CROW: The Final, Belated Battle
> SOLOMON OWL INTERRUPTS
TOM: He's wise, not polite.
> Plump little Mr. Meadow Mouse
JOEL: ... Came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed ...
> wished he had stayed
> away from Grumpy Weasel's hunting ground.
CROW: Totally bogus to have the ground hunting you. The sky never does that cop stuff.
> He would have
> scampered off, had he not known that Grumpy could overtake
> him before he had made three leaps.
TOM: Hear me out now, what if you take two leaps?
CROW: One leap and a jaunty pirouette?
> So he saw no way out of
> his trouble,
TOM: Maybe declare bankruptcy?
> though he could think of nothing less agreeable
> than trying to slip through a small hole with Grumpy Weasel
> close at hand, watching him narrowly.
JOEL: I don't know, Grumpy seems to be pretty positive about this.
> Then all at once Mr. Meadow Mouse had an idea.
TOM: Wait, it won't help if you try and stop Christmas from coming.
> go first!" he said politely. "Go through any hole you choose
> and then I'll try my luck."
JOEL: Let's go inside and take this outdoors!
> But Grumpy Weasel was too crafty to do that.
CROW: He had a huge pile of origami blocking the hole.
> "You'd try your luck at running away," he snarled.
TOM: [ As Meadow Mouse ] 'I'd try my skill, too!'
> "You are the one to go first; and we'll have no words about
JOEL: [ As Meadow Mouse ] 'Can I at least gulp a little?'
> Well, Mr. Meadow Mouse began to shake more than ever.
CROW: He's getting his groove on!
> "Don't you think," he quavered, "that we'd better
> wait a few days until I'm a bit smaller?
TOM: [ As Meadow Mouse ] 'I'm growing down, you know. It's like growing up but the other way around?'
> I'm afraid I've been
> overeating lately and I might get stuck in a hole.
CROW: Well, what if the hole eats something and grows a bit?
> And of
> course that would be awkward."
JOEL: Oh, we'd pretend not to look, don't worry.
> "Ha, ha!" Grumpy Weasel actually laughed. But it was
> not what any one could call a hearty, wholesome, cheerful
> sort of laugh. On the contrary, it sounded very cruel and
CROW: Oh, great, he's an Internet snarker.
JOEL: [ Coughing, embarrassed ]
> "Hoo, hoo!" Another laugh---this one weird and
> hollow---boomed out from the hemlock tree just above Mr.
> Meadow Mouse's head.
CROW: Huh, huh?
TOM: o/` They're coming to take me away! o/``
> He jumped, in spite of himself---did Mr. Meadow
JOEL: A wink of his eye and a twist of his head ...
> And so, too, did Grumpy Weasel. Both of them leaped
> for the old stone wall.
TOM: [ As JOEL swings his arms like a baseball umpire ] 'SAFE!'
> And each flashed into a crevice
> between the stones,
JOEL: [ As Meadow Mouse ] 'Oh uh ... hi. Funny meeting you here?'
> though Grumpy Weasel was ever so much the
> quicker of the two. They knew Solomon Owl's voice too well to
> mistake his odd laughter.
> "What's your hurry, gentlemen?" Solomon called to
TOM: Solomon Grund-Owl, born on a Mond-Owl.
> Mild Mr. Meadow Mouse made no reply.
JOEL: Couldn't quite nail the alliteration.
> But from Grumpy
> Weasel's hiding place an angry hiss told Solomon Owl that one
> of them, at least, had heard his question.
CROW: Oh no! Daniel Snake is leaking!
> "Come out!" said Solomon Owl. "Don't be shy! I've
> dined already."
TOM: I just want to snuggle!
> Well, that made the two in the wall feel somewhat
CROW: Going to ruin things if animals ever discover lying.
> And soon they ventured to peep out and gaze at
> Solomon, to see whether he looked like a person who had just
> enjoyed a good meal.
JOEL: [ As Solomon ] 'I didn't say I *enjoyed* it, just that I *ate* it.'
> "You're not as hollow as you sound, I hope," Grumpy
> Weasel remarked with some suspicion in his tone.
TOM: ... the heck?
CROW: No, no, the logic checks out.
> As for Mr. Meadow Mouse, he wouldn't dream of making
> so rude a remark.
JOEL: But he's already composing his review on Bird Yelp.
CROW: [ As Meadow Mouse ] 'Is that a bird? Y-elp!'
> "It's a fine evening and I hope you're feeling
> happy," he piped.
TOM: Is he signalling for a spy? The smoked cabbage never swings the light anchor.
> "Oh, very! Very!" said Solomon Owl solemnly.
JOEL: How does a beak make those 'V' sounds?
> Mr. Meadow Mouse was a trusting sort of chap
CROW: Hardly a week went by a friend didn't trick him into looking up 'gullible' in the dictionary.
TOM: [ Way too defensive ] Not believing it until you saw the word missing is the *opposite* of gullible!
CROW: [ Snickering ]
> He was
> all ready to leave his cranny. But Grumpy Weasel was not yet
JOEL: Not letting you go until you regret talking to him: the Grumpy Weasel Guarantee!
> "Which one of us are you answering?" he demanded of
CROW: Was ... was there a question?
TOM: No, but you can take an idle curiosity out of petty thoughts.
> "Him!" said Solomon.
TOM: That devil guy from the Powerpuff Girls? The heck?
> "Did you say, 'Ahem?'" Grumpy Weasel wanted to know.
> "No, no!" Solomon assured him.
CROW: [ As Grumpy ] 'Well, could you? I've go a great joke I need you to set up.'
> "I said, 'him.' I was
> answering your friend."
TOM: But Grumpy Weasel is a friend to everybody!
> Grumpy Weasel made a wry face, as if he did not care
> to have anybody speak of Mr. Meadow Mouse as a friend of his.
TOM: Well, almost everybody!
> And he did not quit the stone wall
JOEL: Oh, you can't just quit a stone wall, you have to give them time to train your replacement wall.
TOM: Replacement well ...
> until he had seen Mr.
> Meadow Mouse venture forth in safety.
> "Just by accident I overheard your remarks a few
> minutes ago," Mr. Owl explained.
CROW: Well, Solomon Owl sure wasn't using any hunting ground.
> "I'd like to watch this
> hole-crawling contest.
JOEL: Pleasant Valley does not have smart phones yet.
CROW: It's 1915, 'phones' are just hollering.
> And I'll stay here and be the
> umpire---and see that there's fair play."
TOM: [ As Solomon Owl ] It's a little weird, but I like weird!
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