Short Stories

Chronicles of Plerp: The Purple Cows of Shazaar—Part 1

chronicles-of-plerp

Oh yes.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present the return of Plerp (otherwise known as Medieval Middle-School Drama). It wasn’t going to come out to day, but I ended up finishing it way sooner that expected. Lucky you.

If you’ve never read the other Chronicles of Plerp, then I both pity and envy you. If you wish to proceed with this one, I recommend you read up here.

With out further ado, I present

Shazaar

Dear Wizard Gambergain,

We (Crumby, Dougal, and myself) heard the tragic news that you have come down with the flu, and want to offer our condolences in what must be a fraught and dispiriting time of mental strain and physical deterioration. Know that we are as sorry as three squires can possibly be, and wish you a speedy recovery. Crumby would like to add that he powdered your fake beard for you.

Sincerely,

Sylvestrus Livingston Clarencourt XIII (Dragon Slayer)

and Crumby and Dougal

Postscript

I would like to mention that yesterday, when I went into your study to fetch the Horbwart for Princess Dipwad’s foot-odor issues, I saw a bottle sitting on your desk with a label I’d never seen before. Here is what it said, in case you’re interested:

Purple Powder from Shazaar—EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. Do not touch unless you desire the wrath of Shaazar Shazzar SHAZAAR to descend upon you, or your nose hairs are wiggling and in need of relief.

I wasn’t even remotely curious, but as I was mixing up the Horbwart, I may or may not have opened the purple powder bottle. Please note that this was entirely by accident. I looked at it, and the cork must have found my stare to be offensive, for it popped off and rolled into the crack in the floor. Naturally, I didn’t want to touch something that had such dangerous properties, but I had to do something about the corkless bottle, so I picked it up and took it to your drawer of spare caps and lids and cheesecloth. Along the way, some of it may have gotten into the bucket of feed for the cows tended by Crumby Blots, but this also was unintentional. You see, I tripped.

On my foot.

And one mustn’t blame the actions of a renegade foot.

The point is, after I finished dumping the purple powder in Crumby’s feeding tub, who should have entered but Crumby himself, ready to feed his cows. (Before you start judging me, Gambergain, I must make it clear that anything I did was for the mutual benefit of Crumby’s honor and Weeble Castle’s dignity. I don’t know if you’ve ever had the misfortune of beholding Crumby’s cows, but they are a miserable sight indeed. Yesterday, Miggles Grumpkin the Hog Pen Man mistook them for a couple of starving chickens, and I overheard him telling Zira that they are a disgrace to King Boy’s kingdom.)

Crumby looked at me, poised with the empty bottle in my hand, and said a very stupid thing. He said, “I do hope you haven’t gone and did anything Gambergain would be mad about. He frightens me awfully when he’s cross.”

“My dear young Crumby,” said I, the picture of kindliness and sympathy, “the only reason Gambergain frightens you is because you are a nincompoop.”

For some strange reason, this hurt his feelings. His lower lip quivered as he hunched his shoulders up and collected the feeding tub, brushing past me to make a tearful exit. I shook my head. Blots are such sissies.

Everything proceeded as normal after that. I delivered the Horbwart to Princess Dipwad’s door, and she called me a name which I shan’t repeat here for the sake of my dignity. (Dougal is reading over my shoulder, you see.) I tripped on Zira the Kitchen Maid coming down the stairs, and she slapped me, just because. (It seems that every time I meet Zira, she slaps me. The only conclusion I can draw from this is that she is madly in love with me.)

I was collecting Sir Taturtaut’s discarded armor from the jousting field in the operation of polishing it when something strange happened: Miggles Grumpkin went flying past. Not literally, of course, but it was the fastest I’ve ever seen him run, at least the speed of a fat basset. A moment later, Darby O’Glennis from the smithy roared past, still holding tongs that firmly clasped a sizzling red horseshoe. The last straw was when Zira passed, and didn’t even bother to slap me. At this point, I knew that something was wrong in Weeble.

So naturally, I followed them. A large and sweaty multitude of people jostled one another by Crumby’s cow pen, obscuring the view. Being the polite creature that I am, I asked nicely if I might pass. No one seemed to hear. I asked louder. Still no response.

I politely knocked Belch Bluntley and Grimmer Fox to the ground and shoved into their spot. At last, I could see. But the sight that awaited me made me envious of Belch and Grimmer’s dusty view of ankles and weeds. Crumby’s cows were already a disturbing sight, but now they were ten times worse.

They were purple, Gambergain. The cows of Crumby Blots were purple.

Laugh at me if it is your wish, and call me a fool. But neither wind nor storm nor torture, nor even death itself, will ever tear that horrid memory from my mind, and I cannot and shall not deny the truth of what I saw. They were purple. Not a dark and mysterious purple, mind you. Not the color of deep dusk or enchanted roses. No. Purple like your wizardly robes. Bright, gaudy, and utterly fake. It was the most vomit-inducing thing I’d ever witnessed.

Then I saw Crumby, and whatever disgust I’d felt toward the cows vanished in the wake of a new and greater repellent. The simpleton was standing beside his beasts, stroking their pitiful snouts and bawling. Great ugly tears ran down his face and dribbled off his angular chin. It was enough to make a grown man sick.

However, I am not the kind of man to hit a fellow squire when he’s down, so I opened my mouth and gave a gentle laugh of sympathy.

For reasons beyond my comprehension, Crumby did not understand.

“Oh, go away, Sylvestrus,” he wailed. (I must add here that his face was a very unbecoming shade of blotchy red. He looked like a scrawny white grub with measles.) “Go crow about it somewhere else.”

This was both injurious to my honor and frankly, confusing. Had I been crowing? No. Crows crow, not dignified squires in the prime of their life. I had merely been trying to sooth his broken soul. Is that so very bad, Gambergain? I think not. I sniffed, raising my nose.

“But Crumby, your cows look exactly like a pathetic little frog I wrangled in Flimmerwood Forest.”

Crumby wailed louder.

Someone pushed past me. I thought it would be Grimmer (he was always so fascinated with ugly and unnaturally colored things, you know), but to my mild astonishment, Zira squeezed her graceful and ungainly limbs under the rope fence and approached Crumby, holding something in her outstretched hand. It was a handkerchief. My handkerchief, I might add. At least, the one I once took from her she gave to me. I don’t know how she got it back.

Crumby accepted it and spent five minutes blowing a clump of snot out of his nose. It was both the most disgusting and the most fascinating thing I’d ever seen. I wished Dougal had been there to witness it with me. Thoroughly de-snotted, Crumby took a long shuddering breath, and gave Zira a wet puppy look. It was truly pathetic.

Zira patted a hairy purple cow nose. “I don’t think this is normal,” she stated.

Crumby shook his head.

“Did you feed them anything strange?” she asked.

Crumby shook his head.

“Did you do anything out of the ordinary?”

Crumby shook his head.

“Did you see anyone sneaking around the pen late at night?”

Crumby shook his head.

Zira puckered her forehead. “Was Gambergain in a foul mood?”

“Gambergain’s always in a foul mood.”

“Fouler than normal, I mean.”

Crumby, for the fifth time, shook his head.

Zira sighed. “Well, I don’t know what to tell you, Mr. Blot. It’s all very peculiar.”

I sniffed. Mr. Blot, indeed. She never called me Mr. Clarencourt before.

I know what the problem is!” shouted a rough and tumble voice.

Whirling, my face came face to face with the grinning face of Dougal Dogby.

(Have I ever told you, Gambergain, that when Dougal Dogby grins, nothing good will come of it?)

Zira arched a perfectly crooked eyebrow. “Indeed?”

Crumby blew another wad of snot out of his nose.

“Dougal, hold your tongue,” I said.

Dougal didn’t hold his tongue. “What, didn’t Sylvestrus tell you about it?” he asked Zira. She shook her head. “Well that’s surprising. He’s been ever so pleased with himself, ever since he did it. Won’t stop talking about it.”

“Dougal, I strongly request that you be silent.”

He brushed past me, lifting his thick legs over the rope fence. (It will never cease to amaze me how he is able to move those heavy appendages.) “I can’t believe you don’t recognize Sylvestrus’ handiwork here,” he said, gesturing to the violet cattle.

I am all for peaceful settlement of disagreements, but stronger measures had to be taken. “DOUGAL, FOR MERCY’S SAKE, SHUT UP!” I politely yelled.

I was not responsible for the strange discoloration of Crumby’s livestock. In fact, I have no interest whatsoever in them, or their purpley purpleness. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Dougal said what he did in the attempts to deflect suspicion from his own guilty personage. But the damage had already been done. Zira cast her wide, indignant eyes upon me, and Crumby burst into a fresh round of tears.

“How could you?” he wailed. Zira patted his soggy arm.

Dougal grinned.

I was about to defend my name when the good Sir Taturtaut, my knight, burst through the crowd of onlookers, bald and red faced as a scrubbed potato. “How now, young rrrascals!” he cried, rolling his R’s as always. “Stirring up trrrouble, I see?”

I started to explain, but he cut me off. “Eh! The knave’s a merrry mischief-makerrr, that is plain. Needs a smacking of life to soberrr him up.”

I already knew where this was going. And I was right. Before anyone could say “Grimmer’s grungy goatee”, I was in the kitchen, peeling three barrels of spuds.

After enough potato peels as to make my poor fingers red and swollen, I looked up to see Zira polishing a big copper pot. She was glancing sideways at me.

“Crumby’s awfully cut up, you know,” she said.

I snorted. “You obviously know nothing about Blots. I could have killed Crumby’s favorite cow, and he still would have been cut up. It’s just the way they are.”

She shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe, I suppose. Still.” She slapped her rag down on the thick wooden chopping block reserved for onions and hung the pot on the rack. “He was crying, Sylvestrus. If I made one of my friends cry, I don’t think I’d be so calm about it.”

“My dear Zira,” I said, “what on earth would you like me to do about it? I can’t help it if he chooses to cry about nothing.”

She raised her eyebrows. “You could try apologizing.”

And with that, she left.

Stretching my limbs, I abandoned the spuds and moseyed out into the courtyard. It was almost suppertime, and not a soul was to be seen. They were probably all in the Great Hall, waiting for their dinner of roast pheasant and gravy. My stomach growled. Sir Taturtaut had made it clear that there would be no supper for me. I wondered what the punishment was for squire abuse.

I slumped against the kitchen wall. Crumby generally brings me part of his supper when I’ve been framed by Dougal, but for some reason, I doubted he would tonight. He was off sulking, no doubt. For mercy’s sake, it wasn’t my fault I dumped the purple powder from Shazaar into his feed tub. It was my hand’s fault. Trust a Blot to blame you instead of your hand. Apologize. A loud snort ripped through my nostrils. Apologize for what?

Still… The tragic mooing of his cows rang in my ears. I want to tell them to take it somewhere else, but I don’t think they’d listen to me. (Not many people do, unfortunately, though I don’t know why. I’m such an intelligent lad, with such intelligent things to say.) I probably could have used more tact when speaking to him. Maybe refrained from laughing. Not called him a nincompoop. But nothing to apologize about.

That was when something wet and firm landed on my head.

I calmly panicked.

Flailing wildly, I finally got it off and discovered that it was an apple core. Looking up, I saw a slender, delicate girl with wild golden curls perched on the kitchen’s sloping roof. Her skirt was pulled up past her knees, due to the roof, and she was wearing a pair of very frilly pink polka-dotted bloomers. A book was held upside down in one hand and a parsnip-and-anchovies sandwich in the other.

“Sorry,” she said, peering down at me with eyes as bright and dreamy as pixie dust. “That slipped. I can come get it, if you want. I’m ever so good at climbing things with my hands full. Shall I get it?”

I waved her off. “Don’t bother.” I knew that girl. At least, I knew of her. No one with any self respect would associate with Lamilda Lou. To put it simply, she’s whacked in the head.

But then I caught sight of her book title: The Properties, Regions, and Tooth Pastes of Shazaar. Except it was upside down, so it read, raazahS fo setsaP htooT dna ,snoigeR ,seitreporP ehT.

“Lamilda Lou,” I said slowly, a brilliant idea forming in my head. “You wouldn’t happen to know anything about Purple Powder from Shazaar, would you?”

Her ditzy face broke into a smile. “Purple Powder? As in, the kind they mine from Crackan, or the cultured stuff gotten out of tree roots?”

“Any of it.”

“Then yes.” She nodded, setting her spring loaded curls bouncing crazily. Her gaze wandered somewhere other than me, and she suddenly said, “Why, no! But thank you. He’s talking to me.”

Like I said, she’s batty. Ignoring her last comment, I forged on ahead. “Do you know how to reverse its effects?”

Her forehead scrunched up. “Sort of. It’s complicated though—involves a lot of snot and dragons. Do you know any dragons?”

“Yes,” I said, “I know one, but that’s beside the point.”

“Why? They’re such lovely creatures.”

“Lamilda Lou,” I said firmly, “Come down here.”

“I offered to quite a while ago, and you said no.”

Honestly, I don’t know how anyone deals with the girl. She’s clearly out of her wits. I tried a different tactic. “How would you like to meet a dragon?”

“Meet a dragon?” Lamilda Lou cried, sliding down the roof and leaping nimbly to the ground, landing on her delicate, bare feet. “I’d love to!”

“Good,” said I, “for you are going to. We are going to un-purplify Crumby Blots’ cows.”

~*~

Dun dun DUUUUN….

Stay tuned next Thursday for Part 2, and the return of Dwings the Uninterested, Chiefest and Greatest Yawners of this Age!!!

~Sarah

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39 thoughts on “Chronicles of Plerp: The Purple Cows of Shazaar—Part 1”

      1. Uh oh. Methinks the Big Head will be taking up residence in our household once again. Please have mercy on your poor dull witted family…Wordmaster..
        ..yeesh…🙄

        😘

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          1. Does that mean that MOP, who is your mother, is MRS. WORDMASTER, meaning she is superior to you, as you are a junior to her?

            Be careful how big your head gets, or your crown won’t fit.

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            1. *shoves Bethia in a closet* YOU DIDN’T HEAR THAT, MOP.

              (Though seriously, that is an inspiring set of words up there, the thing about the crown. I may need to write that down.)

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                  1. *shoves all of you in the closet*

                    LONG LIVE PLERP!

                    Sylvestrus is so. rude. 😮 HELP. The understatement of everything. It’s TOO HILARIOUS.

                    If I explode waiting for Dwings next week it’s not my fault.

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                    1. *raises sword* HEAR HEAR.

                      But please, Emma, don’t explode. Dance into a mole hill if you must, but don’t explode. Dwings wouldn’t appreciate it. You’d get his wings dirty.

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                    2. It’s not vanity. It’s a proper sense of hygiene and disgust at exploding people. 😛 Though you would probably explode into glitter, come to think of it…
                      The mole hills are my new favorite thing. 😂

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                    3. OHHH! Well. That’s different. Dwings is a clean freak then? I IDENTIFY WITH THAT. Dwings, I apologize for this affront to your dignity, and further I applaud you for being a clean freak. May we shake wings on it?
                      *brushes all the mole hill dirt off his wings*

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  1. Ooh. He seems like an ISTP to me. That’s close. 😀 Maybe an ISFP, but I don’t know…he doesn’t seem flighty enough for that.
    And I’ll have to read him again, but I’m thinking Dwings is an ENFJ. 😂 Actually though it might be close with ENTJ.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And if he was an ENFJ that means he’s Sylvestrus’ polar opposite—if Sylvestrus is indeed an ISTP which I’m pretty sure he is—which would explain why they get along SO WELL with each other. *monstrous eyeroll* Help. Most polar opposites don’t click well. These two are no exception. 😂
      Seems like there has to be at least one shared letter for the likelihood of them being best pals to occur, and generally the second one.

      P.S. I see on my comment above it says I ‘liked’ it. I assure you I did no such thing. I must’ve accidently clicked there as the page was loading or something. *goes off muttering disgustedly*

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      1. Emma, you arrogant little creature, liking your own comments. XD Don’t worry. Mom’s done that a time or two herself.

        Hey, I was almost right! *skips off to look up ISTPs again* But wait, what’s this about him not being flighty? *hacks into handkerchief*
        ENFJ…again…what’s the deal with that? Why is EVERYONE an ENFJ? HOWEVER, I think I might have to disagree with you. (After having to reread my own character, since I can hardly remember what I wrote yesterday, let alone whenever I published that story.) I am almost positive Dwings is a Thinker. I’m not sure if I got that across when I wrote it, but IN MY OWN HEAD, at least, he’s a thinker. Or what I think a thinker is. Which may be completely wrong. *glares at Loki* (Yes, I know, I’m disagreeing with you about MBTI AGAIN, something I know next to nothing about. I’m sorry.)
        Whatever the case though, they’re still practically polar opposites. So maybe he is an ENFJ after all.

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        1. Well I mean, not flighty like, artsy and head-in-the-clouds daydreaming flitty ISFP. But maybe I’m thinking of girl ISFPs. 😛
          ACTUALLY, I agree. (Come on, you have full right to disagree with me on MBTI. I’m not like, the leading authority or anything. XD AND I don’t know everthing, which is a pity really.) He does seem more like an ENTJ. Which compared to an ISTP is still PRETTY polar opposite. XD
          And I don’t know why everyone is an ENFJ! That’s not a COMMON common type. Way less so than some. I guess they just make really good characters.

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          1. OH. Yeah, not flighty like that. At all. Sheesh.
            Well look, you know ten times more about MBTI than I do, so when it’s just us, you ARE the leading authority. You’re the ONLY authority. Me disagreeing with you about something I know nothing of is like you disagreeing with me about…*tries to think of something I’m the leading authority on* EVERYTHING. Because I know EVERYTHING. 😀
            That came out weird. Totally true though. Ask Mop. 😂

            How many of these things do we have in our repertoire now? Mr. Knightley, Mr. Jarndyce, Archie, Fili, Herbert Pocket, Loki, someone else I can’t remember… Hans from Frozen is one too, isn’t he. Why is it that they’re all guys?

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            1. I seem to recall mentioning earlier in these comments about a possible resurgence of The Big Head. Now my dear child thinks she knows and I quote “EVERYTHING”.

              Case. In. Point.

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              1. Hmmm. Hm hm hm. *scratches head*
                Well Sarah…I shall be certain to refer to you next time I need info on everything. Unless we are in the presence of your mother.
                😂
                Yeah, but, you don’t know NOTHING about MBTI. Or you wouldn’t be able to type people. Or dragons. And you were righter than I was with Dwings. *shakes finger at you*
                But I’ll stop arguing. XD

                HEY, I know one female ENFJ at least! Lady Catherine! 😂 From the long P&P. Not sure about the short one.
                *grimace* ENFJs gone wrong get so terribly manipulative. It’s really ludicrous comparing good ones with bad ones ’cause they’re so very similar in terms of how they think but when the worldview is messed up they do the so differentest things. 😛

                *is supremely aware of your humility in putting Loki as ENFJ*
                Ugh yes, Hans is one. And Smaug, and Humperdink, Loki, Lady Catherine…Then the good guys being Mr. Knightley, Mr. Jarndyce, Archie, Fili, Herbert Pocket, Aragorn from the book, maybe Merry from the movie, and though you haven’t seen them Prince Hal/Henry V from BBC’s, and Charles Ingalls… I said Reep was one before but I don’t think so anymore. He’s more like ES/NTP or something.
                There are probably more I’m not remembering. 😛
                Sometimes Denholm seems awfully like one but Kate swears he’s ENFP. And I believe her, but he’s got strong J undertones or something. And this INTJ side that comes and mixes with his ENFP in certain situations. It’s great. (But he also happens to have had an amazing dad who raised him right, so it’s possible that a lot of the time he’s just a super responsible ENFP. XD)
                Yeah…that’s quite a few. But they’re not nearly so numerous as a percentage in real life, at least not in my experience. And the 16personalities website it says ENFJs are like only two percent of the population. They must just populate stories so much ’cause they make for such utterly sweet characters or utterly manipulative and charming villains. But I don’t have an explanation for why most of them are guys. It’s rather funny.

                That got long. *whispers off*

                Oh wait, is Emolas one? I know basically zilch about him, but…he seems… like an INFJ. *nods*

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          2. *ignores Mop* *continues to argue* But everything I know about MBTI you taught me. And Dwings is my own character. So obviously I know more about him than you do.

            *blinks* Lady Catherine. DeBurg. I did NOT see that coming. 😂 But honey, don’t kid yourself about my humility. I only agree with you on Loki because Daeus and Grace took your side, and I can’t argue with the joined opinion of three people. *sigh* It’s terribly frustrating…
            Maybe they’re all guys because… Actually, I have no idea. They make good Mr. Knightleys. I should have guessed that Denholm would have some slight trace of ENFJ/P in him. No wonder you like him so much. And if Dunstan is an INTJ (whoop!), then it makes sense why his son would have traces of that as well. As for Emolas…

            *no comment*

            Actually, I really have no idea. He’s an introvert, so he can’t be ENFJ. I was thinking INFP or INFJ, so you might just be right. *mysterious grin* Wait and see, precious. Wait and see.

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            1. *is disabused of notions regarding Sarah’s humility*
              *snicker* All right. Though might does not make right… *wiggles eyebrows*… but here I think it does. 😂 BUT do you know who else is on my side? K.M. Weiland. If you know who that is. And even if you don’t, she still says he’s ENFJ. And I didn’t know that when I first made the prediction, Kate told me afterwards. And K.M. Weiland knows a lot. So there. 😀
              But I really just need to watch him.

              And no one could EVER say Dunstan did not rub off on his son.
              ENFP characters can be just as crazily lovable as ENFJs though. Sometimes. Rarely. In Denholm’s case, absolutely.

              Oh cool then… *waits patiently*

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          3. *is completely humbled* Yeah…I can’t really argue with you, Daeus, Grace, AND K.M. WEILAND, of all people. Sheesh. You don’t play fair. But for pity sake, dear, would you stop arguing about a character you’ve never watched? It’s disgraceful. 😉

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            1. Oh I know, ’tis shamefully disgraceful and ’twill end now. *vigorous nodding* I must watch the movies sometime indeed.

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  2. Wait. I think I missed out on this whole conversation, but you know what? I am perfectly okay with that. I was busy trying to write a new scene in my trilogy so you can’t really blame me. And I know next to nothing of the MBPI or whatever that is.

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                1. Mop, that acronym sounds like cannibal.
                  And Sarah is correct in naming yours. Which is very good. 😂
                  And Bethia, I thought you’d said before you were an ENTP, but yeah. Still. That’s close. 😉

                  *goes off in a motorized blimp*
                  (Because anyone who tries to ride a non-motorized blimp is most likely doomed.)

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                  1. That is the best thing ever. HA!!! Cannibal. You’re right.

                    I just have to say, the mental picture of you toodling off in a motorized blimp is probably the funniest thing that’s ever happened. 😂😂😂 I don’t know why. Imma go draw a picture.

                    Like

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