Tommy the Mouse

Mira, age 9
Tommy the Mouse Mira is nine years old. She loves dogs and likes to write short stories.

“Tommy groaned as he sat down in his cage. He looked at Joseph, who was playing with his toys as if they were the best things in the world. Joseph was a little brown rat that had a light pink nose and tiny little whiskers. He was like the opposite of Tommy in every single way.
Tommy was a black mouse with a light brown nose and long whiskers. See what I mean?”

Tommy groaned as he sat down in his cage. He looked at Joseph, who was playing with his toys as if they were the best things in the world. Joseph was a little brown rat that had a light pink nose and tiny little whiskers. He was like the opposite of Tommy in every single way

Tommy was a black mouse with a light brown nose and long whiskers. See what I mean? But, also, Joseph loved humans, and Tommy absolutely despised them. Tommy decided to start a conversation with him, even though he had just met him. 

“So… uh, you hate humans, don’t you?”

“No.”

“Well… you want to escape, right?”

“No.”

“Don’t you think this place is boring?”

“No.”

“Hmph.”

Tommy asked Joseph to write some things down. Well, that’s one of the things he likes, Tommy thought, watching Joseph. Tommy began explaining his escape plan. “So, you know the human’s laundry chute, right? We’ll sneak into their clothes that go down the chute, and then quickly scamper out.” Joseph looked like he was about to say something, but didn’t.

“Hm… how do we get out of the cage though?”

“W — I’m still figuring that out.”

“Hm,” Joseph said, and then looked out of their cage.

The next day, their tiny human came and showed them a sweater. “Human human! Hu — ! Human!” She showed them the sweater again. “I think she wants us to wear it,” Tommy whispered to Joseph. Joseph ran over to the cage and looked at her as if to say, Me first! Me first!

The human picked Joseph out of the cage and put the sweater on him. Next, it was Tommy’s turn. He was picked up (and he kicked and squirmed a lot) and the sweater was put on. He had to admit, it was warm. But he tried not to show that to Joseph. After that, the human plopped the sweater in their cage, and that gave Tommy an idea. Their owner’s parents did not really care about them, so they would not listen when their child talked about the rodents. They just said things like, “Yes,” and, “We know.”

So, the rats would hide in the sweater, the girl would ask her parents where the rats were, she would assume they let them out to play, while they went down the laundry chute to paradise!!! 

Tommy immediately told his plan to Joseph. “What if the girl sees us in the sweater? And how will we both fit?” Joseph asked.

“Well, if she finds out, we go to plan B.”

“What’s that?”

“Paw helplessly at the cage till she lets us out, and then we slide down the laundry chute.” 

Joseph looked at him skeptically.

* * *

Welp, as you can see, Tommy and Joseph were now pawing helplessly at the cage, waiting to get out. 

Tommy saw the human coming towards them. “She’s coming!” He whispered excitedly. 

The girl only had to look at them pawing at the cage a few times, and let them out. “Now come on!”

They ran to the laundry chute, the girl running after them calling, “Human! Ma — Human!!”

But they had already jumped down the chute. They could hear the girl crying behind them.

Still, they had other things to worry about. This was like a water slide — with no water! Tommy and Joseph felt like their tails were on fire. Thankfully, they fell down on the ground. When they looked up, they saw the wonderful eyes of a c — eyes of a cat??? 

The cat walked towards them, pushing them against the wall.  “This. Is. My. Alley!” she growled.

“Oh-h-hello cat. I’m going to call you — Waffles.” He did not want to admit it, but he felt a little scared. She growled louder. “Have mercy, Waffles! We just escaped from our home!” She scraped her claw against the ground and looked at it. 

“But if I don’t catch you, I’ll starve in the winter!” For a moment, she looked sad. Then her regular, terrifying stare came back. She started chasing them all around the alley. Then, Joseph spotted an air vent up high. They climbed up and went through. They had escaped Waffles. After a little while, they came out of the vents and landed in a grocery store. Once they explored a bit, they had to dodge a few feet from stepping on them and crushing them, you know, normal day. 

After that, an old human with a broom came, and once he saw them, he looked at them as if they were the weirdest things in the world. Then, he started bashing his broom against the floor. They ran behind the shelves and jumped behind the boxes. Then, when it looked like the humans were gone, they scampered out through the doors. They decided to take a little break on some white and black lines. They were both so exhausted from dodging things. Afterwards, they wanted to walk around a bit. But suddenly, a shiny red car with sharp tires came and almost sent them flying! If it weren’t for the human’s pants they were clinging onto, they never would have been able to be here again. The human crossed safely, and Tommy wondered how she did it. The human walked into the park, sat down somewhere, and rummaged in a backpack. 

The only reason he knew what backpack meant was because their owner had shown it to them so much, and he sort of picked it up. Wait… that was their owner’s backpack! Tommy tried running away, and Joseph tried to follow, but his tail got stuck and he squeaked in pain. The owner suddenly looked at him, with a surprised look. Then, she noticed they were her pets. She picked up Joseph, rummaged in her backpack again, still looking at the mouse, and then pulled out the sweater. Tommy smacked his forehead. She thinks he’s going to fall for that? Ha! Tommy thought. 

10 minutes later… 

He fell for it??? Really? Ugh, Tommy thought. Right now, Tommy was being held (more tightly than he’d like) in his human’s hand. Joseph, on the other hand, was nuzzling the human and squeaking happily in his sweater. Great, she’s taking us back to her building. Tommy tried signaling to Joseph to do something about this. He started to get annoyed. After three minutes, he finally responded. He looked at the human for a little and then unexpectedly, almost bit her. But he hesitated at the end. The human dropped them in alarm. She screamed, which apparently got her parent’s attention, and they came running down. They shooed Tommy and Joseph away, and started looking at the bite. The two rodents ran forward, happy to be rid of the humans, and…. fell into a hole

 * * *

Tommy blinked open his eyes. He saw a rat that looked just like Joseph.

“Hey! What do you think you’re doing, ova’ here in our territory?”

“Joseph?”

“What? Oh, trying to stall are you?”

“You look like Joseph.”

“Joseph?” the rat replied. “How do you know Joseph? He was my brother, I thought he died!!” Tommy sat up, immediately wide awake. 

“Your…  brother??” he asked incredulously. Before the rat could answer, an older rat came up behind her.

“Louisa, Joseph is here.”

Louisa froze and looked at him. “Joseph? I — is that you?” The old rat made way for Louisa. She looked at Joseph and almost leaped forward to hug him. 

Then, she looked back and called, “ALLIE! Joseph is here!” A brown rat that looked just like Louisa came running, and hugged Joseph too. “I’ve missed you!” By now, Joseph had almost fallen down. Louisa and Allie stopped hugging him and he promptly fell backwards 

“We’re your sisters!” they both said at the same time. “And twins!” they said together again as Joseph got up.

“Wait…” Tommy said. Everyone looked at him as if he just appeared out of thin air. He looked at them all and his jaw dropped. “You’re all family?”

“Yes, we’ve been missing Joseph so much. I’m Louisa, this is my twin Allie. Over here, is Grandma and Grandpa.” Louisa gestured to the old rats behind her. “Then we have Arthur, and Ash.”  

Two rats with scars on their paws stepped up to Tommy and said, “Who’s this little mouse?” Arthur pushed Tommy backwards. 

Before anything else could happen, Louisa stepped in and said, “Okay, calm down.” Suddenly, a gust of wind made Tommy stumble. Louisa looked up and said, “I’m sure it’s nothing. We’ll just take cover in case.” More gusts of wind blew through the sewers. It smelled so salty. They tried to find cover, but there was not much that they could use here. Tommy suddenly got blown up out of the sewers, but thankfully he was holding onto the grates of the storm drain. Still, he was slowly losing his grip. He saw Joseph’s family being blown away behind him. The wind was too strong, and he let go.

 * * *

Tommy woke up with two black mice standing over him. He sat up and asked, “Who are you?”

“We’re your parents, Tommy!”

Tommy couldn’t believe his ears. “Parents?” he repeated.

The mice nodded their heads and looked to the right. “It seems you have brought friends with you.” Tommy followed their gaze. Joseph! he thought. 

“Is he okay?” he asked his parents, standing up.

“Yes, yes. He’s perfectly fine. Just getting some sleep,” Tommy’s mother said. “His family has told us all about that snowstorm.”

Tommy rubbed his eyes, and looked at his parents one more time before walking outside. They were on a farm! There were fresh crops growing in the fields, beautiful flowers, and when Tommy turned to look back to where he had come from, he saw a huge red building, with magnificent white doors. The whole place looked amazing. Tommy had gotten his dream. 

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