Eye had rigged up a little platform with a rickety ladder going up to it. He was sitting on the platform in an egg cup. He had a pickle jar full of dimes and a sign.

THE AUTONOMOUS EYE
is IN

All will be revealed
Answers 10¢ each
Exact change please

I had enough change for approximately 3 to 5 answers. I got out my notepad and a pencil so I could take notes. I wanted to be sure and get my money’s worth.

I tossed a dime in the pickle jar.

“How come Fox fell for a human dame?” I asked.

I was expecting the Eye to start spinning and turning and zooming in and out like he used to do, but he just sat there thinking, and he didn’t speak until he was ready. It was very unlike him.

“She’s not human, she’s a wood nymph,” the Eye said.

“A wood nymph?”

“A supernatural being with limited magic powers. Fox isn’t her lover, he’s her animal familiar.”

I’d heard of that before, but I couldn’t remember where. It was shocking. “Can I have a supplementary question for free?” I asked.

“As long as it’s on exactly the same subject,” the Eye said. I had to admire his business acumen.

“How come Fox walks upright when he’s around Woodsy?”

“That’s the nature of the relationship. The animal familiar helps his mistress perform magic spells, and in exchange he gains the power to take human form. Woodsy can also take the form of a fox. She often goes out as a fox at night.”

“How did they meet?” I asked. I knew I was pushing my dime, but I couldn’t resist.

“Fox was driving cab in Geneva. Woodsy got in. The rest is just details,” the Eye said. “Next question.”

I was scribbling like mad in my book so I wouldn’t forget anything. ‘Animal familiar,’ I wrote.

Next I wanted to know about the bANk sTREeT irReLEvanTs. I tossed another dime in the Eye’s jar.

“How come the BSIs all quit blogging at once and took off like that?” I asked.

“Our work was done. The ELgiN StreEt iRReguLars no longer needed to be nudged out of their complacency. They’d moved on to real estate and dating advice. Very dull if you ask me.”

‘Dating advice,’ I wrote in my notebook.

“It was a hard job nudging them, but it had to be done,” the Eye said. “Being cruelly ignored like that, and never even receiving our prizes for all the challenges we won… it was tough. But our noble hearts enabled us to carry on.” Eye and I shed a brief tear for the noble hearts of the bANk sTREeT irReLEvanTs.

“Next question,” said the Eye. But there was more I needed to know about the ESIs.

“How many of the ELgiN StreEt iRReguLars are doppelgängers?” I asked.

[to be continued…]

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