|Nancy Skunk's Music Class (standard:fantasy, 795 words)|
|Author: hvysmker||Added: Dec 08 2005||Views/Reads: 2499/0||Story 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 itself. 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 it. 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. Charlie Tweet
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