torch, flambeau@strangeplaces.net
December 7-18, 2008

Disclaimer: no toys were seriously harmed during the writing of this story. Written for sacred_sarcasm in yuletide 2008. Beta by elynross, cheering by Mary Crawford. Do not archive without permission.

In Which Worlds Collide, and Eeyore Investigates a Terrible Crime

The shed was old. Not the kind of old that leads people to plant roses at the door and call it quaint; rather the kind of old that leads them to investigate zoning laws and, if they can't find any, to write them.

Two of the planks in the back wall were particularly old. In fact, "old" seemed like an insufficient description. For these planks, "old" was merely the first word in a lengthy dictionary entry. The other planks were old; these two looked to have been made at the dawn of time, or at least before the invention of the plane.1 Long years of rain and snow had warped them and a little shoving every day nudged them out of alignment with the others, until one day, there was a gap. Not much of one, but enough for a smallish body to wiggle through.

As escapes go, it wasn't all that great. There was long hard work, of a kind, culminating in sudden freedom, but it wasn't spectacular enough to, say, get its own theme music. But it was an escape, which was all that mattered.

The runaway looked around. To the left was an open grassy space, dotted with flowers. To the right, tall trees promised shelter and shade. Straight ahead was a tangle of briars that looked extremely forbidding.

Moments later, only a few strands of hair clung to the thorniest briars.

* * *

The old grey donkey, Eeyore, ambled slowly across the clearing towards his favorite thistle patch. He had spent the morning on the west side of the field, thinking about Life and watching the rain drip from the branches, and a little something round about now would give him the fortitude to spend the afternoon on the east side of the field, watching the rain drip from the branches and thinking, as it might be, about Life.

His favorite thistle patch wasn't where he'd left it, though. Or rather, wasn't how he'd left it. Eeyore stopped to consider. He closed his right eye and looked with his left, and then, after due consideration, closed his left eye and looked with his right. The patch was still there, but the thistles were gone.

"Bother," said Eeyore. He had been saving some particularly juicy thistles for a rainy day, and it was difficult to imagine a day more rainy than this one. "Someone else must have taken my thistles." He stared morosely at the spot where the thistles weren't. "How like them."

Rain dripped off the tips of his ears. The thistles didn't come back. After a while, Eeyore decided that he would go see Christopher Robin. Christopher Robin would know what to do about thistle thieves, if anything could be done at all. Christopher Robin knew how to show proper consideration for an animal whose thistles had been stolen. "Unlike some of the others," Eeyore added to himself.

He trotted off through the rain, skirting the edge of the Hundred Acre Wood. At first he went briskly, wanting to get to Christopher Robin as quickly as possible with his important question. However, it was not a good day for walking, and the melancholy errand weighed on him. Mud clung to his hooves, and after a while, to his legs. Eeyore slowed down and considered that he might rest a little under one of the trees, where the rain might drip more off the branches and less off his ears, which were getting rather cold.

He looked in under the trees and saw something moving. It was a strange, round, bobbing figure, and it was coming towards him quite fast. Eeyore stopped and tried to move backwards; not because he was in any way frightened, merely because it seemed that the bobbing figure might need more space to bob in. But the muddy ground was slippery, and his hooves did not seem to want to go backwards after having gone forwards for so long, and suddenly he was sitting down.

The strange, round, bobbing figure came closer, and Eeyore thought to himself that perhaps if he shouted Very Loudly for help, someone might hear him. Then again, perhaps not.

"Hallo, Eeyore," the strange figure said in Owl's voice. "I see you are prambulating in the rain."

Eeyore considered this. "You must mean some other people," he said.

"To prambulate means to walk," Owl said kindly. "It is called prambulate because some people do it with a pram."

"Just as I thought," Eeyore said. "Those people. Only don't blame me if they get rained-on." He stood up again, with some difficulty. The mud was very muddy. "I don't suppose you know anything about my thistles. They weren't very important to anyone else, but I was fond of them."

"I'm prambulating in the rain because Christopher Robin asked me to be on my guard," Owl said importantly. "And I am wearing a mackintosh," Owl went on, "so that I stay dry." He flapped a wing in demonstration, sending a spray of raindrops in Eeyore's direction. "You can't see it, but I'm perfectly dry underneath. It's an old one of Christopher Robin's. He lent it to me." He flapped his other wing. "Because of the importance of being on my guard."

When Owl seemed about to start flapping his first wing again, Eeyore said, "I don't suppose you've seen anyone today who looked as if they were going towards my little corner of the Forest. Or away from it. Or eating thistles."

"You should get one, too, if you prambulate a lot in the rain. I notice that you have mud on your tail," Owl said. "It is very important for an animal to take good care of his--"

"Thistles, not tails," Eeyore said. "Have you seen them?"

"No, no. Mackintoshes aren't for thistles," Owl said. "Perhaps you should see Christopher Robin, and he will explain it all to you. Good-bye, Eeyore!" He bobbed off into the wood again. "And remember to be careful with your tail!" he called out as he disappeared into the gloom underneath the trees.

Eeyore craned his neck, trying to see his tail. He kept hoping that one day he would be able to do it, because Christopher Robin had told them all about something called Constant Practice, which meant you could do things better and better all the time. But perhaps tail-watching wasn't one of those things. Eeyore could feel the mud quite clearly, though. He tried to scrub it off against a tree, but when he turned around again, the tree didn't seem much muddier than before.

"Just as I thought," Eeyore said gloomily to himself. "I expect it takes a different sort of tree." He thought about it a little more. "Or a different sort of tail."

He trotted off again, going a bit more slowly now. When he had passed the wood and was just at the foot of the hill where Christopher Robin lived, he saw Rabbit come running.

"Have you seen," Eeyore began.

"Hallo-Eeyore-can't-stop-very-important," Rabbit said, rushing past and churning up the mud. One splash landed on Eeyore's side, on a spot that hadn't felt quite so cold and wet before there was mud on it.

"Any thistles," Eeyore went on. He peered through the rain at Rabbit's disappearing tail, until he couldn't see it any more. "All this hurly and burly," he said. "All this to and fro." He started to walk towards Christopher Robin's house. "All this up," he added as he went along the path, "and down," as he skidded backwards in the mud.

When he came to Christopher Robin's house, Christopher Robin was standing outside it, talking in a very earnest way to Pooh and Piglet. "We don't know if it's a Dangerous Animal," he said, "so we must all be very careful. There's no telling what a Dangerous Animal might do."

Piglet pressed a little closer to Pooh. "Perhaps we should all go together," he said. "For company."

Christopher Robin shook his head. "If we all go together and search in one place, we'll only have searched in one place," he said. "Three of us can search in three different places, and that will be faster."

"And if one of us finds something?" Pooh asked.

"Then you tell the others," Christopher Robin said.

"Yes," Pooh said thoughtfully.

Piglet hopped from one leg to another. "Yes," he said nervously. He didn't mind telling the others about a Dangerous Animal. It was the finding that worried him. Because on the one hand, he might find the Dangerous Animal, and that would be a very brave thing to have done. But on the other hand, the Dangerous Animal might find him first.

"It seems to me," Pooh said, looking at Piglet, and at Christopher Robin, and at Piglet again. "It seems to me that if we all go to different places, and one of us finds something--"

"You tell the others," Christopher Robin said again.

"Yes," Pooh said even more thoughtfully. "But if they are searching in a different different place, I will have to search for them, and perhaps the Dangerous Animal will go somewhere else, and then we would have to do it all again from the beginning. I'm sure it is faster that way," he added, "but I just wonder."

Piglet, for his part, was wondering how difficult it would be to tell the others that you had found the Dangerous Animal if you were already inside it. He hopped on his left leg, and then on his right, trying to look nonchalant. "That is just what I meant," he said. "We don't want to have to do it all again."

Eeyore cleared his throat.

"Hallo, Eeyore," Piglet said. "Don't you think that would be better?"

"I need to talk to Christopher Robin," Eeyore said. "About an important matter. Privately."

"Hallo, Eeyore," Christopher Robin said distractedly. "Did you see a Strange and possibly Dangerous Animal in your field today?"

"No," Eeyore said. "And speaking of things I didn't see--"

"I think it's best if I go that way," Christopher Robin said, pointing, "and Pooh and Piglet, you go that way, and Eeyore, you go that way, and then we all meet up again on the other side of the Hundred Acre Wood."

Piglet brightened up considerably, even though rain dripped from both his ears and the tip of his nose. "Yes," he said, tucking his paw in Pooh's. "That will be much faster, don't you agree, Eeyore?"

"They weren't anything special," said Eeyore, "but I rather liked them."

"Liked what?" Piglet said.

"My thistles. Speaking, as I said, of things I haven't seen."

"You can see them on your way around the wood," Christopher Robin suggested.

"No, I can't." Eeyore raised a hoof to start to explain. "First, I should tell you--"

"Could you perhaps do it later?" Christopher Robin said. "Because there is a Strange Animal in the Forest, and it is very important that we find it."

"And tell the others," Piglet said, still not entirely certain about the finding.

Pooh nodded. "And then we will all know where it is." He rubbed the tip of his nose. It seemed to him that there was more to the plan, only he couldn't remember it just at the moment.

"Then we can decide what steps to take," Christopher Robin said. "Remember, we shall all meet on the other side of the wood!" And he hurried off.

"Hustle," Eeyore said morosely, "and bustle." He put his hoof down again. "That is the problem. No one thinks. No one listens."

"We have to go," Piglet said, tugging at Pooh. "But we'll see you again on the other side of the wood!"

As Piglet and Pooh started to walk down the hill, Pooh whispered, not as quietly as he thought, "Why does Eeyore have all that bark stuck to his tail?"

"Perhaps he likes it," Piglet said uncertainly.

Eeyore sighed deeply. Since there did not seem to be anything else to do, he turned around and started to go back the way he had come. The rain seemed even colder and wetter, and the mud was definitely muddier. "Hurrying," he said to himself as he walked, "and scurrying. No consideration for others."

He didn't see Owl on the way back, nor did he see the Strange and Dangerous Animal, or very much of anything except rain and mud. When Eeyore came back to his field, he hesitated. Christopher Robin had told him to meet the others on the other side of the wood. Christopher Robin had also said it was important to search everywhere. Eeyore thought that perhaps he would search the place where his thistles weren't, again, just to be sure.

He went to what used to be a thistle patch and looked very closely at it. The thistles were still missing. Eeyore could see the brambles and briars behind the spot where the thistles had been, and he realized that he could also see a gap in the briars, a gap that seemed large enough for an animal to squeeze through.

"I don't suppose it's any use searching in there," Eeyore said, walking up to the gap and poking his head in. A wet bramble poked him in the neck. "Just as I thought." He went a little further in. "Nothing here." He went a little further, and a little further, and a little further.

And suddenly he came out of the briars again into an entirely different place, a place he had never seen before. Eeyore looked around. To the left was a forest, but it didnít look at all like his forest, and to the right was a field, but it didnít look at all like his field. Straight ahead was a very peculiar large wooden structure with a distinctive smell.

"Well," Eeyore said, considering. "I believe I'll just." He started to back towards the briars. "I'll just..."

A very tall person all in black came around the corner of the wooden structure. Eeyore went very, very still.

* * *

Sometimes Granny Weatherwax kept goats, and sometimes she didn't. It all depended on whether she could sense imminent mortal peril in her future or not. You can't keep goats in a half-hearted sort of way. Goats are clever, easily bored, and always hungry. Let your attention drift (whether it's towards mortal peril or how the world looks through the eyes of a starling), and when it drifts back you'll find they've eaten your neighbor's turnips, or all the drawers you've hung out to dry3, or the roof of your house.

Goats take a lot of looking after.

Granny stepped out through the back door and stopped. There was something strange in the air. Not quite a scent, not quite a tingle. She took a deeper breath, searching, but it was gone.

This was not a morning to get distracted by anything less than imminent mortal peril. The goats needed tending. She strode briskly over to the goat shed and pushed the door open. Three pairs of yellowish eyes looked brightly at her. Granny frowned. There should have been a fourth pair slightly lower down. Peering into the gloom of the shed, she saw the narrow gap in the back wall.

Granny wasn't a person for cussing. She had other ways of making her feelings known, such as a disapproving stare that could cut diamonds. Unfortunately, goats are very nearly immune to being stared at, disapprovingly or not. The nearest one twitched its ears.

Joiner the carpenter would mend the wall for her, if he knew what was good for him.5 Meanwhile, she had a kid to catch. She closed the door to the shed and went around it and saw something small scuttling through the grass. Granny focused all her attention on it, and it stopped moving and resolved into a small grey toy donkey with rather a lot of mud and tree bark on it.

Granny stepped closer and looked down. Small sewn-on eyes of black thread did not look back, since black thread can't look.

"You're in the wrong place," she said. (Implicit in her voice was that she herself was not, had never been, and would never be in the wrong place. A place became the right place for her to be by virtue of her being there.) She picked the toy up and brushed some of the bark off it. "Can't abide slovenliness," she muttered to herself.

She tucked the toy in one capacious pocket and went around the side of the goat shed, returning a little later dragging a crude sawhorse that she used to block the gap in the wall, in case any of the other goats got any ideas. They wouldn't fit through the gap, but a goat stuck halfway through a wall was nearly as much trouble as a goat on the wrong side of it.

Then she considered the situation. There was the shed and the gap, there was the spot where she found the toy, there was a tangle of briars. And an opening, and a tuft of goat hair. Granny tightened her lips and went around the briars and considered them from the other side. She went back and got down on all fours, carefully removed her hat, and crawled a little way inside, muttered something quietly to herself and made a small gesture. A faint glow came from inside the briars.

Granny sniffed disapprovingly and backed out of the briars again, and spent ten minutes separating them from her hair and her clothes. She brushed off the front of her skirt and put her hat back on, patted the pocket where she'd tucked away the toy donkey, and set off to find what she needed.

Magrat, Queen of Lancre, was teaching her daughter to walk. "No, your right foot," she said. "Who's a precious little girl, then? One step for Mummy, one step for Daddy. No, your other right." Princess Esmerelda Margaret Note Spelling swayed and sat down on her well-padded posterior. She screwed her face up in thought, and then went with a giggle rather than a yell.

"Wa," she said consideringly.

"That's right," Magrat said in a voice of motherly encouragement. "Walk!" She picked her daughter up and dusted off the half-pound or so of good honest Lancre soil that seemed to be a near-permanent part of baby Esme's play clothes. "One step for Shawn Ogg the castle guard, one step for Shawn Ogg the butler, one step for Shawn Ogg the--"

"Wa!" Baby Esme teetered, overwhelmed by the multitude of Shawns, and seemed about to drop on her nose. A long skinny arm in a long skinny black sleeve caught her.

"I hope I finds you well, Magrat," Granny said, a little more sharply than she'd intended. "Why's the baby got brown and yellow blobs all round her smock?"

"They're crowns," Magrat said. Embroidery was still something of a challenge for her, but she was quite clear on the fact that royal babies had crowns stitched into their garments to make identification possible later, in case they were separated from their parents and raised by goatherds. Not that this was going to happen to baby Esme (Lancre didn't have that many people who could be described as goatherds, and the idea of Mr Skindle raising the royal princess was not a happy one), but tradition is tradition.

"The brown ones ain't," Granny said, peering closer.

"They're toads," Magrat said with a trace of defiance in her voice. "It's important for children to know about their roots."

Granny considered this. "Has she got a little hat with bells on, then?"

"Wa!" Baby Esme, investigating all the parts of Granny that were within her reach, had found the toy donkey in Granny's pocket and started pulling it out by the tail.

"You brought her something?" Magrat looked pleased and slightly worried at the same time. "Only she has rather a lot of toys already, Verence says he can't get the toy chest to close unless Shawn Ogg sits on it..."

"It ain't for her," Granny said, unpeeling baby Esme's fingers from around the tail one by one. "It's a--" She considered Magrat and her child. "Don't matter," she said. Baby Esme was too small. Granny knew where she'd have to go, and she didn't blanch at the thought, although it was a near thing. Baby Esme's complaints at being separated from the toy drowned out her words of farewell.

Magrat, jiggling her daughter up and down, watched a little worriedly as Granny left. "Toys? At her age?" Perhaps Granny was entering her second childhood, only Magrat wasn't quite sure she'd ever had a first one.

Granny's next stop was a comfortable-looking, tidy, snug cottage with three weathervanes on the roof and a collection of garden gnomes outside doing things that no one, made of painted ceramic or not, should be doing in public. There were two new ones since last time Granny had been by, one of them apparently made by someone who had run out of blue paint before the blue-painted trousers had run out of gnome to cover. Granny sniffed.

Smoke was rising from the chimney, and when Granny knocked and went inside, she found that Nanny Ogg was babysitting young Pewsey. Pewsey Ogg was a blob-shaped child whose main interests in life were sweets and making a loud noise when thwarted; despite that, he was just what Granny was looking for.

"Gytha," she said with a short nod, then turned towards the fireplace. "This won't take long. We'll be back before dinner."

"No, we won't," Nanny Ogg said. "And the reason we won't is, I'm not going anywhere." She settled herself more comfortably into her favorite chair. "Said I'd look after him while his mum's over in Slice helping Antimony Weaver with her baking."

"I wasn't talking to you," Granny said. She held out a hand to Pewsey, who looked at it, noticed the utter lack of a bag of sweets in it, and dug his heels into the fireside rug.

Nanny Ogg's jaw dropped. "Pewsey?" She looked from Granny to her grandson and back again. "You want to go somewhere with Pewsey." The words would barely make it out of her mouth, they were that strange.

"It won't take long," Granny repeated, catching Pewsey's sticky hand in hers.

Nanny's hand closed about Granny's wrist. "A bit longer than you're thinking," she said. "Tell me what you want the boy for, Esme."

Granny sighed. She had hoped to get through this day without too many inconvenient questions. Twisting her hand free, she took out the toy donkey and handed it to Nanny. Pewsey made a grab for it, but Nanny pushed him aside with a practiced gesture and plugged his mouth with a piece of rock candy, so that the expected yell of protest turned into a mere "Mrph mm!"

"And at your age, too," Nanny said. She held the toy right side up and upside down, twirled it around, and shook it. "Decently made, but that tail could be stuck on a bit firmer, in my opinion." Bringing the toy closer to her face, she waggled her fingers and frowned. "In the briars?"

"Behind the goat shed," Granny said. "The kid went in and this came out."

"Ah." Nanny shook the toy again to see if anything would happen. She'd heard that down in Ankh-Morpork they made fancy animal toys that made real animal noises when you shook them a bit.6 "I should fetch that goat back before it causes any trouble, if I were you. Magrat says we have to think about the, the ecolology," she added virtuously.

"I'm not leaving that goat there." Granny's lips thinned a bit. "I just need to meet the proper requirements."

"Ah." Nanny considered Granny, and looked at the toy again. "Takes a child to get through, does it?"

"Yes. So I'll just borrow Pewsey for a bit," Granny went on, reaching for the boy's hand again.

"Oh, no," Nanny said, getting out of her comfortable chair and stepping forward. "You're not taking our Pewsey off through any mifftic portals to strange lands, Esme." A broad grin spread over her face. "Not without his Nan."

A little later, the three of them set off for Granny's cottage, with the toy once more in Granny's pocket and with Pewsey Ogg's sticky hand7 firmly clasped in Nanny's.

The sawhorse was still blocking the gap in the wall, and the other goats were still three, and still inside the shed. Granny led the way around the shed and nodded at the briars. "Through there, I reckon," she said.

Nanny nodded. She patted Pewsey on the head in an encouraging fashion. "Now be a good boy for your Nan and crawl in there," she said. "You'll find a magic land and talking animals and, and things, I shouldn't wonder." Pewsey looked extremely doubtful. "Do it right and there's a sweetie in it for you."

Pewsey folded up and started crawling, and Nanny and Granny followed him.

* * *

The Forest seemed very, very quiet after the visitors had left. Eeyore had stayed in his field, because of the importance of being on guard in case they suddenly came back. He did not, however, get to borrow Christopher Robin's old mackintosh, since Christopher Robin's old mackintosh was still being worn by Owl, and Owl was at the top of one of the Six Pine Trees and wouldn't come down just yet, since he wasn't done admiring the view.

Tigger was in front of Kanga's fire, drying out and sneezing, while Roo sneezed with him to keep him company and Kanga tsked and clucked and fed him spoonfuls of Roosbreakfast for his health. Kanga had wanted to invite the visitors for tea and a little something, but somehow, no one else had seemed to think that was such a good idea.

Rabbit was busy going around to all his friends-and-relations, explaining that the danger was over and there was nothing to worry about. Pooh and Piglet were cleaning up Pooh's house; Pooh was trying his hardest to eat the bits of honey that weren't spoiled, and Piglet was trying his hardest not to get stuck in the bits that were.

Nobody knew where Christopher Robin was. The Strange and Dangerous Animal had eaten his rain hat, and one of the visitors had told him he ought to do something useful with himself before he never got old enough to need to shave, and he'd looked very thoughtful, and then he'd gone off somewhere on his own.

Eeyore had been asked to help Pooh clean up, too, but some animals were naturally good at cleaning up, such as poohs and piglets, and others, such as eeyores, were not. It was much better, he had explained to Pooh and Piglet, for Pooh to clean up his house, since it was his house, and for Eeyore to stay and be on guard in his field, since it was his field.

He watched the rain drip off the branches and thought about Life. Eeyore remembered very little between going through the gap in the briars and coming back again, but he felt certain that he preferred Life here in his rainy, muddy, miserable field to Life in other, stranger places. He tipped his head to the right and watched the rain drip off his right ear.

After a while he crossed the field and ambled closer to the spot where the visitors had left, dragging the Strange and Dangerous Animal with them. He was definitely never going into those briars again, but he thought he might have a quiet moment with what used to be his favorite thistle patch.

Eeyore went past a particularly drippy tree, and stopped and stared. He blinked the rainwater out of his eyes and stared some more. He closed his left eye and looked with his right, and then closed his right eye and looked with his left.

Big, juicy thistles grew in the spot where he'd last seen nothing but churned-up mud.

Eeyore went closer and sniffed at the thistles. He bit into the nearest one and chewed it slowly and thoughtfully.

"Well," Eeyore said to himself, considering. "The old ones were better." He took another bite. "Of course, you don't get that superior kind of thistle every day." He took a third bite. There was a small smear of honey on the thistle stalk. "After all," he said, "it isn't as if anything would be Special when it's just for Me."

Eeyore went on eating his thistles, with the rain dripping quietly from the tips of his ears.

* * *

"Well, that was fun," Nanny Ogg said, picking thorns out of her skirt. "I thought I'd wet my knickers laughing when our Pewsey chased that funny animal with the stripes and it jumped in the river to get away." She made a half-hearted effort to wipe some of the honey off Pewsey's face. "Bless him, but he does like to play with everything he finds."

Granny wrestled the kid back into the goat shed and slammed the door shut. She went around to the back and wedged the sawhorse a little more firmly in place. "I'll have to speak to Mr Joiner," she said.

"And that big bird," Nanny went on. "Didn't think he could fly that fast." She chuckled. "Bet he didn't know either. I still think there'd be good eating on a bird like that if you could catch it."

"It's just stuffed with cotton," Granny said. "And it talks back."

"The legs were a bit small," Nanny conceded. "You can't really get a good drumstick off something like that. Mind you," she added, "I did like that Kanga, there's an animal that has her tail screwed on straight."

Granny sniffed. "You can't really trust foreigners," she said. "Partic'larly not when they're foreign and from other dimensions at the same time."

Nanny stopped trying to wipe Pewsey clean, since all she was doing was spreading the stickiness in a thinner layer over a bigger surface, and straightened up. She knew that tone of voice. "You're right, Esme," she said meekly. "Terrible things, those foreign dimensions." She looked cautiously at Granny. "I noticed you had a bit of a talk with that boy before we left."

Granny didn't answer. She was busy checking the beehives to see that the bees weren't about to try to drag Pewsey inside and store him for later. Then she adjusted her hat. "Well. I can't be having with this. I'm off to talk to Mr Joiner," she said. "You could try giving Pewsey a wash in the rain butt."

She set off briskly. A person who followed her and listened very, very carefully might have heard, as she started down the path towards Slice, "It's terrible what some people do to their children."

And later still, as she was deep inside the woods, "Hippety-hippety-hop, indeed."




1 And well before the invention of the helicopter. Leonard of Quirm had sketched something on the back of a napkin that might have been a prototype, but on the other hand, might not. 2

2 When he found it again a week later, he rather thought it was a new kind of windmill, or possibly a dandelion in an oddly shaped vase.

3 Not that Granny ever hung any drawers out to dry. If anyone had been bold enough to consider the question of Granny Weatherwax and drawers, they would probably have conceded that she wore... something, and they would have agreed quite vehemently that certainly she washed her... something regularly, but the question about how the something went from wet to dry would have been met with a blank stare. Witches have their little ways. Certainly no garments of a delicate nature were ever hung out to dry by Granny's cottage, much to the disappointment of the goats.4

4 Old Mr Porter was very upset about his turnips, though.

5 More vegetable fiber in his diet, according to Magrat. A little bit of what he fancied, according to Nanny Ogg. Doing what a witch told him to, according to Granny Weatherwax.

6 Of course, so did actual animals, but very few people go around shaking real bears just to hear the sounds they make.

7 The left one. The right was even stickier.

* * *

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