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Tales of the WayOut Castle Crew

The Prince Writes an Essay: What Is a Goober?
The Prince Writes Lines?
Princess Gussie Carries a Tune

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Editor's note: The WayOut crew's ongoing adventures are chronicled on ACD-L (see cattledog.com for information on joining the listserve) and in the ACDCA Quarterly.

Prince Slate's Red Jumpsuit

"Woe!" cried the Noble Prince Slate to the heavens. "Oh, woe!"

"What is it!?" cried The Lovely and Delicate Lady Tassel and Comrade Kit in concern. The Sweet Prince's sobs continued unabated. The Lovely Tassel and the Diminutive Comrade Kit hurried to investigate. The unhappy prince was sitting near an opened package and wailing. Upon peering into the box, the girls were startled to see a lovely red jumpsuit. "Who is sending you a jumpsuit?" asked Comrade Kit.

"Woe!" cried Prince Slate. "My dear friend Sutter sent it to me from Missouri. He always promised me when he outgrew his suit he would let me have it but there has been a horrible mistake! Woe is me!! And I so long to be a red dog. Woe!" The prince paused in his tale to carry on a bit more.

"Whatever is the problem?" asked the Lovely Tassel scornfully. "You are always such a baby about things. Stop your sniveling."

"Woe," whimpered the prince. "It is the wrong size. It is too small. If I put it on, it will burst into a million pieces," he sniffed.

"That cannot be!" cried Comrade Kit. "My Uncle Sutter is not smaller than you! Try it on. I am sure it will fit."

"Do you really think so?" asked the prince, hopefully. He looked at the jumpsuit again. It appeared as if it would be a very tight fit at best. "But you are right, Sutter is as tall as I am, maybe taller. I will try it on." Wiping the tears from his eyes, Prince Slate leaped to his feet and jumped into the red jumpsuit. Sadly, as he pulled it on, it burst into a million pieces and fell to the ground around him. "WOE!" he cried as the tears once again began to fall. "My red jumpsuit is ruined!! Oh woe!"

"Wait," said the Delicate Tassel. "There is a note in here." She pulled out a piece of paper from the bottom of the package. "Dear Slate," it read. "Here is a red jumpsuit for you. Mine still is in good shape so I sent you this one from my little sister. Hope it fits! Hehehe, Signed, Your Friend Sutter p.s. Give my love to Kit."

"Who wants to be a red dog anyway?" Comrade Kit asked the Lovely Tassel who shrugged in incomprehension.

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Special News Report: Red Jumpsuit Stolen!

Springfield, NE (AP) - The police in Springfield, NE, are cautioning owners of red cattle dogs to keep a close eye on their dogs after the brazen attack of yesterday where the red jumpsuit was ripped off a prize-winning dog at a herding trial. Witnesses to the attack described how a small blue blur dropped, seemingly from the sky, upon the red dog identified as "Sutter" and owned by Larry and Marilyn Painter of Fort BFM, Missouri.

The bold attack happened just as Sutter and Mr. Painter were about to start their run in a herding trial. Undeterred by his sudden nudity, Sutter managed to complete his run and even win top honors for the day. "Eh," Sutter commented while wrapped in a towel. "I suppose I had it coming after that joke I played last week. I sure hope I have a spare jumpsuit lying around at home somewhere."

Anonymous sources close to Sutter hinted that a certain royal bluecoat in Pennsylvania might have a grudge against the red dog due to a practical joke involving a red jumpsuit of the incorrect size. The police have investigated and declare that the bluecoated dog's alibi is watertight. "The dog in question, one Prince Slate, was positively identified as in attendance by no fewer than eight ruminants who were at a party at WayOut Castle where the Prince resides. We have no charges to file against Prince Slate." There was no official comment from the castle.

The police do have one clue that they need help from the public in following up. "We do have an APB out on the dog in this photograph that was snapped just as the attack happened. If anyone can identify the dog in this picture, please contact the Nebraska police as soon as possible. The Painters and Sutter have offered a reward for information leading to the return of the red jumpsuit."

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Prince Slate Does Not Save the Day

His Royal Highness Prince Slate was watching something very intently by the back fence. Comrade Kit, ever inquisitive, sped over to investigate. Prince Slate did not even glance in her direction as she approached. Offended, the diminutive rebel sideswiped him as she came to rest in his vicinity. "What is more interesting than me?" she asked peevishly.

"Shhhh!" whispered Prince Slate. "There are little peeping birds and they can't fly! Look at them - they run and peep. How I long to taste them." He was staring through the fence into the barnyard.

Comrade Kit glanced over in boredom. "Oh those things. Comrade Tassel and I have already gotten to meet them. They are no fun at all. The Oppressed Serf won't let us eat them. I think she is losing her mind. She actually told me to "come by" around them... like they were livestock or something. Comrade Tassel likes them but I think they are boring. It doesn't require any speed at all to catch up to them." She pulled out some grass and munched.

"Shhhh," said Prince Slate, still staring intently at the ducks. "Look!" The Sweet Prince sprang up in excitment. "They have jumped in the water tub! They are swimming and peeping!!" Comrade Kit yawned and chewed on more grass. One duckling, slightly more foolish than the others, jumped from the water tub up into the water bucket. "Peep peep peep!" said the duckling as he realized he couldn't get out. How shameful it would be for a duckie to drown. Prince Slate was in a frenzy of excitement. "It is trapped and peeping!!" he cried. Slightly more interested, Comrade Kit sat up and took note. "Peep, peep, peep!" cried the duckling.

"Should we send for help?" wondered Kit as the duck splashed about in dismay. Prince Slate considered: "If it was a sheep, we should get help but it is a bird. There are lots of birds flying around. I don't think we need to take worry about them. When it dies, you can eat its brain." Comrade Kit nodded sagely at his wisdom. When The Lovely and Delicate Lady Tassel joined them a few minutes later, she also sat quietly and watched the duckling thrashing about in the bucket. "I thought they could swim better than that" was her only comment.

"It is like a nature program on tv," Prince Slate said, unable to tear his eyes away from the spectacle. "Maybe a piranha has its leg!" The three dogs sat quietly and watched as the duckling continued to splash and peep for help. Eventually the Personal Attendant wandered over. "What are you guys watching?" she asked. "We are watching the nature show on tv," Comrade Kit informed the Attendant solemnly.

"Peep, peep, peep!" said the duckling. "Is that duckling drowning?" asked the Attendant in dismay as she hurried up to pull the soggy creature out of the bucket. "Hey!" the three blue dogs exclaimed in unison. "That's not fair! You can't interfere with nature! That's bad for ratings!"

"I can't believe none of you told me this duckling needed help!" scolded the Personal Attendant. Freed from what was almost its watery grave, the duckling hurried off, shaking its downy feathers, to rejoin its compatriots.

"Where's the remote," asked Prince Slate. "Maybe there is a good wildebeest stampede on somewhere."

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Comrade Kit Is Hungry

Things have been quiet at the WayOut castle.  Mice scurry in the walls. Sometimes, they dangle from the ceiling fans and squeak.  This causes some consternation to the Personal Attendant and usually results in a severe scolding of the Catlandish Ambassadors for failure to do their duty. The Catlandish Ambassadors are rarely at all disturbed by the recriminations of the Personal Attendant and merely wash their whiskers with that particular depth of attention that only occurs when they are pointedly snubbing someone.

Comrade Kit has been on the warpath recently.  His Most Royal and Noble Highness Prince Slate has grown so he is afraid to walk through the kitchen of the castle.  Not that a prince has any reason to be in such a lowly part of the castle as a kitchen but sometimes the Noble Prince prefers to enter the castle through the back door just by way of variety.  Now, however, he fears for his safety as he scampers in the door and dashes madly through the kitchen throwing looks right and left, looking for an ambush.

Comrade Kit defies detection, however. Plunging from the depths of whatever crevice she has crammed herself into, she flies at the Hastening Prince and harries him across the room.  When that fun activity is over, she mopes around miserably thinking of food. "I am so hungry," she sighs. "And so very, very grumpy." The Lovely and Delicate Lady Tassel looks warily at the Small Dictator from her perch in a comfy chair. Comrade Kit gives her some stink-eye back as a change from hounding the Prince.

"If you continue to pack on the pounds in that rather unattractive way," sniffed the Lovely Lady Tassel, "you won't fit into your secret sneak attack hideouts anymore."

"Do you want to fight?" snarls Comrade Kit. "Because I am ready for you, sister! Grr!"

The Lovely and Delicate Lady Tassel rolled her eyes at such nonsense and arranges herself in a more ladylike position on her pillows. "Such a grump!" she sniffed again.

"You would be a grump too if you had twenty feet kicking your innards on a daily basis!" howled Comrade Kit in reply.

The Lovely Tassel merely rolled her eyes again. "I suppose you think the Personal Attendant has forgotten the Missing Candy Bar Caper," she asked as Comrade Kit scrounged around the kitchen. "I can tell you, though, that she hasn't. I saw her put all the food up out of reach so you might as well just settle down and stop scavenging."

"Grr!" said Comrade Kit. "Foiled again! How am I to eat for ten if I am not allowed into the cupboards!?"

The Lovely Lady Tassel furrowed her Delicate brow and asked, "If you are eating for ten, shouldn't you have 36 feet kicking your innards? I thought you were supposed to be the math whiz around here. That is pretty sloppy work, Convict Kit."

"Grrr," mumbled the petty tyrant with her mouth full of sock. "How can I multiply when I am faint with hunger!"

 

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The Prince Writes an Essay: What Is a Goober?

"My sweet princely," said the Personal Attendant one snowy morning. "I need
you to write an essay on the subject 'What is a Goober.'" His Royal Highness Prince Slate considered this proposition with his usual care. "Am I qualified to write such an essay?" he wondered. The Lovely and Delicate Lady Tassel choked on her breakfast toast as she heard him but managed to suppress her guffaws under the stern eye of the Personal Attendant. "It will be easy, my prince," said the Personal Attendant. "Just write about one of your regular days." The Lovely Lady Tassel valiantly attempted to suppress her snicker of laughter.

"That is easy," said Prince Slate. "I will call my essay: A Day With The
Prince."

A Day With The Prince or What is a Goober?

by Prince Slate of WayOut Castle

I awake, sprawled on my back with my head tucked into my elbow. My Personal Attendant pretends to be sleeping so I nibble on her chin and trample her until she gets up to feed me my royal breakfast. I gallop ahead of her to help out by being in my eating position ready for the food to arrive. The Attendant is proud of me for helping her and piles the food in the bowl. When I am done eating, I open the door of my crate that the Attendant has forgetfully fastened shut and I gallop around to see if Kit or Tassel need help with their breakfasts. The Personal Attendant is proud of me for being able to get out of my crate when it is shut. She jumps for joy.

I gallop to the door for my morning promenade through the castle gardens. The
Personal Attendant is slow to open the door for me so I kick it a few times to let her know that a prince should not be kept waiting. The Personal Attendant is happy to open the door for me. Without me to let the Attendant know, Kit and Tassel would probably never be let out into the garden. They are all happy that I am here to be in charge of these things. It is a prince's duty to keep his subjects happy.

I gallop through the garden. Now I must run fast because Kit chases me and might snip at me if she catches me and pull some hair out. Also there are birds that fly away and maybe today we will catch some. The Personal Attendant mutters something as we run that sounds like "Why can't you darn dogs ever walk!!" but she must have said something different because she is happy that I run especially when I come back in and run fast past her where she stands with a towel and wipe my feet through all the rooms of the castle. She jumps for joy.

Today, I see the birds fly under the porch. There is a small opening almost big enough for a dog. I poke my head through and see birds under the porch! I must remove them. They are stealing shelter that belongs to the castle! I rip the lattice board off the side of the porch just enough to make the small hole a little bigger. Now I can squeeze under the porch to catch the birds. The birds fly away and Kit is not in position to catch them. She is a slacker never putting in her share of the work around the castle.

Oh, no! Now I am stuck under the porch. It would not be dignified to call for help so I will sit here and quietly wait. Eventually my Personal Attendant will send out a search party. It would be more comfortable if I could sit or stand or walk instead of having to lurch around on my belly in the dark. Also the Personal Attendant should see to cleaning out some of this mess under here. It is very uncomfortable to crawl over. I amuse myself by counting to ten. A prince must know how to count to ten. Kit says she can count to one hundred but I don't believe her. Numbers don't go up that high. I count to ten ten times then I can't count anymore.

Oh joy! I hear the Personal Attendant let Kit and Tassel in. Now she will notice I am missing and send out a search party. Kit and Tassel will tell her where I am! I count to ten ten more times. I must not cry because princes don't cry. I must be very quiet because maybe the birds will come back. I wish I weren't stuck. I count to ten.

The Personal Attendant opens the door and calls my name! "Where is that dope?" she says. I know she loves me as dope is a well-known nickname meaning most-loved one. She looks around the garden but doesn't see me. That is because I am stuck under the porch. I keep very quiet. She calls my name again and tells me to come! I must obey! But I am stuck! What should I do? I crawl back and forth under the porch very quietly. "There is something large under the porch," exclaims the Personal Attendant. "I wonder if it is that Goober dog." She finds my opening! She bends down and looks! I see her!! I am happy and wag my tail. "You idiot!" says the Personal Attendant. "What are you doing under there? Get out at once! Come here!"

She calls me so I must obey. I crawl over to her though it is a very tight squeeze. I can only fit my head and one paw through the opening. "You came through here once so you can do it again!" says my heartless Personal Attendant. She takes my leg and pulls me through as I kick from behind. I am not stuck anymore! I know she loves me because she rescued me from a dark pit under the porch! And she called me dope and idiot and Goober!! She loves me!! I am happy and run fast around the yard to the castle door as she follows slowly behind.

A prince should not be kept waiting so I open the door and gallop into the house. The Personal Attendant is proud of me for being able to open the door to
the house when it is shut. She jumps for joy and rejoices in the cold air that freshens the house.

I go to my eating position because maybe it is time for the royal dinner. It isn't.

The End

The Prince showed his essay to the Personal Attendant. "Very nice, princely," she said. "I think you have nicely conveyed the joy and the helpfulness and the knuckleheadedness that being a goober involves. Thank you for the essay." The Prince was very happy to have obliged. Comrade Kit and the Lovely and Delicate Lady Tassel hide their smiles in their embroidery (or political tracts as the case may be).

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The Prince Writes Lines

The Personal Attendant to Prince Slate looked out the window. There was the Lovely and Delicate Lady Tassel enjoying a nice siesta in the warm sunshine. "I don't see Prince Slate," said the Personal Attendant. "But I am sure he is just over there against the fence where he likes to sit." The Personal Attendant went and played with the royal puppies for a time.

When she next peeked out the window, the Lovely and Delicate Lady Tassel was lying on the table on the porch, still snoozing. "How cute she is," thought the Attendant, "but how strange that I still do not see that princely dog." A fleeting thought crossed her mind but it was instantly rejected as most improbable. "I am sure he is not *that* much of a goober," said the Attendant firmly to herself.

Sadly she was wrong. His Royal Highness Prince Slate, while pleased with the success of his Goober Essay, still showed himself incapable of learning from past mistakes. The lure of fluttering birds darting under the porch was just too much for him and he crawled on his belly through the very small gap. There are those that maintain that the Lovely and Delicate Lady Tassel double dared him to go back under the dark, creepy, muddy porch but neither Prince Slate nor the Lovely Lady have confirmed this report.

When full investigation revealed no Prince Slate visible in the back yard, the flabbergasted Personal Attendant climbed into her boots and trampled around to the very small hole under the porch. There, in very short order, appeared the princely head followed by the princely foot and, with a struggle, the rest of the princely body - or, at least, what could be recognized as a vaguely princely body caked with mud. The shamefaced Prince was once again relieved to have been rescued and wiped his paws on the Attendant in gratitude. "You are such a knucklehead! How does a big dog like you fit through that tiny hole!" exclaimed the Personal Attendant. "I will place a flower pot here and don't break it!"

The Happy Prince had a lovely bath and spent the rest of the afternoon writing "I will not crawl under the porch and get stuck" on the chalkboard.

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Princess Gussie Carries a Tune

A rainy day at WayOut castle/commune. Prince Slate, the perfumed Comrade Kit and young and perfumed Comrade Posey are all looking mournful behind prison bars. Only two happy faces are to be found. One, The Lovely and Delicate Lady Tassel, quietly sleeps on the best chair and the other leaps and sings:

"Everybody hates the Gussie girl" she warbles.
"Everybody makes her smush right down!
But Gussie doesn't care
She jumps up on a chair
And bounces all around like a buffoon!

Sometimes she gets a bone!
If no one else is near she might even eat it!!

She has an evil sister!!
Who keeps poor Gussie down!!
But mother and the sister went to jail!
And since then all's been good in GussieLand!

Now human keeps out only Gussie Girl!!
And also little Tassel who sometimes will bite
The nose of Poor Sweet Gussie!!
But mostly she sits on her chair
And doesn't bother Gussie!!"

Princess Augusta continued singing at the top of her lungs while she bounced from chair to chair and played with whichever toy captivated her fancy at that
moment.

"Mother," snarled Comrade Posey from her jail cell. "Can't you do something
about that horrible racket!! The creature hasn't hit a single note yet and if there is a tune involved, no one has been able to identify it!"

Supreme Dictator Comrade Kit threw her food dish against the bars of her own
jail cell in bitter and angry protest. "She takes after her father - that side of the family has always been thick headed!" she growled. "No sense of revolution at all! Muddle-brained aristocrats! She is a blot on the family honor!! Grrrr!"

"lalalalalalalalalala!!" sang Princess Gussie happily as she squeaked a toy.

"pssst! Hey Gussie!" whispered Comrade Posey. Princess Gussie cocked an ear and considered whether to acknowledge her caged sister or not. Good nature won the day and she trotted over to the cell. "I grovel before you, caged sister!" she cringed before the door. "But haha! you sure look funny locked up!" The cringe turned into a happy bounce.

"Argh! I long to correct you!" snarled Posey. "But I restrain myself for now. Bake me a cake and put a file inside so I can cut through the bars of my jail cell!" Gussie took another moment to consider. "The human said I am not allowed to use the stove," she said carefully, hoping to avoid her sister's wrath. "Grrr!" said Comrade Posey. "Rules are what I make not the human!!" "Shhhhhhh!" whispered Gussie in fear, glancing over to where their mother, Comrade Kit, was caged. "SHE won't like it if She hears you say things like that!!" Comrade Posey also glanced over to Comrade Kit's cage and lowered her voice, "Go bake me a cake with a file!"

"Hahahaha!" laughed Gussie. "I'm not gonna!! You have to stay locked up maybe forever and I am free!!!! hahaha!" Princess Gussie bounced off to the chairs and picked up a squeaky toy.

"lalalalalala! I am the Gussie girl and I am free!
So evil sister can't make me!!
do anything at all hahahaha!!"

Comrade Posey picked up her food dish and joined with the mother Comrade Kit in banging on her cell door during the refrain.

 


copyright by MJ Hotter
 

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