Note: I don't own Calvin and Hobbes or Scooby Doo
THE FRIEND EXCHANGE
Spaceman Spiff was being chased by ruthless pirates. He ran through the crater-covered
landscape, turning only briefly to fire his gun before running again from the massive letter guns
being fired at him. Letters were flying at him from everywhere.
"I must hide behind this rock until I'm free from those pirates," he said as he ducked for cover.
After a moment, he thought the coast was clear. He leaped up, and began walking toward his
"Oh, no! They're using stealth technology now! The fiends!" Spiff hollered as he fled from a
flurry of "e"s being fired at him. Unlike the other guns, these were quiet.
Spaceman Spiff raced through the volcanic landscape of Spellarcus Five. He had to get to his
spaceship in time. However, the land kept trembling. The volcanoes kept spewing forth hot,
molten lava. He glanced in horror behind him, knowing that one would erupt any second.
Zounds! He'd taken a wrong turn! He was miles from his ship. And, in front of him was an
enormous mountain that instantly blew its top!
"Yikes! Spaceman Spiff is about to be overcome by moon-sized piles of ash in the form of
gigantic I's and E's!" Spiff hollered, as enormous letters came gushing out of the mountain,
drowning everything in sight.
Calvin's mom jostled him awake. "Calvin, wake up, you're going to miss the school bus if you
just stay there sleeping," she said. "You've got your test today."
Calvin moaned, rubbed his eyes, and looked his faithful stuffed tiger. Faithful? Ha! he said to
himself. "Just look at you!"
"Can't a tiger get any beauty sleep," Hobbes growled as he glared over his shoulder at Calvin.
Calvin ripped off the covers. "Listen, furbrain, I had a nightmare and you didn't do anything
"So? Tigers need their sleep, too, you know."
" Tigers need their sleep, you know.' Oh, that's rich. Just like tigers need to bury themselves
under the sheets when they see something drooling under the bed," Calvin harumphed, folding his
"You were glad I was there to keep you company, admit it," Hobbes retorted.
"I would have been a lot happier if you had used that super tiger pouncing ability to catch
whatever that was. You're ten times more of a scared-y cat than Scooby Doo ever was, and he
was scared of people just acting like ghouls, for goodness sakes. He never even fought real ones.
Well, except in the later ones, but even then, I don't remember you ever chasing a monster away.
And you call yourself a tiger. Sheesh!" he said.
Calvin's mom poked her head back into Calvin's room as his dad picked up his briefcase.
"Well, he's awake," Calvin's dad said.
"Yes, but I've never heard of someone revving themselves up for a spelling test in quite this
way before," she commented. Of course, what did she expect from her ultra-strange son, who
had recently begun second grade.
Calvin was furious by the time his mom marched him out to the bus stop. He stood next to
Suzie Derkins, the girl next door, with a dour face. "Go away," he muttered.
"I was just going to ask if you were ready for the big spelling test," Suzie said cheerfully.
"Are you kidding? I know all about that I before C except after E. Not to mention the silent
e's that threaten to take over the world unless somebody can force them to make a sound."
Calvin began to pump his fist in the air. "And, by golly, Spaceman Spiff, the fearless explorer, has
ways of making even the most silent of e's talk! And he will. No e is going to be able to keep
silent while Spiff is on duty."
Suzie shook her head at Calvin's weirdness and muttered, "Another D-minus for him."
Calvin continued, unabated. "No, that's not the problem. My stupid tiger couldn't keep a
nightmare monster away if it was crawling along the wall disguised as an ant. He cowers under
the sheets when something under my bed is drooling. And, when I do get a nightmare, he sleeps
right through it," he complained bitterly.
Suzie smiled. Calvin was by far the weirdest boy in her class. However, she always loved
helping people. And, she thought that perhaps if she helped Calvin, he might start being nicer to
"You know, Calvin, sometimes that's a good way to look at it. Pretend those monsters are
really little. Or, look at it this way. Maybe they're as scared of you as you are of them," she
"Oh, puh-leeeease. Where did you get THAT idea?"
"Mr. Bun. I haven't had a nightmare since before I started Kindergarten, thanks to him. I
don't even have nightmares after you show me what's in your lunch box; and believe me, some of
it's so gross I can't stand it."
Calvin looked at her oddly. "Mr. Bun?"
"Sure. That's his job. I don't tell anyone this. But, I can tell that maybe you could use some
help. And, I guess..." She cleared her throat. "I guess Hobbes' could, too."
"You can say that again. He needs lots of courage. I'm the only one he ever pounces on,"
Calvin said with disgust.
"I'll teach Hobbes after school today," Suzie said before she realized it. She sighted. Who was
she trying to kid? Calvin would never agree to that, would he?
Maybe he would. Calvin was thinking it over. If Hobbes got into Suzie's house, not only
might he learn to be more brave, but he could read Suzie's entire diary. He'd done it before, after
all. "You would teach Hobbes courage?"
"Of course. As long as you promise to be nicer to me," Suzie declared.
Calvin sighed. He fretted as the bus pulled up. He didn't want to make this trade. But, not
only could Hobbes do some snooping, Calvin could pull a trick with Mr. Bun. He could promise
to be nicer, and Suzie would teach Hobbes. Girls were sometimes gullible that way. Then, once
Suzie got Mr. Bun back, she couldn't un-teach Hobbes. Plus, maybe Mr. Bun would help him.
No, that was going too far. But, it did sound like a neat idea. There were too many good
points to the plan. "Okay, it's a deal," Calvin said as they boarded the bus. "As long as you teach
him by tonight."
"It's as good as done," Suzie promised.
After Calvin arrived home from school, he went up to his room. "This meeting of Get Rid Of
Slimy girlS will now come to order," he spoke hurriedly.
"What?" cried Hobbes on Calvin's bed. "We're not in our treehouse. We don't even have our
"No time for that, Hobbes. Just say Yes.'"
"I'm not saying yes' just because you told me to say yes.'"
"Great, thanks for volunteering. Spy work is very dangerous, after all."
"But I didn't say yes'...well, okay, maybe I did, but you tricked me," Hobbes said. It took
him a minute to grasp what else Calvin had said. "Wait a minute. Spy work?" Hobbes scratched
his head. "Why do I have a feeling something very bad is about to happen?"
"That's just it," Calvin shouted, still upset over his dream the previous night. "You just let me
have nightmares while you sleep through them. I've got our weekly gym class tomorrow, and of
course I'm scared of Moe, you know. And not only can't you think of any clever ways to stop
him, you can't even fight those fiends on Spellarcus Five."
"Well, listen, don't worry. I've got just the thing. You're going to Courage Camp," Calvin
"What's Courage Camp?"
"That's where you learn about courage, of course! Except, you need to find time to sneak
over and read Suzie's entire diary. And, find any other stunts we can pull together, too," Calvin
emphasized. "Understood? Good, you report to Suzie's house in ten minutes."
Ten minutes later, Calvin and Suzie met on the sidewalk between their houses. "Thanks for
letting me have Hobbes," Suzie said pleasantly. She took the tiger while handing Calvin her
stuffed bunny, Mr. Bun.
Suzie instantly began singing. "Hobbes-y Dooby Doo, where are you. We've got some work
to do now," Suzie sang merrily. Calvin slapped his forehead and gritted his teeth. "Hobbes-y
Dooby Doo, where are you? We need some help from you now."
"What on EARTH is that you're singing?!" Calvin shouted. "If it can be called singing.
Hobbes, do something about that...that...noise!"
"I happen to think it's a cute song," Hobbes said.
Suzie walked away with Hobbes, singing sweetly as she neared her house. "Oh, by the way,
does Hobbes like Hobbes-y snacks?"
"Hobbes-y snacks?!? Why you...you..." Smoke seemed to come out of Calvin's ears as he
glared at the smirking girl as she entered her house. Why could he never think of a clever
comment when it counted? He would have one around 8:30 tonight, but what good would that
Mr. Bun spoke in a voice that sounded like a cross between Jiminy Cricket and Mary Poppins.
It made Calvin wince and squirm in annoyance. "Tut tut, come now, let's go home and see what
we can do about these dreams you're having, ol' boy."
Calvin put his hands on his hips. "Hobbes-y, in-DEED," he shouted before looking at the
bunny. "You scare nightmare monsters away? You sound like you should be one yourself
you...you...oh, I don't know what to call you!" Calvin picked the rabbit up by an ear and walked
into his own house. "I should have figured you'd be a typical girl's toy. I was hoping at least
you'd be Bugs Bunny."
Suzie turned to Hobbes. "Well, Hobbes, I guess he talks that way with everyone. Let's do
something to build your courage."
That evening, after supper, Calvin got out a series of magic markers. "All right, Mr. Bun, let's
get to work."
"I say, ol' boy, I don't know what that look on your face is supposed to mean," Mr. Bun said.
"But, I do wish you would calm down. Hey. Suzie will not like this," Mr. Bun said as Calvin
began to color on him.
"You and your endless nicey-niceness. It's time Suzie got a real stuffed animal." Calvin
finished drawing razor sharp teeth and fangs on Mr. Bun. He then gave Mr. Bun fierce, scowling
eyebrows, and drew red and orange coming out of his nose, as if Mr. Bun were breathing fire.
"There! From now on, you shall no longer be Mr. Bun. Instead you shall be The Rabbit of
"The what?" Mr. Bun looked in a mirror. "AUGH! What have you done?"
"He looks to everyone like just an innocent little bunny rabbit," Calvin said creepily.
"I dare say that Suzie is right. You are mad. Quite mad, I tell you!" came Mr. Bun.
Calvin was unfazed. He pretended to get his arm stuck in Mr. Bun's mouth as he narrated a
story. "The doting mother of two encouraged her children. Come hewe and pet the nice widdle
bunny wab...AAAAUUUGGGHHH!!!! It's got me,' she cried. Suddenly, the rabbit went in
search of more victims. Pandemonium filed the streets! Everyone ran and screamed in total
horror because of the Rabbit of DEATH! Nobody could stop him from terrorizing the entire
"Oh, dear," Mr. Bun muttered wearily, "I do hope my friend Suzie can at least teach Hobbes
some manners. Maybe he can help this poor fellow."
"Cute little girls like Suzie will no longer be able to have their nice little tea parties with bunny
rabbits any more," Calvin declared. "Because they will forever be in fear of The Rabbit of
Calvin sighed. "I hope Hobbes it doing a good job of spy..." He looked at Mr. Bun. "...Er,
spying out different ways to stop those goons." It would be just like this rabbit to snitch, he told
Meanwhile, at Suzie house...
Suzie smiled at Hobbes. She knew the concept was probably totally lost on Hobbes. "I love
these tapes. You see, it's just a matter of believing in yourself, but knowing there's someone else
whose bigger to help you." She smiled. If she couldn't hang out with Mr. Bun, she could at least
pretend Hobbes was her friend.
She decided to call Calvin. "I'll have to tell Calvin how much progress we've made. He's
sure to be nicer to me when he sees the results. Plus, I should say hello' to Mr. Bun."
Calvin's mother poked her head into the room. "Calvin, Suzie's on the phone. Don't talk too
long, you've got an hour till bath time, and you need some time to do your homework."
Calvin raced downstairs. He wanted to surprise Suzie with the changes he'd made to Mr. Bun
- the look on her face would be priceless. "Hey, Suzie, how is Hobbes doing?"
"Just fine. We're about to watch a VeggieTales video."
"What? You like hearing vegetables tell you stories? Sounds like something a girl would
like," Calvin scoffed.
"Boys love it, too," Suzie said decisively. "You should watch one once. You might learn
something. I love them."
"Well, watching would be better than eating vegetables," Calvin confessed.
Suzie asked, "So, can I talk to Mr. Bun?"
"Are you kidding? He's involved in a top secret experiment that's so high-level, only the
President and a few select advisors know about it," Calvin alibied.
Suzie was dumbfounded for a moment. Then, she decided that that was just Calvin's way of
having him root out nightmare monsters. "Ooooookay. Well, Hobbes is ready, so do you want
to meet in half an hour to get him back? I can promise you Hobbes will have the courage of a
"Really? Great. There's no way you can un-teach him, right?"
"Of course not, silly. It's all in the mind. He just needed to learn to think positively. He
needed to hear that he will do it, not just that he might." She began singing again. "Hobbes-y
Dooby Doo, here are you. You're ready and you're willing. See?"
"ARGH," Calvin said, gritting his teeth.
"If we can count on you, Hobbes-y Doo, I know we'll catch that villain."
"Stop singing that song," Calvin ordered.
Suzie smirked. She'd had enough fun with Calvin. Now, she needed to explain something.
"Mom won't let me watch any but the oldest of the Scooby Doo mysteries. She says the other
stuff's too spooky. But, the old ones didn't have real ghosts and things because there's no such
thing. It was always people pretending to be ghosts and stuff."
"Look, I don't want to hear any more about Scooby Doo or that awful parody you've been
singing," Calvin declared, pounding his fist.
"Okay," Suzie said graciously. "But, Hobbes and I watched some other videos, too. Your
tiger is now a proud, honorary member of the Olsen and Olsen Mystery Agency. And, when you
get him back, you can be sure he'll solve any crime by dinner time."
Calvin hung up abruptly. He couldn't stand it anymore! "What is it with girls?" he asked the
ceiling as he trudged upstairs. He entered his room, and sat on his bed when he felt a tune going
through his head.
"Hobbes-y Dooby Doo, where are you. We've..." Calvin began singing. Instantly, his cheeks
turned purple with rage as that song went through his mind. He clutched his right shoe and
gritted his teeth in frustration, and screamed. No matter what he did, though, he couldn't get that
annoying song out of his head.
Several minutes later, Calvin's mom charged upstairs and looked into his room. She shouted,
"CALVIN, TURN DOWN THAT RADIO, IT'S SO LOUD IT'S SHAKING THE HOUSE!
AND DON'T THROW YOUR SHOES OUT ONTO THE LAWN AGAIN" Once Calvin had
turned down the music, his mom turned to his dad and whispered, "What is that kid going to be
like when he's a teenager?"
Calvin muttered to Mr. Bun, "Well, at least I drowned out that song."
Half an hour later, as the sun was beginning to get low in the sky, Calvin explained that he had
to ask Suzie for help with homework. "It's with, well, it's like a map...so I have to see...well, you
Calvin's dad smiled knowingly. "Oh, that's quite all right. Don't stay too long." He smirked
at his wife as Calvin ran off to Suzie's with Mr. Bun tucked under his shirt. "Isn't that cute. I
always thought he kind of liked Suzie."
His mom nodded. "I hope he's learned being mean isn't going to get him noticed."
"Calvin, I have Hobbes all ready for you," Suzie said as they met between houses.
"Cool, thanks. I helped you with Mr. Bun, too," Calvin said, holding the rabbit behind his
"Really?" Suzie suddenly felt a great dread coming over her.
"Yep. You don't have a plain old cute little bunny anymore." He held out Mr. Bun. Suzie
shrieked as Calvin said, "Now, you have the ferocious Rabbit of DEATH."
"What have you done with Mr. Bun," Suzie screamed, with tears in her eyes as she observed
the various markings on Mr. Bun's face.
Calvin smiled gleefully. "Now, he'll really be a cool crime fighter."
"Calvin, how could you do that? I would never do anything like that to Hobbes," Suzie
wailed. "I took the time to play along with you to help you, and you just ruined Mr. Bun! If
that's the way you treat friends, it's no wonder you don't have any!" Suzie cried as she ran away.
Calvin sighed as he watched her storm into her house. "Do you think it was that bad,
Hobbes?" Calvin asked.
"Well, I certainly would have hated it if she'd put me in a dress and turned me into Miss
Tiger," Hobbes said. Calvin began to look sadder and sadder. "I mean, can you imagine a tiger
in a tutu dancing ballet? Or riding down the street in a doll carriage, being told to say goo goo'
all the time? I'd have gone insane if she had tried that with me."
"Yeah, I guess you're right. Come on, Hobbes." Calvin sighed after a minute. "Let's go talk
Mrs. Derkins showed Calvin up to Suzie's room. Calvin noticed a fancy four-poster bed with
a pink covering over the top. "Wow, Suzie really could have turned you into a wuss."
"That's why I snuck out and stayed in her dad's stuff when she wasn't with me," Hobbes said.
After several minutes, Suzie came out of the bathroom. Calvin could tell her eyes were red.
"Suzie, look...I'm sorry for what I did. I know you did something really nice for me," Calvin
muttered. "And, I wouldn't have wanted you to turn Hobbes into a wimp."
Suzie sniffled. "Thanks. My mom said she would be able to get the markings out." She
looked Calvin in the eye. "Never do anything like that again though," she tried to order, though
her voice was quite meek. "I would never hurt Hobbes. You act...well, really strange with each
other, compared to Mr. Bun and me. You talk about...well, you even talk to Hobbes at times
when Mr. Bun would just be sitting there to me. With Mr. Bun, our relationship is much more
private. But, I know Hobbes is still your friend."
A tear welled up in Calvin's eyes. This was the first time anyone else had ever acknowledged
Hobbes as being real. "You...you really mean it?"
"Of course I do. I read this great book called The Velveteen Rabbit once. It talks about how
some toys, but very few, just come to life. Hobbes should be on tranquilizers. But, he's come to
life for you. He's your friend. Just like Mr. Bun is for me. And, I'd like you to start being
friendly to me, too." She thought for a minute, and held up her hand. "Okay, not the way you are
to Hobbes. I don't want that much craziness in my life."
Calvin stopped short of being willing to be Suzie's friend. "Wait a minute - is this all a plot
to give me cooties?"
"Calvin, I'm trying to be nice here," Suzie insisted.
"Okay, okay. Well, since you accept Hobbes as being real, you should know that while you
were eating or whatever, he was reading your diary," Calvin said smugly.
Suzie shook her head and folded her arms. "Do you expect me to believe that?" She smirked.
"Okay, what did I write this evening?"
Calvin smiled. He'd found the key and unlocked Suzie's diary while she was in the bathroom
today. "You wrote that you pictured me as some hideous monster in the body of a boy."
Suzie blushed for a moment. She knew that was a bad way to start a friendship. A sudden
look of recognition dawned on her, though. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean...hey!"
"Oh, don't worry, I take that as a compliment," Calvin assured her.
"You were reading my diary just now, weren't you?" Suzie shouted.
"I swear, it was Hobbes who read it all. Hey, don't hit me with that pillow, it's probably got
cooties on it," Calvin exclaimed. "Ow! I thought you said Hobbes was real."
"He may be your friend," Suzie said, chasing him and Hobbes outside with the pillow, "but
you're the one I'm blaming for it. And you can take it up with him later." She angrily heaved the
pillow at Calvin as he and Hobbes ran toward their front porch.
"Ow!" He rubbed his head and looked back. "Wow, she's got a good arm."
Hobbes nodded. "She's not the only one." Calvin looked strangely at him. "Those were your
shoes on the front lawn, right?" Calvin nodded. "I'm not even going to ask."
Calvin walked inside with Hobbes. "So, how did the scouting trip go?"
"I don't know if I should tell you. If you're going to leak information like that, maybe it's too
dangerous to let you know," Hobbes said.
Calvin held up his hands. "Okay, I promise. I won't let Suzie know I know anything else in
"Good. Because, since she knows I'm real now, she could come after me next," Hobbes
"What? You mean you'd be afraid of a girl? She didn't teach you anything at all, did she?
Except some dumb parody!"
Hobbes shook his head. "That not true at all. She had ways that were...how shall I say it?
Rather strange. But, I learned we can work together to fight those monsters. Because, it is all in
your mind. And, as she wrote in an earlier entry, you've got some of the strangest things in your
mind that mankind has ever invented. Let's put some of those to use tonight."
"You said it, Hobbes. Welcome back." They shook hands.
Calvin woke that night at 4 AM. "Hobbes," he whispered.
What, you had another nightmare?"
"No, Spaceman Spiff and his trusty assistant, Hobbesolo, are great at keeping them at bay.
But, I hear something under the bed."
Hobbes rolled his eyes. "Well, invite it into bed. It's probably scared of the dark, too. You
can comfort each other."
"Hobbes!" Calvin whispered, glaring. With that, Hobbes took a pen, went "doot doot doot,"
and made some other strange noises. "What are you doing?"
"Programming my Plutonium filled, extra-dimensional hyper warp tranquilizer. I just shoot it
with this, and it shrinks to the size of a flea, which I can easily scratch off if it gets on me," he
explained as he got off the bed and began making laser noises. "All done. If you have any more,
just let me know."
Calvin's eyes grew wide. "By golly, Hobbes," he said, impressed. "You DID learn stuff at
Suzie's. Not that I'll ever let her know."
"But of course."
Calvin was very impressed until Hobbes started speaking again. "I'll stop any ghoul by time
for school. I'll stop ogres fast, so they'll never last. I'll shoot monsters dead, right in the head.
Calvin clobbered him with a pillow. "Shut up, and go to sleep," he insisted.