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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
A Game of Cat and Mouse

Bruce was a chubby little mouse. His fur was light brown and he had a long tail. He loved to eat cheese. Heíd eat cheese in the morning, at noon, and at night before going to bed.

One day he ran into Mr. Bairdieís house to look for a mid-afternoon snack. Sitting on the counter was a box. Curious about what was inside, Bruce climbed up and had a peek. He saw packages of crackers, biscuits, and all sorts of cheeses.

Bruceís eyes lit up with delight. There was enough food here to last him for a month. He nibbled a tiny hole in the package of crackers and started breaking off bits. "These are salty," he coughed. "I need a drink of water!" He ran over to the sink and let a few drops fall from the tap into his mouth. "Much better!"

"What should I try next?" he smiled. "Ah, Iíll try these biscuits." He used his tiny paws to tear a hole in the package "Raisins! I love raisin biscuits." He nibbled away until he was full. "Iím thirsty again," he sighed and ran over to the sink and let a few drops of water fall from the tap into his mouth. "Much better!" He patted his tummy and ran back to the box.

"Cheese! Look at all the different kinds. Thereís Swiss, Brie, Gouda, and my favorite, Cheddar. Iíll start with that," Bruce chuckled and began to eat the cheese.

Unknown to the mouse, Callum, a large gray cat, was watching him. He had a plan. He was going to wait until the mouse was full of food and too fat to run fast and then heíd catch him and gobble him down. He lay in front of the fire pretending to be asleep, but one of his eyes watched with curiosity at all times.

"Iím getting full," Bruce yawned. "Iíve eaten crackers, raisin biscuits and all sorts of delicious cheeses. I think Iíll get another drink of water and then head back to my mouse hole." He ran over to the sink and let a few drops of water fall from the tap into his mouth. "Much better!" He patted his ever-so-fat tummy and started to climb out of the sink. The problem was that he was too full and too fat to get back out. "Uh oh," he cried.

"Itís time," Callum smiled, standing up and stretching. "Iíve been waiting patiently for this moment. That fat mouse will taste delicious. Iím starving." The cat headed for the sink. He hopped onto the counter and looked down, seeing the plump mouse frantically trying to climb out. "Having problems?" he sneered.

Bruce looked up and saw the large cat. He started running around in circles in the sink, hoping to confuse Callum. With no other choice, he crawled into the drain and crept away.

"Come back here, you mouse! Youíre not getting away. Iíve waited all day for you to get fatter and fatter," Callum shouted, angrily.

Bruce had a difficult time getting through the pipes because heíd eaten so much, but finally was able to crawl out through the end of a broken piece of pipe and run to his mouse hole. Safely inside, he peeked out and saw the cat sitting at the sink.

That night Bruce had a bad dream. He dreamt that he was trying to get to some cheese, but everywhere he went there was a cat. There were brown cats, gray cats, orange cats, blue cats and striped cats. No matter which direction he went, a cat was always sitting near the cheese. He woke up shaking in terror. "Whew, that was a bad dream. I guess Iíd better not eat so much."

A Game of Cat and Mouse

From that day on, Bruce made sure that he ate only enough to take away his hunger. He never again ate so much that his tummy got fat and he never went near the kitchen sink for a drink of water.

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