paper and sets it on fire, laughing in our faces? What do we do then? What?”
No one in the circle had a simple answer, and for several moments there was silence around the campfire. The breeze had been picking up and the flickering flames served to emphasize the words of her challenge. Intense concern was etched on the faces of everyone present.
“She has to listen to reason,” Ermst Holdcrzhew said, “doesn’t she?”
“She doesn’t have to listen to anyone,” Miliczet was quick to reply. “That’s because she’s the teacher, and we’re just a bunch of ten year olds.”
“Ssh, she’s coming back,” Morszt whispered in a panic. “What do we do now? What?”
“Quick, burn it,” Schmiddley advised.
“No, we voted,” Rallzik complained. Since she was the one clutching it, she held it high above her head while Schmiddley tried to grab for it.
“If it’s so important to you,” Miliczet said directly to Rallzik. “I vote for you to be the one to give it to her.”
“Yes, Rallzik!” Ermst Holdcrzhew agreed. He’d be just fine if Rallzik was the one who got the ass whupping that would surely follow. He’d never liked Rallzik, and now that he had a split second to think about it, he didn’t really care if they ever got more walnuts with their schmulderberries.