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The Man, the Cat and the Mouse

Victory. Disaster. Defeat. It's only the beginning.

By Joshua MaggsPublished 8 months ago 5 min read

Throughout the old, cracking timber walls came the sound of a hurrying little mouse. Its tiny feet click-clacketing much louder than normal as the smell of a tasty cheese wafted through the air. The mouse scurried along the centre of the wall - jumping over fluff and dirt, a sock it dragged through earlier and a half-eaten piece of bread that was thieved from the floor of the kitchen. The mouse stopped. Its little heart racing as it heard the sounds of giant steps from the other side of the wall. Its tiny whiskers twitching here and there as the mouse turned its face toward the wall.

The Man walked in through the front door of the house with bags upon bags of shopping. He fumbled for his keys and phone while attempting to hold the half dozen bags full of his weekly shop. The day was half-way through, with the warm gentle breeze blowing in through the open door. He walked into the kitchen and noticed a small block of cheese sitting on the benchtop. Great, he thought to himself, I forgot to put that away.

The Mouse knew he didn’t have much time. He wanted that cheese. He would do anything for just a bite of that delectable cuisine that was rarely readily available. He scurried, more quietly this time, toward his makeshift hole in the skirting board of the wall. He used his little hands to move away a piece of chewed-out wood that blocked the entrance between his world and the man’s world. Then he saw it. Like a golden glow upon a pedestal – the cheese.

The Man had a decision to make. Put the cheese away now or make another trip to the car for the second round of groceries. He thought about it very briefly before realising he had unintentionally left the ice cream in the car. He hurried out, hoping to save it before it was too late.

Mouse knew this was his time to shine. His little legs picking up speed before he realised what was going on. The cheese was becoming closer and closer. The joy he felt was incredible. He was about to taste something he hadn’t tasted in a very long time. It was so close. Then he heard the sound that makes any small rodent shudder with fear… ‘Meoooowwwww’.

It was a standoff. Mouse frozen mid-way across the kitchen floor, like an abstract statue. Cat situated at a strategic position upon the cat tower, and the Man, stopped with mouth wide open and with a container of choc-chip ice cream under his arm. Silence. A frozen mouse. A ready-to-pounce Cat and a terrified Man. The sound of the clock ticking became crystal clear as no one made a move. Suddenly Cat launched forward, barrowling through the air, eyes locked upon the target. Mouse initiated power mode and started running on the spot before gaining traction towards the hole under the fridge. And the Man, the poor Man. In amongst the now chaos of the household farm, dropped the ice cream.

Under the fridge was a dark and damp place. Mouse didn’t like it here. This was a place of last resort – usually when his life depended on it. He could still smell the cheese – that beautiful, yellow melt-in-your-mouth delicacy. Mouse began dreaming about the moment they would finally meet. The physical embrace of becoming one with the cheese.

Mouse was suddenly interrupted by the abrupt arrival of the end of a broomstick hurtling along the floor under the fridge. He jumped. The Cat meowed. The Man yelled “Get out you ghastly rodent!”. The Cat’s paw took a swipe as its oversized face was slowly squished in underneath the fridge, with the outside light enabling its eyes to glow amber red.

The Man had had enough. The broomstick wasn’t successful. The Cat was trying too hard. The Mouse was still not making any advances out from underneath the fridge. Then he had an idea. The cheese. It was still there. Perhaps the Mouse would be tempted to come out at the sight of a lone piece of cheese. He picked it up and placed it on the floor in the middle of the kitchen. The Man picked up the Cat and walked back behind the bench waiting. Waiting for his marvellous plan to be executed to perfection.

Mouse finally stopped dodging the broomstick and the paw. It was odd they had both suddenly disappeared. He was relieved. Sighed a sigh of relief. His whiskers twitching. Something didn’t seem right. Then he saw the glow of the radiant piece of cheese – just sitting peacefully on the kitchen floor. It was a miracle. An absolute miracle that he was so close. He moved forward slowly, yet cautiously. This was too easy. It’s like it was meant to be. Him and the piece of cheese. Together forever.

The Man waited. The Cat waited. The clock ticking as he had groceries to unpack. Surely this mouse was going to take the bait. The Man knew at precisely the right time he would have to let go of the feline and let nature take its course. He watched the floor at the bottom of the fridge. There it was. The nuisance of a mouse. The Man scrutinized each step, as it cautiously approached the cheese. The Cat’s ears pricked up and began trying to escape the arms of its holder.

Mouse was so close. Mesmerized. In love. Overwhelmed. A few more tiny steps and he had made it. The Cat leaped out of the Man’s arms, sliding across the bench and knocking a bottle of olive oil. The oil spilled over, with pieces of glass hitting the floor. The mouse jumped with the fright of its life as the Man came running around the corner. Mouse picked up the cheese, gripped it tight and began the run back towards the hole in the wall. The cat slid off the benchtop with oil-coated paws, falling to the floor after definitely losing one of its nine lives with all this commotion. The Cat tried to race after the Mouse but couldn’t – its oil slick paws were no match for a Mouse with a mouthful of scrumptious cheese. The Man likewise ran after both of them – quickly grabbing his unsuccessful comrade from earlier – the broom.

The Mouse was almost there. The Cat was behind, sliding this way and that. The Man was closer to the Mouse than the Cat now, until his feet got caught up in the dropped ice cream that had now melted on the floor. He slipped and tripped, hurtling towards the floor with a startled Cat trying to slide out of the way. Mouse made it to the hole. Achieving his mission. The Man hit the floor, started sliding on the oil covered floor and arrived head-first into the wall with the Cat following suite beside him.

BANG! Mouse was safe and happy. It was now time to enjoy his reward. The coveted cheese. It was his and no one else’s. No one was a match to the triumph of his skill and ability to obtain the desires of his heart.

The Man on the other hand had an unfortunate egg swelling on the top of his forehead and trying to comfort a crying Cat. This wasn’t over. This war was only just the beginning.

Short Story

About the Creator

Joshua Maggs

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Comments (1)

  • HandsomelouiiThePoet (Lonzo ward)8 months ago

    Lol 😆omg, This is a Fantastic Tale ❗

Joshua MaggsWritten by Joshua Maggs

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