It's A Jungle Out There

By Jelle (CD)

Part Nine

She was lying on a raised piece of furniture, at the mercy of this woman who gave birth to her and was now humiliating her. Escape was impossible, she had to lay there unclothed while this mistress tortured her. The longer this went on, the more vulnerable she felt. Taking her thoughts of her predicament, she quickly kicked her legs around to prevent the female from grabbing them.
“Come on Mandy, it will only take longer if you keep up your protests.” Ans explained wearily, finally managing to hold her daughter’s legs together as she lifted her a little.
Let me go you witch, stay off my behind! I don’t want to wear such a stupid thing, you always interfere with my business. You wouldn’t even let me dispose of that ugly picture with that hideous hussy on it in the snow! Mandy thought, hoping she’d somehow make clear she wasn’t comfortable with being stark naked.
“My, my Mandy. Be a bit more open, show a bit more openness, just think like the years ‘60’s. It’s not like I’ll do this live on TV for the kick of it,” Ans consoled.
She couldn’t understand why Mandy was such a hand full. Changing her diaper always caused the usual havoc which was fortunately kept to the minimum this time. Mandy had proven herself to be a holy terror, she once nearly damaged Ans’ picture of her as the yodel champion of the young girl corps from when she still lived in Switzerland. Every time her parents build her a tower out of blocks, she’d smash the stack down with a offended face that almost read ‘Get lost with those things, I have something better to do’.
“There, that wasn’t so bad right? We’re finished.” Ans declared and picked up her newborn.
Yeah sure, you say that every time. But you always repeat it. And now you’ll probably hold me close to your face for some sick ritual. I’ll get you this time, the ‘angelic’ baby thought and awaited her chance.
Ans held Mandy close to her head to nuzzle her, but realized too late the evil intent of her offspring. “AUWH you little FIEND!!!” The mother screamed and closed her eyes and held Mandy away from her.
Carefully she lay her child in her bed and staggered to the door. She opened it and fell in the arms of her alarmed and confused husband.
“What happened here, what’s going on?” Gus asked worriedly, fearing something happened to either his wife or his baby.
He inspected the face of his love, who had collapsed in his hands. It didn’t take him long to figure out what happened to Ans.
“That doesn’t look to good dear. I’d better call you a doctor,” he stated worriedly and helped her to the living room.
His wife said nothing, and Gus had to set her down carefully on the sofa before grabbing the phone.

The doctor had come and gone and Ans was still sitting down, with a washcloth pressed to her left eye. Gus was very relieved that the report the doctor gave him was less serious than he had feared. When he first saw that his lovely wife had been poked in her eye by his child he had wondered if she’d ever see again. The damage could have left her permanently blind or it could have affected her brain, resulting in death. According to the doctor, the worst thing possible was that Ans was from now on blinded on one eye. The poke had done some serious damage and Gus hoped, begged and prayed his woman wouldn’t live the rest of her life like that. Mandy was vast asleep now, so Gus could put his attention to his injured wife which was absolutely nerve-wracking to him. Ans had insisted that Mandy had done this on purpose, calling the kid several names Gus hoped his daughter would never become. He had reasoned that a child her age was curious and wanted to explore, perhaps show her affection to it’s mother. Ans would have nothing of it and was seriously considering to let the orphanage handle her. Although Gus had been able to calm her a little, he still wasn’t certain if Ans had forgiven Mandy. His train of thought was derailed when he heard the phone ring. He was about to lift the horn of the receiver when he noticed Ans had beat him to it, and backed off to give his wife the space she needed.
“Nutcracker residence, Ans Nutcracker speaking. Who’s calling?” she said somewhat weak.
“Hi, it’s me Flora. Your daughter-in-law,” the person at the other side of the line answered.
“Oh, it’s you. How are you doing?”
“Nothing new, we’re resting up from our last adventure.”
“I know making love can be exhausting but why call it an adventure? Is this your first time?” Ans asked half teasingly.
“Haha, you know what I mean. If I meant our private life I would have said ‘romance’. We’ve mopped up a smuggler ring. By the way, how are you doing?” Flora asked, not realizing what a can of worms she was opening.
“Bad, Mandy just poked out my eye. Gus doesn’t believe it but I tell you that girl has been seduced by the devil. Some evil intent took over her mind,” Ans revealed.
Gus sighed inwardly. Now his love was telling others Mandy was demonic.
“You don’t say!” Flora exclaimed amazed.
“Should you and that son of mine ever get kids, get rid of them when they start to act like Mandy. I fear it’s a family trait,” Ans warned half-heartedly.
“Don’t be silly, Steve never tried to poke out your eye did he? Blame Mandy’s personality on the milkman!” Flora joked good-naturedly.
“For some reason you made my day a bit less grim. What’s the reason of your call?” Ans continued, a bit relieved now.
“Would you believe me if I told you I’m pregnant?” Flora asked.
“Does that mean I’m going to be a grandma? That’s a bit early isn’t it?” Ans objected friendly.
“Not to mention Mandy. She’ll be an aunt at early age,” Flora added.
“Thank you Flora. Now she’s going to set an example to your offspring and before you know your kid pokes out your eyes as well,” Ans countered in a humorous fashion.
“What I wanted to know is if you happen to have any useful items left from when Steve was a baby. Wouldn’t it be fun to see our little Nutcracker grow up in the same baby chair as my husband did?” Flora explained, giggling a bit.
“I don’t have anything you could use anytime soon. I already need most of that stuff to raise Mandy. I do have a number of items that can help you learn how to become a successful mom like I am. I got them when I was a pregnant woman for the first time. I don’t need it anymore and I thought it would be nice to pass it to the next Nutcracker to need it,” Ans offered.
“That would be great! Could you send it to us so I can use it? You do know our address right?” Flora asked worriedly.
“No worry, I got your address written down. I’ll send it by mail when I got it back. No need to thank me, it’s nothing.”
“Well thanks anyway. See? Protests are useless!” Flora pointed out.
“You’re too kind Flora. Just take care of that grandchild of me, and don’t forget my son while you’re at it. He needs to be watched after a lot!” Ans warned.
“I learned that one by now. Thanks again, bye!”
“Cheerio!” Ans said as she hung up.
“It seems you’ve forgiven Mandy.” Gus noted carefully.
“No I didn’t. I still hate her with passion!” Ans countered but the tone of her voice and her smile gave her away.

“Hereby I award the Rescue Rangers with the Silver Nut of honor for the extraordinary bravery you’ve shown throughout our campaign against the forces of those smugglers. Wear it with pride,” Petro Mendoza declared as he pinned the medal on each Ranger’s chest.
The Rangers and their companions had dressed in BATS uniforms for the occasion. Geegaw was naturally in an aviator’s suit. Gadget and Flora both wore a bodysuit, beret and boots. Monty, Zipper and Steve’s henchanimals were all dressed as commandos. And Chip, Dale and Steve as officers. Alex was also decorated, wearing his old Russian uniform.
“I’d still like to issue some other awards to some people in specific. Chip Maplewood, you’re first,” Mendoza announced and stood in front of the leader of the Rescue Rangers and looked him straight into the eyes.
“I’d like you to accept this Ruby Walnut award for your skill at handling a campaign against terrorist elements and refrain from panicking in dire situations. You’ve proven yourself worthy of commanding an army. If you were ever to join our faction I’m convinced you’d rise through the ranks quickly until you’d be my superior,” Petro complimented and saluted.
“Thanks sir, but what I did was a group effort. I’ve always achieved my goals together with the other Rangers,” Chip tried to avoid having all the honors bestowed on him.
“I’ve not forgotten them at all. The next person I’d like to award is your teammate Gadget,” Mendoza admitted and stepped toward her.
“Golly, I never would have thought I’d contribute to world peace. Much less get decorated for it,” the young Hackwrench admitted.
“Your advanced research in harmless weaponry and non-lethal firepower is more than worth the award the United Species council has named after you, the Hackwrench Peace prize. You should be proud to be the first to receive this medal,” Petro Mendoza praised as he handed her the award; a golden medal with a cogwheel covered by a hammer and wrench with two wings on the side. “Before you start shying away I’d ask you to stay for receiving the next medal along with Dale and Monty who did a great job as sub-commanders,” the colonel declared. “You three have earned the Bronze Acorn for obeying orders from your superior and handling a covert ops. mission. I hope you three are satisfied with yourselves.”
“Zowie! I got another one! Thanks Colonel!” Dale exclaimed enthusiastically.
“I should be thanking you and your team instead,” Petro backfired the word of thanks.
“One bonzer ceremony this is! Too bad there are no medals in your size Zip,” Monty commented a bit disappointed to Zipper who was on his shoulder.
“And now I’d like to decorate miss and mister Nutcracker and his friends for their contributions to this struggle, however small it might have been. Even civilians should be acknowledged for their contributions to world peace. I hope these Copper Leaves can do something to make up for any possible discomfort suffered,” the BATS commander hoped as he handed the group their pins.
“That’s great, now we’ll have evidence to show our future children when we tell them of our adventures,” Steve said and pressed his wife to him and stole a kiss.
“Please keep it decent.” Colonel Petro smiled as he moved on to Geegaw. “I hope this Silver Propeller medal covers the debt we owe you for your air coverage during the operation and your scouting work.”
“I think it does, this is my first award ever since I stopped working as a freelance pilot.” Geegaw confirmed and inspected the shiny prize.
“There’s one last person left I’d like to reward now,” The Colonel concluded and approached Alex.
“Me?!” the Russian wondered, confused. He never suspected honorable people would ever praise him again.
“Sure, you did show extreme bravery doublecrossing your oppressors. While what you did was treason, it’s perfectly clear you were not supporting them willingly. I’m glad to forgive a person like you so I give you a special award: a Golden Star. You are as courageous and bold as your ancestors,” Mendoza complimented and handed him his reward.
“Gosh, I never expected this. But I’m regretful to tell you I’m not sure of my heritage,” Alex admitted, accepting the valuable object.
“But I am. Because our database did not have any information on you, we contacted some of our colleagues and requested some files.”
“You’ve been digging up my personal info?” Alex cut him off, a bit shocked.
“It’s routine, we always try to get some background on our prisoners of war. And it turned out that through many complex ties, you are the sole survivor of the Rockforanov line.”
“Me? Related to ancient Russia’s ruling family!?” Alex exclaimed bewildered.
“Congratulations, it’s great to hear we saved royalty!” Chip offered as he shook Alex’s hand, who was still somewhat dazed.
However he recovered and grew a bit worried. “If I’m really the descendant of the Czar of Russia, does that mean I have claims on all remaining palaces, landmarks and sovereign rulership of my country?”
“Well, I suppose you have those claims, but I doubt Vladimir Pudding would let you take over his job,” Petro reasoned and shrugged.
“I wouldn’t try to anyway. I’m just glad to know who I am,” Alex reassured him.

“Too bad you are already leaving. It has been fun, but all nice things have to come to an end,” Minerva said her goodbye’s.
“Then why do you have your luggage with you? We’re the ones leaving, not you,” Gadget asked, somewhat confused.
“I am heading for New York to study mechanics, my colleagues advised me to come back when I got my gear sorted out,” She replied.
I guess they meant more than her knowledge on engineering, Geegaw thought sourly.
“Hey, perhaps you could get a ride with us!” Dale offered, an idea that shocked Geegaw.
“NO!” The elder mouse shouted, quickly recovering to give an argument for his refusal “The Screaming Eagle was build to be a plane for five rodents! There’s no place for another passenger!”
“If I did not know you better, I would say you hated me.” Mina said disappointed.
“Come on dad, I can stand a tight fit,” Gadget countered, eager to talk to someone with knowledge of highly advanced science and biology.
“But…Eh-what about Zipper? Where is he gonna sit if there’s no space left?” Geegaw insisted, starting to grow desperate.
“Blimey, what’s gotten into you Geegaw, old mate? Zipper always sits on me shoulder if we got an extra passenger,” Monty chimed in.
“Pleeeeaase?” Gadget pressed, looking at him with puppy-dog eyes.
Geegaw knew he wasn’t going to win this one, so he just sighed and led the others over to his plane.
“My, you’re acting weird all of a sudden,” Dale commented as he picked up one of Mina’s luggage cases.
The group made their way over to the airfield and entered the hangar where the plane was parked. Geegaw quickly got behind the controls while Chip and Dale loaded all the cargo. Monty quickly helped the two ladies up and plopped down next to Geegaw.
“Where are you from actually? You don’t sound American,” Gadget asked, quick to start up a conversation with her new friend.
“I’m a Russo-Sino, born in north China. My mother was Han, and my father a Russian dissident.”
“China boasts a huge nuclear arsenal doesn’t it?” Gadget inquired a bit saddened.
“That is right, the Middle Kingdom has plenty of ‘nukes’, sweet essence of doom!” She replied, hugging herself.
“You like that? Do know what these weapons did to Japan? Or what nuclear technology as a whole did to Ukraine?” Gadget cried out amazed.
Mina just grinned. “That is just a physics class joke, I am not mad. Well, not completely anyway.”
Terrible, Geegaw thought Imagine that for the rest of the flight.

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