On October 20, 2021, P.T. Wyant posted at ptywant.com a Wednesday Words prompt involving sausage, a nose, and boxes. This Seven Tricks freebie story was the result…
A long nose poked its way out of a pile of boxes, whiskers twitching at the smell of sausage.
Only for a second nose attached to a muzzle to rise from the boxes, baring its teeth. Those teeth closed around the first muzzle, biting it.
“Youch!” Cheesecurd whined. “Why’d you do that for?”
“Don’t go scurrying after the first sniff of sausage!” Madam Mousenip chittered at her subject. “Honestly! You only have a fraction of wit, not to mention charm that Mousetrick possessed!”
“Uh huh. And where’s Mousetrick?” Cheesecurd sniffed with some petulance. “Off with some human.”
“No, he’s not!” Madam Mousenip bared her teeth at this sullen substitute for a decent mouse, let alone a prince. “He’s following his dream, you hear me? No matter how cheese-curdled that dream might be.”
“There’s nothing wrong with a little curdled cheese,” the affronted mouse retorted. “Say what you like of me. I’m here. I haven’t abandoned you for sugar plums and a magician’s nephew.”
“No, you’d abandon me in an instant for cheese. Or gingerbread,” the queen asserted. “Stop trying to act like you’re any better than the rest of us. Mousetrick had finer feelings than you’ll ever know. Not to mention a finer coat. And far more expressive whiskers.” She sighed, wringing her paws against her chest.
“Hmph. If my feelings, coat, and whiskers are so disappointing, why are you scampering with me?” Cheesecurd demanded. “What’s the point?”
“Training!” Madam Mousenip snapped. “Uncouth and ruffled as your fur might be, you still faced a troupe of gingerbread soldiers, showing spunk. Only you gobbled your way straight into a human’s trap.”
“How can you blame me? They smelled too delicious to resist.” Cheescurd drooped his whiskers in a sulky fashion. “How was to know I should have?”
“Exactly. You should know better. You need to learn how to know better. This is why I’m scampering with you.” Madam Mousenip flickered her tail in a meaningful manner. “I’m offering you knowledge. It’s up to you whether you decide to gain it. To think before scampering after anything that smells delicious. It might help you survive.”
“Or it might mean someone else will rush in and eat the delicious thing while we wait!” Cheesecurd whined. “I want that sausage!”
“Yes, and you might scamper straight into a trap if you don’t think when you sniff!” The queen flicked her tail in the direction of the kitchen. “Look!”
A giant human, dragging the cloth of its skirts across the floor plodded her way past the boxes in the kitchen.
Madam Mousenip and Cheesecurd barely had time to dive beneath the boxes before hiding.
“I’m bored!” The human’s shrill voice pierced the air. If the mice hadn’t taken cover, it might have knocked them over. “Where is Cracktooth?”
“He’s gone.” Another human’s voice rang out, softer, yet more dangerous. “I told you, Prissipat. He’s not here any more.”
Cheesecurd felt his fur stand on end. It was her. The human who’d drugged him, who’d set the gingerbread trap. What had that shrieking doll called her? Marchen.
“Why? Why isn’t he here?” The one human whirled to face the other. “He was just starting to get a little less annoying and he just disappears! What did you do?”
“Nothing.” Marchen sounded a bit defensive as well as sad. “He wanted to go. That’s all.”
“That’s not all. You’re hiding something, both you and your godfather. Why won’t you tell me?” Prissipat turned again, stamping her foot.
The mice under the boxes covered.
“Come. Come have some sausage.” Marchen took her arm, coaxing her away. “You’ll feel better if you eat.”
“I don’t want to eat.” In spite of her petulant reply, Prissipat let herself be led away.
The mice cautiously peeked out from beneath the boxes.
“You see?” Madam Mousenip chittered. “We would have been caught if we’d scampered after the sausage.”
“Now the humans are going to eat it,” Cheesecurd grumbled. “Cracktooth…Cracktooth. Isn’t that the one Mousetrick kept carrying on about? Wouldn’t let us eat any gingerbread until we’d saved his beloved Cracktooth. Wouldn’t give up that doll either. Nearly led us all into a trap.”
“Really.” Madam Mousenip looked down her snout at him. “From what I’ve heard, it was you who gobbled your way right into a gingerbread trap.”
“No!” Cheesecurd protested. “It was Mousetrick! He was your prince! We had no choice but to follow him! All he cared about was rescuing his precious Cracktooth!”
“Save the excuses,” Madam Mousenip sighed. “Scamper now. You may let learn something…and how to find the right opportunity to steal sausage.”
Cheesecurd let out a sulky chitter, but he obeyed. He followed his queen as she raced across the floor to under a chair.
As if he didn’t know about finding opportunities. He was a lot better at this than Mousetrick who did nothing but smooth his fine fur and twirl his whiskers.
Eventually his queen would understand this.
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