I continue not to promise that I will make Mystery Science Theater 3000 fan fiction out of all of Arthur Scott Bailey’s The Tale Of Grumpy Weasel. Grumpy isn’t as automatically delightful as Fatty Raccoon was. But I’m feeling more inclined to try, now. And all of the MiSTing, however much I finish, should be posted to this link.
The story so far: First, young Master Robin escaped Grumpy Weasel. Then Mister Meadow Mouse did too. Who’ll get away from Grumpy Weasel next? Or will we finish a chapter with someone not avoiding our protagonist? Read on!
This week also hasn’t really called for obscure riffs. Maybe the only thing to footnote is that Barbara Lewis hat a hit song by the name Hello Stranger back in 1963, although you might recognize it from its hook, “Shoo-bop shoo-bop, my baby, ooooh”.
TOM: Chapter Five, Part II.
> PADDY MUSKRAT’S BLUNDER
CROW: [ As Emily Litella ] ‘What’s all this about Paddy Muskrat’s bladder?’
> Sometimes Grumpy Weasel found the hunting poor along
> the stretch of stone wall that he called his own
JOEL: Maybe Grumpy should take up gathering?
> —though of
> course it really belonged to Farmer Green.
TOM: [ As Grumpy ] ‘I own it by virtue of working the hunting grounds! Read your Locke!’
CROW: [ Pointlessly hostile ] *You* read *your* Locke.
> And though he
> disliked to wander much in strange neighborhoods,
JOEL: … he likes the way his existing drives the Nextdoor biddies crazy.
> once in a
> while he visited other parts of Pleasant Valley.
CROW: Sometimes he wanders all the way to Simply Passable Hill or Mediocre Brook. Once even to Disappointing Meadow.
JOEL: Mister Meadow Mouse likes it.
> It was on such an excursion to the bank of the mill
TOM: o/` Down by the old mill pond … o/`
> that he caught sight, one day, of Paddy Muskrat
CROW: I want to call him Paddy O’Muskrat for some reason.
> —or to
> be more exact, that Paddy Muskrat caught sight of him.
JOEL: You know a caught sight is the most dangerous of all.
> Now it was seldom that anybody spoke to Grumpy
CROW: And when they did it was about who has the deed to the garden wall.
> On the contrary, most of the forest-folk dodged out
> of sight whenever they saw him, and said nothing.
TOM: Wait, nobody likes Grumpy Weasel, nobody likes Fatty Raccoon, does Arthur Scott Bailey have any protagonists he *wants* to spend time with?
> So he
> wheeled like a flash and started to run when somebody called,
> "Hullo, stranger!"
CROW: He’s being visited by the Barbara Lewis?
> One quick backward glance at a small wet head in the
> water told Grumpy that he had nothing to fear.
JOEL: In hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be here …
> "Hullo, yourself!" he retorted "And you’d better not
> call me ‘stranger,’ because I’m no stranger than you are."
TOM: Well, how strange are you?
CROW: Anyone who boasts about how strange they are is about as strange as white broccoli pizza.
> Well, Paddy Muskrat—for it was he who had spied
> Grumpy Weasel on the bank of the pond—
JOEL: No, not *that* Paddy Muskrat, the other one.
> saw at once that
> whoever the slender and elegant person might be,
TOM: Nick Charles?!
> he had the
> worst of manners. Though Paddy had lived in the mill pond a
> long time, he had never met any one that looked exactly like
> the newcomer.
CROW: Isn’t that how newcomers work?
JOEL: Not if you’re clones.
> To be sure, there was Peter Mink, who was
> long-bodied and short-tempered,
TOM: [ As Peter Mink, from far off ] ‘Hey! Why pick on me?’
> as the stranger appeared to
> be. But when Paddy inquired whether the visitor wasn’t a
> distant connection of the Mink family (as indeed he was!),
CROW: [ As Emily Litella ] ‘The *Pink* Family?’
> Grumpy Weasel said, "What! Do you mean to insult me by asking
> whether I’m related to such a ragged, ruffianly crowd?"
> Somehow Paddy Muskrat rather liked that answer,
JOEL: ‘Ruffianly’, yeah, we got us a stranger who says things like ‘ruffianly’.
> Peter Mink and all his family were fine swimmers and most
> unwelcome in the mill pond.
TOM: Just … just because he doesn’t like Peter Mink doesn’t mean he can’t swim.
> And perhaps—who knew?—
JOEL: It is a crazy, mixed-up world.
> perhaps the spic-and-span
> chap on the bank,
CROW: Felix Otter!
> with the sleek coat and black-tipped tail,
TOM: Puttin’ on the ritz!
> was one of the kind that didn’t like to get his feet wet.
JOEL: That he was wearing his swimming trunks suggests otherwise, though.
> Then Paddy Muskrat asked the stranger a silly
TOM: ‘If you could trade tongues with someone, who would it be?’
> He was not the wisest person, anyhow, in Pleasant
> Valley, as his wife often reminded him.
CROW: Oh you know women, always reminding you of the existence of wiser muskrats in the valley.
> "You’re not a distant
> relation of Tommy Fox, are you?" he inquired.
TOM: Tommy Fox, the lowland tenrec?
> Grumpy Weasel actually almost smiled.
JOEL: [ As Grumpy, hollering in pain ] ‘AAAAUGH!’
> "Now, how did you happen to guess that?" he asked.
CROW: [ As Grumpy ] ‘Because, man, if that idea ust popped into your head you’re a sack of doorknobs!’
> "Because you’ve got such a sharp nose," Paddy Muskrat
JOEL: You know what they say, sharp nose, warm heart.
> And he was quite pleased with himself, for he
> thought that he wasn’t so stupid as some people thought.
TOM: Oh … oh, honey, please, sit down before you hurt yourself.
> "Any other reason?" Grumpy Weasel inquired, stepping
> to the edge of the overhanging bank.
CROW: Look out, Paddy, it’s a trap!
> "You don’t like to get your feet wet," Paddy Muskrat
TOM: Objection, assumes personality traits not in evidence.
> And feeling safe as anything, he swam nearer the spot
> where the stranger was crouching.
JOEL: Just think of being the phone company guy walking Paddy through moving his SIM card.
> Paddy saw, almost too late, that he had made a bad
CROW: Can’t you even tell a cabbage from a lettuce?!
> For without the slightest warning Grumpy Weasel
> leaped at him.
JOEL: Aaah! Snuggle party!
> And had not Paddy been a wonderful swimmer and
> able to dive like a flash,
TOM: What, *nekkid*?!
> he would never have dashed,
> panting, into his house a few moments later.
> "What on earth is the matter?" his wife asked him.
CROW: [ As Paddy ] ‘NOTHING! Nothing, uh, nothing … listen, we don’t have any holes on us, do we?’
> "I’ve been having a swimming race with a stranger,"
JOEL: Seems more like a diving race to me?
> Paddy explained. "I don’t know his name. But I do know that
> he’d just as soon get his feet wet as I would."
TOM: [ As Mrs Muskrat ] ‘Why would you want to get his feet wet?’
> "Well, why not?" Mrs. Muskrat inquired. "That only
> shows he’s sensible."
CROW: He can see, hear, smell, touch, *and* taste!
TOM: Can’t trust a stranger you don’t ever lick.
> "Does it show I’m sensible, too?" Paddy asked her.
JOEL: I don’t know, can you be licked?
> "Certainly not!" said Mrs. Muskrat.
[ To continue … ? ]