Imagination in fiction

The Genius Mouse (and the Not-so-smart Cat)

© 2009 Douglas Filter

Once upon a time, in a house in the country, there lived with their humans two small animals. The smallest on, a little mouse was a genius, probably the smartest mouse in the world. He was always thinking about stuff and it seemed like he could never sleep. He had so much in his tiny brain. On the other hand, the Cat was big, fluffy, handsome but just plain dumb. All he thought about was eating and finding a sunny spot to sleep. Oh, and occasionally stretching his back.

Well, one day, the family of humans left the animals alone for a weekend. They thought that they had left enough food for the cat and the mouse, but, as I mentioned, the cat was pretty dumb. Once the humans were gone, he lay down in front of his bowl and ate as much as he could. Then he took a nap. When he woke up, all he could think about was eating, so he ate some more. Then he slept again. In no time, the food which normally would have lasted him for three days was gone. Well, the cat didn’t worry. He figured the people would give him more pretty soon. He didn’t think about the fact that the people had said “Good-bye” and left. So he stretched his back and legs, found a sunny spot on the rug, laid down and went to sleep.

The next day, the cat was starting to feel hungry. But his bowl was still empty. And the people were nowhere to be seen. His tummy was starting to rumble. Now, poor Cat was getting nervous.

Meanwhile, the Mouse was happy because, with the people gone, he could get the supplies he needed for all of his projects. He gathered up string, springs and metal tubes from the garage, pieces of machinery that looked interesting, an alarm clock, some broken toys, an RC car and the remote control, and a lot of other stuff that he found interesting.

The mouse was busy building an invention, taking apart the RC car to get the pieces he needed when he felt a cold shudder. Something dangerous was nearby, and all of his senses went on alert. He looked over his shoulder and there, in the doorway was Cat. And Cat was looking at him in a very funny way and licking his lips. Yikes!

Well, as soon as Mouse noticed the Cat, Cat leaped to catch the mouse. No sense in giving the Mouse time to think, right? But mice are quite fast when it comes to saving their own lives, and Mouse jumped sideways, then scurried down a little escape hole he had in the floor “just in case”.

Mouse hid down there, but Cat wasn’t giving up. “I can smell you, Mouse” Cat said.

“What do you want, my friend?” Mouse answered.

“I’m hungry. People have abandoned us to starve”. Cat replied.

“No Cat, they just went away for a few days, they’ll be back. Besides, they left us plenty to eat. Did you see your bowl?”

“It’s Empty. I’m Hungry. Come out so I can see you.” Cat growled.

“Great” thought Mouse. “Cat is too stupid to eat his food a little at a time like he should have. Now, instead of making my inventions, I have to deal with this.”

Mouse did not come out to meet the cat. In fact, he went the other way, under the floor and through his small passageways behind the walls and under the floors until he got to the kitchen. He popped out, looked around, there was nobody there. So, under the refrigerator and up through the little door he had put in, he entered the refrigerator with his backpack. He would not stay in there very long, it was cold and his fur coat was only so good, but he had to get something. He passed the cheese drawer, where he usually found treats to eat, and went on to the meat drawer. He loaded a whole bunch of meat into his backpack and then crawled out again. On the way out he grabbed a little carton of milk.

He popped out in the dining room. He poured the milk in Cat’s empty bowl, then went back to the hidden doorway of his tunnels. “Cat” he screeched, “I’m over here!”.

When Cat heard that, he jumped up and immediately ran to the dining room. Mouse disappeared just before Cat turned the corner. Cat looked around the room for the little mouse, then smelled the fresh milk in his bowl. He never gave another thought as to how it got there or where Mouse had gone, he just started rapidly lapping up the milk. Once he was full, he laid down for his nap.

This gave Mouse enough time to set up his scheme. Once he reached the workshop, he knew he had to work fast. He split the meat up into two piles and set to work sculpting them into two little statues. He took some fur from his little nest and covered the meat puppets. A couple little black beads for eyes, a pink one for a nose, and a piece of string for a tail, and now, in front of him were two little mice!

He then ran around the room getting everything else ready. He pushed over a board so it rested on the window sill. He ran up this ramp and pulled as hard as he could on the strings to open the window just a little bit.

Then he began assembling his machinery. Using string, springs and little pulleys, he rigged the first mouse as if it was standing in front of a brick wall. However, a string was attached behind him, leading up to the roof, where it was attached to set of gears from the clock, a wheel, a bunch of springs, a lever and a hook. In front of the hook, he placed a long stick, which, if moved, would push against the lever. In front of the lever, he had a tube and at the far end of the tube, a steel marble was positioned on a spoon. The spoon was hidden next to Mouse’s doorway. This is where Mouse planned to hide.

In front of the doorway, Mouse put the Remote for the RC car. He switched it to “Off” to save the battery. On the RC car, which no longer had a body, just wheels and a motor, he put a black cloth to hide the mechanics. On top of that, he put the other meat mouse, bent down as if it was sniffing something. Then he put one of his cheese chunks under its nose.

He backed the RC Mouse under a piece of furniture, and left it switched on. He aimed it so it would go straight ahead, towards the ramp.

Well, of course, Cat woke up hungry and, when he looked in his bowl and saw that it was empty, and looked around the room and saw no people ready to give him more food, he thought of the Mouse again and decided to go to the workshop and eat him. This idea really pleased him and he smiled and purred as he walked down the hall.

Mouse heard the purring sound, as cats walk so softly you cannot hear their footsteps, and got ready.

Mouse had aimed a desk lamp at the first meat mouse, by the wall. He had turned out all the other lights, so when the Cat looked in the door, the first thing he saw was that little meat mouse puppet. Cat raised his eyebrows, because the mouse smelled so good! He smelled like …. MEAT!

“How convenient” Cat thought.

He crouched down and silently, slowly crept halfway across the room towards the puppet who, of course, was positioned so that he was looking away from the door. Cat figured that the puppet had not seen him (He was right, because puppets cannot see anyway!).

Mouse pulled one of the little strings attached to the mouse puppet’s tail and twitched the tail. Cat crouched lower, getting ready to pounce and twitched his own tail.

“Oh boy!” He thought.

“Oh boy” thought Mouse.

Mouse pushed up on the spoon, which dropped the steel marble into the tube and it rolled silently down until it came out the other end and bumped the lever, which moved the hook, which released the springs and ….

… just as Cat jumped …. The string pulled the meat mouse puppet into the air and Cat hit the wall full force, right on his face!

This impact knocked the Cat out for a moment. Mouse tried not to laugh, but of course he couldn’t help it. Cat heard Mouse chuckle, looked around, shook his head, (because there were all of these stars circling around his face and ears from the pain), and looked carefully into the darkness under the furniture where he heard the noise.

He couldn’t smell any more, because his nose had been clobbered when he hit the wall, so he couldn’t tell that the meat mouse was hanging right above him. He thought the mouse had scurried under the furniture. So, he started creeping over there.

Just as Cat was close to the place where Mouse was hiding, Mouse turned on the remote and pushed the forward lever full speed. The second meat mouse puppet attached to the RC car mechanism raced out from under the furniture, heading straight for the Cat. The Cat jumped up just as the mouse puppet ran under his legs. Cat smelled the meat again, which occupied his brain so thoroughly that he didn’t think that this mouse looked kind of strange.

He made a backwards flip, landed on his feet facing the other direction and began to chase the mouse. He followed the mouse puppet up the ramp, inches away from it, his mouth open and his eyes on the little critter’s tail, not on where he was going.

Well, of course, as soon as the mouse meat puppet on the RC wheels got to the top of the ramp, it flew out the window and through the air. And so did Cat!

The workshop was on the second floor, so it took a moment for the mouse to crash to earth. And a second later, so did Cat. Right into the snow!

Cat sat up, stars circling his head again. He heard a noise and looked up at the house, where a little mouse was pointing at him and laughing so hard! And then his nose recovered and he smelled meat not far from him. He scratched into the wreckage of the RC contraption, found a mangled piece of meat with mouse hair on it and gobbled it down at once, spitting out the beads. Then he laid down for a nap!

Mouse was happy. Now the Cat was out of the way and no threat, he closed the window and went back to the projects that were more interesting to him. He knew Cat would wake up hungry again, but this time he would be outside and would have to figure out something for himself. Mouse was tired of feeding him!

Douglas Filter has been a word-crafter all of his life. He has used his storytelling talents to organize presentations, law suits, technical papers and many other documents. He has written and published blogs, columns, articles, business plans and even recently, a draft of a patent. CV’s, contracts, business letters, all forms of written communication. If you need words crafted into a special message, please contact me.