Can I see them (comma) Mark (exclamation point) (question mark)

Oh, visions of Otters past…  the only thing Mark has yet to do is promise to take Rusty fishing…

Yes, Mark, while you were away– for an entire day!  “Of course you can see the Otters, I mean Beavers, Rusty…” Be sure to name them and become attached in order that the release be dripping with sadness and poignancy…

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What the hell is in the tree in panel three?  No, not the squirrel, the other thing getting ready to pounce on the squirrel.  At first I thought it was a mountain lion, but then it’s not looking so much like that…  the head and tail are all wrong.  Some strange mutated predator with tree climbing ability… kind of creeps me out.

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Mark wasn’t even gone the night!

Or was he?  I don’t think so.  He’s being fawned upon and greeted as if he had been to Africa or something…

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Ignoring Rusty, it wasn’t until Andy the big dog got into the love fest that Mark felt truly glad to be back among his tribe…

Would it have killed you to call??

Seriously Mark.  The new Mark Trail shoulda/woulda been sensitive to Cherry’s needs… What with the 24 hour news cycle, the fire on Slumber Mountain (south face) would have been all over the networks and news feeds…  and considering it’s still the same day as when you left Lost Forest, imagine how much Cherry must have missed you…

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But tears?  Really?  Cherry needs to take a page out of the Big Dog’s playbook… let’s show a little equanimity here…  and remember for whom the Strip is named… Everyone other than Mark Trail needs to realize that it is they who are expendable…  But wait Cherry, your surprise will not be complete until Mark shows you the beaver pair he picked up…  OK, we’ll leave it at that…

Yup, but for those ducks, that never would have occurred to him…

Release the Beavers!  What a concept!  But it’s almost as if Mark wasn’t sure what his next move was going to be once he got the beavers home.  Were they to become permanent residents of Lost Forest?  Live in Rusty’s room?  Share the bathtub, Disney-style?  Well at least Mark put the pieces together and now the pair can start out again, in search of running water to dam up…  and he won’t disappoint Rusty with any notions of keeping them as pets

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I have to say, the forest fire was a completely random and non-sequitur event…  We don’t know the careless campers other than they were careless with fire and over-packed… and it of course introduced us to the BLM, where some of our federal tax dollars go to keep us safe and our interests protected.  Well, let’s hope that Wally Wood and Susan find it within themselves to continue their lives together, proper-like, all married and stuff.  Where will the Trail take us next?  Let’s find out tomorrow!

Well, I guess that’s a wrap!

With the beavers in cages, the fire out and the beetles on the run (to be monitored closely by Abbey Powell,) we can all rest soundly now… but what about Wally and Susan? Is he going to pop the question or is he going to continue to “get the milk for free?”  Are we to now go back to Lost Forest and present the demi-god Rusty with the beaver offering?

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Wally’s face says it all, though, that is one relieved man, there, ladies and gentlemen…