CROW: Chapter Seven, the prequel.
> MR. MEADOW MOUSE ESCAPES
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 ]
> 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
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
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.
> had had some trouble getting through the last one and he knew
> that he could never squeeze through one that was much
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
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'?
> 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
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
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 ...
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