Aloof, Aloft

Mr. Beaver stood at his penthouse window and stirred his brandy with a lonely claw, watching the animals below mingle like ants among the fallen trees. He sighed to himself, whiskers twitching to the beat of Carmina Burana on the gramophone, a mashed cigar in an ashtray on his desk.

He blinked as a tinny voice came through the wall-tube. “Call waiting on line one, sir,” the vole on the other end said. He could tell she was chewing gum, and it irritated him.

“Thank you,” he said, and marched over to the spyglass, angling it so he could see who was waiting at the call station outside, on the ground. A worried-looking hare stood tapping the phone.

He plucked the acorn from its holster under the LINE ONE plaque and twirled its line absentmindedly, putting it to his face. “Mr. Beaver speaking.”

“Hello sir, Chris Hare, operator at Acre B12, sir.” The voice was hesitant, and he could tell something was about to ruin his day. “We have an accident at the Oak Run property, and I think you should take a look.”

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