THE WOODSAn estimated 15 woodland animals gathered for an improvised oompah-band jamboree Monday.
Performing in a pasture just outside the forest in which they live, the "Woodland Pals," as the creatures are known, put on a rollicking musical performance characterized by whimsical merriment and irrepressible mischief.
According to reports, the gay oompah-band session was initiated by Ferdinand Fox, the group's leader. Fox, dressed in his trademark two-button short-pants, allegedly triggered the jamboree by declaring to his fellow Woodland Pals, "Hey, everybody! Let's put on a show!"
Moments after Fox's announcement, the other Pals emerged from their woodland hiding places sporting ill-fitting band uniforms and makeshift musical instruments. Among the participants were Oliver Oink, a pig who plays the Sousaphone; Rudy Rabbit on accordion; S. Cape Goat on ukulele; Fenwick Frog on harmonica; E. Pluribus Eagle on horn; the Pelican Trio on triangle; Squeaky Squirrel on percussion; and a small, feathered vocalist who remains unidentified as of press time. Fox himself conducted the band.
The rousing oompah music, which could be heard for miles around, soon attracted flora as well as fauna. A tree identified as "Teddy" swayed to and fro to the rhythm, and tulips sprouted from the soil to sing along. The sun itself reportedly grinned broadly and bounced back and forth to the merry melodies.
Approximately 10 minutes into the jubilee, the musicians were briefly interrupted by Clumsy Cat, who chased Montgomery Mouse around the bandstand. Just as Clumsy was about to pounce on Montgomery, however, the cat was killed instantly when he slammed into Teddy Tree. Clumsy's ghostly nine lives then rose out of his lifeless body and hovered above the band, strumming along to the music on their harps.
A far greater threat to the Woodland Pals came in the form of Hoofington P. McSnort, a local bull who became enraged when he discovered that his pasture was being used as the setting for the Woodland Pals' jamboree. McSnort, who has a history of antagonistic behavior toward the Pals, charged at the music-making critters, sending them scattering throughout the pasture. Though McSnort aggressively pursued all animals within his proximity, his primary target appeared to be the portly Oliver Oink, whose posterior was gored by the bull's razor-sharp horns.
McSnort was eventually subdued by Fox, who waved his red band jacket at him, prompting the bull to charge at Fox and subsequently crash head first into an anvil concealed behind the jacket.
News of the Woodland Pals' jamboree quickly spread throughout the nation's zoological community, which was electrified by the discovery of animals that possess artistic impulses and reasoning skills–qualities long believed solely the domain of humans.
"Until now, there had never existed proof that lower-order mammals were capable of performing music," University of Florida zoologist Lynn Sontag said. "Truly, this is the most remarkable case of aberrant animal behavior since Douglas Duck's birthday party in 1986."
Zoologists are also greatly intrigued by the unusual anatomical structure of the Woodland Pals.
"These creatures are undoubtedly mammals and birds," said Dr. Russell Frehling, a professor of zoology at Northwestern University. "But their anatomies are radically different from those of most quadrupeds. The fox and goat, for example, seem to consist of nothing more than a series of circles and tubes which squash and stretch as they move. The creatures may represent some sort of bizarre evolutionary throwback, though nothing in the fossil record seems to support such a theory."
Added Frehling: "I am confident that I speak for my colleagues when I say that capturing and dissecting one of these Woodland Pals should be our top priority."
Frehling could not confirm whether the Woodland Pals were in any way related to an anatomically similar cat-and-mouse duo, who in 1947 drank Jumbo-Gro plant food and grew 2,200 miles in height, devastating much of the Western Hemisphere.