The Zervberries come in fast moving streams from the Zervberry Factory. Whenever a Zerv works, it eats, so it calls out with its unique Cry for Zervberries. The Food Factory hears the call and sends just the right amount of Berries to keep the Zerv working. All the Zervs in every house in Bauville call the Zervberry Factory whenever they need Berries. You might think with all those Berry requests coming all the time that it would be Really Noisy at the Berry Factory! Actually, the Zervberry Call can't be heard by the good people of Bauville—it is a tiny high pitched Zerv Squeak, too quiet for the citizens of Bauville to hear. Should Zervs need to work but there is no food, they don't die—they just go to sleep. They can sleep for a long long time, until the Berry Factory sends Berries.

The Jennerik Family lives on Peaceful Lane in Bauville: Mother Linda, Dad Ralph, Big Brother Bobby, and Little Sister Samantha. One morning, Linda,
who always gets up first, discovered that every Zerv in their home was hibernating. The light Zervs were asleep. The alarm clock Zervs were asleep. The furnace Zervs were asleep. The house was really quiet. The stove didn't work, the garage door wouldn't open, the refrigerator was getting warm.

Sometimes just a part of a Zerv would fail. At first, Linda thought that the part of the Zerv that makes light had failed. (She flipped the bathroom wall switch on and off a few times, but that didn’t help.) She tried the Zerv that operates the bathroom fan, and when that didn’t work, she knew that all the Zervs were out of Berries.

“This is really inconvenient!” she said to herself. She could not make coffee. She could not make her usual hot breakfast. She did not want to take a shower in cold water. She couldn’t even tell what time it was.


© 2009 Centripetus

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