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Kapitel 35


“Say, are we to eat grass now?” Flecki protested loudly.
“Isn’t that bad”, Goldi replied, chewing, and pointed at the hut of Fraser McPomm. “Over there will be the supply station.”

In the meantime chief engineer Botchy had examined the surroundings and decided that it was too wet and muddy for a party. They mayor tried to climb a small mound to hold a speech to the hamster population but gave up after several glissades. By now Taty, Tuffy, and Tealeafy were approaching the wooden hut, closely followed by Goldi, Dodo, and Trample. They looked about them cautiously. There were three windows and a door - the door shut, the windows too high up for hamsters. Chief Botchy now joined them and checked the timber of the outer walls.

“What a pity that we don’t have a plunger”, he whispered.

ein Pümpel

“Why would we need a plunger?” Tealeafy wondered.
“Because we always do it like that”, Botchy replied.

Then he continued his expertly check of the hut until suddenly he paused and kicked the wall. The wood crumbled away and he shouted:
“I need a fat, strong hamster!”

Dodo came closer.

“Come on”, chief Botchy urged him on. “Run against the wall - and again - and again!”

Many hours and bruises later Dodo had made it: a small piece of the wall had splintered off. One hamster after the other scrambled into the hut. It was dark by now and they looked about them. Beside an ancient iron stove stood a bed, and someone was snoring there loudly. Beside the bed stood a rifle and beside the rifle a big box with ammunition. The opposite side held a table, packed with leftovers of any number of meals and further ammunition. A neighbouring wardrobe made the hamsters curious. They pushed and pulled at the door until it opened with a squeal.

“Socks with tartan design”, Flecki exclaimed with delight. “We’ll make modish cloaks of them and hold Hamster-Highland-Games!” Happily Taty, Tuffy, and Tealeafy joined her and set to work.

Their friends had found a box with groceries in the meantime and prepared their dinner. It was not much but they all thought it would be enough to have a party.

Goldi and chief Botchy examined the ammunition because, as Goldi explained, a good party needs good fireworks. Chief engineer Botchy had some scruples concerning the Hamstian Regulations on Ammunition. He did not know this kind of ammunition, but Goldi convinced him that one cartridge was like the other and so they set to work. A knife was lying under the bed and it fitted their purpose perfectly. The cartridges were cut open expertly and the gunpowder distributed on the floor. Trample got the order to collect cups and glasses into which the gunpowder could be filled. Chief Botchy checked again on all safety regulations.

“The ammunition boxes are too close to the firecrackers”, he told Goldi and Dodo. “Take the ammunition somewhere else!”
“No problem”, Goldi said. “Shall we put the boxes onto the round table in the corner?”
“Yes”, chief Botchy said and checked the old stove, “this iron table is incombustible, nothing can happen there.”

Flecki, Tealeafy, Taty, and Tuffy had made charming cloaks out of the socks and handed them to the others. The hamsters were delighted and the party could start. Meals were served in little cardboard boxes. The mayor placed himself in front of them and said: “Dear hamster-friends, I am happy to open this banquet and would like to take the opportunity…”

This was all he could say for after the word ‘banquet’ everybody fell over the food and the mayor was knocked over. He pulled himself up with a groan and escaped into safety from the hungry mob. Noisy champing was audible everywhere and somebody shouted:
“What about music? Dodo, go to open and close that wardrobe door!”

Dodo quickly stuffed himself with some more food, hurried to the wardrobe and moved the door back and forth. It made a horribly squeaking noise, but the hamsters cheerfully started a dance contest. Goldi now saw it fit to start the fireworks. With some matches, which he found beside the stove, he lit the gunpowder in the cups and glasses. He stepped back quickly and together with his friends watched admiringly how the powder changed to flames with a whoosh.

It was this moment Fraser McPomm chose to wake up. Still a little befuddled from his sleep he turned around. There his socks were dancing on the table and sparks sprayed from the floor! Yelling loudly, he hopped out of the bed and his naked feet landed right in Goldi’s fireworks. It was the hell of a pain and he staggered across the room. Completely dazed, he embraced to the hot stove, which tumbled down with a crash and set the ammunition on fire. All around him it banged, missiles swished past him, he saw wardrobe doors opening and closing, dancing little animals on the floor and dancing socks on the table. In despair he shook his head, held his hands to his eyes and squinted through his fingers. But they still were there, all those terrifying things! Then a missile touched the tip of his nose and Fraser McPomm lost his nerves. Shrieking, he darted out of the door and ran for his life.