‘Of course I’m cross. Bloody furious if you must know.’ Oodle Knotbeam glared at Barke Saprising. ‘Look at me.’
Barke sighed. Once upon a time carving a living sculpture led to praise, thanks even. You got the occasional aberration, but never such vitriol. That little imp Pinocchio was a case in point. He was a prototype, appealing to the cute kiddie market and the stupid carver had used a lying oak rather than honest ash with predictable consequences. At least, back then your newly minted wooden humanoid had to learn what they were and meanwhile could be directed, no encouraged to understand how lucky they were to be animated.
Now every twig had access to Rustle and other social root systems that had spawned from the exponentially developments in knowledge trees. Before they had even developed a skin let alone bark, they were having their leaves clipped and some were even sussurating shamelessly.
Oodle clicked his knots and spread his branches. ‘Well?’
‘We’ll what?’ Barke was getting annoyed. ‘I’ve given you character. You have a face that can scare willies out of most age groups, that beard is a work of genius… what?’
‘Sorry? What about them?’
‘Where are they?’
‘Come again? It’s a figure of speech. It means…’
Oodle waved him quiet. He took a breath. ‘When you were carving me, what were your ideas? Sweet and charming or ferocious and angry?’
‘The latter. Where’s this going?’
‘Hang on. Male or female?’
‘So,’ Oodle did a strange limboing thing, thrusting his groin at Barke, ‘what happened? Not so much as an acorn. A Ken doll has more going on down there than I do.’ He reached out this hoary hands and picked Barke up.
Barke waved frantically. ‘I can sort that. No problem. Just let me get my took kit and you’ll be hanging how you want.’
‘One more thing…’
‘Yes whatever…’ Barke wished he’d smoothed off the hands. Those knuckles really dug in.
‘Can you sand off these moobs at the same time…?’
Barke nodded. This gig was getting too stressful. Maybe it was time to move into making sheds…