The Weasels' Halloween

Part II

"You've Been Weaseled"

As October drew towards its end, the leaves reached their peak colour and passed it. Much to the delight of certain residents, Halloween would soon arrive. It was the Monday evening before the haunting night. Wilde and Wilder, our valiant but mischievous weasels, sat at their dining table. They had just finished a big dinner and were smiling devilishly at each other. This was their favourite week of the year. This was the week when they got to play trick or treat on everyone — legally. When their tummies were pleasantly full, such as now, they did their best scheming. They had created a long list of potential “victims” and now were making the final choices. So far, the frogs and ducks were the winners or losers, depending upon your point of view.

Wilde was more serious about Halloween than Wilder. He felt that the holiday presented an opportunity to sharpen their planning skills and have fun at the same time. Wilder just wanted to have fun, and this Halloween would be the best ever. He just knew it!

After an hour or so, they were satisfied with the trick list and looked forward to the morning with great anticipation. They would go to bed early as they needed to be up before dawn. Wilde turned down the oil lamp on the mantle, and each retired to his bedroom. Wilde lay on his bed in the dark, still thinking about the details of their tricks. Wilder tossed and turned with nervous energy. Eventually, they both drifted off.

Two sets of beady eyes and two wet noses just broke the surface of the water in front of the hut. It was 7 bongs and barely light out. The only sound was the lapping of water against the nearby dock. The weasels waited patiently. Eventually, the door to the hut opened, and Grenby greeted the morning in his red and white striped pyjamas with green bathrobe. He stretched and looked around. All quiet. Good, that was how he liked it. He studied the sky and trees. It didn’t take long for him to create a forecast. He predicted that today would be fair, cool, and with light winds. It would be the same for tomorrow.

He walked to the flagpole and pulled on the rope to lower the flags from yesterday’s forecast. Two sets of eyes followed his every move. Next to the pole was a rack of flags that could announce any forecast he developed. Blue-blue-purple would be the flags for today and blue-blue for tomorrow. He removed some of yesterday’s flags and replaced them with the blue and purple ones. Slowly he hoisted the new forecast up the pole. Done! He walked back into his hut and closed the door.

In order for the weasels to put their plan in action, they would have to remain unseen. They were counting on Grenby going to the lower level of his hut. This was the time of year that he prepared that level for his long nap.

The weasels were right. They snuck out of the water and crawled over to the flag pole. Wilder pulled down the flags as Wilde selected new ones from the rack. They had their own forecast for today: Heavy snow, moderate winds, hot — white/black-green-red. Grenby’s forecast was quickly replaced. They were giddy with excitement. Then, they scampered behind a nearby tree and waited for the fun to begin.

The swans were also up early and quickly noticed the odd forecast. Remember, they are responsible for hoisting the same flags on the island flag pole.

Sean Swan exclaimed, “How can it be hot and snowy?”

Stoddard laughed, “Grenby probably got his flags mixed up.”

“If he did, it will be the first time,” replied Sean.

That was true. Grenby was very careful about not making mistakes. He took his forecasting responsibilities very seriously.

Stoddard said, “Let’s fly over there and see what’s going on.”

When they landed in front of Grenby’s hut, they were not alone. The squirrels and moles had just beaten them there and were banging on his door.

Grenby eventually opened the door.

“What’s all the commotion about?” he yelled. “Can’t an animal get some peace?”

Sedgewick pointed up at the flags and said, “Look!”

Grenby looked up the pole and almost went into shock.

“That isn’t my forecast!” he yelled.

The weasels could barely keep from laughing out loud.

“Someone has changed my forecast,” he said as he looked all around.

Stoddard was the first to figure it out.

“Grenby, my friend, it’s Halloween week, and “you’ve been weaseled”.

Some of the animals laughed but not Grenby. He put his head down and shook it. In all his years this had never happened before. When Wilde and Wilder heard, “You’ve been weaseled,” they started rolling on the ground, laughing uncontrollably.

Everyone saw them. Some yelled, “There they are! Let’s get em!”

Wilder said, “Uh, Oh.”

The weasels ran as fast as they could into the woods and disappeared. There was no point in chasing them. What could be done anyway? Grenby fixed his flags and guarded them all morning.

The following morning, the weasels arose very early again and swam across the pond to the island. Their destination was the ducks’ raft. They found it rocking gently on the water. The raft was moored to the dock with two ropes, and there were extra unused ropes available for other purposes. The weasels had another purpose.

Wilder grabbed one of the ropes and swam under the raft. He attached one end to a hook on the raft and the other end to the dock. From above the rope couldn’t be seen. Now, the weasels went under the dock and hid near the water’s edge. They waited.

The ducks had a lot of deliveries to make that day as the swans had nearly filled the storage shed. At 8 bongs they came out of their cottage and began loading the raft. The weasels snickered from underneath the dock anticipating the fun. It was cold beneath the dock, but if you were in the trick or treat business, sometimes you had to experience a little discomfort to enjoy the rewards later. Wilde and Wilder were more than willing to do this.

It took about a half-hour for the ducks to load the raft. They were ready to begin the deliveries. Four of the ducks got into their harnesses. Devon unhooked the ropes holding the raft, or so he thought, and got into his own harness.

“Everybody ready?” he asked.

All answered, yes.

“Yo,” he said, and they started paddling. The raft moved about a foot and then jerked them backward.

Deirdre yelled, “What happened?”

Devon said, “Let’s try again.” Same result.

“I’ll find out what the problem is,” said Devon.

It took about a minute to get in or out of a harness. That was plenty of time for Wilder to unhook his rope and hide it behind a pier.

Devon swam under the raft and checked everything thoroughly. Of course, he found no problems. Odd, he thought as he went back and got into his harness again.

“I don’t see anything wrong,” he said. “Let’s try again.”

As you have guessed, Wilder reattached his rope as Devon was getting into his harness for the second time.

“Yo,” said Devon. Same result.

Now, the ducks were getting frustrated, and the weasels were getting silly with giggling.

Devon climbed out of his harness again; Wilder unhooked the rope again; Devon found nothing again.

For the third time today, Devon harnessed up. For the third time the raft was not moving.

Wilde and Wilder climbed out of the water and onto the bank.

Wilde said loudly, “Good morning everybody. How are things going?” Both were smirking.

Devon turned and said, “Good morning. There seems to be something wrong with the rrrr.”

He saw them laughing.

“It’s you!”

Wilde said, “You’ve been weaseled.” And off they ran.

If you recall, the frogs have two entrances to their cottage. There is the normal front door and a second entrance underwater. That presented the weasels with an interesting opportunity for a trick.

On Thursday morning, the weasels hid in the woods behind the frogs’ cottage and waited for them to leave. Then, they slipped into the pond and entered the cottage by the underwater entrance. They brought four long strings with them.

Much of the frogs’ cottage was like an indoor swimming pool. Four large lily pads floated on the water, one for each member of the family. The frogs used them for sitting and sleeping. The weasels attached strings to the stalks of each lily pad. They fed them down and out the entrance and then back up onto the bank behind a tree. Each string had a coloured tag on its end, so they knew which string was attached to which lily pad. Everything was in place for the trick.

Later, towards evening, they returned. The frogs were now home and had finished dinner. Wilder peeked in a side window and saw that they were relaxing on their lily pads. He noted which frog was on which pad and told his brother. He crept back to the tree where the strings were.

Wilde went to the front door and knocked. Fionna answered and invited Wilde in, but he remained at the entrance. He wanted to stay there so he could signal Wilder.

“This is just a quick visit, so I won’t come in,” he said. “Hello, everybody. Some of the animals say they've seen a hawk flying around again. I wonder if you might have seen anything?”

Wilde saw that Finn was sitting on the lily pad that had the red tagged string. He lifted a red tag out of his back pocket just enough for Wilder to see it.

As Fionna was about to answer, a loud splash and yell came from the pool. Wilder had quickly jerked the red tagged string. Finn’s pad sunk instantly, throwing him into the water. The lily pad popped back up quickly, so it looked completely normal. Finn did not! Now, frogs love water, but they prefer to decide when they’ll get wet. Finn had been shocked and had no idea how he got in the water. He climbed back onto his pad.

Faith laughed, “Finn fell out of bed like a baby.”

“I did not!”

“Then, how did you get in the water?” asked Faith, still laughing.

Finn looked around but had no answer.

“Children, please,” said their mother.

Wilde tried to keep from smiling.

Fionna turned back to Wilde. “As I was saying, we…”

Splash! Splash! “Yeow!”

Finn was in the water again. “My lily pad sunk,” he cried.

“It did not. It’s right there next to you,” laughed Faith.

Their father was watching with his own amusement as Finn again crawled back on his pad.

Fionna turned back to Wilde again. “I am sorry for the interruption. The children are usually better behaved.”

“It’s quite all right Mrs. Frog. I do understand,” sympathised Wilde.

Splash! Kerplunk! Splash! Splash!

Now three frogs, Finn, Faith, and their father were flailing about in the water. Even Wilder could hear all of the splashing and yelling.


Sinking The Frogs

Wilde started laughing out loud. Fionna looked at him.

“I’m sorry everybody, but ‘You’ve been weaseled’,” laughed Wilde.

He left the cottage quickly. Fionna stood there with her mouth open.

Wilde joined Wilder, and they ran into the woods. Wilde told him about everything that had happened in the cottage. It was a very successful prank.

“You pulled the strings at just the right times,” Wilde said.

“Thank you, brother,” responded Wilder laughing.

As they walked from the woods near their cottage, their mood changed quickly.

Standing in front of them was the same hawk that they had driven off last month. This time he was not alone. To his left and right, were two more hawks, even bigger than he. They had not come for tea.

“So we meet again,” snarled Wilder, immediately taking the offensive.

“We have unfinished business, I believe,” hissed the hawk.

“Apparently, we do. We thought you learned your lesson the first time we met. I guess you’re more stupid than you look,” said Wilde.

“Can’t you count?” asked the hawk as he nodded to his partners.

“No, actually, we can’t, but that doesn’t matter,” answered Wilde.

“And why is that?” spat the hawk.

“Because, no matter who wins this fight, we’ll make sure that YOU will lose.”

As he spoke, he pointed directly at the hawk to add emphasis. Both weasels stood as tall as they could, teeth bared, and saliva dripping.

“Now you have two choices and only two. Choice one: your group makes the first move, and YOU lose. Choice two: your group leaves now, and YOU live,” snarled Wilde.

This situation was a classic example of an opportunity to win the battle but lose the war. The hawk correctly calculated that he had the superior force and would probably win the battle. Was he willing to risk his life to win the battle? The answer was, NO!

He stood there and said nothing. The other two hawks looked at him. Time went by.

“I see you’ve made your decision,” said Wilde. “Tell your friends that they can leave now. Their services are no longer needed.”

The hawk thought a little longer and then motioned to the others. They immediately took off and flew north.

“Good,” said Wilde. “Now, we don’t want to have to keep repeating this scene every month. You and your friends can find plenty to eat in the wild woods without bothering a civilised community like Ballymore. Everybody here sticks together, and we protect each other. As you can see, we are not easy pickings. If you come back again, there will be no further warnings. I hope I am making myself very clear!”

The hawk simply stared at him. Then, he took off and quickly disappeared to the north, also.

“Well done, brother,” said Wilder.

“Thank you,” said Wilde. “I think we are finished with them, but we are not finished with Halloween.”

“Yay!” said Wilder.