Rodent Repartee

'Rodent Repartee' Short Story Author: Kleio B'wti ©, 2017.

Von, the squirrel always took the corner.


It was the best place to collect nuts as there were those shady trees whose branches leaned on the building- a welcome shade during the grueling day’s work. His sack was only full by one-fourth and winter was quickly approaching!


The squirrel’s giving heart overpowered his sense of worldliness. Often, the other squirrels tricked him to part with his loot with a sob story. The squirrel’s competitors thus hoarded more worked less, thanks to the squirrel at the corner. 


Things were calm and ordinary at the bend until a white mouse arrived. She had the most manicured nails, a shiny nose, and a springy tail. She had all the trimmings of ‘the lady in the manor’ yet strangely she was out to gather provisions for the winter. Initially, she took any place she’d find on the pavement.


Come the fourth day, she stepped hard on the squirrel’s foot. While he was hopping in pain, the mouse took his spot!  The mouse devised the cheapest tricks to seize Von’s position daily! No other squirrel came to help Von. Not once did they think to pay Von’s kindness with support. 


As winter approached, the other squirrels had enough to last them until the next spring. The mouse had sacks full of supplies. Von still had his sack unfilled. With the first flake of snow, the squirrels scuttled into their warm burrows.


Von had nowhere to go.


He had been so busy collecting scarcely available munchies that he had forgotten to get himself a place to stay during winter. Down-and-out, Von retired to his beloved place, the vacant corner. The Mouse too had vanished into thin air with her plunder as the snowflakes danced a pristine dream in white. 


All the frozen squirrel could do to keep warm was to get inside his sack and hide among the food he had collected. While he shivered, the chill was bearable inside. Days flitted into nights. Von remained in his quickly dwindling heap of rations. Then one night the icy winter wind sang its eeriest tune, the snowfall became a dense torture, leaving Von in uncontrollable shivers.


When he heard the tiny teeth gnawing, he thought it was his dental chatter. When he felt his sack move, he thought it was his remains’ tremble. But when the warmth of the fire, reached him through the crackling nuts in his provisions, he mustered his last bit of curiosity to peep through the holes in the sack. What he saw finally froze him in disbelief!


The white mouse, in the prettiest of all mouse dresses, peeped back through the holes and ordered, “Get out now! Your cheap thrills in the snow are a misadventure! You have to live coz I still have to steal your corner next spring.”


Von decided the best treatment for hallucination is to discount a response.


The mouse now squealed, “Get out you squirrel or else I will pour the warm broth I cooked for you into your sack and burn you!”


Von retorted with a snort, “Okay! Okay! No cheap thrills, at my expense- My Lady!”


Author: Kleio B'wti

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