MiSTed: The Tale of Grumpy Weasel, Chapter 6 [ 1 / 1 ]

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Joseph Nebus

Dec 29, 2022, 3:05:20 PM12/29/22
> VI

CROW: Chapter Seven, the prequel.


JOEL: Wonder what's going to happen this chapter.

> Grumpy Weasel did not like Solomon Owl's offer

TOM: Two wheat and one ore in exchange for Literacy and Mapmaking? What kind of offer is that?!

> to be
> umpire of the hole-crawling contest between Mr. Meadow Mouse
> and himself.

JOEL: ... Busier than a one-beaked umpire at a hole-crawling contest.

> He hissed a few times and glared at Solomon Owl,

CROW: Like they say, the people with the free weasels always hiss first.

> up in the hemlock tree.

TOM: Grumpy should run into the hemlock tree's opposite, the inseam-key tree.

> Solomon Owl did not appear to mind that, but calmly
> outstared Grumpy Weasel without once blinking.

JOEL: [ As Solomon ] 'I been hissed at by bigger weasels than you, buck-o.'

> "Are you both
> ready?" he asked presently.

CROW: You know this is like the biggest mouse anxiety dream after having to give a presentation in class.

> "Yes, thank you!" Mr. Meadow Mouse answered.

TOM: [ As Meadow ] 'I'll just get ready over ... there ... ' [ Makes a 'whoosh' noise ]

> And
> Grumpy Weasel gave a sort of shrug, as if to say that he
> supposed he was.

JOEL: Grumpy's too cool for school.

> "First you may try that hole between those mossy
> stones," Mr. Owl announced, with a tilt of his head toward
> the wall.

TOM: Mossy stones ... hm ... what's your game, old Owl?

> "Certainly!" cried Mr. Meadow Mouse.

CROW: Remember to wear your microchip shirt so we can time you down to the millisecond.

> "You go first and I'll follow," Grumpy Weasel told
> him.

JOEL: Not going to flip to see who goes first?

> And Mr. Meadow Mouse didn't dare disobey. He whisked
> through the hole spryly and was back again in no time.

TOM: Why, the hole only goes halfway!

> Then Grumpy took his turn.

JOEL: And *only* his turn. He's not greedy.
TOM: Greedy Muskrat is a whole different book.

> He was certainly quicker
> than Mr. Meadow Mouse.

CROW: [ As Meadow ] 'It's very important I do my *entire* get-ready-to-do-something routine!'
TOM: [ As Meadow, doing Ed Norton ] 'Hello, hole!'

> Even the umpire, Solomon Owl, had to
> admit that.

JOEL: Solomon Owl is not one to gainsay the obvious.

> "But of course that's not the point," Solomon
> observed.

TOM: It might be the tiebreaker, though.

> "It's the one that gets stuck in a hole that loses
> the contest."

CROW: Much as in life, yes.

> Well, after Grumpy and Mr. Meadow Mouse had slipped
> through several holes, each one smaller than the one before,

TOM: They must both be shrinking!

> Mr. Meadow Mouse said that he thought it was only polite to
> let Grumpy go first.

JOEL: That's the sort of thing that'll shake him out of his funk.

> Secretly Mr. Meadow Mouse was afraid of
> what might happen if he should have the misfortune to get
> wedged in a hole, with Grumpy Weasel ready to follow him.

TOM: He could just tell Grumpy it's all right to go around him. Easy.

> He
> had had some trouble getting through the last one and he knew
> that he could never squeeze through one that was much
> smaller.

CROW: Fatty Raccoon wondering what's all this 'squeeze through' talk.

> Grumpy Weasel lost his temper at once.

TOM: Remember, the loser is the one who throws the first punch. Except if you're boxing.

> "I'll do as I please on my stone wall!" he snapped.

JOEL: If you wanna find out what's behind these cold eyes you'll just have to claw your way through this disguise.

> And he was angrier than ever when Solomon Own said to him,
> "It's your turn!"

CROW: [ As Meadow ] 'Wait, it was that easy all along? I shoulda tried this *holes* ago!'

> Probably no other of the woods
> people---unless it was one of the Hawk family

TOM: Eagle, Goshawk, Tony, and Parabuteo.

> ---could have
> made Grumpy Weasel obey.

JOEL: Oh and Jimmy Rabbit now he read that book about hypnosis.

> And now he insisted that if he "went
> first" he ought to be allowed to choose whatever hole he
> pleased.

TOM: [ As Solomon ] 'Hmm ... I'll allow it. But you're on a short leash, counsellor.'

> Both Solomon Owl and Mr. Meadow Mouse agreed.

JOEL: What sort of name do you think 'Meadow' is?
TOM: What sort of name is 'Grumpy'?

> So
> Grumpy Weasel popped through a hole of his own choosing, and
> he did not reappear,

CROW: Wait, I was about to *make* that joke!

> though he called to Mr. Meadow Mouse to
> "come on."

JOEL: [ As Grumpy ] 'You'll love it here in the Shadow Zone!'

> Mr. Meadow Mouse hung back.

TOM: [ As Grumpy ] 'Come on, join me in the Never-Was!'

> "You'll have to excuse me," he stammered.

CROW: [ As Meadow ] 'I, uh, have a all-hands standup on Zoom in five. Be right back.'

> "What's the matter?" boomed Solomon Owl. "Do you want
> to lose the contest?"

JOEL: [ As Solomon ] 'Can you settle for being merely Pleasant Valley's *second-best* squeezer-into-things?'

> "No!" said Mr. Meadow Mouse. "But Grumpy Weasel is
> still inside that hole. There's no other way out."

TOM: [ As Torgo ] 'It'll be dark soon, there is no other way out.'

> "How do you know?" Solomon Owl asked him.

CROW: You know, one cork could solve the whole Grumpy Weasel problem right now.

> "Oh, I've been here before, often," Mr. Meadow Mouse
> replied.

TOM: Often enough to memorize all the one-way holes?

> "Are you sure?" Mr. Owl inquired.

CROW: Look, there's one hole in the wall that leads to somewhere in the Delta Quadrant where the Caretaker's sampling species, and that's the hole. What can I tell you?

> "I'll go on the other side of the wall and look," Mr.
> Meadow Mouse offered. And thereupon he skipped over the wall.

JOEL: You know, this really seems more like Meadow Mouse's story here.

> Solomon Owl waited patiently.

TOM: Wonder what Solomon's whole gambit here is, really.

> And so did Grumpy
> Weasel.

CROW: So did Peter Mink, but you don't see him making a big fuss over it.

> But Mr. Meadow Mouse never came back. Once out of
> sight he scampered away.

JOEL: [ As Meadow, increasingly faintly ] 'I'm not scampering away, I'm, I'm, I'm just looking for where the hole should be!'
TOM: [ As Meadow ] 'Still shakin' the bushes, boss!'

> And he never trespassed on Grumpy
> Weasel's hunting ground again.

CROW: Because Grumpy was so impressed with the cleverness they became good friends and Meadow was welcome anytime he wanted to drop in, right?
JOEL: Um ...

Joseph Nebus
Math Blog: https://nebusresearch.wordpress.com
Humor Blog: https://nebushumor.wordpress.com
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