He woke up. His arms hurt and so did his head. Pip-Squeak was sitting on the end of his bed looking at him quizzically. The young man on the bed groaned a little. His body slumped back on the pillows. He didn't want to try and sell that Thneed again, at least, not today. He knew he had to try. It was try number four. He was ready to just give up.
He patted Pip-Squeak on the head and headed for town. He was used to the reception he got by now. He accepted the raw tomatoes and fled back to his forest home. He didn't feel very well. The animals had been living in his home for about a week and he wasn't pleased with it. He was distracted and he nearly fell out of the wagon when a stab of pain through his chest startled him. He started to cough a little and Mervin sped up a little.
The young man started to groan. His arm was about his chest. The cart came crashing through the forest. The animals all came to see what the matter was. Pip-Squeak ran up to the Once-ler and snuggled into him. The young man put his other arm around the soft Barbaloot and tried to breathe more evenly. He'd actually started to cry.
"Out of the way," the Lorax ran up to the cart. "Where's it hurt ya bean pole?"
He just squeezed his chest a little harder.
"Can you walk?" the Lorax asked him concerned. "You think you can get up?"
The young man shook his head. The tears were coming a lot quicker. Pip-Squeak just held onto him a little tighter.
"Alright then, take my hand bean pole, 's alright. Pip-Squeak you want to stay with him?"
The little Barbaloot nodded and snuggled in once more. The Lorax lead the shaking Once'ler back home. The young man almost fell a few times but Melvin was right behind him and the Lorax was in front. They walked him to his bed.
"Lay down bean pole," the Lorax pulled the blanket over him and Pip-Squeak. He closed his eyes and tried to fall back to sleep. "That's it."
Pip-Squeak looked concerned. His friend was always warm but now he was too warm. He didn't look very good. He pulled the Lorax's hand onto the younger man's cheek.
The Lorax looked around he found the Thneed. He took it to the river and got it wet. He wrapped it about the Once-ler's neck and forehead. "Hmm . . . well there's another use for it," the Lorax shrugged.
It was currently being used as an all natural cold compress to relieve fevers. He'd have to tell bean pole that one later.
He watched the young man's chest rise and fall very gently. Occasionally, there would be a flash of pain across his friend's face. He would relax again and would breathe gently.
There was something that the Lorax thought could be dangerous, in a forest of animals, this human could be in big trouble. He nor the animals knew anything about human sicknesses.
The Lorax climbed up next to him. He pet the Once-ler's hair. Pip-Squeak snuggled deeper into him. The Once-ler couldn't tell them this but this was more affection then he'd ever received at home, even when he was sick.