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by Bob Stein
Bob Stein -- all rights reserved

"Hiya, Bobbie! Howze things going?" Jack, the bar's resident piano player, grinned at the mental image of a smiley face Dr. Bob projected as he clopped to the bar. "Great to hear it! I got something to talk to you about after I finish this set!" With that, the big mule resumed his playing.

Jack was one of the few people at the bar that Bob could still 'talk' to, thanks to the equine nature of his form. That was fortunate, since he was also at the bar most of the time, and could act as a translator of sorts. When he was sober enough to talk, that is.

Bob's return to the Blind Pig had been surprisingly smooth, at least so far. He looked deceptively the same, especially when he was standing at the bar. It helped that he hadn't been one of the 'chatty' types before. About the only time he drew attention was when he tried walking around the room.

It was annoying not to be able to use his old booth. A small annoyance, just one of many he had gotten used to over the past two weeks. Even his own place, already custom-fitted for his previous equine form, needed some modification to handle the movement and seating restrictions his near-normal horse legs had brought with them.

Of course, he could always change back to the child form, but that had its own set of problems. Besides, it was still too soon to let let that particular secret out. So he used the child form like a pair of reading glasses, changing to it in private when he needed to write or read anything.

He sipped the Dr. Pepper Donnie had poured for him. He'd never cared much for soda before, but for some reason, his fully equine head had brought with it a real taste for being a 'Pepper.' That wasn't the end of it, either. He also found that he couldn't stand green peppers or mushrooms any more. Although he had been resisting so far, it looked like he was going to have to switch to a normal equine diet.

"Bobbie! Have I got a deal for you!" Jack plopped down on the stool beside him. "How'd you like a free vacation?"

The Shire morph cocked his head and shrugged. Jack pulled out a flyer and showed it to him, forgetting that Bob couldn't read. Then he crumpled the paper. "Oh, sorry. I keep forgetting. Anyway, You know that guy who says he's the horse expert?" At Bob's nod, he continued. "Well, he is starting up a resort for equine-based Scabs, and he came in earlier offering free weekend vacations to introduce the place!"

The mule grinned at Bob's mental image of a steel trap. "Nah, no strings attached. Free food, recreational facilities, and activities." He snorted. "No booze, though. Well, can't have everything. Besides, I can always sneak in my own."

Anyway, he signed up that poor little guy who has the mare-morph for a wife. You know, the PMS-from-hell case? And he's gonna do something special for me, 'cause he wants a piano-player." Jack fished around in a pocket and pulled out another piece of paper. "I know you can't read it, but it's your free pass. I got him to include you!"

Bob started to protest, but stopped to stare at the invitation. A whole resort of equine morphs. Which meant that he'd be able to communicate with most of them. Besides, he was curious to see what Jack was like when he was sober.

He took the paper and gave Jack a 'thumbs-up.' After all, a little vacation never hurt anyone.

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