The fall had been long and pretty but when the wintry weather did come, all the mice were cold. They were still talking about the big Thanksgiving feast they had and remembered how full they got. Cindy mouse

had been following Bopper ever since. “Oh Bopper. Oh Bopper, how great you are. How daring you are. Oh Bopper I do like you,” she kept saying.

Bopper was getting sort of bumfuzzled with all the sweet talk. Cindy mouse was cute, petite, and seemed so loving, but Bopper wanted to make his own decision.

He remembered what granny mouse had told him earlier: “Bopper, son, you have to watch those that flit and promise for they will sink their claws in and strangle you.” Cindy mouse seemed that type to Bopper, but he could not be rude to her for she would squeak and rue so much all of the Lane mice would know. He had to get Cindy Mouse interested in someone other than himself.

Bopper remembered his first Christmas, and the big orange thing that had fallen from the flying sleigh. He wanted to try and one-up last year's efforts but he had no idea how. He wanted it better then the recently observed Thanksgiving feast.

“Mouse, oh mouse. Bop. Bopper baby,” Fug had replied when Bopper told him what he wanted to do for Christmas. “No way, Bop, baby. No way. The last one will never be duplicated, nothing could come close.”

Bopper began to think, trying as hard as he could with his small, mouse brain to figure a way he could do something without dumb luck or Murphy’s Law acting in his favor, as some of his adventures had been.

Bopper became sad and morose as he wandered around looking. Always looking. “What you looking for Bopper,” man-a-mouse squeaked out as he wandered by.

“Oh nothing. Nothing at all. Just thinking,” he would reply. Then he would perk up and add, “Have a great day. Lots of good ripe seeds up in the pasture field."

Matter of fact, Cindy mouse had heard all about the ripe seeds in the field. The grass had grown, and the man had cut it as soon as the grass had turned brown. That's when the seeds were ripe. The man hoped the seeds would cause more grass to grow next year.

Cindy mouse had found, been given, or some how had come by a nice acorn top. “Momma, I know how I will catch that Bopper, she said. "I will get lots of seeds and fill this acorn top. I will tie that piece of red yarn I found around it. Bopper will be impressed with my creativity and he will sweep me off my feet and I will be his wife.”

Cindy's momma shook her graying head. “Cindy mouse, you are one strange one you are. You have umpteen mice chasing you and all you can think of is that bob-tailed Bopper.” Momma knew there was no need to talk to her daughter. “Good luck,” she said as her daughter scurried from the burrow.

Cindy scurried out of the hole and up the hill to where a thick clump of grass had been. She did not look about. She did not think danger that might lurking in the sky, or nodding up on the power lines.

Bopper saw Cindy and realized what she was doing. He took off after her squawking as loud as he could. “Cindy! Oh, Cindy! Hawk! Hawk on the power line! Hide, Cindy! Hide!"

Cindy did not hear Bopper, for she was singing as loud as her little squeaker would squeak. She found the good, big, fat seeds and began to fill the pouch in her mouth with them. She did not see the ominous shadow. She did not hear the voice of Hawkeye Hawk’s grandson, Diver Hawk, when he spotted lunch and swooped down to get her.

Bopper saw Diver Hawk and ran as fast as his four legs would carry him, jumping up, squeaking, hoping to distract Diver so he would come after him.

Kerswoooosh! Diver’s talons grabbed Cindy mouse, and tightened their grip as Diver climbed up into the sky.

Bopper was only a yard or so from Cindy when Diver grabbed her and swooshed away.

“Cindy, oh Cindy mouse!” he called. He saw the danger and quickly scurried under the edge of a yucca plant just as Hawkeye Hawk swooped down with plans to have Bopper for his lunch.

Hawkeye screeched. “I will get you little bob-tailed mouse! One day I will get you!” Hawkeye soared back up into the sky.

Bopper remained under the edge of the yucca, shivering and telling himself he was one dumb mouse.

After a long wait, Bopper finally came out and went back to the shed. He was very sad that Cindy mouse and her stupidity had cost her her life. Bopper became even more down in the dumps after this event, and he moped even more as he wandered about. “I should have been more careful and watched out for Cindy mouse. If I had paid more attention, then she would not have done what she tried to do,” Bopper told granny mouse.

Granny mouse looked at Bopper, and he could tell the old one was thinking. Finally in a low squeaky voice, Grandma Mouse spoke. “Bopper, that mouse knew what she wanted and she was determined to get it. And now, young mouse, get your lazy hide over to the barn and talk to Emmy Lou mouse. She ain’t so pretty, but she be a good mouse. She will make you a good friend, a good wife, and a good mate.”

“Aw Granny, I don’t think I am ready for that yet. I don’t think I am ready for the responsibility yet.”

“Bopper mouse git! Do what I say or I will get me a willow switch and tan your mouse hide.” Granny used her meanest voice but she was about to laugh for her grandson was the spitting image of Wild Henry, her husband and Bopper’s grandpa.

“Yes Maam, Grandma mouse,” Bopper replied, and he headed over to see Emmy Lou mouse.

Now as I have said, there are house mice, barn mice, shed mice, field mice and all sorts of other mice. But around the lane, field mice only come in during the worst part of winter and the mice that live inside consider them snow mice. Emmy Lou mouse’s folks were field mice. One summer her parents just stayed in the barn and have been there every since. Bopper knew that Emmy Lou mouse was a tom boy mouse for she once had beaten him in a race, so Bopper scampered on over to see her.

Bopper Emma Lou with her mouse-sized besom sweeping around the entrance to their hole. “Why hi there superhero Bopper mouse,” Emmy Lou said. She finished and quickly put the besom away.

“Hi Emmy Lou mouse. Lovely day isn’t it?” Bopper said as he looked her over. Emmy mouse was taller than Bopper, one of those long, lean lady mouse machines.

“Sure is,” she said with a smile. She looked at this little mouse who was famous for all of his exploits, exploits which Emmy Lou mouse wish she could have been a part of. “Sorry to hear about Cindy mouse," she said, "But brains were not her suit.”

“Want to get some ripe weed seeds?” Bopper asked.

“Oh! Isn’t that what Lucy mouse was doing when she was grabbed by a hawk?”

“We will go over near the apple trees. There it is heavy and we can hide from any hawk that might come along.” Bopper remembered and felt sort of Fug like.

“Ok, if you want, Emmy Lou said. "Sweeping does make me hungry.”

The two mice scampered up alongside the shed, then at the corner they stopped to check out the hawk situation. Soon they were eating the ripe grass seeds and running about having fun. But both kept a sharp eye out for old Hawkeye and his family.

After they ate their fill, Bopper took Emmy Lou to the little chunk of ice under the wood pile where they had a drink of water. Then Emmy showed Bopper some young tender dandelion sprouts.

When Bopper left her hole, he felt good, for he had had fun with Emmy Lou mouse. Not putting on airs, but just having fun together. Just like he and Fug did, except with Emmy Lou, things seemed different. “Tomorrow you want to help me check out the courtyard and see if we can find anything for the Christmas feast?” he said.

She smiled and said yes. Emmy Lou mouse was doing some sewing when Bopper left.

“Bop baby. Bop, I didn’t see you yesterday, didn’t see you at all.” Fug had met up with his best friend. “Bop baby, I went with Charlie fence mouse and Doofus cactus mouse, and we went up to the green house.”

“What did you find? What did you see, huh, huh? What did you see Fug, old buddy?”

“Fug, old buddy." Bopper would occasionally talk like his friend. "Emmy Lou mouse and I are going to the courtyard to check it out. Want to come, Fug?" We haven’t found anything for the feast yet.”

“Nothing at the green house," Fug said. "Nothing inside or outside. Plus, there is D-con everywhere up there. Don't want to go back up there. No siree mouse. Don’t want to go up there,” Fug shook his head. So the two mice headed for the far corner of the barn to get Emmy Lou mouse.

The three mice scampered about looking, hunting, and just nosing in any and everything. But they didn't find any food stuff. Nothing to eat. Not even a piece of colorful thread for the feast. “Bop baby, old Fug is hungry,” Fug announced.

“Fug, old buddy. I haven’t seen anything, not one thing to eat.” Bopper looked at Emmy Lou mouse.

“Oh Bopper, stop funning Fug. There is lots of food. Come, I will show you.” Emmy Lou raced across the courtyard and under the lilac bushes, where she picked up an Acer. She gnawed the skin off and revealed a small seed. “Try it Bopper, try it Fug,” she said.”

Bopper took a little gnaw, “Oh this is good.”

He handed the remainder to Fug who quickly gnawed it all up. “Wow, Emmy this is good!” Fug found another one, opened up the seed, and ate it. He was off on an eating frenzy.

“Careful! Hold up Fug!” Emmy Lou yelled. “Hold up! They are good but if you eat too many it is like eating sweet rose petals.

Bopper who was peeling Acers, stopped. He remembered what the rose petals had done both he and Fug.

“Oh yes, remember the rose petals Fug?” It took no more words for Fug stopped eating.

That night Bopper and Emmy Lou climbed to the top of the big juniper bush and looked at the moon. Later, as Bopper scampered back to his own hole, he was all smiles because he had decided this lady mouse was right pretty Ok in his book.


 

© By Tom (tomWYO@aol.com)

 

 


 


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