Jebediah Beard had always wanted to travel to Toenail even though there were many Beardians who hated the Toenailites. To most, just thinking of the southerners made them sick. “They always get special treatment. They get trimmed nearly every week and then they get covered up in soft wrappings and sometimes they even got to wear Shoes.”
Yes, The Voice seemed pretty fond of the people of Toenail but Beardians knew them for what they really were–stinky.
But, Jebediah wasn’t like other Beardians. He had an urge to visit every part of the word of Humania and Toenail happened to be one of the places he had never visited. So, like he did so often, one day Jebediah woke up, waited for Comb to pace through the land of Beard, climed up to the top of Humania, and asked the longest Hairman if they could help him swing down to toenail.
“What’s in it for me,” Hairy asked.
“Hairy, we’ve been on tens of visits before. You know you get to see a place you’ve never been.”
“I know Jebediah, but it hurts a little bit when you swing on me. Hairmen are meant to be brushed and stroked, not swung on.”
“You say that every time too. I’m just a little whisker hairy, if you can’t support my weight you shouldn’t be bragging about being the longest Hairman in all of Humania.”
Hairy, who couldn’t imagine being shorter than he was was convinced. “Ok Jeb, you can swing on me down to Toenail. I’ve always wanted to talk to those folks to find out if they are indeed smelly.”
With that, Hairy rooted himself to skin and Jebediah swung easily back to the bottom of Beard.
“Ok Hairy, let go and I’ll reel you in,” Jeb said. Hairy picked up his roots and allowed the Beardian to roll him up. When he was all rolled up, Jeb unfurled him, he rooted himself again and Jeb swung as far down Humania as he could. They went about this process 11 times before they reached Knee, a place they had already visited on another adventure.
“So you’re ready to do this Hairy?”
“I am. I don’t know how we’re going to get to them though. As usual, they’re all covered up in their fancy soft cloth.”
“We’re pretty tiny, I imagine we can find a small hole somewhere in the cloth and squeeze through one at a time. I haven’t swung this far just to see soft cloth.”
Jebediah took one final swing and landed on the soft cloth. He surveyed for holes as he rolled up Hairy one final time. He spotted just what he was looking for near the far end of Toenail.
“That big long toenail thing looks to have a hole,” he said, point to Big Toe.
“I’ve heard that’s the smelliest one,” Hairy noted. “But I know you’re going to take me there anyway so let’s get this over with. I already wish I hadn’t come down here.”
“If it smelled so bad, you’d know already,” Jeb reminded him.
“I don’t know what this cloth is made of. It could be smell blocker or something.”
But Jebediah was already disappearing through the hole. Hairy thought it would be best to stick near his Beardian friend and followed. They were both greeted by dark and a little moisture.
“It doesn’t smell as bad as everyone’s told me,” Hairy admitted.
“Of course it doesn’t,” said a voice that sounded as though it was coming from directly beneath them. It was Big Toe himself, already on the defence.
“So this is Toenail,” Jeb said looking around. “Pretty much what I expected. Dark, not as smelly as everyone thinks and a little damp. It reminds me of Beard a little bit.”
“We Toes have never understood why the rest of Humania disliked us so much.”
“It’s the soft cloth,” Hairy spoke up immediately.
“You try walking on rocks and wood and cement all day and see if you don’t need a little soft cloth,” Big Toe argued. “Besides, I believe you’re from Head and don’t you also get covered in soft cloth when you go out of doors?”
Hairy looked embarrassed. “Yes, sometime we do.”
“And have you ever heard anyone make fun of you for it?”
“No. I have not.”
“Well, we’d be a much happier lot if people would stop making fun of us too. Has it ever occurred to you that it’s us Toenailites and Feet that support all of Humania? That’s a big responsibility and we do it all while being disliked by everyone else.”
“Well, we like you, and we’ll spread the word,” Jeb promised. “There’s no need for anyone to displike you even a minute longer. We’ll get support for the people who support us.”
“We would very much like that. And please, encourage others to come visit. It’s so lonely down here in the dark.”
“Big Tow, I’m sorry for the way some of us, like me, have treated Toenailites,” Hairy said. “I’m glad Jeb dragged me down here. I needed to learn that everyone on Humania is doing there own thing to support everyone else. It isn’t going to do anyone any good being mean to others.”
With that, the two hair follicles said their goodbyes to Big Toe who would share the goodbyes with other Toenailites. Jeb and Hairy slowly made their way back to Northern Humania, prepared to tell the story of their new friend.