Wiggles, Twitch, and Fluffy were
three rats that lived among a pile of rocks. Wiggles and Twitch were small
rats, with rather short tails, but Fluffy was a huge rat. His tail was
long, his teeth were big, and his feet were so big that sometimes he
accidentally stepped on his friends. He always had to be careful. "Watch
out, Fluffy!" Twitch would shout.
"Get your foot off me!" Wiggles
It was hard finding food in the
winter. Snow covered the ground and it was so cold in the highlands of
Scotland that all the lochs and ponds froze over with a thick layer of
ice. "Iím hungry," Twitch complained. "Weíve not had anything to eat for
days. My tummy is grumbling all the time."
"Iím hungry too," Wiggles whined.
"Fluffy, why donít you go and find us some food. You are much bigger than
we are and itís easier for you to find things. Your eyes are bigger and
can see better."
"I might be bigger, but that only
means that a cat or a fox can find me easier," Fluffy replied.
"Be careful then. Just step on them
with your big feet," Twitch giggled.
"Thatís not funny," Fluffy pouted.
"Okay, Iíll go and look for some food, but donít be surprised if I donít
come back. If weíre hungry, so are the foxes and cats."
Fluffy left the rocks and plodded
through the snow. His feet were so big that he constantly tripped on them.
"Brrrr. Iím freezing," he said, rubbing his arms. He walked and walked and
walked and soon came upon a croft. It was sitting off by itself near the
woods. Fluffy saw smoke coming out of the chimney. "Iíll bet they have
food in there." He sniffed the air. "Smells like barley soup. Itís
probably bubbling away in a big iron pot over an open fire. Yummy." He
crept closer and closer, always on the watch for a hungry cat.
As he neared the front door, it
opened wide and a man came outside. He picked up a few pieces of peat for
the fire, and then went back in. "Nowís my chance," Fluffy said, and
darted into the croft. The door shut behind him. He hid behind an old
couch. "Itís warm in here," he said, rubbing his arms and enjoying the
heat. "I think Iíll have a look." He carefully peeked from behind the
couch. "Thereís the fireplace. Thereís another couch. Whatís that sitting
on the couch? Yikes! Itís a cat." Fluffy gulped and hid.
After a while his tummy was growling
loudly. He thought of his friends, Twitch and Wiggles and knew they must
be even hungrier than he was. "Iíve got to get some food!" He peeked again
and saw that the cat was sleeping. Slowly he crept from behind the couch
and headed for the kitchen. There was a kettle of barley soup, bubbling
away, just like he thought. "Yummy," he whispered. He spotted a plate
piled high with hot bannocks, sausage rolls that smelled delicious, and
flaky bridies. "Iíll bet those are filled with onions and bits of steak,
and maybe some cheddar cheese." He licked his lips. Seeing that nobody was
around, Fluffy crept up the table and began to nibble on the sausage rolls
"SHRIEK! SHRIEK! SHRIEK! Itís a rat
and itís on our kitchen table!" shouted a rather plump woman. "Hamish,
come and catch the rat!" she called to her cat.
Fluffy gulped in terror. He was
frozen in fear as the big orange cat moved towards him. "Yikes!" He
grabbed a bridie in his hands and ran down the leg of the table, across
the living room and hid behind the couch. Hamish chased him and tried to
catch him. Just then the front door opened and Fluffy ran outside into the
freezing snow. He ran and he ran and he ran. He found a haystack and
crawled inside just as the cat pounced at him. MEOW!
"Whereís the bridie?" Fluffy
wondered. "I must have dropped it. Iíll not get it now," he frowned.
Fluffy stayed in the haystack for hours. The cat paced back and forth,
waiting for him to come out. When the sun set that night, Hamish was
called back into the croft for the night. When the door had shut behind
him, Fluffy came out of the haystack. "Now what will I take back to
Wiggles and Twitch?" Lying near the haystack were a few grains of wheat.
"I guess this will have to do." He picked them up with his sharp teeth and
ran home through the freezing snow.
"Where have you been?" Wiggles
"We thought youíd been eaten by a
cat, or a fox," Twitch said.
"I nearly was," Fluffy said. He told
his friends what had happened. "All I have is this wheat."
"Thatís good enough for me," Wiggles
"Me too," Twitch added.
The three rats shivered in the cold
and nibbled on their wheat, happy that at least they had some food and
didnít have to worry about Hamish eating them!