Being a Weasel
Story by DoodLeS



Up in my room, in Willie's house...

"Hehheh! Gottcha! What'll your little king do NOW, eh?.... Huh? But.... I'm SURE that's not allowed..."

I took the book 'Rules for chess' that was lying next to me and searched for the chapter 'Moves'.

"Hm.... yaddayadda.... THERE! Look: If the king's attacked, and he and the next to him standing tower... blablabla... it is POSSIBLE.... oh. Darn. Um... LOOK SHODDY! BEHIND YOU!!!!"

Shoddy didn't move.

"Awwww, ok. You win. Again..." I took his king and ate it. I HATE losing...

"Doodles?" the voice came from my entrance. I turned around.

"Oh. Hi Tramen. What's up?" While I greeted my friend I put the rest of the gameboard away, back into my trunk.

"Hi! Good you're here! Hi, Shoddy!" Tramen waved. Shoddy still stared at the floor.

"Don't disturb him now - he's depressed because I beat him in chess again." I said, grinning.

"Strange... I could swear I just saw you eating his king..." Tramen leaned to my window and looked at me in that 'silly little hoop-head you' way.

"Um..." I searched for a GOOD answer.

"Ooooooh well." Tramen still grinned at me. "Now, I'm here because I wanted to ask you if you'd like to help me with the Radio Room door - the mechanism of it is broken, and repairing it alone is kinda boring."

I jumped into Toast's lap. "Sure I wanna help youuu!"

So we were underway to Tramen's home in the Radio Room. The door to it was held open by a long stick that Toast had jammed between the frame and the floor.

"It doesn't open automatically when someone's coming near lately." Tra explained when we stood in front of the house, "I found out when I tried to walk through this morning..."

He rubbed his forehead demonstratively.

"Ouch." I commented quietly.

When we stepped in, we found Gnimen waiting for us.

"Hi, Tramen! And hi, Doodles! What a nice coincidence! I wanted to look for you both - I was bored. Anything new?"

"The door is broken, that's new." Tramen answered, pointing at the entrance and shrugging.

"Yeah, I figured that. Can I help you with it?" Gnimen asked.

"Of course! The more help, the better! How about you hold some of the cables away while I try to losen the stuck gears?"

"Okay." Gnimen walked over to an opened hatch in the wall.

"But *I*'m gonna hold his screwdrivers!" I threw in.

For a while we three were busy with meddling and fighting with tools and cables and chatting about stuff. Then Tramen looked up from his work. "I think I got it now!"

He poked a bit around in the mechanism. The same moment the stick that held the door broke and the door itself crashed down with high-speed. We looked at it.

"Oh." Tra stated. "Maybe not."

He continued working.

Suddenly Keeno excitedly ran in from the Bobby Room, his chemical-loaded head-quarters. When he saw us, he stopped. In his right hand he held a beaker with a green substance.

"Oh, hi! Exactly the person I wanted to see!" He walked into my direction.

I blinked. "What, me? What have I done wrong this time? It wasn't me who ate the sandwich in your room, really."

He looked at me. "My sandwich?"

I stared. "Um... oh nothing. Forget it."

Keeno returned from his thoughts and put his hands to my shoulders. "I finally managed to improve the Mutagen!" he told me happily.

I looked unsurely at his hands. "Um... and that is good, yes?"

"Yes! You remember the 'Weasel Juice', like you call it?" he held his beaker with the green liquid in front of my eyes.

I shortly stared at it, then widened my eyes and stumbled a few steps backwards until I bumped into Toast, who exclaimed a quiet 'gng' when my backspikes hit him.

I pointed at Keeno. "Get him away from me! And get that EVIL STUFF away, too!!!"

"'Weasel Juice'?" Gnimen asked confused.

Keeno kept looking at me while he explained to Gni: "Yes. It's the juice of the Weasel's Plant - Doodles..."

He stopped when he saw my expression. "Um. Doodles found it and brought it to me." he finished.

Gnimen looked at me. "But why is Doo so afraid of it?"

"Bad experience." Tramen said.

Gni blinked. "What bad experience?"

"He just doesn't like Weasels, you know that." Tra answered.

There was a pause. Then Gnimen looked at me again. "I still don't get it, sorry."

I sighed. "I DRANK IT, OKAY?!" I shouted out, in panic of the beaker in front of me.

"From the *Weasel's Plant*?? But I thought it would..."

"YEAH, it grew clippers on me, okay?? Just KEEP ME AWAY FROM THAT STUFF!!!" I gestured wildly.

"Could you please listen to me first?" Keeno tried to calm me down.

"You never told me about that..." Gnimen mumbled thoughtfully, "that surely must have been an interesting experience."

'Oh yes, very interesting...' I thought. And aloud I said to Keeno: "What??"

"I just told you that I improved it. You don't even know what I wanted to say!" He came a step closer.

I hid behind Tramen. "What??"

The chemist let the beaker sink again. "Well, as I said, I improved it."

I shortly looked at Keeno from behind Tra's back. "So? How did you improve it?" A bit more quiet and hopefully I added: "You... managed to keep the taste, but got rid of the... effect?"

"Um... no." Keeno looked at the beaker. "But I found out that it grew the clippers on you AND prevented you from turning into ED!"

I left my living hiding place a bit, becoming curious. "This stuff did that? You mean... you could heal me from that... monster?"

"Erm...... no." Keeno shook his head. "Only if you want to live with clippers for the rest of your life."

I sighed and looked at the ground. "Awww..." No. Way.

He shrugged and continued. "BUT: I was able to intensify the effect!"

I cocked my head. "And... that means?"

"The Mutagen can turn you into a Weasel now!"

I immediately was behind Tra's back again.

"Into a Weasel? Kool!" Gnimen exclaimed.

I stared at him. "Kool??!"

He turned to me. "Yeah! Imagine..." he thought for a second, "Someone could drink it and become a Weasel. He could find out how they feel and live, and *I* could finally have a close research of one without getting into danger! Not to mention the FUN you could have!"

He looked dreamingly at the beaker.

"FUN??!" I scrutinized my friend. He can't really MEAN that! Okay, Gnimen was VERY interested in animals, and I saw his point about the close research, but who would possibly be so nuts to DRINK that stuff??

I suddenly had a bad feeling. Narrowing my eyes I said to the chemist: "What do you want from me, Keeno?"

He smiled encouragingly. "Well, I thought, since you were the one who brought me the liquid, and since you're used to certain mutations... You might -"

"I'm NOT used to them - they just HAPPEN!" I interrupted him. Then I realized what he just wanted to say. "I might... *what*?"

"Try it out, of course! You'd be perfect for it!" he finished his sentence.

I turned around and headed for the exit. I stopped again when I hit the door - oh yes, it was broken, wasn't it...? Tramen put his hands in front of his eyes in compassion when I fell backwards to the floor, counting stars.

"Wow, wouldn't that be neato, Doo?" Gnimen said full of enthusiasm, not noticing that I just had tried to flee.

Still lying there I looked up at him. "NO."

He looked back at me. "You don't think it would be interesting?"

I carefully stood up again, shaking my head. "No."

I tried to open the door by hand, but it was stuck.

"But Doodles!" Keeno came yet a few steps closer. "You'd be doing it for SCIENCE!"

"So?" I answered groaningly, still trying to get out. "And what did science ever do for me, huh?"

"It healed you from the clippers a few weeks ago, for example." Keeno stated matter-of-factly.

I stopped for a moment. He had a point there... without him, I'd have to live with clippers now... and that would have been my own fault...

I slowly turned to Keeno. "Any... um... other reasons why I should do it?"

"Didn't Doo go through enough bodies?" Tramen threw in. I looked at Keeno and nodded agreeingly.

"*I* would do it, if you want." Tra continued, stepping in front of the chemist. I stopped nodding. My best friend as a Weasel?? I looked up at Toast. He'd be a BIG Weasel... I'd DIE if I'd see him that way...

"That's exactly the point, Tramen." Keeno stated. "HE knows how it feels. We don't."

"You know, you'd be safe from other Weasels while you're one of them - they don't attack each other." Gnimen said, still thinking about the possibilities.

I thought hard. "They don't attack each other?... And... I would make you and Gni a favor, yes? And... it still tastes that good?"

Keeno nodded smilingly and held the beaker into my direction. Both Tramen and Gnimen looked expectingly at me.

"How... long would it last?" I nervously wiggled my fingers.

"Just a few hours."

I shifted from one foot to the other. "If... If I'd say 'no' now, would you let me go then?"

"Of course!" Keeno answered.

"Um....." I reached for the beaker and looked at the green substance. I sniffed at it. Smelled GOOOOD... now that I had it in my hands I couldn't resist that smell anymore - I raised the beaker to my lips and... Keeno held his hand over it. "I wouldn't do that if I were you. We're in a small room here."

I looked around, lowering the beaker again.

"We'll go to the Apple Tree. Not many Hoodians are there today, and when you get hungry you can eat from it. Think for a moment: You won't be able to fit through doors while you're a Weasel."

Oh YES... he really means it - he wants to turn me into a Weasel! Scary... and I almost had done it, and then I'd have been hours without food! Oh my...

So Tramen, Gnimen, Keeno and I went to the Tree (AFTER repairing the Radio Room door). Keeno was right - today most Hoodians seemed to have a party at Skeezie's home in the TV Room, only a few fellows who weren't in the mood for a party, and my friends, who preferred to see me as a big crab, were around. We stood next to the red Lakewall Car, where no-one could see us.

Nervously I took my little mirror out of my chest-compartment and looked at myself... Me? As a Weasel? I lay the mirror next to me on a small rock and took the beaker from Keeno again. MeGosh... I AM nuts...

I drank. Keeno had been right: It STILL was... YUMMEY! After I finished drinking I gave the glass back to him and licked my lips. "Can I have some more?"

"How long do you wanna be a Weasel?" he asked back.

My smile vanished. Oops. Oh yes. The more I drink...

"How long will it take until I... um... feel something?"

"I've improved that too. Should happen every second now."

My friends excitedly stared at me. I just concentrated on my stomach, waiting for SOMEthing to happen. Mebbe it had been a mistake to drink the Weasel Juice... I was really nervous now...

Then I suddenly felt an itch in my throat, causing me to cough. It started out as a small itch, but soon became the MASTER OF ALL ITCHES! And my stomach seemed to heat up - the cough forced me to fall on my hands and knees, and the strange heat soon had a grip on my whole body. I closed my eyes. Other guys may stare at themselves when they mutate into something, but *I* had really *no* interest in seeing what happened. At least it didn't hurt...

After a while I stopped coughing. I heard Tramen's unsure voice: "I really hope you know what you’re doing, Keeno... Doodles? Are you ok?"

I opened my eyes and looked at my friend who stood in front of me. Or, I THINK it was my friend - all I saw was a yellow-red Tramen-shaped figure standing in front of me, in a blue-greenish landscape. Though I was still sitting down I could see straight at his head. I blinked and narrowed my eyes - the colors seemed to change and I saw an approximately normal image of Toast, Gni and Keeno.

I tried to stand up - and fell over. Four legs? Oh dear...

I tried it again, a bit more careful, sorting out all limbs that were down there. I couldn't even look down - I guess that's because I had no neck. Funny, I didn't feel bad at all. Just a bit shaky.

While standing up I still looked at Tramen - It was now quite a way down to him. He backed a step when I dangerously trembled. This is WEIRD! Slowly moving my legs in a synchronized way I tried to turn around and check out the surroundings... everything was woozy and wobbly, only a small spot in the middle of my image was sharp enough to recognize something, and sometimes the colors changed back to those strange red-and-blue tones...

I looked down as far as I could and saw my mirror, still lying on the rock. I carefully grabbed it with one - ewwwk - pincher claw and held it in front of my eyes. I saw a horrible yellow beast staring back at me with white-blue crab-eyes, and out of shock I let the mirror fall, screamed and stumbled backwards. And WHAT a scream! The whole place shook under that vile trumpet-like sound! I bumped into a wall behind me, causing some huge rocks to fall down, fortunately not on my friends, who hastily ran a few yards away, covering their heads.

I quickly closed my mouth (sorry: fangs) again, holding both hands (sorry: claws) in front of it and looking around nervously. If this situation hadn't been so weird, I would have in a panic by now.

"I'd say, he IS ok," stated Gnimen.

Tramen went a few steps into my direction again, looking up at me. "Oh... are you alright, Doodledoo? I shouldn't have allowed you to do it! I KNOW how afraid you're of Weasels! I really think *I* should have done it... You 're not mad with me, are you?"

I just looked back at him. Mad? With my best friend and favorite brother? Why SHOULD I? Well, okay, he COULD have stopped me... I wasn't even THINKING about what I did - that stuff just tastes SO GOOD... But then I'd have never done it... who knows? Mebbe it'll REALLY be interesting? Though I seemed now to be one of those creatures I just hatehateHATE, I wasn't frightened at all. And if they ALL have such a bad eyesight they can't be THAT dangerous.

I wanted to say 'I'm alright, Toast', but the only thing that came out was a soft growl. I CAN'T SPEAK!

Tramen backed a bit. "I'm not so sure if that REALLY was such a good idea, Keeno... I TOLD ya that it wouldn't be a good idea! Doo doesn't seem to be very happy!" he said, without turning to the chemist. "You said he'd feel fine!"

I DO feel fine! I DO! I don't really know why, but I DO, Tra!

"I think that was a positive growl, Toast", explained Gnimen. Phew, Gni really DID know alot about Weasels! I tried to nod agreeingly.

"See? He IS alright", Keeno said to Tramen, "Doodles knows at least three different bodies, and so I thought he can get used to a fourth one pretty fast - if we had turned YOU into a Weasel, who knows? Maybe you'd have needed HOURS just to stand up right! Doo seems to be quite stable now."

Hey, he was right! I really stood on four legs now, didn't I?

"So, you're alright, friend hood-head? Still friends?" Toast walked up to me and leaned on my two fore-legs.

I growled quietly, nodding like a madman. (Yes, okay - like a madWEASEL.)

He started to smile again. "Kewl!" Then he looked down on my legs he was leaning on. "You know", he stated, "You look pretty good as a Weasel... colorful... hm... mind if I would... take a ride on you?"

TRAMEN riding on ME? I never had thought of that... up to now only HE could take me for a piggyback-ride. Heh, I can have REVENGE now! I carefully bowed down, so that Tra could climb up on my back.

"Me too! Me too!" exclaimed Gnimen, closing up to me. I waited until he had climbed up too, then looked questioning at Keeno - I think I could bear another one. But he only shook his head and said: "No thanks, Doodles. I'm not the guy for that."

So I carefully stood up again. Well, up to now it wasn't half as horrible as I had expected, being a Weasel. Kinda fun, really. I only hoped I wouldn't hurt me with the clippers...

"Wheeeeee!" Tramen and Gnimen shouted out together when I was upright.

"Well, if you don't mind, I'll now go to my working place again and write down the results, yes? Tell me if something unusual happens." Keeno said excitedly and went off.

'Something unusual?' I thought. I really hoped I hadn't made a mistake.

Well now then... how do Weasels walk? Erm... I carefully made a step with one of my fore-legs. Oookay... Now one with one of the OTHER legs... Yeah. I'm not crashed down yet, goodie.

I slowly went to the Apple Tree, one step after the other, concentrating on which leg to move now. There I stopped, trying to look at my friends, who seemed to enjoy the ride.

Tramen leaned forward, over my head, and pointed at someone sitting a bit away from us on a stone. "Hey, look over there, Doo! Thull's bein' a grump insteada havin' fun like the others... You think we could... visit him?" He looked into my eyes and grinned. I looked back up at him.

That's nasty, Tra... REALLY nasty...

I looked at Thull. On the other hand... when will I get THIS chance again? And Thull only seems to be really happy if he can complain about something, like, Weasels on the loose...

I carefully sneaked behind him - in his sorrow he didn't even notice me. Then I tapped him on the shoulder with one of my claws... He turned around...

"What do you...."

Then Thull JUMPED up, stared with big eyes at me and ran towards the Explosives Shack, with a speed that even impressed Gnimen. On his way he shouted: "Not again! REM! You used the box again, right?? Can't you just leave me alone??"

He reached the Shack and slammed the door shut behind him. I just looked after the Hoodian.

"Whoa, that must have been at least 30 mph! If he'd train a bit more, he might even be able to beat me in a running contest!" Gnimen stated. After a minute of impressed staring Gni looked at me again.

"Doo? You mind letting me down now and do some research on you before you change back? I can't WAIT to find out some new things about Weasels!"

That wouldn't hurt, would it?

I let him down and waited for Tramen following Gni. But he stayed on my back, lying down a bit more comfy. "I'd like to stay here for a while, if you don't mind. It's a neat feeling to relax on the back of a Weasel!"

I shrugged and stood carefully up again.

Gnimen postured in front of me, looking up. "Well... for a start... can you tell me how you feel at the moment? What do you see or smell or hear?"

I could tell you a lot about how I feel at the moment, Gni, but most of it wouldn't be very interesting for you... by the way, I can't speak...

I growled quietly.

Gnimen cocked his head. "Erm... what? What did you just say? I didn't understand that."

I said *growl*, Gni. Why does he think I SAID something? As far as I see it, I can just growl quietly or aloud, for expressing my mood, I guess.

"Well..." he began, "I'll try to ask you questions, and you just nod or shake your head, okay?"

I nodded.

Gnimen smiled. "Okay! Then... is your hearing different than it's normally?"

I thought for a second, listening carefully to the background-sounds of the 'Hood. Then I shook my head.

"Can you smell?"

I tried to breath in - when I noticed that I didn't even breath. At least not through a nose or something. I shook my head again.

Gnimen seemed to be pleased about that answer. "Neat! Then my theory that I had about Lurcus is right! Do you see me?"

I nodded.

"Like you normally do, or different? Em, I mean: Can you see like you normally do?"

I shook my head wildly. I had an eyesight like a MOLE at the moment!

"Interesting! Could you... somehow show me how you see things?" he said excitedly.

Um... show him? I looked around again... A sharp image in the middle, and everything else just woozy... hm... I got an idea. I tried to look at the ground and used my left claw to draw a little landscape into the ground, with trees and buildings and everything. Hm... not bad for a Weasel!

Gnimen watched fascinatedly. After finishing my little picture I blurred everything again, I only left a little spot in the middle like I drew it. I pointed at the result.

"Hm... that's what you see? Only a little sharp image in the middle, yes?"

I nodded.

"But with the normal colors?"

Nod.

"Well..."

I interrupted Gni by waving with my claws. There was that other eyesight, too... I wrote a '+' behind the picture on the ground.

Gnimen looked up. "You see something else?"

I thought for a second, then erased the '+' again and wrote an 'or' instead.

"So you see THAT image OR another, right?" Gni interpreted.

Nod.

"What's the other like?"

I narrowed my eyes until I saw with the strange colors again. How should I explain THAT?? I finally decided to describe it with letters.

I wrote: 'StrANge blue/greeN colors eVeryWHere, oNly HoodiANs + KlAyBirds +' - I looked at the Apple Tree - '+ Apples R red/yelloW. Now wHole IMAge is shArp, not blurreD'.

Gnimen read for a second, then told me: "That's a Hunting Image. With it Weasels can tell what's eatable and what's not. Say, what color is this here?"

He held something formed like a short stick up to my eyes.

I wrote into the ground: 'rEd'.

"Ah. I thought so." Gnimen put the boom-stick away again. "Okay. Next thing is - could you open your mouth, please?"

I hesitated.

"I just wanna see the order of your teeth." Gnimen explained.

Oh. I opened my mouth. Gni first looked at it, then came closer to look at the additional rows in the inside. Using my tongue I could tell that Weasels had a LOT rows of sharp teeth...

Gnimen leaned even a bit more forward - he now was half inside my mouth. I could feel his TASTE now... I just needed to close now, and he'd be... I interrupted my thoughts - what am I THINKING?! I couldn't help but drool when I felt Gni's hand on my tongue. I slowly backed nervously.

"Hold still, Doo - I'm trying to count." Gnimen's voice came from somewhere between my tonsils (if that's the right word).

FINALLY he crouched out again, wiping away some drool. I closed my mouth again, watching my friend silently.

"Found any chess-king in there, Gni?" Tramen joked. I looked up reproachfully.

"No, but about 5 rows of teeth. About 400 teeth altogether!"

I blinked impressed. Now THAT would be enough to chew on a LOT of meals...

"Could you run as fast as you can back to the red LakeWall Car, Doo? I'd like to see your running-technique."

'Stumbling', I thought.

At the LakeWall Car, Gnimen did a few other tests with me, and it all was kinda interesting for both of us, until...

Gni looked up from his work (testing the reaction time of my legs) when we heard a little melody from somewhere in the plain. Tramen, who had left my back and sat on a stone next to me now, searched for its origins. He sat up a bit. "Someone's using the Music Box!" he said, slightly nervous. I just listened silently, with closed eyes.

Neat little tune, really! In my head, I sang along with it (in quite my own version). 'Round-around the mulberry bush... da-da, da-da, da-daaa da.... hm-hm, hm-hm hm hm-hm-hm hm....'

Then the music suddenly stopped. I opened my eyes and blinked.

"Who is so insane to PLAY it now??" Gnimen asked, partly himself. Then both Tra and Gni looked at me as I nervously scratched small gaps into the ground with my feet.

Go on, tune! You can't stop at the best part!!! Soon, I couldn't stand the pressure anymore, and I ran forwards, opening my mouth wide...

'*POP* GOES THE WEEEAAASEEEEEEL!!!'

Then I realized that I just had broken through a wall and tried to sing along with the rest of the melody - which came out as a REALLY vile scream...

Tramen and Gnimen ran up to me. "Doodles! What happened?"

They looked questioning at me. I looked back shrugging embarressed. Then we all looked around. Willie's music box was lying on the ground, but no-one was around who could have played it. He must have fled.

But after a few seconds the door to the Explosives Shack opened, and Klenn ran through. He spotted me immediately and came closer, reaching into his backpack. "Don't move, Tra and Gni! I'll get it for you!"

He pulled one of his 'Weasel Busters' out and lit the long fuse.

Shocked I yieped at the sight of the boom-stick and stepped back, putting my claws in front of my eyes. He wants to boom me up! ME, his friend!!!

Tramen and Gnimen looked at each other. They sprinted forwards and took the stick from Klenn's hand, tearing off the fuse and thus killing the sparkle of it. I relaxed a bit, while Klenn looked confused (or mebbe de-fused) at his two brothers. "What the..."

"It's Doodles!" Toast shouted out pointing at me.

Even more confused Klenn looked at me. "What? Doo?? But how...?"

I waved unsurely with one claw at him, trying to smile.

"He's trying a new formula Keeno mixed from the Weasel Juice." Gnimen helped. "It has turned him..."

Klenn stared at me. "Let me guess... into a Weasel?"

"Yes, right!" Gni said, beaming, "But only for a few hours."

Manies walked over to me, examining me carefully. "You... feel okay, Doo?"

Nodnodnod.

"Sorry, I didn't want... if I'd have known it was you..."

Nodnod.

"Say... you really did that... voluntarily?"

Nod... wait... did I? I looked thoughtfully into the air.

"Oh well." Klenn continued, "Any idea how long you'll..."

He was interrupted by a vile scream. And it didn't come from me.

We all turned around synchronized to see - another Weasel! It was deep orange and a bit taller than me, and it was slowly coming closer!

Tramen and Gnimen hastily hid behind the next tree, while Manies tried to fish another 'Weasel Buster' out of his pocket. And I was paralyzed of shock. A... Weasel...

I suddenly realized something - HEY! I'm a Weasel myself! And Gni said they don't attack each other!

And what if Gnimen was wrong...?

I stood there and stared at the other Weasel, which focused on me and came *still* closer. Klenn took his backpack off and roamed hastily around in it now.

"Doodles!" Gnimen shouted at me from his hiding place, "It won't hurt you! Can't you... can't you tell it to go away or something? It should understand you!"

I looked at Gni, then at the Weasel. I growled.

The orange Weasel stopped and looked confused at me - seems that my growl didn't tell it anything. It came closer...

I growled again, this time a bit louder and trying to imitate a 'Go away'. The Weasel growled back shortly.

I had no idea what it might have said. To be honest, I bet it didn't say ANYthing. But since it didn't go away, like I growled, it must have meant something like 'Forget it'. I stepped back a bit, looking at Klenn, who still searched for the right stick. I bet he had used up the last one when he saw me...

I thought: What's the most dangerous thing Weasels can do? I SURELY wouldn't use the claws - it might use its own and hurt me REALLY seriously. So I just stopped, breathed in (theoretically) and *GROWLED*!

I bet the whole Neverhood had shook under THAT growl! The other Weasel stopped. Then it backed away, turned around and fled. I had won! It seemed to be really impressed of me!

Manies set his backpack on again and rubbed his ears. "Whoa... THAT was a scream! You made it, Doo!"

Tramen and Gnimen left their hiding places too, to congrat me. And the door to the Explosives Shack opened and all Hoodians who had had a party at Skeezie's came rushed into the plain, stopped and stared at me. So much for keeping this a secret...

Well, the common confusion was over surprisingly fast. Tra, Gni and Manies had managed to calm everyone down, and when they all knew that *I* was the Weasel they quickly became curious and gathered around me. And soon everyone wanted to have a ride on me.

Well, IF you turn into a big crab, you should make yourself useful and as good as you can. And so I let them all have their rides - which took the whole rest of the day.

Then eventually everyone went home to sleep, until only Toast, Gnimen, Klenn, Keeno and about five others were left. Embarrassingly, Hoborg was with them.

"You really think that was a good idea?" Ho-dad asked Keeno, looking at me sitting exhausted on the ground.

"It was... a fascinating idea." Keeno replied unsurely.

"Well, if you say so..." Hoborg said, rubbing his chin. "I only hope everything will come to order again - not even I know the exact effects of all the chemicals in the 'Hood."

"It will." Keeno assured. "Just a few more hours, or maybe even minutes, and Doodles will be himself again. But if it makes you feel better, I'll tell you about all my more extraordinary experiments from now on, yes?"

"That would be nice, yes." Hoborg looked another time at me and at Keeno. "Now excuse me - I think I'm going to go to bed now."

So he and most other Hoodians left, too.

Tramen stood in front of me, looking thoughtfully. "Do you feel well, Doo? That was a hard day for you..."

Oh yes... Ho-dad should create some horses for rides, uh...

I stood up shakily and walked to the Apple Tree. Boy, was I HUNGRY! I tried to grab one of the apples, but it just was squished by my claw. I had another, much more careful try. This time I managed to get the apple into my mouth, but it was so small that I didn't even notice that I ate it.

One short thought ran through my head: I should rather hunt someone... But I hastily shook that thought away again. Looking suspiciously all around me, I stepped a bit closer to the tree, opened my mouth and swallowed the whole top of it with one bite. Shortly after this, the tree began to regenerate, but it would take a while until it would carry fruit again. Licking my lips I sat down.

I barely could keep my eyes open - this REALLY had been a hard day for me. I saw that Tra and Gni sat by me, leaning to the side of my body. Knowing that they'd stay here with me, I fell asleep.


"I really can't say... he's a few hours over my planned time... of course, the duration can vary - I can't mix anything that works exactly as long as I wanted to... maybe I should have given him a bit less, since he's smaller than most other Hoodians..."

I woke up by Keeno's voice. At first I had no idea what he was talking about, but I found out when I openend my eyes - I saw Tramen, Gnimen and Keeno in yellow/red shapes.

Shocked I jumped up.

Toast turned around to me and exclaimed a silent "Oh dear..."

Then he turned to Keeno again. "Well, Keeno? You said he'd surely turn back BEFORE he wakes up. Now explain him that you used too much of the Mutagen."

I looked sadly at the two claws that SHOULD be hands again by now and whimpered a Weasel-whimper. I looked at Keeno.

"Well... it's really nothing to worry about - I just calcutated the quantity of Mutagen for a normal-sized Hoodian, I guess, and since you're smaller than most others... I'm pretty sure the effect'll wear off every minute now." He blinked. "But to make sure, I'll go and start to mix the anti-dote, okay?"

He went off.

I wanted to start walking up and down nervously, as I suddenly fell over - the feeling in my forelegs was gone. My friends turned around to me, inclusively Keeno, who just wanted to leave the plain through the Explosives Shack. He ran back. "Ah! See, I knew it! It's wearing off!"

I looked up at him, unsure what to think now - should I be happy or even more nervous? One thing for sure - I couldn't stand up again. And then I felt that heat in my body, the same I had felt yesterday, when all this had started. Relieved I closed my eyes and waited.

I really had thought now I'd be in troubles. But I can't ALWAYS get into troubles, right? I really went through quite a few bodies now, and I really start getting kinda used to it. I guess I even start being really good at mutating...

Some minutes later I felt Tramen's hand on my shoulder. I lay, curled to a ball, on my belly, hands protectively slapped over my head.

"Doo? It's over!" Toast said happily.

Slighly shivering I opened one eye and looked at my friend. "Really?"

Tramen smiled. "Yes."

I carefully sat up and looked at me. "Nothing... unexpected happened to me? I'm completely normal again?"

Both Tramen and Gnimen nodded.

"See? It worked, as I told you." Keeno threw in.

"I still feel very exhausted." I mumbled.

"That's just normal sleepyness, Doo. Best you go to bed again and sleep through this day."

"Well, that wasn't that bad, was it?" Keeno asked me as I stood up with Tra's and Gni's help. "And I bet your fright of Weasels is gone now, too!"

I stumbled back and pressed myself against the trunk of the Apple Tree. "Nevah. Mention. THAT. Wordagain." I said as calmly as I could.

"But haven't you learned something from all this?" Gnimen asked. "I mean, yesterday you won over the other Weasel, and you now know a lot about them! Your fright should be at least gone a tiny bit."

I shook my head wildly. "The only thing I learned is that I shouldn't drink anything a chemist waves in front of my eyes!"

"But have you forgotten everything that has happened yesterday?" Gni asked quietly.

I straightened. "What yesterday?" I asked a bit cranky.

"Oh, okay. I see." Gnimen shrugged. "You don't wanna talk about it anymore, yes? But still: Thanks for letting me research you." He smiled a bit.

I just blinked and shuddered at the thought of crabs.

"Should I drive you up to your room?" Tramen asked.

I looked at him. "Yes, please."


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