Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Zip Mouse crashed through the front door.
It was dinner time at La Villatoppo and if there are certain things you just don’t do at dinner time, well, Zip did them all at once. i.e. he crashed through the door without politely knocking first, he was late, he was badly dressed (torn shirt, trousers and shoeless) and worst of all, he was not only bleeding from his left ear, nose and tail, but he was screaming too.
‘I’ve just….I’ve just seen, been…I’ve’
And then he collapsed.
And then? Well, talk about a mixed reception..
The mousechildren dropped whatever they were eating (probably corncob sandwiches) and rushed over to Zip’s huddled form shouting what happened? who did it? where have you been? All at once of course.
The young mouseladies (being more refined and delicate), got to him just as quickly (if not faster) with their ooh aahs and their what’s happened to our poor brave handsome hero? sort of stuff.
And the menmice? They just carried on eating and giving each other that what’s he gonna tell us this time look.
Well, you might guess from all this that Zip is not just an ordinary mouse, but that he also a mouse for all persons, in all weathers, a mouse for all seasons (except winter). In other words he….
Ok lets’ hear the story from him (he is coming around slowly and his eyes are flickering open)
'Don't bite me, don't bite me!'
Oh we won't bite you dear famous adventurous Zip, they all cry (in one way or another)...they being the little ones. eyes wide open, mouths agape, and the young ladies assuming pert expressions; all huddled around Zip who now has been cleaned up somewhat and is about to be fed a delicious bowl of cereal soup by one of the young ladies (who by the way fought for this honour in a dastardly fashion, biting, scratching and elbowing the others in the kitchen)
Zip makes short work of the soup and gazes at his audience.
Oh, he says, I imagine you are eagerly awaiting my story (yes,yes) Well, I feel much better after that soup, I must say, so where shall I begin? (start by telling us how brave you are).
OK, yes, well as you all know, I'm probably the bravest country mouse who ever lived and have spend my life having adventures in order that I can come back and tell stories and eat delicious cereal soup (blushes from pretty young lady mouse). And this time I ventured into the land of the two legged giants (oh my!), made friends with a C.A.T. (shrieks) and flew through the air! (Ooooh!)
It happened like this.
I was trying to set up a deal with some housemice (Yuk!), to supply us bits of bread and tasty cereal snacks in return for poppy seeds and tobacco and I waited in the garden of the giants house for ages and ages for my contact to turn up but no show. So then I made a very brave decision (oooh!) to go by myself into the house of the giants and into the dark criminal world of the housemice (we hate them, we hate them!)
Thus did our hero begin to tell his tale about descending deep into the criminal world of the housemice mafia but how he instead walked straight into the paws and jaws of Eva the giant's C.A.T. who promises not to eat him, at least for a week, if in turn he taught her how to charm goldfish up to the top of ponds (oh, you know everything Zip!)
At the end of his story, Zip gazed absentmindedly at his empty cereal soup bowl and began to whisper, as if to himself. And the children and pert young ladies had to draw closer and strain to hear his softly spoken words.
It was time to say goodbye to my new friend Eva, principally because there was only five minutes left of our seven day pact and Eva was beginning to lick her lips. But she didn't bite me. She kissed me on the nose...and this is the weirdest part. All of a sudden the world went red and I was in the grip of one of the giants who was just about to bite my head off. So I bit him I did ( Oh ZIP!) and then I was whizzing around and suddenly flying through the air up up into the sky and then landing here just in front of Villatoppo.
( What a marvellous story Zip, our astronaut Zip!)
And they cheered and hugged him and the pretty young mouse went off to fetch him another bowl of cereal soup.
In the meantime, back on Earth
We have earthquakes
We get a shudder every other week or so......here it feels as if it's some 50 metres down, a wide rumble that moves at 50K per hour.
I know within seconds that we are experiencing one.
The birds stop singing? Nope!
The dogs start howling? Nope!
This is how I know.
Lili gets up smartly from the table, or chair, or bed, and heads straight for the door. Not a word said, or an animal grabbed (let alone a husband)...just straight out into the road.
When it's over, she comes back in looking sheepish and pale.
It happened last week when we had dinner guests. I told them not to panic and we just rumbled through it and when Lili came back of course they all questioned her as to why she hadn't at least grabbed Marina ( kitten, as you know) She said 'sorry but it's bigger than me'.
Yes I said and an earthquake is bigger than us too.
She said she'd try harder next time.
Not quite sure what she means.
Running for the door perhaps.
This is the season of mice. Heaven knows what they are up to. Maybe getting as much food in before winter truly arrives. Eva is getting into the habit of bringing them in for Marina. She just plonks them at her paws, meeows and goes back for more. Marina plays basketball with them for half and hour or so and them eats them.
Last week though I walked into the kitchen and found Eva face to face with a pretty little field mouse. Lili came in and said Oh he looks sweet, catch him and throw him out, Eva's about to munch him up. So I grabbed a towel from the washing on the table and threw it over the little chap as he tried to dash away. Got him I did, then extricated him from the towel and took him down to the garden. I had him cupped in my hand with his little face peeping at me. Keep away
dear little chap I said... next time you'll get eaten. Then he bit me! He did, he bit me!
I let out a yell and threw him up in the air! the little beast, and went back inside to inspect and clean my wound.
There, you see, you try to do a mouse a kindness and what do you get?
Bitten that's what.
Other animal news?
Bessie dog got bashed up by Lucy, neighbour's dog and has spent nearly a week unable to walk.
She's almost over it though and I left her two bones at lunchtime by way of an incentive to recover.
The autumn has been more like summer with endless days of sunshine. As a kid I used to love snow. Now I'm happy if it stays on the mountains. Oh well, OK, maybe a romantic snowfall between Christmas and the New Year. Yes that would be nice
Posted by Michael Eldridge at 1:41 AM