The Mommy's Curse
A TaleSpin story
conceived by John Pesterfield. Written
by John Pesterfield and Bearcat.
Additional story suggestions by Gidget.
TaleSpin is a registered trademark of The Walt Disney Company.
All characters used in this story are from Disney’s Tale Spin and are used without permission, with extreme respect and for totally NON-PROFIT USE. This is also the first story by these authors and is purely an educational exercise in creative writing.
following characters in this story are part of Disney’s TaleSpin series: Baloo
the Bear; Rebecca Cunningham; Molly E. Cunningham; Kit Cloudkicker; Wildcat; Dr.
Bovon; Professor O’Bowens. Any other incidental characters are the creation(s)
of the authors.
We thank the creative Disney talent behind TaleSpin for the creation of memorable characters and a series that has a loyal following to this day. We also thank Gidget for her reviews of the story and all her additional suggestions and input. It has been invaluable. J
“Black stones,” Baloo
said to himself as he and Rebecca dug around the geode. They had been
searching frantically since Altaira vanished.
As for Rebecca, she tried not to think of it. She didn’t
want to give Altaira any other ideas, in case the goddess was reading her mind.
Baloo was tugging at a large crystal. When it gave way, he
pulled a small black object from the quartz.
“How about this stone, Becky?”
She looked at the item he held in his hand. “No, that’s
not it.” She held up a similar
rock. “It looks like this.”
“What’s kinda stone did
I pick up?”
“What you have is flint. What we’re looking for is a
stone that looks like flint, but will
crumble to dust if you crush it. It’ll also be a bit oily. I…I think what we
need to find is coal.”
Baloo looked embarrassed.
“Um… I’ve never seen coal.”
She gaped at him. “That’s impossible. Everybody’s
“Not me. Not even on Christmas morning.” He
“Fine. Just look for a big black rock that leaves
black stuff on your hands.” Rebecca frowned. “Just my luck to come from snow
He looked at her thoughtfully for a moment, “You never
talk about where you grew up, Becky.”
“You never asked.”
A long three minutes passed between them, before he spoke
again. “So, ah… you’re a backwoods bear, huh?”
“You know… backwoods.”
“I just meant… well, you said you’d come from snow
“That’s just an expression, Baloo. The town I grew up
in was covered five months out of the year in snow. Phone lines always went down
and our family had to can and smoke food for winter storage. Probably one reason
my family moved to
“Well, that explains it.”
“Why Molly had that thing for snow that Christmas.”
“I don’t think soap flakes count.”
“Oh? Sure it ain’t you bein' homesick?”
“I don’t have this innate desire to sleep my way
through the winter like you.”
“I don’t hibernate.”
“The way you nap?”
Her shovel hit something hard. “You sure fooled—BALOO!”
Rebecca started digging at a ground level spot. Sand and
soil were flying. For a moment Baloo was reminded of a mongrel digging up a
“What is it?”
She soon pulled out a large black and potato shaped stone.
It looked like it had a multicolored film on the surface. A film similar to…
“Coal” Becky held it up, a bit out of breath.
“This…this is what we’re looking for. We just need two more.”
Baloo stared at the mineral. “Let’s get crack’n jack.”
* * *
Back at the Sea Duck, there hadn’t been much of a change.
Kit, Molly and the professor were still in a stand-off with Altaira. Molly was
now held mid-air by her; little arms and legs flailing as she attempted to
strike at the ghostly tigress that held their fate in her hands.
“Let me go, you big bully!”
“My, what energy
you have.” She looked down at Kit and the professor.
Molly stopped struggling enough to look back down at Kit.
The professor was trying to get him to lie down. The lack of water and the heat
from the recent bonfire were taking its toll. He was becoming severely
dehydrated and was at the point of passing out.
The twisted smile on Altaira’s face was broken by sudden
and earsplitting wail.
“You’re killing him! Let him go!”
Altaira looked back at the yellow airborne bear. “Oh
please. You’re already acting as if you’ve seen a ghost. He’s not
dead…” then looking down at
the boy momentarily, “…not yet
“Please let Kit go! I’ll do anything!”
A drawn out sniff came from her as she tried hard to hold
in the tears. “Please. I’ll make sure he doesn’t…”
“You really do care
about him, don’t you?” she said coolly. "How cute.”
Another sniff, “Yes. It’s…I…He’s the closest
thing I’ve got to a brother.”
Suddenly the waterworks resumed and Altaira was treated to another dose of Molly’s bawling.
She covered her ears. “Okay…okay…”
Molly’s crying became louder.
“All RIGHT! I’ll
let him go. Anything if you’ll just shut up!”
Altaira discarded Molly, and the girl found herself
suddenly flat on her back.
“And don’t be too
pleased little one. It’s not merely your crying that gives him release. Move
The professor moved out of the line of fire as Altaira took
up a floating position directly behind Kit’s left ear.
“Time to pay the
piper”, she whispered in a singsong tone. “I
will let you out of this oral dilemma, but it will cost you something in
trust.” She looked over toward
Molly then added, “Her trust in you,
“And then… your debt will be paid… maybe.”
She gave a light laugh.
“You must reveal the darkest part of your past to
Kit didn’t know what Altaira was talking about then…
images of Daring Dan’s Air Circus, being dumped from Dan’s plane…and that
ring of fire.
“NO!” He squeezed his eyes tight, trying to block it
off. He’d forgotten all about that night.
“Yes… You know
what you have to do?” Her voice was almost cackling.
Weakly, Kit nodded.
“Very well. I’ll
be listening. If I don’t hear you tell her I’ll be back.”
The goddess placed her hands together, drew them apart to
reveal widening a green glow. Suddenly she slammed them together. A nearly
deafening thunderclap and then she was gone.
He put paws to his snout.
My face… it’s
back to normal!
He looked around, wide-eyed. The professor and Molly stood
gaping at him. Kit saw a canteen sitting near the supplies. He pounced on it,
practically ripping off the cap. Greedily, he drained the contents.
The professor chuckled. “He’s going to make it, Molly.”
Kit’s head was swimming as he guzzled down nearly a pint
of water. He paused, inhaling as much air as his lungs could handle, then
continued to drink until the container was empty.
He sat down on the sand for a few moments, panting, eyes
closed with exhaustion. He was still so dazed he didn’t quite hear Molly; she
sounded as if she was several hundred feet away.
“Just…give me a minute, okay?” he muttered.
It was a long minute; like her mother, she became
“What did she say to you, Kit? What’s she supposed to
be listening for, anyway?”
He didn’t reply.
When he finally spoke, his voice was barely audible.
“I’m... afraid of fire.”
\“That’s silly. You’ve been around lots of campfires, and our
fireplace at home.”
\“That’s silly. You’ve been around lots of campfires, and our
fireplace at home.”
Kit moved about seven feet from the bonfire; his gaze
returned to Molly, whose fur now took on an odd golden color from the glow of
“Molly. Remember when I ran away to join Daring Dan’s Air Circus? Well, he was forcing me to fly through a ring of fire. I was on the ground when he was showing it off to me. Even from twenty feet away my skin felt like it was getting baked. I didn’t want to fly through that ring. Then Dan cut my seatbelt and dumped me from the cockpit. I was falling right toward the ring. If..if Baloo hadn’t…”
Molly didn’t know what to say. She went over to Kit and
put her arms around him.
The long silence was broken by the soft roll of thunder. It
would be raining soon.
* * *
Elsewhere, several feet below ground it too was raining…
“Only you would hit a spring,
“Yeah, well I’m not the only one who’s all wet,
The two were scrambling back up the shaft they initially
came down. Rebecca was ahead of a puffing Baloo. Behind them the chamber was
flooding fast; a spray of water started when Baloo pulled the last chunk of coal
from the crystal wall. Within minutes the spray became a torrent.
“About eight feet to go,
“Yeah…eight feet for you…eighty for little old me.”
Rebecca made good time, crawling out the hole onto the
sandy surface at the top. It was still light, with an oddly green tint.
“Becky…give me a hand,
will ya.” A gray paw was flaying about at the mouth of the hole.
She tried to pull on his arm, but he was just too big.
“Get a vine --- something to grab onto.”
After scrounging about Rebecca found a long vine that was
large enough to hold onto. Baloo grabbed on and began to pull himself along the
vine…and pull, and pull…
Six feet of vine disappeared into the hole as the bear
pulled on its length. Finally the slack in the vine went rigid. Baloo slid out
of the hole, soaking wet and covered in mud. He only heard laughter as he worked
himself onto the sand.
“Yes it is. I always wondered how you might look from a
bath. You look like a slug!”
Baloo didn’t say a word.
“Oh …you’re such a party pooper.”
He was just staring at her. Or rather, he was looking past
She finally noticed. “Baloo, what are you staring at?”
Baloo stood up to get his bearings; a small flood of water
gently welled up from the hole they’d left behind. “What the heck is going
It was only then that she noticed… The desert was gone
and the jungle had returned.
“Not again! She puts us in a desert, with no sense of
direction, forces us down a hole, I get a mouthful of your best side, crawl
through muck, dig for coal and nearly drowned getting out. Now this?”
I’ve had it. I look like a freak and she has the nerve to play games with our lives!”
“And now we’re…”
“Um…we’re near the camp.”
She noticed Baloo was pointing to the left and from the
boundary of jungle twenty feet away three figures popped out of the foliage.
“Baloo” chimed Molly and Kit. The professor looked
relieved. Then all three stopped and stared.
“Who’s the kid, Papa
Bear?” Kit asked.
blinked. Then she let out a joyful squeal. “MOMMY!”
Molly ran to her mother, and gave her a hug. Water began to
drip from Rebecca under the pressure of Molly’s grasp. “Molly sweetie?”
Molly backed off, a small pool of tears welling up in her
eyes. “Baloo, is Mommy going to be okay?”
Baloo pulled three large chunks of coal from under his cap.
“If these work like they’re supposed to, Pigtails?”
Rebecca began marching toward the spot where the kids and
the professor had appeared. “Well let’s get going. The faster I get back to
normal the better I’ll feel.”
As the others began to follow Rebecca, it was Baloo that
worked his way up alongside her.
“So, Becky, did you ever figure out what Altaira meant by
that ‘boyfriend’ remark?”
There was a long pause and she began to walk a bit faster.
The Sea Duck was nearly two hundred feet away, but it seemed like two hundred
“Becky? Oh come on, you can tell me.” He added
roguishly, “Bet he ain’t as handsome as me, right?” He laughed at
his own joke.
“You…you…you! Baloo, you’re the most conceited bear
I’ve ever known!”
He stopped laughing, surprised. “Hey, I was just kiddin’.”
He frowned. “Just what did she tell you, anyway?”
“Why don’t you
ask me, big boy?”
Everyone stopped in mid stride. Baloo slowly turned around
to see Altaira standing directly behind the big bear.
“Okay… I will!”
Kit, Molly, and Rebecca grabbed him by the arms trying to
slow him down. The professor looked
waiting. Or are you a bit embarrassed to ask?”
Altaira leaned in glaring at the other three who’d tried to hold him back. One wave of an elegant hand and everyone, including Professor O’Bowens, suddenly found themselves dozen of feet away and out of earshot. Altaira turned back to the big bear.
“Come on big
bear…tell me what’s on your mind,” she said coyly pressing her muzzle
up near his ear and whispered, “or
I’ll rip your heart out.”
“Well…is she gonna be normal again?” he muttered,
twisting his cap, not looking at her.
“Normal? Was she
ever ‘ normal’?”
‘...you’re really attracted to her and don’t have the guts to tell
“Now wait just a darn minute!”
is she warm for your form normal?”
“You’ve got a dirty mind,
“Mmmmm so she does,
because”, whispering even lower now,
“…she loves you. Or didn’t you notice?”
Fortunately, he was the only one who heard her remark. He
just stood there slack-jawed.
“I guess you
didn’t. Well if you want her to tell you more you have to save here first. And
looking at the position of the sun”, with a smirk, “…you don’t have much time.”
“What?” Baloo turned around and sure enough it was late
afternoon. “Holy Moly! That means we only have...Huh?”
When he looked back, Altaira was gone.
Baloo suddenly became a gray blur, and, as before, picked
Rebecca up and tore off running down the path, this time for the altar. Molly,
Kit and the professor raced to catch up.
“Kit…what...where’s Baloo taking Mommy?”
“Back to that altar. I think he’s figured out how to
change your mom back!”
“Let’s just hope we’ve got enough time,” gasped
O’Bowens. “We’ve only got about an hour!”
End of Chapter 9
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