Old Dog told Bopper that the people were beginning to shop and think about Thanksgiving, which would mean all sorts of company and all of those little children who wanted to ride him, pull his tail, or just bother him in general. “Bopper, I guess I am just getting to be a real old dog, because I do not care to fetch a stick or ball, and I do not like little kids lying on me and pulling my tail.” Old dog looked down as he lay in the sun there in front of the shed.

“Well Old Dog my friend, you can come out and live with us around the shed, no one will bother you out here,” Bopper said. Bopper was starting to remember what Thanksgiving was. To him and his small mouse brain, it had no significance other than it was a day where all of the men folk watched television and the women folk made this great big dinner based on a giant roasted turkey bird.

That night Bopper talked to Fug and a few other elder mice around the shed, and they thought a big spread would be great because it would

soon be that time of the year when mice had to really scavenge and forage just to keep something in their stomachs. Bopper was becoming a senior mouse because he was getting a little gray, and he was not as agile and quick as he used to be. But, oh yes, he was much smarter for he had learned to use his brain and to think instead of just blindly doing as his good buddy Fug still did.

Bopper made the rounds asking what they should do, what he should try to get to eat and questions of that type. Everyone thought it great, each wanted the best of food, but they had no ideas about how or where to come up with it. They talked, but only Bopper seemed to have any ideas. They all wanted lots to eat but didn't want to have to work for it.

Bopper and Fug scouted all about. They even went up to the Green house but found nothing. They went into the house and found that Sig had been caught by a critter and there was nothing they could get for the big meal.

“Fug, we need to find a friend who does not like to eat mice to help us,” Bopper said. He thought about Old Dog, but if Old Dog helped, the people would know it and he would be in big trouble. Wise Old Owl lived mostly on mice, and Chubs Skunk also was a mouser. The big mouth Blue Jays could not help because they were too busy being selfish and fighting for their territory. Bopper was thinking.

When the man brought his car into the shed to work on it, Fug and Bopper searched it, but to no avail. “Bop baby, the big day is getting close and all we have is a little corn, some grass seeds, that half apple, which is drying up, and a small piece of a Hershey bar,” Fug squeaked.

Fug knew, because each time they found something he wanted to eat it, and Bopper would say, “Fug old buddy, we must save this for the big Thanksgiving dinner.”

“Bopper, it isn’t much, but I brought you an ear of corn from the house up the lane. They must have dropped it when they fed their horses.” Old Dog was so sincere. “It is something, it is a large ear and lots of your friends and relatives can each have a kernel,” Old dog added. “I will keep my eyes open little mouse friend,” Old Dog said as he turned and headed toward the house. His master had whistled and Bopper knew Old Dog must quickly respond.

The two were down near the driveway when both of them sat up. “My, oh my Fug, I smell good food, really good food,” Bopper said.

“Oh Bop Baby, me too. Boy oh boy, I would like some of that food,” Fug replied. A big white delivery step van had pulled into the driveway and when the driver opened the door the two mice drooled. As the man took two boxes and entered the house, the two mice scampered up into the van. “Wow, Bop Baby, how can we get all of this out to the shed?”
The two had found a small piece of turkey dressing and were sampling it when they heard the door shut, the engine start and the van began to move. Out of the drive way, around the driveway and North on Powderhouse it went with Bopper and Fug in the back.

The van made six stops then empty of food it flew pell mell back to the kitchen. The driver looked at his watch, saw it was nearly five and time for him to go. He had a hot date tonight so he wanted to get home, shower, shave and dress before he picked up his date. “Done Mister Watts,” the driver said as he handed the clip board to the large man who was arranging food on platters and trays. “See you Friday,” the driver said as he turned to leave.

“No, no Jimmy, no, no, you have three more loads to deliver tonight and then in the morning we have 17 more,” Claude Watts told his driver.

Mrs. Watts hearing the conversation came over to emphasize what her husband had said. “Jimmy, you know this is our biggest time of the year, so call her and tell her you will be late, or call her and tell her she can help you and that way you will get done quicker,” the woman looked down at the frail driver. She was always thinking of how she could help, supplies or anything without having to pay for them. She surely did put a big squeeze on Mister Lincoln.

“But . . . . Mrs. Watts, it is . . . .,” Jimmy cowered as the larger woman looked down on him. Quickly he pulled his cell from his pocket and called a number, “Jean, I have to work, would you like to ride along with me, and we have a lot of food to deliver.”

“Bop baby, how are we going to get home, huh, where are we, how are we going to get home,” Fug asked as he and Bopper hid behind a box in the front of the van. They had scoured the empty van finding little tidbits of food here and there.

“Fug, it will be OK, we will get home, we will get home,” Bopper said in his most convincing voice. “Remember I came back from Nebraska and from the far South and . . . we will get home.”

Mr. Watt and Jimmy loaded the van and soon it was off again as Jimmy picked up Jean and they quickly delivered the first load. On the way back they

did manage to neck a little. The second load went a little slower as Jean’s passion was beginning to rise. “No, Jean, lets get this stuff delivered first, just one more load, please Jean,” Jimmy plead as they drove back to the store. Quickly they loaded and headed out. They made their first stop on Carlson, and then headed for the last three stops, all in Mustang ridge. As they started up Powderhouse, Jean leaned over and nibbled on Jimmy’s ear; he swerved and recovered. Jean thought it funny, but Jimmy spoke, “Not now, please, oh I like it but first I have to deliver this food. I can’t afford to lose my job.” “The light at Storey was green and just as Jimmy turned the corner, Jean nibbled on his ear and whispered, “Lets go to my house, mom and dad are gone until Sunday afternoon.

“Jimmy straightened up, turned to look at Jean just as a large front end loader came down the hill. The loaders brakes failed and the operator dropped the buck to slow down. The ensuing sparks hit the van’s windshield, causing Jimmy to swing the steering wheel to the right.

As the van loaded with Thanksgiving Dinner hit the curb, Fug was thrown up in the air and landed in a tub of gravy

whose top had flown off. “Glub, glub, Fug is in the gravy,” The sopped mouse said as he quickly began to lap up the gray. “Whee, this is good bounce bop baby.”

Bopper had been eating on a nut kernel and was thrown up in a big arc. He sailed through the air and landed on top of a tall Aluminum roll-about storage case that was secured to the wall with tie downs. Bopper started to look around.

Realizing his mistake, Jimmy immediately turned the steering wheel to the left to get off the steep bank before they turned over. As he swerved left Fug who had just climbed out of the gravy, was again bounced into the air and flung into Jean’s face. She saw the mouse and screamed, “Eeeeeeeeeek a mouse, oh my a mouse,” she screamed again and threw both arms around the hapless Jimmy; her foot landed on his, which was on the gas pedal.

Bopper too was thrown up in the air and he landed on Jimmy’s head, Bopper held on for dear life remembering some of his wild adventures.

“Get off me, get . . .” Jimmy cried as they hit the curb on the other side of the road full tilt. The van bounced over the curb, Bopper was thrown off Jimmy’s head, hit the windshield bounced off and landed in the bodice of Jean’s shirt. She felt Bopper in there, screamed louder as the van went through the fence and with the accelerator floored, plowed into the shed. In a split second Jimmy had seen it, relived it and was mortified at the thought as the van came down the bank, crossed the road, hit the side walk bouncing high up across McAllister lane, through the fence and smashed into the shed. Going through the front wall and hitting the motor home, thereby coming to an abrupt stop. The violent actions and reactions caused the food, which was on carts and trays in the back of the van to go flying everywhere. Jimmy tried to stop but Jean’s foot landed on top of Jimmy’s, which was on the accelerator and they shot through the fence and into the shed. All of the food was thrown wildly about.

As the van came to rest, Bopper fell out of her bodice as she slammed into the windshield. Bopper and Fug ran under the seat.

Jimmy opened the door and pulled Jean out as Bopper and Fug also beat a hasty retreat. “You OK Fug, buddy, that was wild, but we are home, you OK Fug,” Bopper asked as both mice were under the motor home behind the front wheel.

“Wow, wow, wow, bop baby, I didn’t get to finish my pie,” Fug yelled as

he had a lot of bells ringing in his ears. Jimmy, who was wearing his seat belt, was only messy as a large lemon meringue pie had hit him in the back of the head. Jean was worse off; she had a broken shoulder, broken arm, twisted leg and a small cut on her forehead. Jimmy looked at the motor home which he had rammed into, then at the shed which he had driven through and then at all of the food that was ruined and strewn about in the van. He started to cry but instead lay Jean down and put his jacket over her, thinking about what to do.

The people hearing the noise ran out to see the white delivery van partially sticking out of the shed. The woman screamed, “Look what they did to our shed, lookie, oh, we will sue them, oooh we will sue,” she screamed. The man grinned, “Quiet mother, you go call 911 and I will see if I can help whomever is inside,” he said as he began to grin. The man thought, the motor home is old; a gas one and this will allow me to get a diesel pusher, and to get an extension on the shed.

The large front end loader had stopped in the middle of the intersection, then the operator had slowly pulled it over to the cup and up on the sidewalk. He had caught a glimpse of the van as it went up the bank then down the bank, across the road up across the lane, through the woven wire fence and into the big shed. He quickly called 911 and his boss.

The police arrived, both Jimmy and Jean were taken by ambulance to the hospital and the man agreed to leave the vehicle where it was until Friday. It is late to get a wrecker out here, so since there is no fire danger, leave it be,” he had told the police.

Mr. And Mrs. Watts had immediately driven to the lane and found the truck load of food ruined. “Mother you call the customers and I will start cooking,” he told his wife after they saw that Jimmy was OK.

“Fug, Fug go get all of the mice and tell them we are having our big Thanksgiving dinner tonight, hurry Fug, tell everyone,” Bopper said as he grinned for Jimmy had delivered the bestest ever Thanksgiving dinner to the mice of McAllister Lane. There was gravy, lots of gravy everywhere, four turkeys, dressing, salads, desserts and all of the condiments of a first class feast. And the scraps of the large Lemon meringue pie that had hit Jimmy was the highlight of the feast.

All of the mice ate until their bellies were dragging the ground, they were so full. Bopper again was the hero of McAllister Lane.


© Tom (tomWYO@aol.com)




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