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Mighty Oak

Valerie Strate

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Boss Hogg looked at the might Oak in Hazzard Square. It was the oldest tree in Hazzard and now had a big orange 'X' marked on it, placed by the county commisioner himself. A big grin came arcossed his face as he looked at the tree and chortled, "This tree will sure keep Lulu and me warm this wint'r and give me a nice parkin' spot too, eh Rosco? Rosco? Roscoooooo!"

The Sheriff who was busy eyeing the General Lee as it was parked out front of the post office, jumped at the call of his name, "Oooo... Yes, Boss?"

"Won't this tree be nice fire wood?" Boss asked as he chewed on his cigar.

"OOooo... It'd sure would, Khe, kheee... Make a nice new book shelf too Boss. That's solid oak right there.... Khe, khee!" The Sheriff cued over his master's plan, "Or even, a prudy, brand new solid oak desk! Ooooo, I love it, I love it!"

Meanwhile, over at the courthouse, the commisioner's plan was not going unnoticed. The Duke boys had retrieved their mail and walked over to the courthouse steps, while the Sheriff had been distracted.

"Luke, just what does Boss think he's doin'? That's the oldest tree in Hazzard and he gots a big ol' orange 'X' on it." Bo looked to his cousin, "Don't tell me, he's gonna chop it down."

The older dark haired Duke sighed, "Alright, I won't tell ya, but I don't think that tree will be here next week."

The blond Duke fummed, "Well, he can't do that! Luke that tree is over a' hundr'd years old. Now how'ed ya think that set with the voters? That tree is an anquite four times over!"

Luke looked over at his cousin," Maybe he thinks people don't care cousin? Maybe he thinks that nobody cares anymore? That no one wants to stand up for a good cause?"

Bo looked over to his cousin, "Maybe there is someone who does and can..."

Luke smiled as if he could read his cousin's mind, "Bo, yer just lookin' to score brownie points ain't ya?"

The blond Duke laughed as the pair of cousins jogged up the steps,"Ya think it'll work?"

"It better." Luke sighed.

(more later, please stay tunned...)

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The Game Warden sat in her office doing reports, when she heard the door open. There before her desk, was Bo and Luke Duke. The boy's explained the situation to her.

"Why would Boss wanna cut that tree down?" Bo asked.

"I don't know off hand Bo... this is the first I known that he was going to take that tree down. He hadn't told me of anything about it. Which in a way he doesn't have to... However that is a hundred plus, year old tree. It's something that does need to be preserved and saved." Val replied.

"Well, then what can we do? You can stop him, right?" Bo stated looking at the Game Warden.

She sighed and looked at the boys, "Well... I can't unless the town wishes to preserve it."

"Well, we're part of Hazzard and we want it preserved!" Luke stated firmly.

Val looked sheepishly at the boys, "It's not that simply Luke. I need more than just you two, saying you want it preserved. I want it preserved as well but Boss is the one who has the law on his side in this one unless the town petitions it to be preserved."

"Which means, we have to get folks all hyped up about this tree." Luke replied then looked to Val, "Can you help us drum up support?"

The Game Warden chuckled, "Well... I am head of the Wildlife Department, and it's part of my job to conserve and preserve, plants and animals. Yes, I can help you."

"So what do we need to do?" Bo looked to the Game Warden.

"You need at least a hunderd signatures from the residents of Hazzard County. But before you do that, you need to find out why Boss is doing this and when it will take place." She replied.

"Is this where we can call the Wildlife Department for help?" Luke smiled at Val.

"I'll be right on it." Val grinned, "You just get the folks a heated up."

"Roger that Game Warden Strate!" Bo mock saluted, "Only me and Luke can make a forest fire!"

Val giggled at Bo's silliness as the boy's then bid her farewell and left.

(cue anyone)

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A young light brown haired Hazzard County deputy came to the Game Wardens office door. He held something tiny in his hand as he knocked and she waved him in contrating on her work.

"Hello, I thought maybe you could help me." Harlond, the young deputy was called said to the female game warden.

He held out his hand to show a baby yellow lab pup, so it couldnt have been more then a month or so old.

"I found this guy in a ditch, thought maybe you could advise me on a good vet to take him to. Im sorry but I couldnt help but over hear your conversation with te Dukes, if theres anything I can do to help you know where to find me." The deputy pitched his thumb towards the direction of the Sherriffs office.

(cue anyone)

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"Aaawww, isn't he cute." she cooded over the little pup, "I'll get him to a vet and a shelter Harlond. Don't worry about that."

The deputy nodded at her. As he was about to leave she called to him again, "However... there probably is something you can do for me... Can you get some information from Boss about cutting that tree down? I know I could do it but I'd probably run into more resistance than you would because... um... I am the Game Warden. You could probably find out better because Boss won't suspect you'd be trying to stop him."

She sat there looking to Harlond for a reply.

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"I'll see what I can do. Boss could careless what I do half the time." He nodded to her and turned to leave then stopped.

"If you cant find a home for that pup, I wouldnt mind his company." Harlond said and left the office.

He walked down the street in the direction of the sheriffs office and stoped to excamine th old tree. It was huge and the young warden was correct it had to be well over a hundred years old by the looks of it. Then again Harlond didnt know much about trees, but what ever means the Dukes had towards saving it he understood the special out look it appeared to have on who ever stood before it.

Harlond continued on to the sheriffs office working up a plan in his mind to get Boss to talk to him. Playing stupid was an easy task, and Boss would never suspect anything. When he arrived at the Sherriffs office Boss was yelling at Rosco over the radio to get his tail there. Boss had sent Rosco to get some lunch and he hadnt returned yet.

The young light haired deputy approached boss with a smirk on his face from ear to ear.

"Boss?" He said grinning widely.

The Boss turned to the deputy with a smuge look on his face as he leaned against the desk.

"Yeah?" He growled.

"How come you got a big orange X on that tree out there?" Harlond asked trying to mak eit sound like he had no idea what so ever what the X ment.

"Well see boy I'm gonna cut that big tree there down and burn it and make me a nice Oak table." Boss said grinning and talking slowly to the deputy.

"Now when you gonna do that?" Harlond asked looking at the Boss like a little kid who liked to ask a millions 'why' questions.

"In excactly one week to this very date, why you gonna help me?" Boss asked knowing he could get the young deputy to work for cheep.

"I dont know how to run machianery, I wouldnt be much good to you. Why next week?" Harlond asked making it sound like he had a million whys.

"Cause thats the day my workin' boys can do it." Boss's voice raised, he wasnt liking the childish atics. "Now, shouldnt you be on patrol deputy? You should if you want your pay!" Boss spat and turned back to the cb.

Harlond left, closing the sheriffs office doors behind him shaking his head, Boss's voice still rang in his ears. He grinned he had gotten alittle info out of Boss and irritated him too.

(Godd Job Val. Cue anyone.)

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At that moment, a local Coltrane, recognizable by the permanent wardrobe of black jeans, black boots, and black jacket, walked into the Game Warden's office. "Howdy, Game Warden! I was wonderin' if you've seen MaryAnne around heah someplace, she was supposta- "

The words are interrupted by a short bark and a growl. "GAH! What the hell, ah been snagged!" Brian looked down to see a small puppy tugging furiously on one black demin pant leg. The yellow lab snarled with all the conviction it could muster, four stubby legs braced firm as the tiny teeth pulled.

"Yeah, yeah. You caught me." Brian looked from the puppy to the Game Warden. "Cripes, Val. Ain't the snake enough? Now you got a dog. A real killer, by the looks of it...."

Brian slowly walked across the floor. The puppy refused to let go, and was uncerimoniously dragged across the floor like a fuzzy ball and chain. Looking down at the puppy with a resigned sigh, Brian reached down to gently detach it's teeth from the denim...and the dog promptly clamped it's jaw around one jacket sleeve, taking a toothy grip. Fortunately, the leather jacket prevented any pain, but the inconvience was noted. Brian picked up the puppy by raising the captured arm slowly and scooping his other hand beneath the dog's body, to keep it from falling. The puppy growled, but allowed itself to be cradled in Brian's arms, keeping it's teeth around one sleeve and gnawing upon it.

"Val," Brian said with infinate patience, "Next time you get a pet....consider a parakeet or somethin', will ya?"

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The Game Warden chuckled as she watched the lab attack Brian, "Hhhhmmm, Parakeet... haven't had one of those yet. That's something to consider. But, knowing my luck I'd end up getting a Red Tail Hawk instead to look after. No seriously, this pup ain't mine Brian. Harlond found it. Either it's lost or it's a stray and I have to get it to the vet to be looked at. Then I'll probably send him to a shelter to be adopted if nobody claims him or Harlond don't want him. I think he was interested it the pup."

"Why? You want the little rascal?", She then paused and grinned at Brian, "But to answer your question. No. I haven't seen M.A. I'm sure she's around tho'. Busy as usual. Speaking of which, I have to see if Boss put any work order's in for town maintenance. It could give me a clue about that tree..." She wondered aloud.

She then leaned back in her office chair, sitting in thought, with the eraser tip of the pencil pressed gently to her lips. She then looked at Brian as she pondered about the task ahead of her.

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A knock on the door distracted the Game Warden as a tall blond man in jeans and a blue button down shirt stepped into the office. Ian was accompanied by Bo and Luke Duke, the three men had papers in their hand.

"Excuse us, I hope we're not intruding but we've been out collecting signatures and thought we'd drop them off."

Bo straightened the papers in his hand and laid them gently on the edge of Val's desk. "We got a whole lot more than a hundred, just in case Boss tries to give you a hard time."

"Shoot, more like 300 hundred, everyone in town wants that tree preserved." Luke stepped up and handed his papers to the Game Warden.

"And I think Daisy, Min and Daney are still out collecting." Ian handed his pile to Valerie and stepped back.

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"Tree? Oh, you mean that big ol' oak Boss is fixin' to cut? Ain't heard much in the official way, but it seems destined for firewood. Tho' given the size of that oak, if they don't cut it down careful-like, they'll wallop half the town when it falls."

Brian absently played tug-of-war with the puppy in his embrace, letting the dog fight with the jacket-covered arm. "One less tree for you to water," he told the puppy, who growed with renewed vigor. Brian chuckled and gave a wistful smile. "Afraid I can't take you home, Killer. There's enuff dogs in the Coltrane homestead...."

Brian paused, giving the puppy a scratch behind the ears, and spoke to it with an exaggerated drawl. "An' if Harlond is yer best bet to avoid the pound...then yew have mah sin-cerest sym-pah-thy! "

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Outside, on the other side of the square, a cream colored '78 Pontiac Grand Prix was parked and the driver had just stepped from his car when three pretty ladies came up to him.

"Scuze us, sir," Daisy said, "we're doing a petition to save that oak tree in the square there and -- " Daisy stopped when the man turned around and smiled at her.

"Rosco!" she exclaimed. "What are you doing out of uniform?"

"Uh, no." Cully Dawson chuckled. "Cully's the name and whatever it is you ladies are sellin', I'll buy!"

Daisy chuckled. She turned her clipboard toward Cully. "We're doing a petition to save that oak tree over there."

"That so?" Cully looked, seeing the great oak tree with the bright orange X on it. "You sure a signature from a non-Hazzard citizen will count?"

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“Why of course it will, sir.†The middle Duke girl grinned at the man who looked exactly like Rosco. “And thank you.†She paused. Brown green hazel eyes looked around the square. There was the Doc’s office where Daisy had gone. Min had gotten the signatures from the bank, and Daney had gotten the ones from the pool hall and auto parts store.

A frown came to her face when she saw the bright orange X on the tree. It had been there for so long. She shook her head Daisy nudged her gently. She turned and looked at her older female cousin. “Sorry.â€

“It’s ok, cousin.†Daisy whispered and then looked at the man. “Can we help you find someone, sir?†She heard a familiar voice call out from across the square at that moment. A smile brightened her, Daney and Min's faces.

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"Is he gonna make it, Doctor Chance?"

"I honestly don't know, Abby, the injury is pretty severe. How you say this happened again?"

"Old Man Pederson's doberman just up and grabbed him, then ripped his poor arm off."

"Well, its good you were able to save the arm, it think we may be able to reattach it without too much difficulty."

Chance turned the teddy bear over to better see the seam where the arm had torn from the rest of the toy. "I think I have some thread and needles in my desk. Tell you what, lets go into to my office and see what we can do." Chance had been sitting the front porch to her office, drinking coffee, when the tearful little redhead had come tearing up to her, full speed with the mauled teddy bear clutched in her arms.

In other words, it was a slow day at the Hazzard County Medical Offices.

Chance had come to Hazzard only recently, leaving a promising career as a surgeon at the Atlanta trauma center to take over the family practice of her old friend, Henry Applby, the local sawbones. Chance was still adjusting from the quick-paced impersonal medicine she was used to, to the "old country" medicine, as Henry put it.

Chance caught the wry smile from Nurse Caine, (who despite her name, was one of the gentlest souls Chance had met in Hazzard) as she passed through the reception area, little Abby following, to perform some impromptu surgery on her stuffed patient.

Fifteen minutes later, the patient, Mr. Stonewell, was back in the arms on his beloved owner, 100% intact.

Chance could only grin as Abby rewarded her with a quick hug and a wave goodbye as she took off as fast as she arrived.

"Atlanta ER had nothing on that." Chance thought, leaning against her office doorway. She looked across the square and noticed quite a fair sized gathering was beginning to appear at the county courthouse. Sitting on the porch swing and returning to her coffee and paper, Chance didn't notice when part of the group broke off and headed for her office. Her only thought at the moment was that she was grateful for the shade against the Georgia sun by the huge oak in the from the small park next door that towered over her fence and porch roof. Well, towered through the fence was more like it, as the giant tree had long ago grown past the property line and into the medical office’s domain.

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Meanwhile in the Wildlife office...

Val picked up the signatures on the desk. She smiled as she seen the amount of names, "This right here is plenty to get Boss's attention. But the more names you get the easier it is to show Boss that nobody wants that tree to come down. I thank you for your efforts. They won't be in vain."

With that she smiled warmly at Bo, Luke, and Ian for their good work. It was good to know that the folks of Hazzard were pulling together to meet a common goal. It gave the Game Warden a warm fuzzy feeling inside. She then looked to the puppy and Brian and smiled, "Well... I best get him to the vet. I know the longer I wait to get him looked at and papers filled the more he's gonna grow on me. So I better do my job and get him on his way.”

She then got up and walked over to Brian to take the dog to a vet. She also made a mental note in her mind to get in contact with Harlond sometime and find out what information he found. She also wanted to visit the oak herself and take a look of the situation.

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Kristy forced a deep breath out that she hadn't noticed she was holding as Hogg slammed her scarred wooden door forceably shut. His loud booming voice continues to echo in her mind as she attempts to fight back her anger towards her boss at all that he had yelled at her about. She could only do her best and that is what she was doing, her best. So she was an hour late in turning in the report Rosco had handed her to edit, a report written on ticket he had filled upon one of the town folk, and probably illegally too. And perhaps she has been a bit slow in turning in other reports that they harshly hand her, demanding her to edit and to change whatever needs to be changed. OK she wasn't perfect, she was the first one to admit that. But she was trying her best and in her opinion, Hogg didnt' have the right to yell at her the way he had.

Fighting back her Duke temper she quickly shoves her chair back and slowly walk to her closed door to over hear Boss talking excited to the sheriff about some big time fire wood and perhaps a new desk. Taking a deep breath she opens the door and Hogg quickly grows silent as he stares harshly at her. "What are you doing? We still need reports to be re-written. . .at least five that are running late!" he yells at her, "That should have been turned in already! We hired you to do the job done and you could easily be replaced. . .by a non-Duke!"

Biting her lip Kristy snaps, "I am entitled to at least a half hour break and seeing how it is already three thirty, I am taking it now. If you don't like it, I can always find someone higher up than you to take my problems too!"

Hogg shoots daggers at her with dark angered eyes as she slowly passes him and Rosco to feel their eyes on her until she disappears out the door. Stepping out into the sunny day she smiles at finally being able to see the outside of her office, to see the sun shining on the side walk and the dark shadows that the large tree displays across the road.

"Kristy," she turns at the sound of her name and finds Bo and Luke approaching her with a clip board, " I see he finally let you out," her brother Bo comments.

"No, I let myself out," she shrugs, "boy Hogg is in a mood and a half today...something has him riled up. Flipping out at everything."

Both boys look back at one another before Luke speaks up, "Him and Coltrane plan on chopping down that ol' tree there."

"No way...they can't do that can they?" Kristy asks for both of them to nod sullenly.

"They won't if we can help it," Luke responds showing her the paper on clipboard that holds several names scribbled on it, "This is our petition, care to sign?"

"Sure," Kristy slowl signs her name before handing it back to him.

"You haven't heard anything, have you?" Bo speaks up as Rosco and Hogg bursts out of the court house.

"Only something about a lot of fire wood and a new desk," she responds slowly as she watches them gather into Rosco's car.

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"Vet ? Oh, yer talkin' about the dog. Khee. Ah was gonna say, I'm completely up to date on my rabies shots. " With a mild grin, Brian surrendered the puppy to Val. The puppy, however, did not surrender Brian. With a growl and a wagging tail, the pup kept a lockjaw hold on the jacket-covered arm.

"Awright, lay off, killer. Come on...." Gently, Brian worked his arm free while Val kept a firm grip on the puppy. The disappointed yip was followed by a long whine, and the dog's big brown eyes looked at Val and Brian in mute appeal.

"Don't gimmie those puppy-dog eyes," Brian muttered. He gave the animal a last scratch behind the ears before turning for the door. "Catch ya later, Game Warden. Good luck with the tree and the dog. Tho' in this case, one's bark ain't as bad as the other's bite...heh heh."

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The Game Warden giggled, "Yeah, I was talking about the dog. Take care, Brian and I'll see ya around."

She waved to the black clad Coltrane as he left. She then put the puppy in a carrier and closed the door on the pooch, "Fido we're taking a drive."

The Game Warden put on her olive hat and headed to the door of her office.

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NOTE: *This isn't much, y'all, but I'm going to add a few lines. I figured that I needed to bring Lulu in on the action! If y'all need to borrow Vicki for a few lines after this post, y'all are more than welcome to use her! Take Care! :wink: *




A black 1966 mustang, driven by a familiar looking petite redhead, drives slowly into town. Taking her sunglasses off, she pulls the mustang up behind a white cadillac.

*This could be a mistake...* thought Vicki as she was getting out of her car, then added, *But when Lulu called me at the police station and told me what was going on, I knew that I had to come and see what was going on.*

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As Vicki was walking up the steps onto Boss's & Lulu's porch, Lulu Hogg walked outside the house.

"Vicki!" said Lulu excitedly giving the redhead a hug. "It's so good to see you again!"

"Same here, Lulu. It's nice to be back here in Hazzard. It's a lot more quietier than in Chickasaw right now," replied Vicki, giving her god-mother a hug.

"What's going on there right now?" asked Lulu as she watch Vicki sat down in a chair on the front porch.

"Nothing much, except "Big Ed" Little is letting me run the county for a few days while he is on vacation," said Vicki, smiling at Lulu.

"Vicki, the reason why I called you yesterday..." Lulu started to say but stopped when Bo & Luke walked by.

"What is it, Lulu?" Vicki asked Lulu, but then smiled at Bo & Luke. "Hi ya, Boys."

"Hi, yourself," Bo said sarcastically giving Vicki a dirty look, remembering a few days before when he was driving through Chickasaw County and was falsely arrested by the redhead deputy.

"Yeah, how are you doing, Vicki?" Luke asked.

"Not too bad, considering that I'm running Chickasaw County temporary," replied Vicki, looking at the clipboard that Bo was holding then added, "Is there something wrong, Bo?"

"Other than you arresting me a few days ago..." Bo stopped when he was elbowed in the ribs by Luke.

"Bo, leave Vicki alone. She was just doing her job..." Luke whispered to Bo.

"Oh...Okay. Vicki, you wouldn't be interested in signing a petition to save an old tree, would ya?" Bo asked, grinning a little at Vicki.

"You mean the one in the town square?" asked Vicki.

"Yeah," replied Luke, giving Vicki the petition.

"Of course I'll do it. It's not because y'all ask me, but It was sentimental to my great-grandmother, Inez. My grandmother told me that there was a heart carved on that tree that was for her from her suitor at the time," said Vicki as Luke handed Vicki the petition to sign.

"Lulu, was this what you were going to tell me?" asked Vicki as she gave the clipboard back to Bo.

"Sure was, honey. If Boss knew what we did, he'll be mad at us," laughed Lulu.

"Who cares. Y'all, I would do anything to help y'all out," giggled Vicki.

"Thanks, Vicki. You're a sweetheart!" grinned Bo then added to Luke, "Cousin, we better get these signatures back to the courthouse."

"Right Bo. Let's go. See you ladies later," waved Luke to Lulu & Vicki.

"Likewise," said Vicki as she waved at Bo & Luke.


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meanwhile, Hilery Davenport was walkin' back to the Hazzard Garage from going down the street for lunch. Cooter had already eaten though, and returend to the garage earlier than she.

"Heya Cooter,' she greated as she entered the building.

"Hil, why don't you take the day off, and go see what all that commotion's been about? I might just close shop for today being's we've been here all day and no one's stopped by."

"Sure thing cuz, I know you'll be willin' to open back up again if we get a call on the CB for our services." With that Hilery walked out the door, and smiled. One of her friends was walking over to their vehicle, with a pet carrier in her arm. Hilery decided to walk over to say hi.

"Howdy," Hil said walking up.

(cue who ever)

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"Yeah, looks like a wopper." Hilery says and looks around. "What's all the commotion been about lately? Cooter and I haven't really heard anything about it being's no one's stopped into the Garage. Cuz gave me the day off cause of it and how have you been?"

(authors note: Okay, i know i'm probably the youngest on here, but I would like to remind some folks of Rule 2 for Round Robins before any trouble starts. I did an excersize before in a class similar to a RR, and trouble started due to inconsistancy and i don't want to see it here, which is why i'm mentioning this. I noticed some folks FORGETTING other folks were with characters (that's only an example, i'm not pointing people out), and such, and it's creating a little confusion apparently, i was a little confused myself, and tried backtracking to see what happened. I'm only saying something for the readers sake. My post left the cue open incase anyone else decided to walk up to the person with the carrier, or incase anyone followed them out of the court house. The person with the carrier was pointed out in previous posts that were within the courthouse.)

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"Oh I'm fine, we're just gathering up signatures to preserve that big oak tree." Another loud thunder clap rang out and with it a few drops began to fall. Ian stuck out his hand and a couple of fat rain drops fell into his palm.

"Uh oh, its starting to rain and those clouds really look bad."

The wind began to kick up and both Hilery and Ian watched as people in Hazzard Square began to run and take cover from the sudden storm. A bright flash made Ian cringe as he raised his head to look up at the now black sky.

"Whoa! That was close!"

A white Hazzard patrol car pulled up beside the curb where Ian and Hilery stood. Rosco had his hand on top of his black Stetson as he got out of the car.

"You two better take some cover! The weather service reports that all of Hazzard County is under a Tornado Warning!"

"Cover? Where?" Ian raised his hand to block out a blast of wind that pushed his blond hair back from his shoulders.

"We can take cover downstairs in the Courthouse, come on! Before we all get blown all the way to Tennessee!"

Rosco turned and headed up the steps with Ian and Hilery in tow.

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Val stood next to the pet carrier by her car. She realized that the wind was now strong and everyone was headed to the courthouse basement for cover. She picked up the pet carrier that held the little puppy inside and ran up the steps.

"Well, fella. I guess you lucked out on going to see the vet. Lucky you huh!" she chuckled to herself softly to make light of the current situation. She followed them down the hall down to the basement.

The puppy whimpered in it's carrier as Game Warden and puppy made their way to safety.

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Having enough Coltrane blood in him to qualify for the "Missed the Boat" club, Cully found himself right out in the open when the storm started to rage. The three ladies he had signed the petition for had long since gone back to the courthouse with two young men to drop off their petitions and Cully was going to drop in on his cousin, Rosco, but had seen the Sheriff take off with a guy in a white suit. This left the ex-stuntman to wander around the square...and then not know where to turn when he felt the strong winds start to blow...

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A slender form ran from a vehicle parked across from the courthouse, directly in front of the gazebo. Hail begin to pelt the black wrought iron fence that enclosed the Hazzard Square and everything else. The savage wind tossed brunette hair around. Hands came up to keep the tangling mess off the young woman’s face. Attire of a sleeveless tie blouse and jeans were thoroughly soaked before she was halfway across street to her destination… She shivered.


Lightening zig zagged in the darkened greenish afternoon sky. Another thunderclap sounded from somewhere behind her. She froze in her tracks recognizing the tattletale sound of a tornado, a loud train like roar…

Binoculars slipped off a strap from around her neck onto the ground as platform sandals hurried onto the doctor’s porch. The brunette woman turned to observe a large funnel coming toward the courthouse. She gasped. Her head turned and her eyes widened as lightening struck...

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