"Hallo," said Hero. "So you're a talking stump, then."
"Brilliant," said the stump. "Knows your foolishness no bounds? And take a more respectful tone, knave!"
"Why should I bother?" said Hero, who was already bored and had his attention on a fluttering butterfly nearby. "You're just a pile of wood."
"Insolent maggot!" screamed the stump. "I dispense large quantities of your doom!"
"Sure," said Hero. "What could you possibly do? You can't move. You can't act. You shouldn't even be able to talk, because you haven't got a mouth. Your problems are deeply-rooted, if you don't mind my saying so."
The stump sighed. "Look," it said, "don't you know the source of presidential hopefuls' political clout? The only way they can amass power is to go somewhere and stump."
"Riiiight, " said Hero, who was well qualified for a political discussion. "You mean stomp."
"Silence, worm-like meatbag!" raged the stump. "I care not for your pathetic understanding! But if I did, I would point out that if I had meant stomp, I would have spoken appropriately!" There was a brief silence. The stump took several deep breaths, through mechanisms and for reasons unknown, and then went on in a tone slightly less testy: "They used to stomp, I cannot deny even you that. But then the giant fell, a deed for which only your idiocy could be responsible, and now there is only I, and they must stump instead." It went on in an undertone, "...which, if you are any example, should consume considerably less energy."
"Er, what?" said Hero, who was watching the butterfly again and wondering if there were other sources of wood around that might not shout at him. "What should Giant have to do with anything? And it's not my fault if he didn't read the 'contents' label on the sword before telling me to chuck it. Proper awareness of environmental allergens should always be of paramount importance."
"I'll show you paramount importance," muttered the stump. "And if you're too stupid even to figure out the basics of how things work here, you deserve what will happen..."
"Hey, I've just had a great idea," said Hero ("Perish the thought, if there were any," contributed the stump). "Since we're friends now I need a name for you, and I've decided to call you Stumpy ("NO!" thundered Stumpy), and anyway I need to move on now and find a fire source that doesn't talk back, but I'll be seeing you, Stumpy."
"WORTHLESS MONKEY-LIKE BEING!" offered the stump conversationally, "LET THE FIRE OF THE EARTH REMOVE YOUR PESTILENCE!" and sure enough, somehow fire burst forth all around Hero, who was surprised to find himself in such a dire and unexpected predicament, from which there could not possibly be an escape.
Or could there?
to be continued...