CROW: The toll for being in this chapter is the excise tax.
MIKE: D... do ...
TOM: Don't encourage him, Mike.
MIKE; Do I *know* you, Crow?
> JASPER JAY TELLS SOME NEWS
TOM: Then the five-day weather and then Mister Food's Test Kitchen.
> It was quite late in the fall,
CROW: Not so late as to have hit bottom.
> and the weather had grown very
> cold. Mrs. Raccoon and her family had not left their home for several
MIKE: Join the club.
> but on this day she thought it would be pleasant to go out in
> the sunshine and get a breath of fresh air and a bite to eat.
TOM: Maybe run down to the comics shop, see if her pulls are in.
> Fatty was the only one of her children that was not asleep;
CROW: If these are 'Sleepy-Time Tales' why aren't we following the sleeping kids?
> and he complained of being very hungry. So Mrs. Raccoon decided to take
> him with her.
MIKE: So hard finding a babysitter this time of year.
> The hunting was not very good. There were no birds' eggs at
> all to be found in the trees.
TOM: [ As Fatty ] ``*Technically* eggs would be found in the *nests* in the trees.''
MIKE: Great, he's becoming a ``well, actually'' raccoon.
> The river and the brook and the creek
> were all frozen over, so Fatty and his mother could not catch any
CROW: Fish gathering underneath, sticking their tongues out at the raccoons.
> And as for corn
MIKE: It's that ``excise'' joke Crow brought.
> ---Farmer Green had long ago gathered the last
> ear of it. Fatty wished that it was summertime.
CROW: o/` Summertime's nice with a place to go, bedtime, overtime, halftime too ... o/`
> But it only made him
> hungrier than ever,
> to think of all the good things to eat that summer
> brings. He was feeling very unhappy when his mother said to him
MIKE: [ As Fatty ] ``Cheddar! I mean, what?''
> "Run up this tree! Hurry, now! Don't ask any questions."
CROW: [ As Mrs Raccoon ] ``Wait, first put on these clown shoes and don't let this businessman's valise out of your grip! But no questions!''
TOM; [ As Fatty ] ``Whuh --- huh --- ''
CROW: [ As Mrs Raccoon ] ``And only answer people who speak to you in Ubby-Dubby!''
TOM: Pig Raccoon ...
> Now, Fatty did not always mind his mother as quickly as he
> might have.
MIKE: Why, I've never minded Mrs Raccoon at all. She's always been a wonderful companion and magnificent storyteller.
CROW: A real raccoonteur?
MIKE: Yeah, I was leaving that for people to work out on their own.
> But this time he saw that she had stopped and was sniffing
> the air as if there was something about it she did not like.
> That was enough for Fatty. He scrambled up the nearest tree.
TOM: That's a shrub!
CROW: Thud! ... OK, well, the second-nearest tree then!
> For he knew that his mother had discovered danger of some sort.
MIKE: Too late Mrs Raccoon realized the danger was raccoon-eating trees!
> Mrs. Raccoon followed close behind Fatty. And they had no sooner
> hidden in the branches than Fatty saw what it was that his mother had
CROW: Tim Horton's doughnuts?
> It was Johnnie Green!
TOM: Tell us what they've won, Johnnie Green!
> He passed right underneath the tree
> where they were perched. And as Mrs. Raccoon peeped down at him she
TOM: [ As Mrs Raccoon ] 'If I hear one more peep out of me I'm turning myself around and going home!'
> shuddered and shivered and shook so hard that Fatty couldn't help
> noticing it.
MIKE: Mrs Raccoon's powering up!
> "What's the matter?" he asked, as soon as Johnnie Green was
> out of sight.
CROW: Oh, Johnnie's an ex. Messy breakup.
> "His cap!" Mrs. Raccoon exclaimed.
CROW: That propeller can't be fast enough to lift off!
> "He is wearing a raccoon-skin
> cap!" Now do you wonder that she was upset?
MIKE: Yeah, Mom's being fair there.
> "Don't ever go near Farmer
> Green's house," she warned Fatty. "You don't want to be made into a
> cap, or a pair of gloves, or a coat, or anything like that, do you?"
CROW: No, I want it to be by my free choice!
> "No, indeed, Mother!" Fatty was quite sure that such an
> adventure wouldn't please him at all.
TOM: Now, being turned into a beer can cozy? Don't knock *that* until you've tried it.
> And he told himself right then
> and there that he would never go anywhere near Farmer Green's house.
MIKE: [ As Mrs Raccoon ] 'Now let's explore this tree you found for us!'
TOM: [ As Fatty ] 'It's, uh, Farmer Green's chimney ... ... ... Sorry?'
> We shall see how well Fatty remembered.
CROW: Hey, foreshadowing!
> That very afternoon Fatty Raccoon heard some very pleasant news.
> It was Jasper Jay who told him.
TOM: Oh yeah! The *chapter*!
> Jasper Jay was a very noisy blue jay who lived in the
CROW: [ As Jasper ] 'You know unlike other blue things I just *look* blue!'
TOM: [ As Fatty ] 'Yes, all things that look blue look blue, that's how looking blue *works*.'
> He did not go south with most of the other birds when
> the cold weather came.
MIKE: He migrated east. It started one year as a mistake he was too stubborn to admit.
> He liked the winter and he was forever tearing
> about the woods, squalling and scolding at everybody. He was a very
> noisy fellow.
TOM: Man, Arthur Scott Bailey really makes nature sound like it's full of jerks.
> Well! when Fatty and his mother had reached home after their
> hunt, Fatty stayed out of doors.
MIKE: What did they hunt?
TOM: Oh, they went to the thrift scores. Scored this ceramic coaster with the Harvey Wallbanger cartoon guy on it.
> He climbed to the top of a tall pine
> tree nearby and stretched himself along a limb, to enjoy the sunshine,
> which felt very good upon his broad back.
TOM: Boy, remember being young enough you could just spend the evening flopped out on a pine tree?
> It was there that Jasper Jay
> found him and told him the pleasant news.
CROW: ``Jules Rivera's doing an AMA? We can ask her why she hates Mark Trail and waits it destroyed? Let's go!''
> And Fatty was very glad to
> hear the news, because he was still hungry.
> This is what Jasper Jay told Fatty: he told him that Farmer
> Green had as many as forty fat turkeys,
TOM: Fatty wondering if he's being insulted here.
> which roosted every night in a
> spreading oak in Farmer Green's front yard.
CROW: Turkeys ... ... roost ... in trees?
MIKE: I guess?
CROW: I feel weird.
> "If I liked turkeys I would certainly go down there some night
> and get one," said Jasper Jay.
MIKE: Wait, that's the whole chapter?
TOM: ``Jasper Jay Tells Some News, after 800 words about other stuff.''
-[ to be continued, someday ]-