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Keith and Ernie are a couple of guys with questionable intent in the Ivy storyline. Together, they tried to figure out what kind of creature Ivy was and what should be done with her, but since they weren't in control of whether she stays or goes, they had a difficult time investigating their theories or applying their decisions.

Keith runs a small fruit stand, which is where baby Ivy first encountered him in issue #237 when she was stealing an orange from one of the bins. He immediately noticed something odd about how she was eating--she wasn't entirely using her hands--and she pushed him down and flew away when she didn't like his attention. But when she returned on a different day to claim another orange, Keith was ready with a cookie to try to charm her into sticking around until his brother returned.

Ernie, who is Keith's younger brother (even if he doesn't look it), sometimes helps Keith with the administrative aspects of the fruit stand, but he doesn't actively work there. He's a bit more calculating than Keith is; Keith is only curious about Ivy, while Ernie is quite interested in getting an authority involved in investigating her. Keith believes Ivy to be a magical creature (at least at first), while Ernie insists she's more like a superhero: a human with special abilities. He first appears in issue #247.

These men slowly making progress toward reeling Ivy in (possibly to her detriment) is a nice reminder that not everyone who meets this extraordinary toddler will respond by selflessly wanting to help her. While not cruel or abusive, they (especially Ernie) think Ivy is dangerous and would be better off in the hands of an authority. But what authority would regulate a telekinetic baby? That's what they were hoping to figure out, with the help of their friend Steph. . . .

My favorite Keith and Ernie pictures (click on the small pictures to see large, good quality scans):

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