A Short Story on the Website of
the Red Dirt Writers Society

The Naughty Little Mouse 
by Melissa Neely (Apr 2009)

Scrunch, scrunch, scrunch - scratch, scratch, scratch.

“Do you hear that?’ Kim asked, sitting up in bed and grabbing Aaron’s arm.

“No,” Aaron said and rolled back over to go to sleep. Kim lay in bed listening for that naughty little mouse to start again.

Scrunch, scrunch, scrunch - scratch, scratch, scratch.

Kim jumped from bed and headed into the other room listening carefully as she crept along. She felt like a sneaky detective, tiptoeing her way through the house. She crept with her ear to the bottom of the wall listening for signs of that naughty little mouse.

Scrunch, scrunch, scrunch - scratch, scratch, scratch.

There it was again. Aha! An itty, bitty hole, no bigger then a penny. Was that naughty little mouse in there? Kim sat staring at the hole, daring that naughty little mouse to show his face. What will I do if I see that naughty mouse? I could get some tweezers and pinch his little nose and pull him out of the hole. I could put little drops of poison down his hole, or I could bop him on the head. None of these seemed like very good ideas, but that naughty little mouse had to go.

Where is that cat? It’s his job to keep the mice away. Kim went looking for Loki Cat. She looked in all his favorite places - the clean laundry, the fat chair, the corner heating vent, the guest bathtub. That cat was nowhere to be found.

She sat on the end of her bed and put her head in her hands. She was frustrated with that lazy cat and wanted that naughty mouse gone. Kim was about to give up and go to bed when she heard purring on the other side of the bed. That lazy cat was sleeping on Aaron’s head.

Kim snatched that lazy cat and took him to the hole. She told Loki Cat all about the naughty little mouse. She reminded Loki Cat that keeping the mice away was his job. “You get to it!” she said and left Loki Cat to sit in front of the hole. 

Eventually that naughty little mouse poked his head back out of the hole. Loki Cat scowled at the naughty mouse. “We had a deal, you don’t come in the house and I leave you alone.”

The naughty mouse knew that she had broken the rules but didn’t know what to do. “I need to build a nest, and it’s still too cold and much too dangerous to build a nest in the field. What should I do?”

Loki Cat thought for a few moments of places that might be safe. The garage was part of the house; that wouldn’t do. Aaron was sure to find her in the shed or his workshop. Where would the naughty little mouse be safe and warm with her nest?

The roots of the tree by the creek would be the perfect spot. The creek bank would protect her from the weather and the tree root would make a very nice roof. And, of course, lots of food could be found by the creek. Loki Cat explained to the naughty little mouse where to build her nest and sent her on her way.

Kim got up in the morning to make sure that lazy cat had done his job. Kim was happy to see that the naughty little mouse was gone. Obviously, she had gotten the cat to do his job. “It’s a good thing I stay on top of these things, or this house would fall apart,” Kim told Loki Cat. Loki Cat weaved and rubbed on Kim’s leg, meowing and purring. “Good kitty” Kim said as she scratched Loki Cats head.

Loki Cat grinned to himself. Ahhh, a little credit.

The humans were happy to be mouse free again, and Loki Cat could go back to sleeping on Aaron’s head, at least until the next naughty little mouse broke the rules.

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