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Skeeter and the Weasels

By Aaron Shepard


For more treats and resources, visit Aaron Shepard at
www.aaronshep.com

Copyright © 2005 Aaron Shepard. May not be published or posted without permission.

PREVIEW: One day Skeeter noticed there were a lot of weasels.

GENRE: Humor
CULTURE: ——
THEME: Weasels
AGES: 5–12
LENGTH: 1550 words

Aaron’s Extras
All special features are at www.aaronshep.com/extras.


Since you’re reading this story without pictures, I have to tell you that Skeeter and Ginger are cats, Buster is a dog, and the weasels are weasels. They live in a world that seems to be made up mostly of cats and dogs, with the occasional odd other animal thrown in. However, I am still seeking a reference for verification.—Aaron

One day Skeeter noticed there were a lot of weasels.

There were weasels at the office. There were weasels at the bank. There were weasels at the supermarket.

Days went by, and everywhere Skeeter looked, there were weasels.

They wore gray trench coats and purple sunglasses. They snuck and they slunk. They peered around corners and poked out of doorways.

But if you looked right at them, they vanished in the blink of an eye.

“There sure are a lot of weasels,” said Skeeter to Ginger at the office water cooler one day.

“Weasels? What do you mean?” said Ginger.

“Weasels,” said Skeeter. “Everywhere I go, I see weasels.”

“Right,” said Ginger, eyeing him sideways. “Listen, Skeet, maybe you should take that vacation you’ve been talking about.”

“But don’t you see them too?” said Skeeter.

“Oh, sure I do,” said Ginger. “Weasels. Ha ha! Well, ah . . . see you later, Skeet.” And Ginger backed gingerly away.

Skeeter started home. There were weasels in the lobby. There were weasels in the parking lot. There were weasels at the street corners.

He reached his house, made dinner, and sat in front of the TV. There were weasels on the news. There were weasels in the TV shows. There were even weasels in the commercials.

“There sure are a lot of weasels,” said Skeeter.

The next day, Skeeter’s boss, Buster, called him into his office.

“I’m sorry, Skeeter. There’s been a change, a shake up, a shift, and a slump. You’re fired.”

As Skeeter turned to go, he spotted a weasel peeking from behind Buster’s desk.

Skeeter drove to the park and sat sadly on a bench. There were weasels behind the trees. There were weasels by the picnic tables. There were weasels around the playground.

“There sure are a lot of weasels,” said Skeeter.

“Hold everything!” said a voice above him. “Did you say a lot of weasels?”

He looked up, and there on a tree branch was a lady rat in a pink trench coat and purple sunglasses.

“Yes,” said Skeeter. “A lot of weasels. There sure are.”

“At last!” said the lady rat. “Someone else sees them too!”

She dropped onto the bench and took off her sunglasses. “Let me introduce myself. I’m Special Agent Ratilda from Rodential, the rodent mutual aid society. You’ve heard of us, no doubt.”

“Well, no, I can’t say—” began Skeeter.

Sure, you have. Our motto? ‘Get a piece of the cheese.’ Right now, I’m on a secret mission. Top secret. Can you keep a secret?”

“Um, unless I forget and—”

Sure, you can. I’m looking into an alarming rise in the number of weasels. They’re everywhere. But I don’t have to tell you, because you see them too. So, what’s your name, cat?”

“I’m Skeeter,” said Skeeter.

“Skeeter,” said Ratilda. “Pretty dumb name, but you’re a cat, so it fits. So, Skeeter, how would you like to join me on this perilous and possibly fatal mission.”

“Oh, I don’t think—”

Sure, you would. Follow me, Deputy Special Agent Skeeter.” Ratilda put on her sunglasses, jumped off the bench, and started off.

“But I’m a cat!” called Skeeter.

“Nobody’s perfect!” called Ratilda. “Come on!”

Skeeter tried to keep up as Ratilda rushed through the park in long curves and loops.

“What are we doing?” said Skeeter.

“Following weasel tracks, of course,” said Ratilda. “Here, put on these weasel glasses.”

She handed him some purple sunglasses. When Skeeter put them on, he saw that the park was crisscrossed by dozens of lines of arrows.

“It’s the red arrows we want,” said Ratilda. “The blue ones go to the rest rooms.”

Still following the arrows, they left the park and hurried down the street.

“Where are they leading?” said Skeeter.

“To Weasel Central,” said Ratilda.

“How will we know when we get there?”

“You know,” said Ratilda, “you ask a lot of dumb questions, even for a cat.”

In front of them was a big building with a sign saying, “WEASEL CENTRAL.” Weasels were going in and out the front door, and there were weasels in almost every window.

“Oh,” said Skeeter.

“Now, here’s the plan,” said Ratilda. “We put on our weasel glasses so we look like weasels.”

“We’re already wearing them,” said Skeeter helpfully.

“Perfect! Then we slither like weasels right through the front door. They’ll never notice us! Then we find the top weasel’s office and get to the bottom of this. Can you slither?”

“Well, I—”

Sure, you can,” said Ratilda. “Let’s go.”

Just as Ratilda had said, they slipped into the building with no trouble. They made it through the crowded lobby and past the busy elevators and started up the deserted stairs.

“There sure are a lot of weasels,” said Skeeter.

“Great,” said Ratilda. “I had to get a cat on instant replay.”

They reached the top floor and carefully opened the door into the hall. There were no weasels.

“That’s strange,” muttered Ratilda. “Where could they be?”

Down the hall they crept till they came to a door marked “J. R. SLITHERWELL, MOST WEASEL.”

“This is it!” whispered Ratilda. She reached up, opened the door a crack, and peeked in. “All clear!”

They slipped in and took off their sunglasses. Skeeter whispered, “What are we looking for?”

“The Big Plan,” replied Ratilda. She scrambled onto the giant desk and glared at the computer screen. “Found it!”

As Skeeter joined her, Ratilda clicked a file labeled “BIG PLAN.” The face of J. R. Slitherwell filled the screen and spoke in a weaselly voice.

“The Big Plan is almost complete,” it said. “Tonight at midnight, every president, prime minister, king, queen, and other world leader will be secretly replaced by a weasel. The world will be ours! Weasels rule!” The picture froze.

“I knew it!” said Ratilda. “I’ve been warning Rodential for years, but no one there believed me. Now I have proof!”

“Not that it will do you any good,” said a weaselly voice. A secret door had opened behind them, and there stood J. R. Slitherwell and two tough weasels.

“It’s a trap!” cried Ratilda. “Run for it!”

They raced out of the office and down the hall, with the tough weasels in hot pursuit. At the end of the hall was a swinging door marked “DO NOT ENTER.”

“In here!” said Ratilda.

“But it says—” puffed Skeeter.

Before he had time to finish, they were inside. And there they stopped short. The room was filled with big machines, all humming and drumming. On the wall beyond was the sign “NO EXIT,” and in smaller letters, “I WARNED YOU.”

At the sound of snickers, they turned to see the two tough weasels and J. R. Slitherwell.

“So,” said Slitherwell, “Rodential has sent the legendary Special Agent Ratilda to foil our plans for world domination. But what strange company you keep nowadays, Ratilda! Who is your feline companion?”

“I’m Skeeter,” said Skeeter.

“Skeeter,” said Slitherwell. “Dumb name, even for a cat. But it hardly matters now. It’s all over for both of you.”

“We’ll stop you yet, Slitherwell!” said Ratilda.

“Is that so?” said the weasel with a sneer. “And exactly how will you manage that?”

“Will this do it?” said Skeeter. On the machine next to him was a big red button saying, “STOP THE WEASELS.”

“Don’t push that button!” yelled Slitherwell.

“Push it!” cried Ratilda.

Skeeter pushed it.

The machine began to shake and rattle, then roar. It shook so hard, the whole room shook. It shook so hard, the whole building shook.

“Let’s get out of here!” cried Slitherwell to the tough weasels, and they vanished in the blink of an eye.

“Ditto!” yelled Ratilda.

She and Skeeter raced through the hall and down the stairs. In the lobby, weasels ran everywhere, while windows broke and plaster fell.

“There sure are—”

“Just run!” yelled Ratilda.

They made it out the front door and dashed down the street. A half block away, they turned—just in time to see Weasel Central collapse into rubble.

“Skeeter, you did it!” said Ratilda. “You’re a hero! I’d give you a kiss—but you’re a cat.”

“That’s OK,” said Skeeter, blushing under his fur.

“Anyhow,” said Ratilda, “when the big cheeses at Rodential hear about this, they’ll make you an Honorary Rodent. Won’t you be proud?”

“Well—” said Skeeter.

Sure, you will.”

And Skeeter had to agree.

* * *

The next morning, Skeeter got a call from Buster.

“Skeeter, there’s been a change, a shake up, a shift, and a jump. Can you come back to work?”

On Skeeter’s way to the office, there were no weasels at the street corners. There were no weasels in the parking lot, or in the lobby, or upstairs either.

“Glad to see you back, Skeet,” said Ginger. She looked at him sideways. “You’re not still seeing weasels, are you?”

“Not anymore,” said Skeeter cheerfully.

“That’s good,” said Ginger, smiling sweetly. “You had me worried for a while! Say, why don’t we go to a movie this weekend?”

“And dinner?” said Skeeter.

“Why not?” said Ginger with a wink.

Days passed, and Skeeter didn’t see a single weasel. But he wondered, could it really be that easy to get rid of them?

Maybe yes and maybe no. But Skeeter had a feeling they’d be back.