FERRET FICTION FRENZY continues! You can read about how it started here.
Please welcome our 4th FERRET AUTHOR, Shawn Urban, an itchy folktale trapped in a scientist who takes him over at the first writing opportunity or challenge.
Ferret Story NUMBER 4 by Shawn Urban
Tale of the Three Little Ferrets (the true story; the pigs stole the credit)
Once upon a time there were three little ferret jills. The biggest one was brown, the middle one white and the smallest was patchy like a brown and white jigsaw. They lived together with their mother in a hole in the tall pine snag by the bubbling creek. Life was good and they were very happy.
But they were getting too big and old to stay with their mother – mostly big, so one day she kicked the brown ferret out. After all, she was the biggest and took up most of the room. The brown ferret protested, but in vain.
“No, dear. Sorry. You are much too big to stay in this snag. Your sisters can not move about while you are in here. You must go and find a home of your own to live in.”
The brown ferret left figeting. Her mother had never kicked her out before and she had no place to go. She scampered awkwardly away from the snag, looking frequently back to see if her mother would change her mind. But her mother didn't. So up the hill and over the ridge she went to a part of the wood she only saw from on top of the snag. She did not know how to find a home and look desperately for one. Eventually she stumbled on a hole in a sod of grass still within sight of the tip of the snag. She decided to find shelter in there and soon fell asleep with her nose sticking out of the hole and the tip of the snag still in sight.
Days passed, and the two remaining sisters kept growing. Their mother eventually decided to kick the white ferret out.
“I am sorry dear, but you also have outgorwn the snag. You must venture out into the world and find your own home.”
The white ferret was hurt by her mother's insistance, but she too left the snag to find a new home. She was not as sad as the brown ferret had been, for she knew that she would have to leave home too. But she would miss her mother and the patched ferret. She traveled along the creek in beneath the ridge in hopes of living near the brown ferret. Eventually she found a hollow fallen log and decided to nestle there. Mushrooms grew in the log and service berries grew on a bush that grew from its roof. This would make a good home, she thought.
Still more days passed, and the mother ferret decided she had enough of these kits. She kicked the jigsaw ferret out and told her to find a home of her own.
The patchy ferret left without a complaint. She knew that she was meant to go and was expecting to be kicked out. She left over the ridge in another direction and eventually came to another snag in the middle of a slope of boulders. A woodpecker had drilled several holes in the snag and the patchy ferret found one to her liking. She scrambled in and discovered she had full view of her old snag, the sod where the bown ferret lived and the rotting log where the white ferret stayed.
For a while, the four ferrets lived happily in this arrangement.
Little did they know, however, that an evil greedy red squirrel lived in a tree nearby. And it wanted the mushrooms and berries in and on the log. And it wanted the hole in the sod where the brown ferret had moved to store its nuts and mushrooms and berries. Indeed, had the brown ferret been curious or cautious at all, instead of being depressed that she had been kicked out of the family, she might have noticed that the squirrel had left a substantial cache of food deep in the hole already. That is right, the brown ferret and the white ferret had moved into the squirrel's parlour. So, maybe the squirrel had reason to be evil and greedy, not to mention a bit ticked by these kits and their restless mother.
The squirrel wrung his hands and kept his tongue. But he grew angrier by the day. Eventually, he could take this insult no longer. He marched to the white ferret occupying its mushroom and berry log and began chastising it.
“Out. Out. Out of my log. You do not belong here. This is my mushroom and berry farm.” And he sprung on the log and started stomping and chattering on it.
The white ferret had no taste for the squirrel's chattering and stomping, so she bounded out of the log and ran to her sister's hole in the sod.
The squirrel stayed behind at the log and began harvesting its mushrooms and berries. He packed as many of these in his cheek as he could and skittered to his main food cache. There he found the white ferret trying to squeeze into the hole occupied by her brown sister. The hole was a bit more cramped than the snag had been, so the two sisters did not fit well together. In fact, they were actually stuck right in the entrance to the cache.
The squirrel spit out the mushrooms and berries packed in his cheeks and began to scold. “No. No. Out of my hole. You do not fit here. You do not belong. I store my food here. You need to go.” And he sprung on the sod and started stomping and chattering at the intruders. “Out. Out. Go. Go you squatters. Find some other place to live.”
The white ferret was happy to get out, but she was stuck. And the brown one, having just discovered the squirrel's cached food, wanted to stay, but also was stuck. The two tugged at each other trying to move out of the entrance.
This aggravated the squirrel, who was getting a little more than upset at this point. He left the two ferrets to their throes and scampered to their old snag. He bolted up the snag right above the hole where the mother ferret was resting and began chastising her. He dug in the nest and chased the mother out. The two wound around the snag, chasing each other, neither getting the upper hand. But by this time, the two sisters were beginning to peel. They were completely stuck and need help to get out of the sod.
The mother ferret sprinted to the ground and up the hill to the hole in the sod, chased closely by the squirrel. When she got to the hole she assessed the situation and began digging at the edged of the hole to widen it. The two sisters began wiggling and pulling. Suddenly, the white jill popped out and tumbled into her mother. They in turned tumbled into the squirrel and rolled over him.
This angered the squirrel and he chittered loudly at the three. He bolted into his hole beneath the brown ferret and chased her out and then chased the three up onto the slope where the patchy ferret lived. The ferrets crawled onto the snag and the squirrel scolded them from the boulders below. But he could not get the ferrets to leave the snag and eventually he gave up.
The four ferrets found that each of them could live in a separate hole in the new snag and they decided to live there peacefully together ... well, except for the constant chittering of the angry evil squirrel who was their neighbour.
P.S.: If you want to indulge in more ferretness, here is Ksenia's Ferret Story that started it all (NUMBER 0?), here is Ferret Story NUMBER 1, here is Ferret Story NUMBER 2, and here is Ferret Story NUMBER 3.