"Tom's right," said the Horse. "Come on, Cow, let's get going. We can talk about a plan on the way up."
"Okay," said the Cow, as she reluctantly stepped onto the bark floor. "But try not to swing the barkevator around too much. I'm afraid of heights and I'm worried that if I toss my lunch all over this big Baba we'll be the main course at their next feast!"
As the Cow stepped on board, the Baba hunting party scrambled quickly up the trees into the darkness above. The tall Baba waved to unseen eyes overhead and, with a jolt, the lift started moving upward at a surprisingly smooth pace.
"Second floor: lingerie, men's sport coats and sharp spears for impaling strangers," said the Cow as they cleared a thick tangle of branches.
As they moved beyond the branches, they leaned out over the guardrails and looked up towards the sky. Bright sunlight was beaming through a perfect octagon cut into the thick branches hundreds of feet overhead and it lit up the most incredible network of roads and walkways they had ever seen.
The Baba village was like a set of beautifully designed tree houses. All the buildings were connected by a latticework of thin wooden tracks that fanned out like an elegant spider web from a large central structure.
The view was so breathtaking that no one could speak. Even the Cow was quiet for a few minutes. Tom realized he had been all wrong about the Baba. It was obvious that they were a sophisticated civilization with highly developed architectural and engineering skills.
The Baba on the walkways stopped and stared as the strangers rode past them silently in the lift. The party could see that the elevator was headed towards the large central building that had been built into and around a giant tree. When the elevator reached the large building, it stopped and they stepped out onto a wide platform that sloped gently downward towards a huge archway.
The tall Baba moved quickly in front of the party and passed through a pair of tough-looking guards who were positioned on either side of the archway. The party followed and entered a long, brightly lit hall that emptied into a gigantic rounded chamber. The room was a circular auditorium that was built with descending rows of wooden benches which terminated in a rounded, raised platform in the center. At the top of the chamber a series of open arches led to the many walkways of the city, and a multitude of Baba of different sizes and shaped streamed through the openings and filled the hall.
Tom noticed that all the Baba who came into the room, including some he recognized from the hunting party, walked upright. All traces of the "hunchbacked" appearance he had noticed when they met in the forest had vanished. He discovered that not only were the Baba intellectually sophisticated, but they were wise enough to know that their reputation for fierce, fighting and their frightening and distorted posture, helped them keep their enemies at bay.
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Greg is a web comic artist. He enjoys creating funny web comics for the Internet. It makes him happy to do humorous comics about fish. Webcomics are great, fun, and some of the best comics out there!
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