The boy was green, just faintly, with an underlying pattern of yellow stripes on his bald scalp and big, doelike brown eyes.

Eyes that were welling with tears. His playmates surrounded him as he lay on the ground clutching his bloody knee. The strange, tall alien knelt beside him.

The alien tapped him on his small, puppy-dog nose. "You'll be fine. Fit as rain in no time!" The tall alien with the weedy scalp pulled a small strip of cloth out of his pocket. He wiped away the yellow blood and placed the polka dot cloth over the cut. It sealed to the boy's knee.

The boy looked down at the strip of white, multicolored dotted cloth on his green knee, then back up at the smiling alien. His tears startled to a stop. The alien took a small hand in his much larger one and helped the boy up.

The boy bounced experimentally on his cloven hooves, like a gazelle. He suddenly laughed gaily and bounded away, his friends bounding after him, heading for the tangled vinelike constructions that served as their playground equipment.

The Doctor grinned and patted his pockets, wondering if he had any jelly babies.

Daylight filtered through the forest canopy, stray beams of golden sun livening the soft twilight of the jungle glade.

The boy bounded back up, bounced high and touched his cold nose to the Doctor's cheek, then bounded away again, proudly showing off his colorful bandage to a new group of playmates.

The Doctor chuckled. He looked around at the peaceful scene, cool scented air rubbed softly past, tiny birds sang and flitted from tree to vine. There was no alien invasion, no technology run amok, just a little boy with a scraped knee.

He turned jauntily on his heel and did a little dance on his way back to the Tardis, sitting contentedly in the shadow of the forest.

Another job well done.


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