Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Bold (emotionally) (08/30/07)
TITLE: Two Hungry Mice
By Betty Castleberry
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Squeak scurried up beside his brother. His little round eyes grew wider. “It’s cheese. I hope Slink leaves us a crumb.”
“Nah. I think that cat’s really a pig. Look, here he comes now, and he’s already gobbling it down.”
The two little mice stood in the shadows of their hole, watching Slink devour the cheese. The thundering sound started again as the lady walked away.
Slink lifted his head from his dish and licked his whiskers. With a swish of his tail, he made his way to the place where Pip and Squeak were hiding. Slink swatted at the small opening. His paw was just a little too big to reach inside. He yawned and settled down for a nap in front of the hole.
Pip and Squeak could not get out. Slink was blocking their way to freedom and food. Pip’s little black nose wiggled as he sniffed the air. “I smell food, and I’m hungry. We have to find a way out.”
Squeak thought for a minute. “Can’t we just climb over him?”
“We’ll wake him up. I don’t want to be his dessert. We’ll have to think of something else.”
Squeak scampered back and forth, still thinking. “I guess we’ll just have to wait until he wakes up.”
“Slink always sleeps for hours.” Pip’s sat up on his hind legs. “I still smell cheese.” His tiny black eyes darted around, trying to find the source of the delicious fragrance. He focused on a golden chunk stuck on the end of Slink’s whisker.
He laughed, unable to contain his excitement.
Squeak looked up at Pip. “What is it?”
“Look at Slink’s whisker. There’s a huge piece of cheese on it. He must have missed it.”
The two little mice joined hands and spun around in a frenzied dance.
Pip stopped suddenly and faced Squeak. “But we have to get that piece of cheese without waking Slink.”
“Oh.” Squeak dropped his head in disappointment. “What if Slink never leaves? What will we do?”
“He will have to leave sometime, won’t he?”
Squeak was afraid that they might starve.
Pip grinned. “I know, Squeak. I’ll grab the cheese real quick and then just run right back in here.”
Squeak’s lip quivered. “That’s dangerous. Why should you do that?”
“I should do it because I’m the oldest.”
Squeak started to cry. “Please don’t do that.”
Pip didn’t let Squeak see him looking at Slink‘s big paws. He knew Slink could stick his deadly claws out whenever he wanted to. He also knew he had to take care of his little brother.
“Don’t worry, we’ll think of something.”
The two little mice watched as Slink stirred and rested his paw against the hole. Pip reached through the hole and ever so gently touched Slink’s paw. He didn’t move.
Pip grinned. “Did you see that, Squeak. He didn‘t know I touched him.”
Squeak smiled. “Do it again.”
This time Pip applied a little more pressure. Slink still didn’t move. “I think I could stand on Slink’s paw and reach that cheese. I wouldn’t have to climb over him at all. If you hold onto my tail, I can stretch up and reach the cheese. Then you could pull me back in real quick.”
Squeak looked doubtful. “What if I don’t pull you fast enough?”
“Are you hungry?
“Then I can do it. I know I can. Just hold my tail real tight.”
Squeak held Pip’s tail as tight as he could. “Now I’m going to be real quiet and climb out onto Slink’s paw. When you see me grab the cheese, pull me in.”
“Okay, Pip. I’ll try.”
Pip stepped lightly onto Slink’s paw and stretched up to his whiskers. He grabbed the piece of cheese and tugged. Slink yowled and Squeak pulled on Pip’s tail with all of his might. Pip landed on his bottom, back inside the hole, the cheese in his tiny hands.
Squeak squealed with delight. “You are so brave.”
Slink meowed in protest and batted at the hole. Pip and Squeak giggled and settled down for their feast, just out of reach of Slink’s sharp claws.
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