her ball across the floor. It bounced off the wall and rolled back to
her. Since she had nobody to play ball with, she played by herself all
day long. Adrianne's father worked at a shop. He sold food, mouse traps
and tools. Sometimes he kept crates at home, especially if there was no
room in the back of the shop.
Adrianne went into the garage, where her father kept the crates. She
threw her ball at them and it bounced off and rolled back to her. “This
is fun! The crates are stacked him so the ball bounces higher.” Adrianne
tried to hit the bottom crate and then the one above it. She threw the
ball so hard that it went behind the crates and she couldn't find it.
She looked at
the crates, trying to decide if she could move them or not. “That one
has Swiss Cheese in it. The one on top of it says Mouse Traps. This one
has Cheddar Cheese and the top one has catnip. I'll bet a mouse would
love to get into these boxes.”
Just then she
heard a squeaky voice. “I'm a mouse and I love Swiss cheese. I love
cheddar cheese too.”
“Who said that?”
Adrianne looked behind the boxes. Nobody was there. When she lifted her
head she saw a plump brown mouse sitting on top of the box of catnip.
“You found my ball!” In its tiny paws it held the blue ball.
“You need to be
more careful where you are throwing this. I was taking a nice nap when
the ball hit me.” The mouse tossed the ball at Adrianne.
“I'm sorry. I'll
tell you what. If you will play ball with me, I'll open the box of Swiss
cheese and give you some.” Adrianne wanted someone to play with.
“You would? I'll
play ball with you, but first the cheese.” The mouse licked his lips.
“By the way, my name's Marmaduke. I live here in the garage.”
Let me open the crate.” Adrianne found a crowbar and pried open the lid
to the Swiss cheese.
heavenly,” the mouse said.
him a big chunk. He gobbled it down.
“I want more,”
him another piece and another and before she knew it, the entire crate
of Swiss cheese was gone. “I've given you the cheese. Now it's time for
you to play ball with me.”
groaned. “I can't. I ate too much and now I'm full.”
down at the mouse. She grabbed it by the tail. “If you don't play ball
with me, I'm going to open this crate of catnip and every cat in the
neighborhood will come right here, to this garage and they can fight
over who is going to eat you.”
gasped. “You would do such a cruel thing?”
sighed. “All right.” He picked up the ball and rolled it across the
floor to Adrianne. She rolled it back. He rolled it back to her. This
went on for hours. Finally Marmaduke was so tired that he closed his
eyes and fell sound asleep.
father came home from work to pick up the crates. He found crumbs of
Swiss cheese all over the floor and the crate empty. He went into the
house and found Adrianne sitting at the table reading a book. “Adrianne,
I think we might have a mouse and I think it ate all my Swiss cheese.”
She smiled, her
grin hidden behind her hand. “A mouse? Nonsense, Dad.”
scratching his chin. “I wonder how it opened the crate though. You
wouldn't know anything about this, would you, Adrianne.”
“Oh no, Dad. I
don't know a thing.” Adrianne thought about Marmaduke and how glad she
was to have someone to play ball with. “I'm sure it won't happen again.”
From then on
Adrianne made sure that she only gave him crumbs and food from inside
the house. Both were happy from then on.