Issue 1

"Some Don't Like it Hot"

In the midst of summer, the sun beat down relentlessly, the animals were close to fainting in the woods, which themselves seemed about ready to wilt under the hot summer sun, but no one could have boasted more misery over the heat than a certain white mink with long, golden tresses and a tail to match, mostly because in all the forest, there wasn't a single soul quite so talented at boasting as Minerva Mink.

Of course, at the time, it was too hot to boast, particularly inside her log house. Despite the ventilation her stylishly-clad windows offered, it did next to nothing for the comfort factor.

Where another day, Minerva might happily dance, purchase some new item to decorate the home or her clothes closets, or sing a lovely tune, on that day, it was simply too hot. Even the birds had held off on the singing, although no number of degrees Fahrenheit could save the male animals of the forest from the rush of heat to their faces, the moment they saw her leave her house. The sight of that gorgeous mink, even at her worst; hot, disheveled, and dripping wet with a combination of pond water and sweat, sent any male animals, regardless of species or age, into fits, but on that day, no animals took off like rockets, transformed into anything unnatural, or hit themselves with large hammers. It was too hot. One lizard's tongue fell from its mouth, forming into a large pile at its feet, that needed to be gathered later, while a bird blushed so hard its beak fell off, and its wife was too hot to punish it. Finally, the eyes of a frog expanded to several dozen times their already-enormous size, weighing down the lily pad it was sitting on, which actually helped it to cool off a bit.

Panting hard with every torturous step, Minerva managed to half-crawl to the pond's edge and drag herself in, having not bothered to take off her bathing suit all day. It was, after all, the fourth dip she'd taken on that day alone, and the good it was doing was only marginal.

Still, while she was in the water, she at least had the energy to speak again.

"Oh, if only there were an easier way to escape this awful heat; some wonderful, refreshing thing to cool me off on a day like today. Fur as amazing as mine has to be taken care of. This is cruel and harsh treatment."

Meanwhile, in the bushes near the pond, the bloodhound named Newt, whose duty it was to capture minks for his master, heard her pleas and snickered to himself.

"This is it." he thought, "The chance to ensnare that sneaky mink once and for all. I just need to bait my trap with something cold and watch from a distance, so she can't mesmerize me with that unnatural charm of hers."

Moving quickly, Newt set up and baited his mink trap, placing the small cage with the drop-down lid right between the pond and Minerva's house, where she wouldn't miss it. Indeed, as Minerva stepped carefully and reluctantly from the water moments later, she couldn't help but spy the cage with the small dish of ice cream inside, but the look in her eyes was far from enthusiastic over the discovery.

"No rest for the heated, I guess." she muttered to herself, making a show of looking into the cage.

"Oh, too bad." she muttered in as soft a coo as she could manage, "Ice cream is so bad for you. I was really in such a lemonade mood. Well, I guess I'll have to go make some..."

At that moment, however, Newt couldn't stand it, and leapt from the bushes, his eyes practically on fire with the poorly-disguised look of a dog enamored.

"No, no!" he screamed, "Don't go away! Lemonade it is!"

Minerva felt like chuckling, despite the heat, as Newt fled with the speed and noise of a race car to the nearest store, purchased basic ingredients, mixed them together and was back within seconds, holding the glass of lemonade out for the wonderful mink who, despite her discomfort, smiled as she looked him directly in the eyes.

"Oh, thank you." she cooed, taking the glass from his hand and tickling him delicately with her tail, as she returned to her house and closed the door. The bloodhound literally melted at that moment, and unfortunately for him, just enough of him wound up in the cage that the door closed on his tail. By the time he was solid again, his poor, stuck tail was in terrible pain, and for several minutes, he could be seen from outside Minerva's living room window as he ran back and forth, barking and howling, trying desperately to get unstuck, while Minerva calmly sipped her lemonade.

After only a short time, however, she turned away from the window, and her expression became a more sarcastic one.

"Well, it's hot." she said, "He probably would have melted either way."

After finishing her lemonade, which was surprisingly good, Minerva was feeling hot again, and took a shower, or rather, she was about to take a shower, but the water wouldn't go on.

"Darn." she muttered, "I'll have to call a plumber now."

Meanwhile, outside, Newt snickered, putting away the wrench he'd used to disconnect the water lines to her log house. Without running water, it would only be a matter of time before she left the house for another dip in the pond, and he had a plan all lined up, consisting of a mink-net, well hidden under her doormat, that would rise up and trap her the moment she stepped on it. Chuckling over his brilliant plan, Newt listened as Minerva called the plumber, who probably wouldn't be there for hours.

"She'll have to leave the house before he gets here." he thought with a mischievous grin, before he began to realize that he himself was feeling very thirsty.

"Must have been all that running." he realized, "Plus, this terrible heat. Well, at least I came prepared."

Quickly, Newt pulled a bottle of spring water from its place inside his fur, and held it up to drink it, when he felt it snatched from his hand.

"Oh, Roland Rivers! My favorite!" exclaimed Minerva, leaning out of the window overlooking Newt's position next to the house. Swiftly, she took a big drink from the bottle, and put it on the counter next to her, then reached out the window again, embracing Newt in a big hug.

"That was so thoughtful of you!" she exclaimed, "You heard my water was broken and came by with this just for me, didn't you? Thank you so much!"

A moment later, Minerva let go, and Newt could feel himself starting to crumble to pieces as the flood of intense emotional attraction overwhelmed him. Regardless of the heat, and the fact that he was still very thirsty, the hug had been too much! Newt's heart extended outward from the rest of his chest several feet, making sounds like a bass drum as his eyes transformed into heart-shaped pink shapes, and a cascade of chalky valentine hearts flew from his mouth, to land on the ground. Then, with a rush of passionate semi-dialogue ("Babybabyyesyesyes! You're wel-ohwow! Gottayes!" You get the idea), he rushed to the front door and opened both arms wide...

"He had to run away, I suppose." Minerva muttered to herself as she stood directly underneath Newt, who was suspended just above her door frame in his own mink net, "He's gotta be a very busy guy; probably already anticipating my next need. Well, he'll come back sometime, I guess." She looked back and forth a few times before slamming the door shut, which resulted in the door's top smacking Newt in the face on the way back.

The clear, refreshing water had been just what Minerva had needed, both for her throat and for her fur, but she knew she had to come up with a better way to stay cool in the hot summer days to come, because there would certainly be more.

"I don't think my coat's natural, flowing shape would survive another day like this." she thought aloud, "Why, I might even start getting split ends."

Newt, having gotten free of his mink net by that time, was listening in on her again, as she talked to herself, and had another brilliant idea. Swiftly pulling out a piece of paper and colored pencil, he began drawing and chuckling to himself as he muttered "Yes. This is it! This way, I can get that Mink, and she can't do a thing about it!"

Before long, Newt was finished, and reaching into her window, put the drawing on her counter, then stifled more chuckles as the sun started to go down.

"Huh? What's this?" he heard Minerva ask from inside the house, as she picked up the picture he'd drawn, "'World's strongest air conditioners; cool your whole home in just seconds.' Oh, wow! This is just what I need. Now, what was that number?"

Newt allowed himself another chuckle as he pulled out his phone, listening to Minerva dial.

"Don't worry." Minerva whispered as she dialed, "I know who it really is."

"Hello?" Newt replied into his cell as Minerva finished dialing, doing his best impression of an elderly woman, "Rapid Air Conditioners. Would you like one of our super-strong air conditioners?"

"Oh, yes, please." Minerva replied with a wink, "It's still much too hot."

"Okay." Newt replied in his faux-elderly receptionist voice, "We'll have one sent over right away. Thank you."

Chuckling again, Newt pulled out his newest invention; the super freezer.

"With this in her window, she'll be frozen solid in seconds." he boasted to himself as he crammed the bulky machine into the window.

"Oh!" he heard her say in surprise from inside, "That really WAS rapid. Everyone aught to respond to stunningly beautiful minks that fast. Wonder where that plumber is. Come to think of it..."

Suddenly, from inside, there was a loud sound of rattling and spraying, as if a machine were being jostled, and in moments, Newt could hear Minerva's footsteps, first inside the house, then... outside?

"Oh, there you are!" Minerva exclaimed, "You were so nice, giving me those refreshments earlier. I thought I should let you know I just got some excellent air conditioning, so if you want, you can come in for a few minutes to... uh-oh."

"Oh! I must have left my keys inside." Minerva seemed to realize in disappointment, "Would you mind climbing in the window and..."

Newt's eyes, however, had grown to ten times their previous size, and his tongue had been lying on the ground as she came closer and closer, but as soon as she made even half of her request, Newt lost control completely.

"Yes!" Newt exclaimed "Yesyesyes! Sure!"

With that, Newt yanked the super freezer out of the window, and was immediately hit by a cloud of freezing chemicals, and frozen solid as the super-freezer fell to the ground and shattered to pieces.

"Geek." Minerva muttered as she pulled her keys from her pocket, and opened her front door, stepping back into her house, which was no longer freezing.

"Still, an air conditioner isn't a bad idea." Minerva thought aloud as she brushed leftover frost from her couch, "But where's that plumber, I wonder?"

"Uh, somebody call for a plumber?" came a voice from the front door that Minerva had left open. Turning to find the owner of the voice, Minerva spoke in irritation at first...

"Well, it's about time you got hee-eee-eehaWOW!"

The plumber standing before her was a tall, muscular bobcat with long, broad features and well-styled hair. The cooler air of Minerva's house at last made it possible for her to react to such an enticing sight.

First Minerva's legs flew into the air and spun like propeller blades, rocketing her up to the ceiling, from which she descended like a feather towards the plumber, who spread his arms to keep from catching her in irritation. Then, she was up again, in several new forms. First a train whistle, then a fog horn, then a tuba, then finally, a stick of dynamite. At last, the dust cleared from the explosion, leaving a singed Minerva sprawled out on the floor.

"... So..." the plumber muttered, as if bored by the whole display "Need a pipe fixed or something?"

"Oh, BABY!" Minerva exclaimed, springing up, and charging at the handsome plumber, "Could you fix things for me!"

Minerva charged ecstatically to the door, but the plumber stepped back, leading Minerva to trip at the exit, falling flat on her face.

"Geek." Muttered the plumber from some distance away, as he turned to leave.

"Ow..." Minerva muttered as she lay in the dirt, "I wonder if I could freeze myself until he changes his mind."

The End.

Well, if you've read this far, you probably won't mind hearing a little about why I wrote this. I think on some level, I always loved Minerva Mink, and thought she was severely underused (although Saturday morning wasn't the ideal time slot for her, I admit. Maybe seven PM would've been better,) but I never really realized WHY until volume three of animaniacs came out and I rediscovered the second of her two Minkcentric cartoons. The wild takes are all so symbolic of the emotion she projects on every man who gazes upon her, regardless of species, and not only is that a style of humor that has NEVER been done in the same way before or since, but it rekindles a childhood fantasy I once had that love could overpower grief and rage. Now, I know it can't, but when I watch her cartoons, and when I write stuff like this, I can seriously begin to pretend it can, which feels really good.

This is why I wrote this story. I plan on having a second issue for Minktales, although it won't be as funny. It may even come across as dark to some, but after that, I'll probably write even more about this lovely Mink, probably more in the vein of this story here. We'll see what comes. I tend to write whenever I need an emotional pick-me-up, and this whole story was done in three hours one night because I was depressed, so you CAN expect to see more.

-Believing in the power of love.-