Happy Boxing Day, everyone! It’s also ‘Me Me Me Monday’! A day to strut one’s stuff and celebrate one’s me-ness!
For the holiday season, I thought I’d share a little of my Christmas story, ‘Seven Tricks’. It failed to find a home this winter, alas. My response will be to add another scene and try again next Christmas. 🙂
Some say a mouse king has seven heads with seven crowns. In a way, this is true. A mouse prince must play seven tricks before the twelve days of Christmas are over. If he doesn’t, he cannot claim his throne.
“You must prove your worth, before I acknowledge you as my heir,” Madam Mousenip said to me in the shadow of the enormous, ticking tower, which shielded our main hole. “Only by succeeding at seven tricks will you possess what you desire.” She herself had become our sovereign through seven capers of her own, earning the name Mousenip for delivering tiny bites, which left cheese looking unscathed and humans hideously deformed. She’d nipped a human princess once. The bite turned the girl’s face into something so ugly humans fainted at the sight of her. Considering how repulsive humans already were, that was quite an accomplishment.
I flicked my whiskers in humble acknowledgement of the Mouse Queen’s words. In truth, winning the throne was what she desired, not I. What I wished for was a bit more romantic and complicated.
I’d had a dream involving our coming Christmas, but wasn’t of me ascending the throne, oh, no. I’d dreamed of an endless supply of tissue, scattered about the giant shrubbery humans insisted on covering with baubles. Not that the tissue was what I desired, although there was enough for all my subjects, saving the king sized portion for myself.
No, what I desired was the exquisite creature standing half in, and half out of one of the giant boxes humans left open on the floor. Wooden was he, with stiff arms and legs, which moved very slowly. He was dressed a bright red coat, which was as much part of him as his hands and legs. A crown stuck out of his tufts of wispy, white hair. He bared his teeth at me in a seductive show of defiance. Never had I seen such an enormous, toothy jaw as he possessed. The scent of roasted nuts wafted from his mouth, making my nostrils flare with hunger.