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Nancy Skunk's Music Class (standard:fantasy, 795 words)
Author: hvysmkerAdded: Dec 08 2005Views/Reads: 2499/0Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Teenager Nancy Skunk learns a musical instrument. Another Story of Oscar Rat's family, costing me another pizza and a six pack of beer. All donations welcome. Hey, having that rat for a friend costs me money. It's short though.

For the uninitiated, the cast for the story includes myself, the
venerable Oscar Rat, his girl Malodor Skunk, and Nancy her niece.  
Oscar has an apartment near mine and is a long time friend. 

Malodor Skunk received a phone call from her niece Nancy. 

“Aunt Malodor.  Will you send Charlie down to the school with his car? 
I have to learn an instrument for Music Class.  It's just a little too 
big for me to carry all the way home.” 

So, Malodor came over and enlisted me for the job.  Expecting something
a little too large for a teenage skunk to carry, like maybe a heavy 
flute or something, I started up my old Volkswagen and went to meet her 
at Animal School.  It was raining slightly as I left, and of course my 
windshield wipers didn't work worth a damn. 

You can imagine my surprise when I saw the little girl with a big double
bass fiddle.  It was more than twenty times her height.  A human 
teacher was standing next to Nancy, holding the fiddle upright under an 
umbrella to keep it out of the rain. 

“What the hell you doing with that thing?”  I asked Nancy.  She was
standing close to the instrument, using the shade of the umbrella to 
stay dry. 

“I like it.  It makes a nice sound, like Uncle Oscar in the shower,” she
said shyly, “besides, nobody else wanted the poor thing.” 

Well, not really any of my business, I thought, but wait until Malodor
and Oscar see that thing.  I had to giggle to myself at the thought.  
When we got back, I hauled the huge instrument upstairs, an anxious 
Nancy Skunk at my heels and threatening to trip me in her excitement.  
Oscar was home when I brought it in, banging the case on the doorway a 
couple of times. 

Oscar was so mad his face turned livid, a red tinge could be seen
through his gray fur. 

“Where the hell did you get that?  Not in my house,” he yelled.  Malodor
came hurrying from the kitchen, probably from the noise. 

“I always wanted to play of those things, Charlie.  Where did you ever
find it?” Malodor asked, coming over to tweak a string.  Fearing an 
argument brewing, I put the monster down, smiled, and got the hell out 
of there. 

Nancy and Malodor obviously won, because it wasn't long before the halls
vibrated with the deep “Thum, thum, thum” of the fiddle.  What made it 
worse was that other animal children in the building went to the same 
school and had the same class.  Little Sammy Squirrel, one floor lower 
than me, had a bass drum, while Jennie Groundhog choose a flute.  Ellie 
Elephant had a trombone, easy to work with her trunk, and tiny Miriam 
Mouse picked a guitar – don't even ask me how she played it. 

And of course, they were just starting to learn.  Johnny, the night
maintenance man, almost went nuts answering complaints from residents 
of every floor.  Other residents complained to the Animal School 

As Principal Ollie Ostrich explained, "It's a state-mandated class and
there's nothing I could do.  The government says we have to teach them 
to play at least one instrument, and it has to be of their own choice." 

The school couldn't let them practice there because they would be within
a thousand yards of a school.  Say what? 

Besides, Ollie argued, "Isn't it better that they all practice at one
time for a couple of months, than having a few at a time all year 
round?"  It had been agreed among the schools for all of them to do it 
at one time to get it over with.  Our tax dollars at work. 

Earplug sales zoomed.  Every theater and heavy stone building in town,
like churches, was filled to capacity with people trying to sleep, or 
at least get some quiet. 

Things did get a little better after about a month and a half, when they
got to the stage of playing real songs instead of random noise.  
Imagine a whole town, with snow outside yet, reverberating to “Tiptoe 
through the Tulips.” 

Oscar and me, we paid to use the backroom of the Ratskellar Bar in the
basement in order to write our stories.  The silence cost, but we could 
set up our computers and get some writing done.  It was quiet there 
except for the noises from the bar.  The floor and wall still vibrated 
and threatened to knock our drinks over, but we could at least stand 

The reason I'm writing this is that the incident happened last year.  I
just got another call to pick Nancy Skunk up at school.  This time 
Malodor asked me to rent a truck. 



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