Groun'chuck chile from the Pogo comic

"...a scienterrific genius"
- Howland Owl

Grundoon is a perfect candidate for a Brevity Quest as he is a diminutive, minor character in the Pogo strips. This is not to say that he lacks character; on the contrary he's jes' full of beans. He's known to the denizens of the Swamp as the "bitin' nephew", because well, that's what he does. Speaking mostly in consonants, he's curious and curiously gifted.

Roaming the Okefenokee Swamp in what appears to be a nappy, he prods and pokes at the world in a wonderfully childish way, but has many hidden and delightful qualities. One of his better-known abilities lies in his skill calling fish - as Pogo Possum himself puts it, "GRS...some give a moose call, Grundoon give the fish call..." and they come in droves. Or schools.

Howland Owl once called him a "scienterrific genius" after figuring that his pronouncements (in this case, "TCH DSG") were pure algebra. He's smarter than yer average groundhog, fer sure. One can only hope that his baby sister, Li'l Honey Bunny Ducky Downy Sweetie Chicken Pie Li'l Everlovin' Jelly Bean is equally blessed.

Mischief? Aplenty. Scaring Howland into a tree by bursting a balloon, disappearing after getting stuck in taffy, stopping an impo'tant baseball game by unravelling the ball, not to mention biting fingers.

He does speak some English though, finally learning to say "Bye", and once speaking in Chinese to a chick hatched from a Thousand-year-old egg. Mostly he's just entertaining in his joyful manner, shouting gleefully to the woods and sky, "Mgnx." I can think of no more fitting tribute.

For my own beloved grundoon, whom I miss dreadfully.

For my father, who introduced me to Pogo, also Walt Kelly and his imagination and brilliance.

I see the grundoon character a bit differently, as my sister's choice of names.

The adults don't understand grundoon, and dismiss what grundoon says.

My sister had trouble with the letter R. She was in speech therapy in sixth grade and finally got it. The adults that summer said "Oh, you've learned to say R. It was so cute when you couldn't." Um, can you say humiliation for a 12 year old? No "Good job." Instead: "No longer cute." But still dismissed.

I saw a snapping turtle at the lake, the shell the size of a platter, when I was an adult. Grundoon told me that she saw a shell when she was little. No one believed her. When she got someone to go with her, it was gone. She said, "They believe you."

Morph now to my sister's home node picture: the Borg Queen. She told me that it was because she'd had so many parts removed and things done to her from the cancer. That is one reason. But it's also the Borg motto: "You will be assimilated." My sister was controlling the story. To be part of her life, one had to believe the story.

I thought about putting a picture of Picard or Data on my home node. Too obvious, I thought. Also, I was trying to track what was happening. I didn't want her to know how much.

She did not assimilate me. In the end, though, I think she was glad that I stood apart from it. I stayed in contact to the end, but treated her as my sister. She apologized. And she asked me to keep the story from hurting anyone else.

I keep trying, little sister.

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