The Little Typo's Tale

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Once upon a time, there lived a little typo in a cottage by the sea, far away from the ruthless horde of proofreaders that had hunted him and his kind to the edge of extinction since the dawn of time (or at least since the dawn of editing). The little typo lived a quiet life. He didn't intrude into any great works of literature or dare to appear on the title page of an encyclopedia of philosophy, but now and again he made a little trip into a school paper, to the great vexation of hundreds of students and teachers. He was content with his lot in life.

But, alas, such happiness couldn't last. It was a cold winter day, and outside the little cottage, it was raining commas and semicolons, when suddenly someone started banging on the cottage door.

"Let me in!" someone shouted from outside. "Let me in, quickly!"

"Who is this?" the little typo demanded, quivering with fear. Had the proofreaders found him? Quickly, he reached into his cabinet and pulled out the badly leaking pen that was his only weapon. "What do you want?"

"It's me, Frid!" called the voice from outside. "Let me in!"

Breathing a sigh of relief, the little typo ran to the door, pulled back the bolt, and opened the door. In a tumble of wet commas and semicolons, Frid rushed inside. "Lock the door behind me!"

The little typo did as he was told, his fear returning in full force. Frid wasn't one to scare easily. If Frid was afraid, there was reason to be. Quickly, the little typo turned to face his friend.

Frid was a diminutive sort of typo. A strange misspelling for "Fred," he had made himself rather scarce ever since that name had gone out of fashion. But he was still, and would always be, the little typo's best friend of all the typos in the world. Right now he was looking terrified.

"What is the matter, Frid? You look as though someone had threatened you with an eraser!"

Frid shuddered. "It's almost as bad. My friend—they're coming for you!"

"They?" the little typo asked, though really, there was no need to ask. "Who?"

"The proofreaders!"

The little typo opened his mouth to ask how they could possibly have found him, but in that moment, a terrible noise rose outside over the roar of the rainstorm: the noise of an automated spellcheck. Maybe... maybe even an autocorrect.

The two friends went pale.

"The proofreaders!" Frid cried. "Run! Run for your life!"

"But I can't leave you here!"

"They're after you, not me! Run! They might mistake me for Fred, but you they will never believe to be correctly spelled!"

The little typo grasped Frid's hand and shook it. "Thank you, Frid! Thank you!"

"Go!"

Grabbing his leaking pen, the little typo threw a few periods into a bag as food for his journey and rushed out the back door. As fast as his legs would carry him, he rushed towards the gruesome grammar forest. Just before he vanished under the shadow of the trees, he saw the threatening, monstrous shape of an eraser looming over his little cottage.

Please! Oh please don't let anything happen to Frid!

With that last thought, he disappeared into the forest.

*********

For hours and hours, the lonely little typo wandered through the forest, lamenting his fate and feeling terrified for his friend. More than once he heard the distant howling of hounds hot on his tail. But things didn't turn really desperate until dusk.

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