Papa Slider surveyed his mouselets. “What can I tell you to keep you safe in the big dangerous world?”

“We will be fine,” Spunky said.

“Stick together,” Papa said, as he kissed each one.

As they started off, Spunky, Stinky, Stout, Skittish, Sneaky, Spirited, and Stealth said, “goodby, Papa.” They walked all day as the sun set they came upon an abandoned house.

“Look, crumbs on the floor,” Stout sang after they entered the kitchen.

“Yum, a snack,” Stinky announced and began to munch contentedly.

“Yup, looks good. Is good,” Spunky said. He began to look for hiding places.

Skittish, and his three shy sisters sat a minute and waited.

Time passed and everyone was still eating.

“It must be safe,” Skittish said.

“Yup” the three girls agreed, and they moved to the crumbs.

“This looks like our new home,” Spunky said.

“Messssss,” they said with their mouths full.

The girls searched the kitchen for other things they needed. Sneaky found a jar of peanut butter, and a bottle of water in the pantry.

“Peanut butter and water,” she announced as she rolled them into the middle of the floor.

“Help me stand ‘em up. I’ve an idea.” She returned to the pantry and threw a ball of string down to her brothers.

Sneaky chewed the string into seven equal lengths.

“Ok, who is going to tie strings to the jar top?”

“I’ll do it,” Stinky announced as he started up. “Dad taught me superior knots.”

Stinky secured the strings. When he came down, he turned to her and said, “Now what?”

“Everyone grab a string,” she announced. When they had gotten their strings, Sneaky shouted.

“Run fast, this way and swing out on your string. Wheeeeee,” she started. They had fun and unscrewed the top on the jar. They played this game with the bottle of water. Their new home was perfect.


The next morning as they foraged for their breakfast, a dark shadow fell across the kitchen floor. The mouselets streaked into their hiding place.

“Do you see that? Moths flew from the missing patches of fur along its ribs,” whispered Sneaky. The cat growled at them and tried to pry them from their hiding place in the pantry.

“Oh man, it has green teeth,” Stinky said awestruck by the horror.

“I swear, flames came out of its eye,” Skittish announced.

“It is lame. It drags the back left leg,” Spirited said.

“Yuck, its drool is a slimy waterfall,” Stealth said.

“It’s blind in that scarred eye.” announced Stout. “Look, he’s missing part of his ear.”

“I’ll circle around,” Spunky said. “Watch what it does. Dad’s lesson on cats didn’t cover anything like this. Maybe it is the Zombie cat reported in the newspaper.”

They spent their evening brainstorming.


Next day, they heard footprints but the creature used all four feet, so they crept to the edge of their hiding place and looked out.

“Look at the size of that rat,” said Stealth.

“Can this get any worse?” asked Spirited.

Creeping up behind the rat the lame Zombie cat appeared. Too late the rat realized what was behind him. He twirled trying to get ahead of the cat.

“The cat doesn’t track with his left eye,” observed Spunky, as he watched horrified.

“Awkkkkkkkkk, spult…” the rat exclaimed. It did him no good because the Zombie cat grabbed him in the middle and shook him breaking his neck.

“My young life passed before my eyes,” announced Sneaky.

“So did the rat’s,” Stout said. “We’re leaving.”

“Yes,” they agreed.


The cat blocked the entrance to their sleeping quarters. He lay drooling waiting for the mouselets.

“What are we going to do?” Skittish asked. “The brute won’t let us pass.”

“We’ll be okay for today. We have our peanut butter and our water. Let’s make a plan,” Sneaky said.

After they ate all of the peanut butter, Sneaky sat admiring the jar. She tapped on it. It was hard glass. She had an idea.

“If we push this jar through the opening, we can get in it and roll over to the water pipe and escape,” she said. “Let’s wait till tonight, turn the jar so its opening faces his blind eye and roll to freedom. He’ll have to hunt sometime.”

“Can we practice rolling the jar?” asked Spunky. “We want to roll it evenly, and I don’t want to be cat food.”

“Let’s do it,” Skittish said.

They practiced rolling the jar with Sneaky in the middle calling out directions.

That night the cat left the entrance to hunt.

“Quick, get in the jar,” said Sneaky. “Let’s go.”

They moved as one unit and they rolled.

The cat heard the noise and returned to the kitchen. He saw the jar rolling across the floor. He sniffed.

“Faster,” yelled Sneaky. “We’re almost there.”

The cat batted the jar sending it off course. Three of the mice bounced out and scurried to the escape opening. The other four mice sat in the jar and watched. The cat approached the jar. He tried to put his paw into the jar through the glass bottom. He kept clicking his claws back and forth.

“Oh, mmman,” whispered Sneaky to the other three trapped with her in the jar.

The three bounced mice climbed up the water pipe onto the cabinet.

“Let’s drop something on that cat,” Stinky whispered looking around at the countertop clutter.

Spunky whispered, “Look, pickles. Let’s give some to ol’ sour puss.”

They pushed the pickle jar onto the cat. They watched as the jar hit him and splashed pickles and vinegar on him. When those in the peanut butter jar saw this they began to roll away. The cat sat stunned.

Sneaky and the others climbed through the hole into the outsiDE.


“I thought we’d had it,” said Sneaky.

“Me, too,” they agreed.

They walked on meeting another mouse. This mouse told them about a safe place.

“Walk to the square with squiggles on a tall pole,” he told them. “It’s safe there.”

They continued walking all day ‘til they saw the No Parking sign on the tall pole.

“This is it,” announced Sneaky.

“It looks perfect,” said Stinky.      There were fruit trees, and a garden not far from the road. They found shelter and had supper. They met other mice.


Back at the house, an excited rat ran into the kitchen.

“Look, pickles and juice, my favorite,” he said to no one as he bent over the pickles.

Behind him crept a large dark shape little moths flying around its sides.



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About Mary T Kincaid

Writer of fiction and non-fiction for children of all ages. Love the mental age where the rules of logic are suspended and there is a willingness to enter the story world no matter what your physical age.

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