Revenge of the Fab 5

Tejua yawned as she and J.R. woke up from a long, restless night at sunup. Eventually they got the sleep they wanted, but not before plenty of distractions. All those distractions can be summed in three words: the Masked Bull. Whenever he came riding by, J.R. and his niece took cover and waited until it was safe to go to sleep. This time, the Masked Bull was all business and no play, as he wanted revenge on J.R. and Tejua for their part in thwarting the mayor's plans to hog all the water. When Moo and the cowboys came to the rescue, the two Indians could sleep in peace again. Moo, Dakota, and Cowlorado went ahead and camped out close to J.R.'s teepee.

But J.R. was not the real reason the Masked Bull wanted revenge; neither was it because of Mayor Bulloney's plans. You see, another group of cowboys, frequent visitors to Cowtown and the rest of Moo Mesa, had joined the fight against evil in the West. It just proves to all people of past, present, and future generations that the forces of catkind should not be taken for granted. That's right. I'm talking about the Fab 5!

Led by the die-hard pride of the Lone Star State, that mighty lynx, Cody Belachman, these cats were the top bounty hunters in the West. Cody was no ordinary bounty hunter, however; one bad word about Texas and you were dead. This proves his emotion struggles. Cody was proud of his home state, and was willing to do anything to protect it from any bad or foul-mouthed comments aimed towards it, even as far as killing someone. Let me rest assured you, even though he was the greatest with two pistols, he made sure no one innocent was hurt. In fact, he believed in the biblical proverb that says to "weep with those who weep," and often did. If you were to ask, Cody would tell you, "I couldn't do anything I do without them comrades of mine, Benjamin, Bryce, John, and David, but especially now without John; he's my fellow Texan!" Indeed. (Benjamin spoke with a Cuban accent thanks to the fact he moved out of there just before he was six years old, in human terms; David was a native of Kansas, and Bryce was from Arizona.)

As soon as it was bright daylight, and everyone had plenty of water to drink, Moo could not resist asking J.R. and Tejua, "Why was the Masked Bull going after you?"

"I think it had something to do with the way we stopped Mayor Bulloney from hogging all the water," J.R. replied. "If what Puma says is true about Sheriff Terrorbull masquerading as the Masked Bull, and that his brother Horrorbull does whenever he's not able to, then Mayor Bulloney is as corrupt as I thought. If not, then Puma's done gone and created a whole stir-up over nothing."

"Don't worry, Uncle J.R.," Tejua spoke up. "I'm sure he'll change his ways."

"Or at least take a break from it," added Cody Calf, whom the Masked Bull had captured as bait to lure out Moo.

"I don't know, calf-pint," Moo replied. "The Masked Bull never quits until he gets what he wants. But like it says in the Code of the West, 'If a villain gets a big head from his dirty deeds, his hat won't fit.' Likewise, if you're a law cow like me and you get a big head from helping others, your hat won't fit. I like that."

"Yup," Dakota agreed.

"I can tell you this," J.R. continued. "While firing his ammo, the Masked Bull said something about revenge against that group you call the Fab 5, because of the occasions they've helped us put an end to his plans, especially that one where he had me hostage and they were first to respond, even though I don't think they could have done it without you in the end."

"Nope," said Dakota.

"What about the time he wanted $500,000 for their capture?" Tejua asked. "I didn't learn about that until just two days ago."

"Actually, that was Mayor Bulloney's idea," Moo replied. "I later wrote a note saying to the mayor that he captured the wrong Cody Belachman and thus Cody was freed on a technicality, but he could go ahead and keep the money. That counterfeit idea sure was worth his trouble, wasn't it?"

"Yup," said Dakota.

"Can't argue that," Cowlorado added. "Old Lone Star Lover is a great role model to look up to. I guarantee it."

Later that morning, at Miss Lily's Tumbleweed Saloon, Miss Lily breathed sighs of relief when Cody Calf was brought back. "Well, Cody!" she exclaimed. "I can't believe my eyes. How could the Masked Bull kidnap you but leave you unhurt?"

"Because he actually wanted to go after J.R. and Tejua, Miss Lily," Cody explained. "Ultimately, he wants revenge against the Fab 5. You know, that lynx, bobcat, wildcat, tiger, and lion." (Cody Calf here is referring to Cody, Benjamin, John, Bryce, and David, respectively, just so you know.)

"Fab 5?" Miss Lily exclaimed. "Well, what business is it of the Masked Bull's to go up and slaughter those Texans?"

"It's not, Miss Lily," Moo shook his head. "Like it says in the Code of the West, 'You can't keep the cat from going after his mouse.' Except in this case, it's a bull: the Masked Bull, that is."

"Say, you gonna go ahead inform them of his revenge or let them play it by ear like you usually do?"

"I think in this case, we should let them play it by ear unless otherwise noted. Wonder which the case is?" Cowlorado spoke up.

"We're about to find out, Cowlorado," Moo replied. "Here comes Jack."

Jack was Cowtown's telegram specialist. He spent most of his time sending and receiving telegrams, especially urgent ones from other parts of Moo Mesa. This time, however, Jack got a telegram from the Fab 5. It read, "Marshal, if you are reading this telegram, then you got the message. This is Cody, the Fab 5 leader. Them comrades of mine and I hear the Masked Bull is headed our way, and we know y'all know more about that there Masked Bull varmint than us, so I felt it's our duty to tell you. Thank y'all kindly. Cody."

"So the Masked Bull is headed for Texas!" J.R. exclaimed in shock.

"This is what I was anticipating," said Moo. "Come on, boys! Let's rodeo!" Everybody but Miss Lily got on their horses and headed for Texas. (Miss Lily was beginning to feel better about Cody Calf taking chances on the frontier, seeing as how he was destined to become a great law cow when Moo's career would finally come to pass.)

When the group reached Texas, the Fab 5 was waiting for them. "Howdy, Moo!" they called.

"Howdy, Fab 5!" Moo called back. "Got your telegram and heard the Masked Bull wants revenge on you."

"And for no incentive," said David. "It's like that Bowser Koopa character. He doesn't have a reason to kill off Mario and Luigi and take Princess Toadstool hostage. He just acts."

"Frustrating, isn't it?" Dakota spoke up. "Wonder what the Masked Bull is cooking up for us this time?"

"I don't know, but I think that train has something to do with it," Benjamin replied, motioning at the noon train. "I believe that train is carrying something Miss Lily had sent here."

"Oh, that's right," Moo nodded. "Y'all are building a new hospital here, and she's sending a generous donation by train. It's like Elbow's Bend, except she used a sheep that Cowlorado drove, in the face of laughter."

"Yeah, but it was all worth it," Cowlorado replied. "Like it says in the Code of the West, 'No herd's too small for a real cowboy,' and I'm proud to have been part of that drive. I've been on several cattle drives actually involving cattle since then. Right now I'm concerned about the train. I overheard Miss Lily say to Cowlamity Kate that she used one of her safes to store the money and did it by train, because the Masked Bull keeps robbing the stagecoach."

"But how does the Masked Bull know about her plans?" asked John.

"Probably because Saddlesore and Boot Hill Buzzard, his henchmen, are always eavesdropping on us," Moo replied. "One of these days, I'm going to prove it. In my 10+ years as Marshal of Moo Mesa, I've caught plenty of eavesdroppers. Just not those two, if this is the case. In the meantime, let's check up on the train."

The group rode over to where the train was located, only to find that Cody's instincts were correct: there was the Masked Bull, bright as day, attempting to rob it for the money. (Let this be a lesson to you: money is a source of greed, but the love of money is the root of all evil. The Masked Bull and Mayor Bulloney were guilty of both.)

"If you had remembered the dynamite, lame brain," the Masked Bull had been scolding towards his henchmen, "we could've blown up the train at gunpoint instead of following it all the way to Hicksburg, Texas!"

"Yeah, lame brain!" Saddlesore yelled at Boot Hill. "If you had remembered the dynamite, we could have been…everything he said!"

"Masked Bull!" Cowlorado called. "We're coming to collect!"

"Not again!" the Masked Bull shouted. "Why do those annoying cows always team up with the cats?"

Before Saddlesore and Boot Hill could get away, stars fired from Moo's guns knocked them unconscious. Dakota and Benjamin grabbed them before they could awaken. Cowlorado showed his roping talents to the rest of the Fab 5 and roped up the Masked Bull, shouting "Yee-haw!" all the way.

"Yee-haw indeed!" Cody yelled triumphantly. "Y'all roped up them varmints quicker than a pack of angry wolves chasing down a jackal!"

The sheriff of Hicksburg, Dusty Clark, and its mayor, Harry Stevens, walked out to see what all the fuss was about, as did several townspeople. "Lock 'em up, Dakota!" Moo ordered, putting away his guns. Cody fired into the air as a signal to the townsfolk that the case was closed, adding, "Y'all are safe, folks! The law cows of Cowtown have done it again!"

The folks starting cheering. "Thank you for that, Marshal!" they sang. "Hip-hip-hurrah!"

"Hey, glad we could help!" Moo said to the townsfolk of Hicksburg as Dakota helped Dusty throw the Masked Bull and his bumbling henchmen in jail. "We are proud to be part of the law enforcement in the West. Like it says in the Code of the West, 'When a villain runs around, what better way to put him to justice in places other than your home turf?'"

THE END

Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa © Ryan Brown

Mario © Nintendo

The Fab 5 © me