In the Center Ring (Part 21)

By the time periods covered by this article, Hanna-Barbera’s fixation with circus cartoons was beginning to wane slightly. Some entire series were able to escape without a circus episode (For example, The Jetsons (although a circus would figure into a later episode in its comeback period), Breezly Bruin and Sneezly Seal, and Yippee, Yappee, and Yahooey.) However, there were still series where circus episodes would pile up – evidenced today by a run of circus visits to hillbilly territory to drop in new guest characters out of the blue, accounting for five of this week’s entries. Rounding out today’s offerings are visits with Touche Turtle, Magilla Gorilla, and even the old west setting of Ricochet Rabbit and Droop-a-Long.

Zero Hero (Touche Turtle and Dum Dum, 9/10/62) – The circus is in town, and Dum Dum arouses Touche Turtle from nightcap slumber inside his shell to inform him of the big news, and suggest a little R&R from the hero business. Touche disapproves, reminding Dum Dum that hero duty always comes first. But Touche’s hero schedule isn’t exactly cluttered with work. Today’s agenda only includes an appointment to help a little old lady across the street, and tomorrow’s a date to help her back again. A phone call from inside Touche’s shell makes things more interesting, as the circus owner informs Touche that a giant gorilla, King Size Bong, has escaped. The gorilla is not so much the ferocious type, but is needed back for tonight’s performance. Touche asks Dum Dum for a description of their suspect, and Dum Dum points to a poster on a fence, depicting Bong as dwarfing telephone poles. “My, he’s a big one”, remarks Touche in typical underplay.

Bong, who in essence is the studio’s Wee Willie in giant form, shows up on the scene. He curiously picks up Touche, who ducks inside his shell, then sticks out one swashbuckling arm to jab Bong n the nose with the point of a sword. Bong drops Touche and runs, while Touche pursues, calling, “Oh, come on now. Give up. Make it easy on yourself.” Bong scales the tallest building in town, hanging by one arm from the rooftop’s center spire. Touche and Dum Dum resort to aerial tactics, performing a fly-by the ape with a helicopter. As they pass the tower, Dum Dum aims a toss of a lariat, snagging Bong by the neck. Touche prepares to tug Bong off the tower with the rope, and lower him gently to the ground. Instead, Bong gives a tug on the rope from the opposite end, yanking the helicopter out from under our heroes. CRASH! Next, Touche saddles up upon the side of a king-size skyrocket, aimed by ramp at the tower top. Dum Dum lights the fuse, and Touche, sword in hand, yells, “Charge!” The rocket is dead-on target. However, Bong playfully reaches out his paws, clapping them together as if he were smacking flies, flattening Touche and the rocket with the sound effect of a crashing cymbal. “He doesn’t know hs own strength”, moans Touche, as he slides off Bong’s hand, crashing again to the ground. The time for the “big shoo” is rapidly approaching, and the only way Touche can see to rescue the evening’s performance is ro call the circus owner, and propose a “big odea”. The owner agrees, and we dissolve to a few hours later. A platform has been set up around the rooftop of the tower, and the circus tent pitched right over the flagpole on which Bong still clings – bringing the show to him. As a special added attraction, Touche now appears nightly, repeating verbatim his rocket charge at Bong, only to get flattened between Bong’s mighty palms once again. “The show must go on, you know. Oh, brother!”, moans Touche, as he falls from Bong’s palm for the fade out.

PSSST – Wanna see “Zero Hero” NOT on a slant? CLICK HERE!

All three elements of “The Magilla Gorilla Show” would get hit by circus fever. Oddly, the same cannot be said for the series’ stablemate, “The Peter Potamus Show”. Harder to fit the standard plotline into episodes centered upon time travel, arctic military bases, or medieval times.

Circus Ruckus (Magilla Gorilla, 9/18/65) frankly starts to feel a little tired. Not much in the way of plot. Magilla is up to his old shenanigans, playing mock-Beatles music for the kiddies with a bass fuddle, and somehow hitting low frequencies that repeatedly break Peebles’ plate glass window. Peebles remarks that if Magilla wants to be a star, why not run away and join a circus. Magilla, feeling unwanted, does just that, pilfering Peebles’ motor scooter for transportation. Nearby, the Bungle Brothers Circus has had all its acts quit, and is looking for new talent. With no competition for the job opening, Magilla is hired without an audition, or a rehearsal. For no apparent reason, he is billed as the “Masked Gorilla”. He is assigned to help in setting up the big top – which Magilla does in a method that rivals the speed of the automatic train setup from “Bongo”, by lifting ad expanding a giant framework that opens the entire tent like a huge umbrella. Magilla’s first circus act is a high-dive into a pail of water. Nothing surprising – typical compression into the pail, and walking away with only his feet visible under the pail. Next, a modification of the “pyramid of pachyderms”, with Magilla juggling elephants. A mistimed toss, and crash – no surprise payoff. A lion taming act next, with a new twist. Magilla prefers to crack the whip from a safe distance, outside the bars of the lion’s cage. The lion, however, prefers company, and lifts the entire metal framework of the cage off the ground, placing it over Magilla to imprison the two together within the cage’s confines. Magilla pleads self-defense to the ringmaster in running for his life, but the ringmaster reminds Magilla that everyone knows a gorilla is tougher than a lion. Magilla stops running, and bravely challenges the lion to put up his dukes. The lion, however, reveals a set of switchblade claws, and carves a Harry Safari tic-tac-toe game on Magilla’s chest. A unicycle slide for life is next, resulting in the transferring of the unicycle at the foot of the descent from Magilla to the ringmaster, crashing him nose-first into a tent pole. Finally, the human cannonball bit. Magilla is now having second thoughts about being a “big shot”. As usual. Magilla is shot through the tent roof, and bemoans that he forgot to ask for traveling expenses. The shot lands him right in the roof of Peebles’ Pet Shop, where Peebles feels lonely in Magilla’s absence, and with the kids not coming around anymore. Magilla’s return surprisingly draws a “Yippee” from Peebles. And if Magilla will stay, Peebles, who disposed of the bass fiddle, promises he will buy Magilla anything else he wants. Magilla asks for a tuba, and Peebles agrees to conduct the jam session for the kids in the window. But one blast on the tuba sends Peebles flying through the plate glass window, landing him inside a mailbox across the street. As Peebles observes, seems like old times.

Clunko Bunko (Ricochet Rabbit and Droop-a-Long, 4/7/64) – Ever try to frame a circus wild man? That’s the basic plot idea for this odd sheriff and robber twist. Sheriff Ricochet Rabbit has a lively game of table tennis (played against himself) interrupted by a distress call from the circus. A not-so-anonymous note includes a threat to rob the circus payroll, signed Cactus Calvin. However, when the crime is committed, the evidence all points in another direction. Calvin dons a suit to match the circus’s newest attraction – a king-size wild man who looks more like an abominable snowman, named Clunko. Calvin robs the payroll wagon in broad daylight, passing right by the sheriff and heading in the direction of Clunko’s cage. He continues on past the cage unseen, and informs Clunko that he is in for a heap of trouble. Ricochet and Deputy Droop-a-Long naturally assume the real Clunko is the culprit, but find the giant creature quite adept at resisting arrest. A “cannonball” dive onto Ricochet by Clunko flattens the rabbit. Droop-a-Long produces his pistol, telling Clunko he’ll have to “eat lead”. Droop’s shot merely rebounds off Clunko’s chest, soars high into the air, then falls straight down, into Droop’s throat, causing him to swallow the bullet. BOOM! “Sure has a funny aftertaste”, notes Droop. Clunko next takes refuge atop a high pole. Ricochet fires a “lariat bullet” which ropes the wild man’s hand, but Clunko merely uses the rope to play with Ricochet like a yo-yo. Ricochet observes this business has its ups and downs. Ricochet tries a few judo chops on Clunko’s tummy, but Clunko holds onto the tips of Ricochet’s ears, pulling back on his feet with the other hand, to launch the rabbit like a slingshot. Ricochet lands directly inside a lion’s yawning mouth, then demands to be released, or he’ll shoot his way out. Ricochet fires four shots through the lion’s front teeth, and is released. Ricochet pauses to advise the lion to see his dentist about those new cavities.

Action moves into the big top. Clunko takes off upon one trapeze, while Ricochet tries to head him off with a swing from the opposite direction. Clunko leaps off his own trapeze, grabbing Ricochet’s feet, and stretching them to the ground – then releasing him. Ricochet snaps back like elastic, popping through the tent roof, and headfirst into a cannon. Ricochet is stuck tight, and Droop promises a “sure-fire” method of getting him out, lighting the cannon fuse. But the blast does not release the sheriff, instead severing the barrel of the cannon apart, leaving a charred Ricochet still stuck inside the muzzle-end. Ricochet comments that it’s a good thing Droop is so loveable, as he has nothing else going for him. Finally, Clunko takes off on foot across the desert. Ricochet figures he’s sure to beat Clunko in a foot race, and pursues. In the other direction, along comes the circus owner – with the costumed Cactus Calvin marching before him at gunpoint. The owner has already figured out who the real thief was, and informs Ricochet and Clunko that the case is under control. With the “two” wild men standing side by side, the owner allows Ricochet to take custody of the prisoner. Back at the jailhouse, Ricochet locks up his prisoner in the clink. Of course, one fist blow on the head by the prisoner reveals to Ricochet in a hurry that he’s just locked up Clunko instead of Calvin – a revelation Ricochet observes from deep in a hole in the jailhouse floor created by the blow.

Muscle Tussle (Punkin’ Puss and Mushmouse, 10/5/64) – Shades of deja-vu! It sure feels like we’ve seen this one before. A virtual remake of Pixie and Dixie’s “Strong Mouse”, which itself was a reworking of “Judo Jack” and “Jerry’s Cousin”. And a title stolen from an unrelated Daffy Duck cartoon! Amidst the usual bullet-laden hillbilly feuding of Punkin’ Puss and Mushmouse comes a visit from Megaton Mouse, star circus strong man, and world’s strongest mouse. As usual, he is a dead-ringer for Mushmouse when not dressed in his signature leopard-skin leotard, and the two change outfits to teach Punkin’ a lesson. Punkin’ thinks he’s dreaming when the ice box walks by, seemingly under its own power. Then, he gets a view of the fake Mushmouse, and orders him back into the mousehole. Megaton grabs the barrels of Punkin’s shotgun, and braids them together like the rubber band on a toy wooden airplane. Punkin’ winds up taking the spin as the propeller. Megaton starts doing mean things to Punkin’, each punctuated by his own catch-phrase, “Ka-bam, Ka-boom”. He snaps and folds Punkin’s tail at a right angle. He lifts Punkin’ over his head, tossing him out the window, and face-first into the nests in the henhouse. “That Mushmouse is eggin’ me on”, retorts Punkin’. Punkin’ decides no more mister nice guy, and carries an anvil to the roof to drop when Mushmouse emerges from his exterior entrance, The anvil seems to flatten Megaton, but the mouse rises, carrying it, and tosses it back onto the roof atop Punkin’. The cat is now a nervous wreck, and Megaton allows Mushmouse to try a trial run as himself, by uttering a “Ka-Ban, Ka-boom” at Punkin’. Punkin’ doesn’t wait for the result, and the trembling cat pries open a tin can with a can opener, then hides like a coward inside the can. Megaton makes his exit out the exterior entrance, but Punkin’ overhears their conversation on how they fooled Punkin’, and gets wise. When Mushmouse utters his next “Ka-bam, Ka-boom”, he gets whomped with a smack from Punkin’s fist. “Maybe I’m not sayin’ it right”, ponders Mushmouse, who starts uttering every variation he can think of, while dodging Punkin’s gunfire. “Ka-zam? Ka-pow? Ka-piff? Ka-put?”

Cat Nipped (Punkin’ Puss and Mushmouse, 10/17/64) – A circus train is chugging its way past hillbilly territory. A lion in a cage-car at the rear of the train is having a rough time of it, hating these excursions over one hill, and another, ad another. Every time the train hits an incline, the lion helplessly slides and smacks into the cage’s rear bars, then slides to the front for another crash upon every descent. (Why doesn’t he hold firm with his claws into the cage’s wooden floor?) A final backwards slide causes an impact with increased velocity, smashing the lion through the cage bars and off the train. The lion wants no part of life in the great outdoors, and hollers for the train to come back – “You forgot me!” However, while jumping around in pursuit of the train, the lion gets a painful thorn in his paw. He comments that things like this only happen in fables. Along comes Mushmouse, and repeats the good deed of Androcles by removing the thorn. The lion bows to Mushmouse, declaring himself his slave for life. But the lion has some ulterior motive for this gesture, pointing out that a slave’s gotta eat, and when is din-din. (A continuity error has the lion claim he’ll starve out here in the wilderness, as he is a “Helpless city zoo lion” – even though he distinctly came from a circus train.) Mushmouse agrees to snitch some food for him when Punkin’ Puss isn’t looking.

Punkin’ Puss has this day brought over his girlfriend Hominy Sue, for a demonstration to her of how he is in total control over dealings with Mushmouse. Images speak louder than words, as Mushmouse passes right by them, carrying a roast chicken on a platter, taking it to the hall closet. “I wouldn’t come in here if I wuz you”, says Mushmouse to Punkin’. “Well, you isn’t I”, replies Punkin’. In the darkened closet, sounds of forceful blows, and Punkin’s moans of pain, are heard. The lion is hiding in the closet. Punkin’ emerges, with his torso tied in a spiral knot. He apologizes to Hominy that “Sometimes us bosses get all tied up.” The lion next hides in a barrel outside the house, and asks Mushmouse for dessert. Hominy soon observes Mushmouse passing again, and remarks, “He’s so scared of you, he’s hiding under a piece of fruit cake.” Punkin’ follows Mushmouse, who jumps into the barrel. Punkin’ dives in, but receives a toss into the cabin door, across the living room, and smack into an ironing board door, which opens to lower ironing board on Punkin’s head, and flat iron atop of that. Punkin’ can’t explain Mushmouse’s strength, and confronts the barrel again. A large furry claw emerges from the top. In the manner of the wolf to Red Riding Hood, Punkin’ remarks at what big hands Mushmouse has – and what long “fingernails” emerge from it. The paw slashes at Punkin’, who calls out, “Missed me” – then falls apart in four even vertical slices. Hominy gives Punkin’ one more chance, and Punkin’ repeats the quick fighter-training montage gag from Sylvester’s “Hop, Look, and Listen”, only to get whacked in the jaw again by an offscreen hand. “I know what I forgot. Protection.” Punkin’ appears next wearing a pot bellied stove around his own body, and an inverted coffee pot for a helmet, ready as an armored knight. He takes a wad of chewing gum from Hominy to carry as a momento into battle. He charges into a barn where he believes Mushmouse to be hidden – and emerges stuffed into the metal stovepipe. “I is a knight who is havin’ a long day.” Finally, Punkin’ challenges Mushmouse to hand-to-hand combat, “Put ‘em up”, says Punkin’. “I is puttin’ ‘em up and layin’ ‘em down”, sats Muushmouse, putting his running feet into high gear. Punkin’ finally catches Mushmouse in one paw, when who should finally appear in full view but the lion, demanding that Punkin’ release his friend. Punkin’ doesn’t need much persuading, and drops Mushmouse like a hot coal, running in terror at a lion on the loose. He bids Hominy goodbye, stating he is departing for anyplace that’s far away. The lion meanwhile hears the train, passing again on its return trip to the big city, and shakes Mushmouse’s hand for a quick, fond goodbye so he can catch up with the train. Coincidences being what they are, Punkin’ has hopped aboard a box car of the same train – the same box car the lion also boards – and he and the lion are seated only a few feet apart. separated only by the corner of a large freight crate. “I hopes I never sees that ugly ferocious lion again”, says Punkin’ aloud. “Well, I’m not staying up nights over you, either”, responds the lion. A shout for help emits from Punkin’, who smashes through the rear of the box car, running down the tracks in terror, for the fade out.

From one set of hills to another, we move on the “The Hillbilly Bears”, an element of The Atom Ant Show. Despite the remoteness of the bears’ locale, their home seems to be a main thoroughfare for passing road traffic, with all three of the following episodes involving circus attractions falling off a truck (not even so much as a forcible escape). Seems like a formula was developing – or else the writers were in a rut as deep as the ones in the country roads.

Stranger Than Friction (10/23/65) – Paw Rugg (who at this early stage of the series has not developed much of anything in the way of vocal skills, just issuing mumbles and indecipherable grunts) is in one of his more onery moods. Every time a stranger sets foot on the bears’ property, Paw fires round after round of rifle shots at him, without provocation. Maw Rugg insists that Paw is being downright inhospitable to visitors, and pressures Paw to swear an oath, not only not to shoot at them, but to invite the very next stranger that comes along to dinner. Happenstance has lined up an unusual candidate for that position – in the form of a “trained chimpanzee” (who looks more like a full-grown gorilla), whose cage tumbles out of the back of a circus truck while scaling a tall hill. The ape first encounters a human hillbilly fishing at the side of a creek. One look, and the hillbilly beats a hasty exit, his large hillbilly hat flying off his head. The hat is retrieved by the ape, who wears it for the rest of the film, playing at being a human. The ape approaches the Rugg residence, encountering Paw asleep in a hammock in the back yard. Paw awakens, and, having just been reminded of his promise by Maw, for once tips his hat and grumbles a cordial welcome to the stranger. The ape, not knowing his own strength, slaps the hammock with one mighty blow, sending it into a spiraling spin, and causing Paw to be dumped out upon the ground. Paw can sense things are already off on the wrong foot. The ape presents himself at the cabin door, where Maw invites him in for vittles. Paw appears with his shotgun, ready to forget his promise, but Maw cautions him to keep his word, while the ape also neutralizes the situation, by bashing Paw over the head with the rifle stock when Maw isn’t looking. At the dinner table, Paw’s dinner quickly disappears into the stomach of the ape, leaving one remaining loaf of bread as Paw’s share. Paw reaches out or it, and gets his hand chomped on by the ape while reaching for the same thing. Maw tells Paw to count to ten, but daughter Floral reminds Maw that Paw can’t count. Paw instead drags the stranger outside, and the sounds of a battling scuffle are heard out of view. Everyone presumes Paw is breaking his promise – until the ape re-enters the cabin, without a mark on him, while Paw, bruised and battered, collapses in the doorway.

Later, Paw trues to go to bed, but finds the stranger already in bed below him, undeer the blanket. The ape picks Paw up upon his hind feet, juggles him, then tosses him against the opposite wall, a piece of wood in the silhouette of Paw falling out from behing Paw’s back to dump him outside. Maw has Paw apologize in grunts and extend a hand in friendship to the stranger for disturbing his nap. The ape instead grabs Paw’s wrist, bangs Paw repeatedly against the floor, and then vigorously stomps on Paw’s back. Maw thinks the two are getting along fine, playing “some little game”. Along come the drivers of the circus truck, having tracked the ape’s whereabouts. Revealing the ape’s name to be “King Klod”, the men are reunited with their star performer, thank Paw for taking such good care of him, and offer Paw and the family as a reward free passes to tonight’s show. But Paw’s seen as much performance as he cares to, and grabs his trusty shootin’ iron. “What’d I say? What’d I say?” says the perplexed man, and the two circus drivers and the ape head for the horizon, with Paw blasting away at them from the rear. “Looks like Paw is plum fed up with hospitality”, says Maw for the curtain line.

PSSST – Wanna see this one NOT on a slant? CLICK HERE!

Judo Kudos (11/27/65) – Paw (now almost verbal, with many lines of dialogue between grumbles) is deep in the midst of a feud with neighbor Claude Hopper. The two bears sit in rocking chairs on their respective porches, firing rifle shots at one another – with one bullet to share between them. The weary bullet’s range is just the distance between the two front porches, and each shot ends with the bullet falling at the feet of its intended target, to be loaded into the opponent’s rifle and fired back to whence it came. Claude can see this means of feudin’ is getting nowhere, and juices up his next shot a little by adding extra gunpowder from a powder horn. Paw’s eyes widen, as for once he is forced to duck, as the shot passes into the cabin living room, caroming off a tin pot over the stove, and knocking the pot onto Maw Rugg’s head as she tries to attend to cooking vittles. Maw tells Paw the shooting has got to stop for her to have time to fix something to eat, and Paw complains that Claude’s tactics are starting to hit him right where it hurts – in the stomach. Determined to end the feud, Paw stands up for family honor, by challenging Claude to a wrestling match. Claude makes short work of Paw, pulling Paw’s hat down over his face, throwing him to the ground with an overhand wrist hold, then using a rope to hogtie him.

Through the hills passes a circus truck, advertising Sumo the Japanese Fighting Bear. A bump in the road causes Sumo (a highly stereotyped bear with small glasses and oversized smiling teeth) to fall out the back. Sumo of course encounters Paw, and introduces himself as honorable show biz bear. Before Paw can decide whether to use his rifle, Sumo demonstrates karate, severing the gun barrel clean off with one chop. A few hand and foot blows by Sumo, and Paw looks a mess, but mumbles between grumbles “I are observing.” A judo flip, and Paw is beat, but recognizing the stranger has a mighty interesting fighting style. Sumo states he wants to be friends, and will teach his methods to Paw. Paw begins to chuckle, imagining their use on Claude Hopper. Over the next few weeks, Paw studies intensively under Sumo, until he can match Sumo’s blows, and split a wooden plank with his “bear” hand. Sumo awards Paw a black belt, which Paw doesn’t quite understand, remarking, “I’ll wash it.”

The inevitable showdown occurs with Claude Hopper. Paw begins by splitting Claude’s hat in two. Claude retaliates by raising a club, but Paw slices the club in half. “I think this boy’s been a practicin’”, observes Claude. Claude resorts to his wrist-hold move again, but Paw slams down his arm first, sending Claude into a mid-air spin, which Paw puts a stop to with a karate blow, flattening Claude to the ground. “I gotta quit fightin’ fair and square”, says Claude. Claude disappears, then shows up carrying a mammoth boulder over his head to whomp Paw with. Paw tries a karate chop on the rock, but finds it too tough to chop, leaving his hand throbbing. Claude prepares to drop the rock on Paw, his arms raised high above his head to support the stone. Paw uses a little ingenuity of his own, improvising his own move, by taking advantage of Claude’s upraised arms for an attack of tickling. Claude instantly breaks into a fit of giggles, losing hold of the rock, and is quickly crushed under its weight. The feud is over. Sumo takes his leave, becoming homesick for his circus life, and the family bids him goodbye. Sumo has left behind more than his karate lessons, as the family sits down in Japanese fashion on the floor to drink tea, bowing to each other in a move that conks their heads together inadvertently, but still leaves them laughing and smiling for the fade out.

Buzzin’ Cuzzins (10/8/66) – One of the last of the series, Paw now with a full dialogue script, only rarely grumbling when so angry, he can’t find the words. Latest visitor to the hills is Gorgo the Wild Man, who as usual falls off a circus truck. (Someone’s gotta fix these country roads.) This occurs just as a telegram announces the impending arrival of Cousin Fud – a cousin whom Paw has never seen before. Gorgo, a portly humanoid with red fright-wig hair and leopard leotard, shows up at the front door – or rather, by smashing through it. Maw assumes it is cousin Fud – the family resemblance is so striking. Paw extends a hand in friendship, but Gorgo begins chomping upon it, signaling he is hungry. Maw serves up Paw’s favorite dish – possum gizzards and turnip greens. With one fist blow, Gorgo smashes the table, bending it into an incline that slopes the supper bowl down to his chair, where he devours the meal entirely. Gorgo pushes the table away, smacking Paw in the jaw. Maw suggests to the dazed Paw that he take Cousin Fud out for a little fishing. At a pier on the lake, Paw demonstrates with a fishing pole how to cast out a line to the far end of the lake for the whoppers. Gorgo decides to cast out Paw instead, throwing him way out into the water. Paw rises from the lake, with his hat wiggling. He looks inside, and finds a trapped fish. “Knew I’d catch a whopper here”, he remarks.

Paw shows Gorgo the sights, beginning with high Lookout Point. Paw stands at the edge of a high cliff, pointing out a view where you can see 100 miles. All Gorgo can see is a bug crawling on the rock, which he begins to stomp on, cracking off the ledge on which he and Paw stand. They both plummet into the canyon, Gorgo landing safely atop Paw, who is driven into a hole in the ground of his own making. More mishaps occur as Gorgo fetches an apple to eat from a tree by pulling on the limbs until the trunk is bent at a right angle, then releases the tree, allowing it to snap back and clobber Paw. Paw and Gorgo attempt to enter the cabin, but Gorgo slams the door in Paw’s face, getting him stuck in a hole in the door. Gorgo releases Paw, by pulling him the hard way, by the nose through the door. Cousin or no cousin, Paw decides it’s time to whomp his kin good, and fetches a club. It is of little help, as Gorgo uses it on Paw, leaving Paw laying in a heap, and willing to take Maw’s advice to cause no further harm to Fud. Approaching strangers at the door turn out to be the circus guards, come to reclaim the wildman, and throwing a net over him. Though they inform the bears who Gorgo is, it seems Maw doesn’t understand, as she consoles Paw with the fact that a lot of her relatives had to be carted away in a net too. A further knock at the door, and the real Cousin Fud arrives – a mild-mannered bear in city-type garb. Paw is taking no chances, and as usual, grabs up his shootin’ iron. Maw states, “Now control yourself Paw. Remember he is your cousin.” Paw responds, “Well, I got a big family, and we won’t miss him.” The film ends in typical manner, with Paw chasing Fud over the hills, Fud complaining “T’ain’t no way to treat kinfolk!”

Next Week: I leave my options open, pending my researching whims.