I decided to take a walk round my village this morning just to make sure all’s well. It’s been a few days since I did so. As I was getting to The Fursty Ferret I saw Ginger and young Frisk, a newcomer, talking. Or rather Ginger was doing the talking and Frisk the listening. I wandered over in time to hear Ginger saying “And I suggest you don’t say a word about it from now on”.
“About what Ginger?” I asked.
“Oh hello Oscar, nothing important” he said.
“I was just asking if it’s true that two rats rule the roost in your house” said Frisk with what looked like a smirk.
“I don’t know who you’ve been listening to kitten” I said, “but make no mistake, I’m still as much in charge there as ever.”
“Just what I’ve been saying” added Ginger.
It was easier to feign indifference to what Frisk said than to actually work out in my mind whether what I’d said was true since the unfortunate incident with my tail, but I wasn’t about to voice my doubts.
I continued with my stroll as though nothing was wrong but it worried me that a newcomer could so easily voice thoughts that made me look silly in front of my friends. I have to fix this and quickly I thought. With a new determination I turned and headed for home. Just inside the gateway there was a rustle and quick as a flash I pounced showing Frisk and Ginger who seemed to have followed me that I’d lost none of my speed. It was a small field mouse and as my jaws caught it, the mouse played dead. I realised to my relief it was a mouse I’d caught before and had asked to play dead in exchange for it’s life. From the corner of my mouth I spoke to Frisk “Do you really fink anyone oo cud catch a mouse vis fasht is not boss at home?” I didn’t wait for his reply but went indoors. Inside I made sure I avoided the screaming Longlegs and went straight to an open clearway and dropped the mouse outside again. “You’re lucky I didn’t bite” I said “now why not find somewhere else to live?”
I went to the room for sitting and stood before the cage where the rats live. Hmm, daylight, they’re asleep I thought. I called out.”Hey rats, come on out and talk for a minute”.
Two heads duly appeared followed by two bodies that stretched out from sleep and lastly came two tails, huge long hairless things.
“What do you want?” said Rat 1
“Is it food time?” said Rat 2.
” Stop thinking about your stomach Penny ” said Rat 1 “it’s almost dragging on the floor.”
“Listen” I told them, “I want a truce and a little favour!
“Have you got anything to eat?” said the one called Penny”even a little tail would do.” and I swear there was a little snigger there.
I picked up one of their chocolate drops between my teeth and leaned towards the cage. Penny came to take it and as she did I caught one of her whiskers. “Ouch”she said.
“Perhaps it’s time I made meal of something “I said and let go.
“I repeat, what do you want” said Rat 1.
“As we both have to live here, I suggest we make the best of it” I replied, “but, as you have your own little kingdom here and I have mine everywhere outside your home, if you help me regain my good name I’ll agree to leave you in peace.”
“Sounds reasonable” said Rat1 “so what’s the favour you want?”
“I need to carry one of you outside in my mouth to show I’m still the Superior here. After I’ve been seen I’ll bring you back unharmed.”
Rat 1 whispered to Rat 2 before turning back to me and saying. ” We agree. You can carry Penny out and I’ll watch to make sure you keep your word.”
Clever, I thought, making sure that one made sure she was safe. Easy to see who was the brains. When I opened the cage and Penny came towards me it was easy to see who was the stomach too.
I took her in my teeth and carried her outside. We were approaching the gate where Ginger and Frisky were still sitting when Penny said quietly ” Is there anything to eat out here?”
I shushed her and lay her inert body on the ground near Frisky. ” So the rats rule the roost do they? Here’s one that doesn’t and the other one is next.”
“Sorry Oscar” said Frisky ” you’re obviously still in charge.”
“Right”I said “I’ll leave this as a gift for my Longlegs” and carried Penny back inside. My jaw was relieved when I was able to set her down. It’s obvious rats don’t do diets. As a thank you I got two grapes from the room for food and brought them to the cage. I saw Rat 1 say thanks and start to eat while Penny ran with hers to the base to hide it and then come back to the top.”Come on Amy” she said, “share with me, after all, I was the one who went out.”
“Yes” said Amy “you did” and handed over her grape. Penny started eating and Amy ran down to get the one Penny had hidden to eat herself. “Oh , you’ve got another one ” said Penny, “that’s good.”
“Truce over Ladies ” I said, “from now on I’m the Superior round here and if you behave there’ll be more food. I left them eating their grapes.