A mouse in a house, a wardrobe, a Victor trap, rescued and orbited to outer space. Mice are everywhere, including our technology. Somehow the vehicle that takes us into the depths of the world wide web got dubbed a humble mouse.
This week, writers chased the tails of mice to produce mouse tales. They will take readers on a merry chase of imagination, tenderness and hard lines. Use your mouse to navigate through a collection arranged into 10-minute nibbles.
The following are based on the March 7, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a mouse.
PART I (10-minute read)
Meanings Change by Susan Sleggs
“My mouse isn’t here,” my son lamented
“He better not be running loose.”
“I’m talking about my computer mouse, not Whiskers.”
“That’s a relief. Where could it be?”
“Probably at school. I used my laptop to work on an assignment about archaic words. I had a lot of windows open looking for examples.”
“Windows used to let air in, not information. Come to think of it, RAM, byte, virus, web, boot, spam, and cookies have all taken on new meanings in this techie age.”
“You’re a genius. I’ll write my report on those words and easily get an A.”
My Mouse by Sally Cronin
I am extremely attached to my mouse, small and demanding at times, but I need a muse that is easy to maintain, and doesn’t demand three walks a day and half my dinner. It sits quietly by my side, observing my every move, and eager to be handled at every opportunity. I have owned several mice in my lifetime, but this one has a special place in my heart, as it has supported me thorough my latest book and editing process. But it is showing signs of burn out. Perhaps it will perk up if I change its battery.
Other Worldly by Frank Hubeny
I move my black mouse and click. I know I should be doing other things.
“Like what?” That silent voice inside me asks.
Well, like watching this orange sunset or bothering that white bird sitting for no good reason on the railing or contemplating the other worldly mysteries of this grand universe.
Knowing I have no clue, I hear. “Really, like what?”
So I let my inner squeaky wheel, my imaginary “friend”, guide me downward into the depths of another suspicious, weedy, mosquito-loving rabbit hole I have no business exploring. But what else, really, do I have to do?
Due Credit by Reena Saxena
You won’t be able to use all those fancy products, if they are not tested on me. I put my life and limb to out to help you. I’m an extension of your hand, when you navigate that space you can’t live without. I think you call it the internet. I don’t find it very useful though….
You give me food and sometimes – space to live, but I don’t think the equation is balanced.
You need to do a lot more to give me my due credit. Killer cats and dogs have been honoured for too long now.
Chaircat Mao and Cheeser the Mouse by H.R.R. Gorman
“Chaircat Mao,” asked Cheeser the mouse, “Why don’t you ever chase me?”
Chaircat Mao rolled his rotund body over and readjusted his luxurious gray coat. “Well, have you ever chased me?”
“No, Chaircat Mao! That would be silly!”
Chaircat Mao closed his eyes as if the question were answered.
Distraught, Cheeser scurried onto Mao’s flesh. Without response, she balanced down to his nose and pulled on his whiskers. “It’s not right, Chaircat Mao! God made cats to chase mice!”
“Don’t be silly. God made cats to be worshipped. Now stop disturbing my nap.” So, at last, Chaircat Mao slept.
Wrong Mouse by Anita Dawes
Our cat Merlin loves to bring us gifts
I wish he would leave the mice outside
I told him the other day, it was the wrong kind
Jaye needs a new mouse for the computer
Of course, he didn’t take any notice of me
He loves to catch butterflies in his mouth
He lets them go unharmed
Maybe he likes the flavour of them
I have no clue, as I don’t speak cat too well.
After buying a new mouse, Merlin stopped
bringing his gifts for a while
was he trying to tell Jaye that
her mouse needed replacing?
The Mouse That Came in from the Cold by Di @ pensitivity101
I heard scratching and told partner we had a mouse in the bedroom.
He flicked on the light, looked around, then switched it off.
The scratching resumed. Another nudge, he got up to look.
I saw a shadow and turning on the light saw a little mouse disappear behind the wardrobe.
Partner threw himself out of bed and whacked everything in close proximity.
With the bedding wrapped around me, I was in hysterics.
Not that I was afraid, but the ridiculousness of the situation as he’d been charging round the bedroom stark naked, in all his dangly glory.
A Mouse Backfires by Norah Colvin
“Eek!“ shrieked Granny, toppling back on the chair, arms and legs flailing.
“Thwunk!” Her head struck the wall, silencing the children’s sniggers.
Granny slumped motionless, eyes closed, tongue lolling from her slack jaw.
Barney gaped. “D’ya, d’ya think she’s dead?”
“Don’t be silly,” admonished Eliza, older and wiser. “She couldn’t be. Could she?”
The children tiptoed closer.
“What if she wakes up?”
“What if she doesn’t?”
“I’ll check her pulse,” mouthed Eliza.
Suddenly, Granny jolted upright, eyes staring blankly.
The children gasped.
“Gotcha!” laughed Granny. “But that is a clever mouse.”
“How did you —?”
Granny winked. “Granny knows.”
What Happened to the Mouse? by Miriam Hurdle
“What is that box?”
“That’s my infrared camera.”
“What’s that for?”
“Did you see the oranges fell from the tree? Something ate up the cores. I wanted to see what happened.”
“What did the camera catch?”
“Look for yourself.”
“OMG! A mouse! I thought all the mice were dead.”
“I guess not. This one escaped.”
“Did the camera take the pictures last night?”
“No, these were taken two nights ago.”
“Was the camera on last night?”
“Did the mouse come back?”
“No, something else did?
“Oh no, I know what happened to the mouse.”
My Life As a Mouse by Macy Brown
Quickly I scurry across the dilapidated, plywood floor, covered in dust, careful not to step on the wooden contraptions my brothers and sisters have succumbed to. Last week dad went in search of food, but he did not return. Now it’s up to me to find food to keep the last of my siblings alive. I come around the corner of an old, water damaged box, and that is when I smell it – salty peanut butter; but before I have time to react I hear that ear shattering CLAP as a metal hinge comes crashing down upon me.
That’s Mice — A Conversation for Musicologists by Bill Engleson
“Ah, Mick, do you ever ask yourself where we belong in the grand scheme?”
“Gee, Squeak. Not a lot. Why?”
“Well, I was thinking. Take music. Sometimes we just pop up in a song…its neat.”
“Glad you asked. I’m thinking of that great Johnny Cash ditty, I Still Mice Someone. Sure brings a tear to my eye.”
“I do like Johnny Cash…but…”
“Or, Little Richard’s, Good Golly Mice Molly. That sure shakes the floorboards.”
“Squeak, don’t take this the wrong way but I think you oughta get your hearing checked.”
“I hear ya, Mick. I hear ya.”
Little Miss Mouse by Susan Zutautas
She was a tiny little woman with whiskery gray hair. At times she’d be talking to you and her little pink nose would rapidly twitch. Much like that of a rodent smelling something good to eat. Speaking of eating, sunflower seeds were always nearby but never an empty shell to be seen. Listening to her talk was quite annoying with her squeaky pitchy little voice. There were some days you would feel a swish of wind go briskly past you, only to find out it was Little Mouse. Yes, that’s what we had nicknamed her. It characterized her perfectly.
Mousetrap by Ritu Bhathal
It sears through my body.
I know no one will find me.
They were all much more sensible, listening to Mummy. I had to be the one who had to go and look.
Curiosity killed the cat. That’s the saying. Not the mouse, the cat.
But it was just so tempting.
I could smell it.
That whiff of cheesiness.
I knew it was out there somewhere.
And I found it too.
Sat there, right in front of me, was a huge chunk of the best cheddar.
How was I to know it was on a state-of-the-art mousetrap?
The Night of Forgotten Chores (from Miracle of Ducks) by Charli Mills
Snow crunched beneath Ike’s boots. Danni hastily stepped into them with her slippers, throwing a jacket over flannel pajamas. She grimaced against the blast of cold air. How did she forget her chores? The animals relied on her, especially when the weather turned. She pushed open the barn door, flicking on lights. Three mournful dogs glanced up from the cocoon of their cedar houses. Blackjack nickered his discontent, and the chukar fluttered in their cage. Sluggish with guilt Danni slid her hand into the grain bag to find the scoop. She yelped when instead she grabbed a live mouse.
The Little Ones by Ann Edall-Robson
The tiny flecks of dust shimmered like specks of gold in the early morning sunlight streaming through the six-pane window. The building was old, but it was obvious someone was keeping it weatherproof, save for the tiny knothole in the corner, near the back door garden entrance.
The wooden bung had shrunk over time, slipping to one side, going unnoticed in the overgrown flower beds, and allowing those who knew of its whereabouts to come and go as they pleased through its odd shape.
Thanks to the friendly garden mouse, the Little Ones now had a new home.
Laurie’s Journal by Saifun Hassam
On a sunny cold February morning, Laurie walked gingerly over the snow and ice-covered grass and stone steps, to the rose and blackberry bushes, pine and oak trees. Fallen branches, twigs, pine needles and acorns poked through the snow.
In a tiny space among the maze of roots, some snow had melted. A bright-eyed mouse sat quietly on a root. Laurie sat quietly on the old scarred log. Last autumn, she had found tiny tunnels running along the blackberry bushes. In her mind’s nature journal, she was already drawing and making observations of these tiny settlers in the garden.
Mouse in House by Ruchira Khanna
“Oh God! We have a mouse in the house!” I shrieked as I announced to my family. My son sitting on the couch was quick to pull his legs and cross them over. “Where! Where!” he inquired in an equally high-pitched scream.
“It’s in the bedroom!”
I was now waiting restlessly for my husband to take some action. Instead, he continued to work on his laptop unperturbed of what I just announced!
I repeated it this time in a higher decibel.
He looked up with a sense of calm, “Relax! It’s the door. It needs oiling at the hinges!”
Peace Offering by D. Avery
It had to be done. *I won’t have them on my countertops.*
In the hardware section she reached for the wooden Victors. *Can’t improve on those.* Very effective, though she didn’t like setting them, flinched if they snapped, worried about her fingers. *At least it’s just my fingers*.
She moved on to the toy section. *There, little doll dishes, perfect.* She took her purchase home to do what had to be done.
She cleaned her counters. The doll dishes, filled with tasty morsels, she set on the floor. *We can share the food. But please stay off the counters*.
Mouse by Janice Golay
I am a mouse. I say this without pride or apology. It’s just “I am.” Perhaps in a previous life I was someone or something else, someone bigger, stronger, who could roar or soar. But here I am with this life, making the best of what I am. For example, this morning I checked my winter stash of corn, seeds and old apples. Looks OK. It’s sunny today, so I poked my head out of the barn, saw a flying creature’s slow shadow — wide wingspan — soaring, searching…..for me! Pulled my head back in fast. Next life, please.
PART II (10-minute read)
Minnie and Me by Goldie
There it was again – an unexplained pit in her stomach. As if someone was watching her.
There was no one in sight, but she couldn’t shake off the uneasiness.
She tried to run, but tripped and fell to her knees.
A tall shadow appeared in the puddle in front of her.
She raised her head hesitantly to assess the situation.
“There you are, sweetheart” – he said, and extended his hand, but Emma remained on the ground.
“I said I would take care of you. I’d never let you fall” – he said, pulling her up by the hair.
Visitor by Abhijit Ray
Six months before, one night I woke up from my intermittent sleep. Something ran over my body. There he was eating my leftover meal. We have gotten used to each other.
He stares at me curiously. Sitting on his hind quarter he wipes his face and his moustache. I think he prepares himself for the dinner.
I wait for his arrival. He visits me everyday without fail. He does not need any permission or any pass. He is the only friend I have, as I count my days in death row for murdering my business partner and my wife.
Cosmopolitan Collapse by JulesPaige
The Fashionista thought she’d replace her dogs toy.
The only place she could find Mookies favorite
mouse squeaky toy was through the internet.
The Fashionista attempted to order the toy herself.
But there was a Troll waiting to capture
and sell her personal information.
The Fashionista used insecure protocols
allowing the nasty Troll to unleash a virus
that crashed and burned The Fashionista’s
personal site, the Pet Place and
several major operating systems.
The Troll thought it was hilarious
that his virus was called the Black Plague.
All because The Fashionista wanted
a squeaky rodent toy for her dog.
My Life As A Mouse by Joanne Fisher
Ever since a company began briefly downloading consciousness’s into other species the holiday industry has been transformed. Last year I spent two weeks swimming around the Pacific Ocean as a fish. When I returned to my usual body it felt strange for a while to have arms and legs again. This year I decided to be a mouse. I got some strange looks, but they’re quite cute. Though I did spend most of my time trying to find food. One time I saw some peanuts on the floor, as I scurried to them I didn’t even see the cat…
Experiments by The Dark Netizen
Mark my words, this novel research is going to put us right into all the books out there: journals, encyclopaedias, history books; maybe even novels and comics.
We are going to become celebrities not only in the science community, but even in the outside world.
Now, we only need to hope that this experiment works during the trials.
The serum should have the same effect as it had on mice.
If it gives the mice intelligence in comparison to humans, imagine what it would do for human subjects.
Aren’t you in agreement about starting human trials early, Dr. Mouse?
I’d Like to Mouse Wheel a Motion by Chelsea Owens
“Now, now, Mrs. Snigglewhiff; that’s hardly mouseylike. Would you please consider using the shavings over-
“MISTER Cheesebiter, if you wouldn’t mind-
“I say; what are you doing at that drink station? Refreshments are for after our-
“What is it, now, Whiskershins? …The Society for Capybara Welfare wishes to be heard? They’ll just have to submit their request in shavings like the rest of us!-
“My word! Will the ringtailed children kindly refrain from using the wheel till after our meeting has adjourned?-”
“I now call to order The Semi-Regular Meeting of Tame Rodentia. First item of business: queuing.”
Mouse by Robbie Cheadle
Yesterday morning I saw a mouse dash across the kitchen floor and slip under the dishwasher. We live near a bird sanctuary so we do get the odd furry visitor. My husband catches mice using a method involving rat glue smeared on a piece of cardboard. I hate it but we cannot have mice taking up permanent residence in our home.
The gluey cardboard worked and this morning I found the mouse stuck to the cardboard. It was still alive and had to be drowned in water. That is the down side of rat glue – it doesn’t kill quickly.
I Hate Those Meeces to Peeces by Geoff Le Pard
‘Why the long face, Morgan?’
‘Aunt Annette is coming.’
‘Is she a tyrant?’
‘No. We have mice; she hates mice. She’ll flip if I say or if she sees one.’
‘Get a trap.’
‘Can’t. She’ll see it and know.’
‘You’re screwed then.’
‘Could she stay with you? She’s as quiet as a mouse.’
‘What if I’m phobic, too?’
‘I’m not murophobic…’
‘… get you with the long words…’
‘… but I am syngenesophobic.’
‘Fear of aunts?’
‘Great, I’ll bring her round then.’
‘But I just said I’m sygenes…’
‘Sure, but she’s not your aunt, is she?’
Friends by Kay Kingsley
“Charles, help!” A shrill voice shouted from the living room.
Fearing the worst, he dropped the plate he was washing in the sink and came running. “What is it Ida?!” he said, panicked.
Standing on a chair Ida swore it was the biggest mouse she had ever seen. HUGE. GIGANTIC even.
“Sweetie. Come down off the chair. It’s not that big.” he chuckled.
“What? You knew it was in the house and didn’t get rid of it?!”
What he hadn’t told her yet was that since the accident, the mouse was the only friend he had to talk to.
Silent as a Mouse by Kerry E.B. Black
Make-a-Wish interviewed my daughter, Bear, and she wanted to be a princess. Her consultant clapped. “No better place to be a princess than WDW!”
However, costumed characters terrified Bear. I read the promotional materials and discovered what I hoped would calm her. “They don’t talk.”
Consoled, she reluctantly approached her favorite cartoon, Minnie Mouse.
We turned to leave when the dear costumed actress forgot her training and reassured, “It’s okay, honey!” She covered her perpetually smiling mouth with white-mittens, but the damage was done.
I wondered if little Bear would ever trust me again.
Little One by Sarah Whiley
The shadow of the moon danced on the lake. A light breeze whispered gently through the tress and the air was filled with a symphony of insects, clamoring to be heard.
Lucy trod carefully in the filtered light, glancing behind her guiltily. Her mum and dad would be furious but since the trap hadn’t killed it, Lucy figured it was a sign.
Kneeling at the fence line of their property, she reached into her pocket and tenderly scooped out the mouse.
With a grateful “chit” of thanks, it promptly ran into the darkness.
“Take care little one,” she whispered.
Of Mice and Girls by Nancy Brady
Mighty Mouse was Julie’s favorite cartoon; she sat enthralled on the living room floor every Saturday morning. When the mice got into trouble, he would fly to their rescue, saving them from the mean old cat. She thought him handsome in his tights and cape as he sang, “Here I come to save the day, Mighty Mouse is on the way!”
He was Julie’s hero, and she had a crush on him.
Julie had a little doll with a brown ponytail, just like her. When Julie played with her doll, she pretended she was Mighty Mouse’s girlfriend, his love.
Tasha’s Gift by Nobbinmaug
“Aaaahaaha! A mouse!”
“You’re such a woman.”
“Women can’t be sexist.”
“I think that’s also sexist.”
“Men don’t get to decide what’s sexist.”
“That is definitely sexist.”
“Will you just get the mouse, please?”
“Why? Because I’m the man?”
“Because your cat brought it in, and it’s your apartment.”
“You wanna move in?”
“Hell no! You have mice.”
“Tasha and her gifts. They’re usually dead.”
“Yeah, it’s gross, but they’re easier to catch when they’re dead.”
“I am not staying here tonight if that mouse is here.”
“I’ll get it. I’ll get it. I will find it.”
Bed Fellows by Annette Aben
A little girl needed a room of her own, especially when her siblings closest in age, were all boys. She was given the space off the bathroom. A space normally used for storage. Besides, she could lock the door. She could find privacy there.
She didn’t mind sleeping on an old mattress, covered in quilts. There was a bare light bulb hanging from the ceiling, so she could read. She gladly traded the feel of the mice that ran across her legs at night over her father’s demands. She chose sleeping in mouse turds rather than her own blood.
Lionhearted by Nan MykelI
I smell a cat in the house. That means my time on earth is limited.Hmmn. What can I contribute to the world during my shortened lifespan? I know! The stepfather who sneaks into his stepson’s room at night silently, on tiptoes to molest him!There he is, stealthily approaching the sleeping boy. Now on his knees, pulling back the covers. Strike now! Nails extended, I rush up his feet, up his legs and high on his head. I dive triumphantly onto the boy, whose screams are echoed by the perpetrator. Lights throughout the house. Goodbye mouselife, hello glory.
Mighty Mouse by Jo Hawk
I stumble to my desk. The coffee sloshing in my cup slips over the edge trickles down the side and drips onto my freshly printed manuscript.
I blot the drop, but the damage is done. Adding insult to injury I mark the draft with a giant coffee ring. I have no fear. Mighty Mouse will save the day. The laptop purrs, Mighty Mouse chases clicks across the laptop’s screen while I sip my coffee.
The printer springs to life, spitting out pages as the Mouse commands.
The pristine draft restored, it awaits the torture session of the red pen.
Moondarby the Mouse and the Mischievous Macaroni Penguin by K. J. Watson
My pet mouse, Ellroy, is by my keyboard, twitching his nose at the computer screen.
“You dislike the title of my latest children’s story, don’t you?” I ask him.
He twitches more vigorously.
“Is it the alliteration? Or the name of the mouse? Or is it the macaroni penguin?”
In response, Ellroy darts across the keyboard: ]’pl[;ijokyguhrdtfwaesq.
“I assume that means you’re averse to it all?”
Ellroy stares at me.
“Okay. How about ‘Ellroy the Magnificent and the Naughty Cat’?”
Ellroy curls up on my notebook.
I begin typing and wonder: Who else has a mouse as a muse?
Focus by Tracey
“Guys listen up. This is the pre-mission briefing for flight 7044.”
She went quickly but thoroughly over the slides. Tanker crews liked fast and funny. No jokes today though, this was a new mission and she needed to keep their focus.
To the great surprise of the pilots she suddenly stopped in mid-sentence and jumped onto a chair. The entire room silently watched a mouse scamper across the floor and under the canvas wall.
The Lieutenant climbed down and resumed briefing the astonished pilots, picking right back up in the middle of her sentence. She had their full attention.
Mus Musings by D. Avery
“Rats, this is a tough prompt Pal.”
“You also complained when Shorty said cats. No pleasin’ some folk.”
“Jist sayin’, Pal. Ya know, Pal, there’s all kinds a mice.”
“So? The Ranch is a diverse place.”
“Reckon Aussie’ll write ‘bout kangaroo mice.”
“Sure, an’ D. Avery’ll write about deer mice.”
“Punny, Kid. *Mus musculus* is the house mouse. Deer mice and kangaroo mice are actually a different family. But yer not outta order, rodent’cha know.”
“Now who’s punny? Pal, how come it’s mice and not mouses?”
“Jist is thet way.”
“Mebbe all your grouses are grice.”