Dear Auntie Ora,

What's the best way to ship ninety-seven possibly sentient, rabid weasels?


Sibyl stared at the guy in disgust. Specifically, she stared at the mesmerising movement in his pants in disgust. The rest of him just looked exhausted and worn-down.

She said "I see you found out that putting them down your pants wasn't the brightest of ideas. Have they bitten you yet? Un-hunh. You'll be foaming at the mouth quite soon, I expect. Just be glad I won't call PETA on you, for subjecting innocent animals to this kind of crap. They've probably fouled your pants, too. Or is that smell just you?"

The guy just looked back in tired resignation.

"Pythia! Could you please come here? I'd like you to take this one to the restroom, untie his pants' legs, and catch all the beasts as they appear. He said there should be 97 in all. Weasels, yes. Thanks, you're a dear. I guess you can put them into the crate your last guns came in, that should be secure enough."

Pyth took the guy in tow. Soon after loud squeaks and screams were heard from the loo; Sibyl winced in sympathy.

When they came back Pyth reported: "He can't count worth a damn. There were actually 104. Of which 13 are rabid." (glaring at the guy) "I wouldn't want to be in -your- pants when you get our bill, hombre." (looking him up and down) "Not that I'd want to be in your pants in any case..." (shaking her head and sighing) "*Really*. Kinky, yes, but *rabid* ones?" (dismissing the hapless customer from her mind, she then turned to Sibyl) "I put a couple steel belts around the crate, and left only pinhead-sized airholes for the little buggers. Looks nice'n'tight."

Sibyl nodded, turned to the guy, and said: "Right, smartie-pants. Who are you, and what's all this about?"

"Me, I'm Paul. Paul Kallay. My daughter wanted a new pet, and the lab down the lane had a sale on ex lab animals, so I bought her a female. They didn't tell me she was pregnant, and nobody had told me how fast weasels breed, either. One of them got rabies, too, from somewhere, and then *that* spread ... sigh. I think I could have lived with that vet bill, but then I caught them on the phone with my credit card, trying to order some beef carcasses ... I do *not* want to talk about the rest. Just help me out, willya? I want to ship them to the guys I bought them from. Outfit called 'Frank & Stien Labs, Inc.'."

"Well, dude, you're paying the bill, so we're more than happy to ship them wherever you like. But that bit about the credit card - come on now! Surely you don't expect us to believe that these beasties are as intelligent as humans, do you? That's just ridi--"

She broke off as Cassie staggered into the room, clothes torn, hair dishevelled, covered in bites and scratches.

"What on earth happened to you?"

"Hey, it wasn't *my* fault! There was this big crate in the loo that said, if I opened it, I'd get a big surprise. Some scummy surprise!"