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Truffula Fever

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"Alright, here we go."

It was Ted Wiggins' 13th birthday! The whole Wiggins family and her girlfriend Audrey were at her backyard. Not only them, but Once-ler and the Lorax decided to celebrate with them. Everyone wanted to make it special for him after planting the last seed in the town, especially Once-ler. His youth was restored to 22 again by the forest guardian and he was back in his original gray clothes the day they met, but not only that: Once-ler can control plants, so he became a guardian, as well. What better way to use that than to decorate Audrey's mural with real truffula trees.

He waved his hand and created a bonsai of Ted on top of a bright, beautiful, pink, four-layered ice cream with frosting shaped as truffula trees they made together. "No. Too lonely," he said thinking over the topping design. He turned it into Ted standing at his Lurkin. "Dark." It was turned into himself in his green suit giving a thneed to Ted. He gasped. "Why would I do that?" That brought up painful subconscious memories, so he quickly turned it into the both of them sitting by the first tree planted. He was a little anxious to make this perfect since it's his first birthday with Ted. He was determined to make this right for him. "Ok, you can do this, Once-ler. This is for Ted."

"Honey, relax! No need for stress." called out Helen. The ladies were painting letter on paper. A swammi-swan was lifting one by one up. "She's right," said granny Norma. "It looks beautiful."

"I know," he answered observing the cake. "But I just want it to be perfect for him. You know: my way of thanking him for the last seed and all."

The swan rested on Audrey's shoulder. "Speaking of perfect," she gestured her arms at a wire above. "What do you think of this?" It was banner that read 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TED!' in the same colors as the trees. He smiled anxiously at the banner. He'd give them an A for effort.

"Now, are you sure I can leave you girls in charge here?" he walked to the table settings where they were as he even licked his fingers and wiped a spot of paint off Audrey's face like a mother, much to her slight grimace.

"Completely," Helen assured confidentially.

"Cause I don't want anything to happen to the backyard."

"What COULD happen?" Ted's girlfriend asked trying not laugh.

Helen agreed. "Yeah. We got it all set."

"And he'll really love it," the granny consoled resting her hand on his side. At that point, he didn't even listened as he was adjusting a few accessories on a table. Despite the preparations done, he felt a little groggy, his nose felt stuffy and a little runny. With no tissue in sight, he had no choice to quickly wipe with his sleeve, but he can shake it off. He looked up. "Lorax! What are you doing?" he asked worryingly.

Immediately, the guardian look swiftly backed at him with almost a mouthful of the cake. "Not eating cake if that's your question." Of course, the frosting smeared in his mustache gave away his lie.

"Now, mustache-"

The furry fellow couldn't help his joy over it. "I know, but it's an ice cream cake!"

"And it's for Ted," the young guardian sternly replied with a smile.

"Ahem, right," he answered back coming to his senses. "For Ted." Making sure no one was looking, he spat the cake out his mouth and stuck it back in the small hole where he ate it.

A clock tower in the middle of the city rang out 9 0'clock AM. "Oh, perfect timing!" Once-ler exclaimed. "Is Ted still asleep?" he asked the boy's mom. "Oh, he doesn't sleep light, trust me," she joked.

"Ok," he chuckled as he grabbed his fedora on the table and placed it on and grabbed his old guitar. "You sure you got this?"

"We're sure," said Norma.

"Don't let anyone in before we're ready."

"We won't," Audrey giggled.

He touched the back gate and created stalks on it like a trellis. "And don't touch anything."

"We're just gonna stand here," answered Helen.

"Just don't worry beanpole," smiled the Lorax. "We got this covered."

After the gate was closed, Lorax tried to sneak his fingers in the cake again. "And that cake better be in one piece, mustache!" He froze at the beanpole's loud voice. "He's good," he grumbled.

Audrey looked at the swan hovering next to her. "He thinks you're an idiot," she mocked in a light pitch.

The mother couldn't help but chortle. "Well clearly he's wrong," she told the bird. When she walked away, she bumped near the table and almost knocked down the cake. Luckily it was still in place. She quickly grabbed the bonsai back.

"You know, you remind me of Once-ler," her mother laughed. "Exactly!" Helen noticed Lorax giving her a teasing glare. "What? It's fine." A squawk came out of the swan, which got her annoyed "Oh ha ha."

"No, she said she can't read," Lorax said. "Or spell."

Inside the Wiggins house, Once-ler quietly snuck in Ted's bedroom upstairs with a sweet smile. He couldn't wait! Tiptoeing near the bed, he tapped on the heavily sleeping boy's shoulders to stir him up.

"Psst. Ted?" he spoke softly popping his head up the side of his bed.

"Yeah?" Ted asked still trying to sleep.

"Happy Birthday."

"To you," he sang under his breath.

"It's your birthday," the beanpole snickered.

"To me," he sang with a smile. "It's my birthday."

With a laugh, he pulled the covers off him. "Come on, sleepyhead!"

The teen's eyes instantly popped out at their talk. "It's my birthday?"

"That's right," Once-ler nodded. "And it's going to be perfect."

"Wait, how did you know it's my birthday?"

"Between you me," he whispered. "Your grandma took your scooter while you were in school to tell me. You have one crazy grandma, by the way."

"Yeah, get that a lot."

"Anyway," Once-ler continued lifting him off of the bed. "I've picked this out for a little surprise I have for you." He pulled out a nice black tux. "Audrey would go gaga seeing you in this."

Excited, Ted grabbed the tux and rushed into the bathroom to change. "You know, even though I appreciate this, you didn't have to do this," he called out inside.

"Believe me, I wanted to," Once-ler said with contentment at the other side of the door outside. "You planted the last seed and you've got my butt out of the Lurkin for the first time. You de-" He was cut off with a tickle in his nose. "You de-hitchew!-deserve it." What he didn't know was that two tiny truffula trees popped up behind him when he sneezed. They had holes in their tuffs with eyes and a mouths. They smiled and hopped away out of sight.

Ted, all set in his tux, step outside. "How do I lo-" He noticed the guardian's apprentice looked off. "Are you ok?"

Once was rubbing his nose and sniffled. "Yeah. Just sneezed," he replied trying to push the itch aside.

"You sound like you're getting a cold," he said with a little concern.

"Kid, I was surrounded by smog for years before we've met," he joked "I would've had a cold by now."

Mad sense to Ted. "Good point."

The man look at their clothes. "You know, I think we need a little color." With his guitar, the music (F major) created colors at the tip. It turned Ted's tux from black to red. Once's pants, fedora, and vest turned sleek black and his shirt bright orange just like the Lorax.

Ted liked it. "Neat."

The former salesman used the tip of his guitar to pull up an orange string. "Just follow the string."

"Wait, what?" Ted asking laughing.

Once-ler sang as they walked downstairs. I've got big plans, I've big surprises for the day. Ted found the string leading to a drawer. Nothing, but nothing's gonna get in our way! He open it, revealing a pair of orange sports gloves for his scooter. I've worked for weeks, planned everything with in my power. He placed the gloves on him. I even convinced old Lorax to take a shower.

Outside, Audrey was the first to notice the tiny trees. "Hey, did you made these?" she asked Lorax, but he shook his head. Jumping next to the punch bowl, Audrey tried to grab them, but flipped the bowl by accident, splashing on her dress and soaking the furry guardian, which took the mom and grandma by surprise.

They walked to a cupboard in the living room. If someone wants to hold me back, I'd like to see them try. Ted opened it a found a clock of the replica of the truffula forest, with a miniature statue of the Lorax popping out of one big one saying "I speak for the trees." It made the teen smile.

They went outside the back window. I'm on the birthday plan attack. Once-ler presented a bright black guitar. I'm giving you the sun, the moon, and the sky! With glee, Ted jammed on with Once-ler singing. "Hitchew!" Once sneezed again, creating this time up to eight tiny trees. Again they didn't notice.

Lorax observed the tiny trees. "I know they talk, but squeak?" More tiny tree came hopping in. "Hey!" he shouted trying to chase them.

I'm making today a perfect day for you. They walked downstairs to the next gift in a bag at the bottom. "Ooohh, marshmallows." Ted gleefully grabbed the bag.

The bound on the fake bush up to the roof at the next gift. I'm making today a blast if it's the last thing I do. It was a portrait of the whole family.

At that cue in the air, Once-ler grabbed Ted and jumped on top a moving florist truck. It was following the string, too. For everything you are to me and all you've been through. He grabbed his first thneed he made on top of the fake tree and wrapped it around Ted. It surprised him he would give it to him. I'm making today a perfect day for you. Suddenly the truck went on the on the bumps. At that moment, Once-ler had another sneezing fit.

"Hitchew!" Another batch of tiny trees popped up behind them.

"Hitchew!" And another.

"They come in threes, you know," reminded Ted between bumps.

"I'm fine. Hitchew!" And like he said, a third batch popped up. They got off the truck still unaware of the mini trees.

However, the folks at the backyard were aware. The girls were trying to catch them, but they kept multiplying before their eyes. When the forest guardian tried to chase a few batch, he noticed another bunch run in. He knew they were eyeing on the cake. "Oh, boy."

Meanwhile, the middle of the town had a new creek leading from the forest with a few humming fish. They made a sweet angelic sound when Once-ler presented a new fishing rod to Ted. Surprise, surprise! This one's especially-Hitchew!

Even Ted joined in. Wow! You've got me reeling, but I'm still concerned for you.

They didn't see another batch landing on top of the fish as they walked away.

Ted noticed his brother-like friend getting stuffier and trying to resist any cough coming. I think it's time that you go home and get some rest.

Despite having to wipe his running nose with his arm, Once-ler fought it back and dragged him to a bikes shop beside them. He presented him a blue helmet with lightning bolts on the side. We are not stopping, cause the next one is the be-eh-hitchew! He sneezed yet another dozen pint-sized trees playing around the helmets.

The birthday boy was wrapped around a new green jacket from a clothing shop, but he was more focused on the beanpole's condition. Once-ler, you gotta go lie down.

Being his usual stubborn self, he was determined to finish this for his Unless as they kept walking. No way! We have to paint the town. Confidently, it was next to a pharmacy. It was flu almost season. Thankfully there an open box of tissues and an open vaporizer. Quickly, Once-ler grabbed a few tissues and implanted his face in the vaporizer to deeply inhale the steam. His young friend knew he couldn't keep this up. But you need medical attention.

"Are you sick?" Cy, the former O'Hare delivery guy was volunteering and popped out a bottle. "How about a cold remedy of my own invention?"

Once-ler thought he wouldn't need it. "No, thanks."

Ted thought otherwise as he took the bottle, despite his arms almost full from the gifts. "We'll take it."

In a near square, there was children's choice Once conducted with them.

We're making today a perfect day for you

(Making today a special day!)

Ted stuffed a few mallows in his mouth as he was enjoying the well-talented choir for little kids.

"Where are they coming from?" Norma hollered as the others were trying to stop the mini trees. Audrey spotted another pile was reaching for the cake again. "Sorry!"

Lorax was confused at that remark. "About wha-aah!" He was caught off guard when he was grabbed and tossed at the trees like a bowling ball.

We're singing a birthday song to make your wishes come true

(Wishes come true!)

We love you, Ted Wiggins

With so much gifts, Ted lost his grip and almost dropped them. Once-ler paused the choir as he pulled out a tissue in his pocket and blew his nose, creating another batch to fall on the kids.

He help him gather the gifts on the ground. And I love you, too. Obviously, they still didn't notice.

Even though the kids were snuggling, tickling, and playing with them, they still finished off for them as they went away.

So, we're making today a perfect day

(A fabulous day in every way!)

Yes we're making today a perfect day!

As the batch got bigger, they piled on the banner, snapping it in half. "Are you kidding me?!" Helen yelled. The swan used her talons to grab the letter back on top.

One mini tree was using a spoon as a catapult for the others to get the cake again. Lorax managed to only grab a handful, Audrey grab and armful, Helen quickly took off her purple jacket to grab the incoming ones, and Norma used the punch bowl to grab the rest with just her cane. They heard the swan squawk above them, but there was a problem: "Dry Bated Hippy Hat?" asked Norma. Lorax noticed another few came in. "Ladies, we have bigger problems."

It was almost dusk and the boys were heading to the top of the new clock tower where the wall use to be.

"Come on," Once said drowsily. "Now we climb!"

Ted couldn't hold on to the gifts any longer, and he knows Once-ler can't push himself anymore. "This is too much, man, and you need to rest!"

The beanpole knew he was getting worse as he starting to get cold from the chilly air, coughing from the congestion, and could just drop at any second, but he wouldn't let that to get in the way and put a damper on his friend's day. "We need to get to our birthday chills," he slurred through his weary eyes and weak smile. "I mean, thrills!"

Making dreams, making plans

Go, go, go, go!

Entering in the tower, he was this close to swaying at the stairs as Ted was lagging behind from the gifts. The string led all the way to the top. Follow the string to the end, you are my very best friend.

"Once-ler?" Now he was really worried about him.

"What? I'm fine." Not by the way he was walking. You would've mistook him for a drunk.

The girls and the guardian weren't doing well either. One by one, they grabbed the cake away from the tiny trees, but the pile kept snatching it back. They even used a ladder at one point so no one would get it.

We're gonna fly, we're gonna sing!

Follow the string to the thing!

The top of the clock was a statue of the first seed sprouting. Either very feverish or drunk from half a bottle of the cold remedy, Once-ler was twirling and dancing wobbly around the statue.

Happy, happy, happy, merry, merry, merry!

He was very delirious, he didn't even noticed his fedora fell off and he was dancing dangerously too close to the edge of the tower!

Hot, cold, hot, birthday...!

Scared, Ted instantly dropped the gifts and grabbed his tall friend's long arm to prevent him from falling and pulled him to his knees. "Once-ler, look at you!" His forehead was burning to the touch. "You've got a fever! You're burning up."

It was the last straw for Ted. He didn't want his birthday to go on knowing that he was very sick. Alright, we can't go on like this. Let's put this day on hold.


Come on. Admit it to yourself. The young boy held his friend closer in his arms.

Once-ler knew he was right. Even if he wanted to complete the day, he would scare Ted and his fever would get worse. He now had no choice but to ease the teen and give in to his illness. "Ok," he sighed, disappointingly and congested. I have a cold.

The boys were walking back to Audrey's house to inform them to hold the day. "I'm sorry, Ted," he said before coughing again. "I just wanted to give you one perfect birthday, but I ruined it. Your first birthday with me and I ruined it." He can hear the guilt in his voice. It was like failing his former family and the Lorax all over again.

"Hey, I had a great time with you," Ted said sincerely. "So you didn't ruin anything. Let's just get you to bed."

When Ted opened the gate for Once-ler, he didn't even noticed the girls on a huge pile of small walking truffula trees struggling to keep the cake intact and there was a large crowd around them. They all froze as they saw the boys coming in. They trees popped out like fireworks on cue.


Ted heard the yell and turned with gleamed eyes and a big smile on his face. "No way!"

Once-ler was surprised as well, and confused, to see the small trees. "No way." The furry meatloaf must have made them.

The children came up and lifted Ted closer. Lorax joined in, too.

We're making today a perfect day for you

We're making today a smiling face all shiny and new

Once was very pleased to see Ted happy since they were both surprised. He pulled another tissue out of his pocket and sneezed again. "Hitchew!" He jumped as he finally noticed the tiny trees around him and one of them smiling at him. So, he made these little guys this whole time.

Audrey kept dodging the cake away from them on top of the pile. "There's a fine line between chaos-"

Lorax jumped up and joined in. And the hullabaloo!

Helen and Norma joined in with the kids around the Ted.

So, we're making today a perfect day

Making today a perfect day!

T! E! D! The trees jumped to spell his name.

We're making today a perfect day for you

"Happy birthday," Audrey called sweetly.

Making today a happy day and no feeling blue

She laughed as she slid down from the pile on her knees, presented the cake and bursted in tune. I love you, baby! His eyes widened as he blushed.

For everything you are to us, and all that you do

She saw the trees form a heart around her. "I do," she blushed.

We're making today a perfect day

Making today a perfect day!

Six trees used their stems the cut the cake on the four layers for everyone.

Making today a perfect day!

At last, the trees started digging in their pieces of the cake!

"A perfect day!" Once-ler joined, nearly bumping into Ted.

"Ok, to bed with you, big boy."

"Beanpole!" Before Ted could get him in, they noticed the small guardian running up to them. He need a bone to pick. "Did you made these-Whoa." He quickly got off the subject and saw his friend's feverish state. "You don't look too good."

"Well, he got under the weather and was just heading to bed." The teen turned to the tall guardian and held his arm. "Wasn't he?"

Once still had one last thing on his mind as he pulled him back to a large horn. "Wait, wait! All that's left to do is for the guardian to blow the birthday bugle horn."

Ted new that was trouble "Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no!"

"Kid, wait!" shouted Lorax.

"HITCHEW!" His echoed sneeze and horn tune blow out a big pink light and exploded in the air like a firework. Mounds of flower wreaths flying up and were pinned on rooftops of every building. It even changed to city sign from 'Thneedville' to 'Greenville.' Everyone was marveled at the sight and applauded. "Well...that works, too, I guess," the furry guardian shrugged.

The boys were in the kid's bedroom and Ted had just fished feeding a bowl of hot soup to Once-ler, who was wrapped in a soft deep blue blanket on Ted's bed. "I really appreciate this, Ted, and again, I'm sorry about my cold getting in the way."

"Don't worry about it, Once," he reminded. "You were awesome, the gifts were great, loved the trufflings, which is what the Lorax calls they, by the way, but I think I know the best present ever."

"Which one?"

"You letting me take care of you."

He was shocked by the kid's humbleness and sincerity. "You really mean it?" he asked as the blanket slid off his shoulders.

"Hey, you finally swallowed your pride when you need to, unlike long ago, so yes. Bar none." He wrapped the back on him to keep him warm. Once-ler couldn't help but smile and ruffle the kid's hair. He truly was his Unless. "You're a sport, Tedster. Hitchew." Another dozen trufflings popped up around the bed and the boys smiled at one of them looking up at them.

Meanwhile at the truffula forest, which was now growing faster then ever before, the animals heard a the sound of a loud engine coming in. It was Norma wearing Ted's helmet and Lorax tagged along. As he got off he signaled the trufflings in. "Welcome home, Wormwood, and Tulip, and Violet, and Sycamore, and Rose, and Hogweed, and Gordalgo, and Olive, and Clover, and Dindle, and Buckeye, and Ivy, and Thistle."

All the animals were in shock by the amount of these little trees hopping in, but they were happy to welcome them. The grandma felt a tickle in the helmet and removed it to free a truffling. A barbaloot gave her a questioned look. All she could say was "Long story."