shop sat among many other shops, all small, all old and all in need of
repair. The lane broke off from the main road and led down to the harbor.
Like the other shops, Mr. Stewart’s bubbled with mice. They got into his
goods and wares and made a mess of everything.
One day Mr.
Stewart took his cat, Donald, to the shop. “You’ll catch the mice for
me, won’t you, boy?” He stuck the cat in the back room and closed the
like the dark, especially in a strange place. He sat in the corner
licking his paws. The sound of scuttering caught his attention. His ears
went straight up and he listened carefully. “Mice!” Even though Donald
didn’t like the dark, he did like to eat mice. A light shone through the
window. Donald looked up and saw the moon. Its glow lit the room up
enough for the cat to see everything.
A barrel stood
in the center of the room. Donald saw several mice prying the lid off.
He waited until they’d accomplished their task and then pounced on them.
The mice scattered into mouse holes except for one, who busily munched
on a pickle. When Donald came closer to it, it squirted him in the eye
with pickle juice. Donald ran around meowing and holding his sore eye.
He saw another
mouse carrying a bag of fresh tomatoes. When Donald moved in closer, the
mouse threw the tomatoes at him. They splattered all over his striped
All night long
it was the same thing. There were just too many mice! Donald couldn’t
keep up with them. As the hours passed the cat knew Mr. Stewart would be
coming back soon and expected to see a pile of dead mice. Donald waited
for a cloud to pass in front of the moon. When the room filled with
darkness he crept over to the pickle barrel. Once the moon shone again,
the mouse squeaked in terror and stuffed a pickle into Donald’s mouth.
Instead of being
angry and clawing the mouse to death, Donald quite enjoyed the taste of
the pickle. He lifted the lid and picked out three of the biggest he
could find. He lay with his back against the barrel and nibbled away,
not caring how many mice ran around the storage room.
When Mr. Stewart
opened the door and saw the cat and the mice, he grabbed Donald by the
neck and carried him home. “You’re worthless as a mouse hunter. Eating
pickles! I’ve never heard of such a thing. You’re a sour puss.”
mind. He didn’t want to be stuck down at the shop anyway. Donald curled
up in front of the fire and fell asleep while the pitter patter of
raindrops fell on the roof.