Since you’re reading this story without pictures, I have to tell you that Skeeter, Ginger, Silverbell, and Cleo are cats, Ratilda is a rat, Rocky is a dog, and the weasels are weasels. Skeeter lives on his world’s version of Long Island.—Aaron
In our last episode . . .
Skeeter noticed there were a lot of weasels. After suspiciously getting fired from his job, he met Special Agent Ratilda from Rodential, the rodent mutual aid society. Together they tracked down Weasel Central, confronted Most Weasel J. R. Slitherwell, and put an end to the weasels’ Big Plan for world domination. Or so they thought.
And now for Skeeter 2: Skeeter Saves the World . . . .
* * *
One day Skeeter noticed there were a lot of weasels again.
It happened one morning while Skeeter was making breakfast. The phone rang. It was Ginger.
“Skeet, turn on the TV news. There’s something exciting happening at the U.N.”
“OK,” said Skeeter. “And will I see you tonight?”
“I’ll be over,” said Ginger sweetly.
The TV reporter was standing outside the United Nations.
“Presidents, prime ministers, kings, queens, and other world leaders are arriving at U.N. Headquarters for a special session called by Silverbell, the new Secretary-General. But their aim is still a big secret to the rest of us. There’s President Rocky now. Mr. President! What will be happening here this morning?”
“I’m afraid I can’t tell you that, Cleo, but I assure you, after today the world will be a much better place.”
“That’s strange,” said Skeeter. “He looks like President Rocky, but he sounds like a weasel. And why are all those leaders dressed like weasels?”
He put on the weasel glasses he’d gotten from Ratilda. Sure enough, President Rocky was not President Rocky at all, but a weasel. And so were the other world leaders in their gray trench coats and purple sunglasses—all weasels.
The doorbell rang. Skeeter slipped the glasses into his shirt pocket and opened the door. Someone brushed past him—someone short, in a pink trench coat.
“Skeeter, what’s the password?”
“The password?” said Skeeter. “I don’t think—”
“Oh, never mind,” said Ratilda. “Shut that door tight, Skeeter. The weasels are everywhere again. We’ve got to stop them before they take over completely!”
“But how could they?” said Skeeter. “We already stopped their Big Plan.”
“Or so we thought,” said Ratilda. “I’ll explain later. Skeeter, I need your help now more than ever. Are you ready to save the world?”
“Well, to tell the—”
“Sure, you are. Get your things and let’s go. We’ve got to put an end to the weasels’ grab for power—or die trying. Or both.”
“But we don’t—”
“There’s no time, Skeeter! The weasels could be here any minute!”
The doorbell rang again.
“There they are!” cried Ratilda. “Quick! Out the back!”
They raced outside, where Ratilda had a helicopter waiting.
“Seat belts!” she said as she climbed into the pilot’s seat. The propellers whirred and the helicopter lifted off just as two fierce weasels ran around from the front.
“How’s that for split-second timing,” said Ratilda, waving down at them. “Now, here’s the plan. We’ll fly right over the U.N. and land on the roof. Then we’ll figure out the rest of the plan.”
“But how could all this happen?” said Skeeter.
“Good question,” said Ratilda. “Do you remember that video file on J. R. Slitherwell’s computer? And how it said that every president, prime minister, king, queen, and other world leader would be secretly replaced by a weasel at midnight? Now think back, Skeeter. In the video, what was the music in the background?”
“Um . . . the theme for ‘As the Weasel Turns.’”
“Exactly!” said Ratilda. “An afternoon TV show! But we were there in the morning! That file was from the day before, and they’d already pulled off their Big Plan!”
“Right you are, Special Agent Ratilda,” came a weaselly voice from behind.
Skeeter turned to see two weasels with guns.
“Now, take us down slowly,” said the other weasel, with a sneer. “And don’t try anything funny.”
“Whatever you say,” said Ratilda, but Skeeter saw her paw inch toward a big green button saying, “GET US OUT OF HERE.”
Ratilda jabbed it. Their seat belts tightened, the doors flew open, and the seats shot into the air.
“Yikes!” yelled Skeeter as they plunged—but in seconds, parachutes opened from the seat backs. The helicopter zigzagged away.
“We’re in luck!” called Ratilda. “That train down there is headed for the city. Pull your parachute strings and aim for it!”
They glided downward and landed on top of the train. “Next stop, Penn Station!” said Ratilda.
They passed through a long tunnel and at last came to the underground platform of Pennsylvania Station. But as the train pulled in, they spotted two weasels running to meet them.
“Jump for it!” cried Ratilda. They leaped from the train and landed on a baggage cart, which barreled down the platform. It knocked down the weasels and kept going.
“That’ll teach them to look both ways,” said Ratilda. “Those stairs ahead are for the subway. Let’s make our connection!”
They hopped off the cart, ran up the stairs, and jumped over the ticket-taking machines. Then they raced for the end car of the waiting subway train and edged into the crowd.
“Don’t we need to pay?” said Skeeter, trying to catch his breath.
“Not weekdays. Heroes ride free,” said Ratilda, peering out the windows. “Oh no! Those weasels are still after us! Keep going!”
They pushed their way through the crowded car, saying, “Excuse me. Excuse me.” But as the door closed, they heard two weaselly voices behind, saying, “Excuse you. Excuse you.”
On into the next car they squeezed, and the next, and the next, but the weasels kept up. A smooth female voice announced, “Arriving at Times Square Station.”
“That’s our stop!” said Ratilda. They bolted off the train and up the exit escalator. Then they raced down the street.
“They’re still behind us,” said Skeeter, looking back. “Maybe we should take a cab.”
“In this traffic?” said Ratilda. “They’d catch us for sure. But wait a minute.” She called out, “Hey, messenger mouse!”
A bicycle stopped for them. She slipped the mouse a bill and told him, “Deliver us to the United Nations!”
With Skeeter on back and Ratilda on the handlebars, they wove among the crawling, honking cars. The weasels were left behind, and minutes later, the bike pulled up to the U.N. General Assembly building.
“Quick!” said Ratilda. “There’s no time to lose!”
In they ran, and up the stairs, and through the doors to the balcony of the General Assembly Hall. The balcony seats were filled with excited visitors and anxious reporters, and a big TV camera sat in front.
“They’re just starting,” said Skeeter in a low voice, looking at the fake world leaders sitting below. “But what’s the rest of our plan?”
“Another good question!” said Ratilda. “I’ll tell you if I get the answer.”
A figure walked up to the speakers’ podium. He looked small from that distance but large on the screen overhead. “It’s Silverbell,” said Skeeter, “the new U.N. head.”
“‘Silverbell,’ my paw,” said Ratilda. “Take that name, change the v to th, the b to w, switch the i and the l, and what do you get?”
Skeeter thought hard, then his eyes flew wide open. “Slitherwell!”
“Exactly!” said Ratilda.
Slitherwell’s weaselly voice came over the speakers. “Honored leaders of the world, I thank you for gathering on this great occasion. And thanks to all the networks for carrying us to televisions everywhere. Today will be a landmark in history as we ratify the Declaration of Weasel Rights!”
“Oh no!” said Ratilda, while the leaders burst into applause.
Slitherwell picked up a document and started reading. “Number one. All weasels are created more than equal.
“Number two. Weasels shall do anything they like and no one shall stop them.
“Number three. Weasels shall always come first, even if they have to cut in line.
“Number four. Everyone shall say only nice things about weasels.
“Number 5. . . .”
“It’s the end of civilization as we know it!” said Ratilda as Slitherwell read on. “If only we had a way to show what these leaders really are.”
Skeeter felt his shirt pocket. “Wait,” he said.
“What?” said Ratilda.
But Skeeter was already rushing down to the front of the balcony.
“Hey!” said the camera cat.
Skeeter pulled down the front of the TV camera to point in the midst of the leaders. Then up against the camera lens he held one lens of his weasel glasses.
And there on the big screen were not presidents, prime ministers, kings, and queens at all.
There were gasps from the balcony. And TV watchers around the world blinked hard, turned to one another, and said, “There sure are a lot of weasels.”
One by one, the exposed weasels turned to the screen and gaped. At last, Slitherwell himself turned to look. “Uh oh,” he said.
And with the whole world watching, every single one of them vanished in the blink of an eye.
Behind Skeeter, the balcony erupted in cries and confusion. “Skeeter, you did it again!” said Ratilda, running up. “But let’s get out of here before anyone’s on to us. There’s nothing worse for a special agent than fame and fortune! Don’t you think so, Skeeter?”
“Well, maybe just a—”
“Sure, you do,” said Ratilda.
And Skeeter just smiled.
* * *
That evening, Skeeter and Ginger were curled up in front of the TV, watching the news.
“We’ve just heard that the real President Rocky has at last been found, locked in a White House cabinet. And in nations around the world, leaders are being released from closets, basements, and attics and returned to their rightful places. Meanwhile, the identity of the hero who saved the world from weasels is still a mystery. Stay tuned for a special report. . . .”
As Skeeter flicked off the TV, Ginger said, “So there really were a lot of weasels.” She squeezed his paw. “I’m sorry I didn’t believe you before.”
“That’s OK,” said Skeeter, pulling her close with a smile.
“Anyway,” said Ginger, “whoever it was who saved us, I’m just glad it’s all over.” She looked thoughtful a moment. “It is over, isn’t it, Skeet?”
“I hope so,” said Skeeter. “But you never can tell, with weasels.”