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View Full Version : A Friend Named Furball. 1 of 2. Adult True Mouse 3,200



hvysmker
March 16th, 2015, 12:24 PM
This is the true story, as I surmise it, of a mouse I originally called Furball, a longtime resident and companion in my home.
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(I can imagine this occurring in my backyard with a group of young mice playing in the sunlight.)

"Jeffery. Jeffery Meescowski. You get back in this burrow. Right now, Jeffery or I'll spank your little butt," Jeffery's mother called toward him. He and other young mice were playing in front of a human house, a no-no to their parents. Jeff knew she was serious by the way she said "Jeff-er-ie." Mable Meescowski never called him that unless she was very angry.

"Aww, Jeff," Rollie Mousie complained, "why do they have to be that way? We keep watch for cats and dogs. And nobody else hangs around human stuff. Nobody that would hurt us."

Julie Cheesy groaned and replied, "Nobody likes that uggy human stink ceptin' for dogs, cats ... an Jeff." She turned and cuffed Rollie in the side. "Come on, Rollie. Jeff's a crybaby. Let's us go play in the cornfield. See ya later, crybaby Jefferieeee."

Angry at his mother, Jeff took one more look at that huge human structure and hurried back to his burrow to avoid a spanking. For some reason the human-thing seemed to call out to him. He simply couldn't stay away and was constantly luring his friends to go over there with him for moral support. Jeff found he could even stand that exotic human odor. If he breathed slow, that is.

***

A month later, Jeff's mother called everybody together for a family meeting. As all fifteen young mice and her filled the living-room of their burrow, Mabel wiped misting eyes. It would be the last time she saw them together. Mabel had become pregnant again and had no room or time for taking care of two litters.

"Children.... Children...." She had to pause to blow her snout. "Kids -- Albert, you stop that. Leave your sister alone. Hear me, Albert?" Starting again, she raised hands for silence. "Children. The time has come, has come for you to go out into the world. To spread out and learn to live on your own."

"Ma. Joey's standing on my tail. Make him stop."

"Shut up, Alice. Joey, get off her tail and pay attention." She shook her head and continued, "As I said, you will all have to leave here. All but Tommy. He has a bad leg and can't run fast. The rest of you will have a few days to decide what you want to do for a living and where you want to go.

"Mr. Squiggy Squirrel has agreed to take you wherever you decide. Mr. Meechie Mousie is kind enough to give some of you jobs in his radish field -- if you want that kind of work. And Miss Greta Groundhog is willing to train a couple of you girls how to sew grass mats if you prefer to learn that skill."

"Can I go to France, Mama?" Tammy asked. "Will Squiggy take me there?"

"No, Tammy. I don't think Mr. Squirrel will take you to France. You'll have to find your own way," Mabel told her daughter, tears in her own eyes. She had serious doubts about that flighty girl.

During the next few days, Squiggy carried young mice around the neighborhood. A few of the girls walked across the road, after looking both ways, to Miss Groundhog's home. Some others packed big lunches and, after hugging and kissing their mother, wandered off on their own.

Jeff pondered for a couple of days. He waited until four of his brothers were ready to leave, jumped into line ahead of them, quickly kissed his mother, said goodbye and headed for the burrow entrance.

While she was busy with the brothers, Jeff ran as fast as he could for the human house, dodging under the foundation before his mother could see him. He had made his decision, for better or for worse. A mouse has to do what a mouse has to do.

He found himself in a large empty space. Although he was standing in sunlight, much of the area around him was dark and menacing to a young rodent. Jeff scurried out of the light, dodging behind a loose brick. Heart beating wildly, an anxious look in his young eyes, he stuck his head out to look around, ears and head swinging while looking and listening for enemies.

The space was huge, he thought, but it can't be all there was? After all, there were no humans around -- and he'd see the huge critters if they were. Jeff knew there was at least one that lived in the thing. He'd seen it going in and out, shaking the ground as it walked. Above his head, way up there, was a top that looked like it was made of wood and metal. The only difference Jeff knew was that wood was chewable and metal was not.

He shook his head. How was he to get up that high? And what would he do if he did? He still had no way to get through the top thing -- unless he chewed, and it looked nasty and thick. And ... and, he thought, looking around, what monsters could be waiting in those shadows? Would they come out at night and eat him? Were they, even now, grinning and sharpening their teeth in the darkness behind that concrete block over there?

Jeff stood for long moments, shivering at the unknown and thinking of some huge creature ripping his legs off, even while his head sat alone on the ground and watch....

"Stop it," he screamed into the darkness, surprised at his own echoing voice. Nothing came out to look for him. He saw no evil eyes glaring from the shadows. His voice faded back into silence.

Jeff saw a long metal pipe on his left. It was covered with insulation and ran along the ground, then angled up to the sky and right into the human-thing. Jeff could even see a small platform right under the top of the piping. Looking around carefully, the mouse took a deep breath and picked up his lunch-sack with his teeth. Heart beating wildly, he ran over and up the pipe, tiny fingernails digging into the insulation.

He didn't slow down until he stood, panting heavily, on a very dusty metal platform where two pipes were joined by a large nut. The tiny mouse had trouble believing he'd run that high and that far. Why, the top was only a few inches above his head. Looking down, young Jeff was surprised at how much he could see. The ground was spotted with sunbeams and deep shadows, as far as he could see and even farther. There were boards, rusty metal, and other pipes thrown around down there -- but no monsters that he could see. And nothing moved. If they were there, he figured, the creatures must have been looking the other way and not seen him. Otherwise they'd be scrambling up to eat him.

Gratefully, Jeff lay down on his dusty shelter, waiting for his heart to stop beating so wildly. He ate his lunch and, feeling safer, slept. The slumber brought on bad dreams about a lonely life without his family....

***

"Get your nasty foot off my face, Jeff," one of his sisters complained as the family slept together on a particularly cold winter night, huddled in a mass in the deepest part of the burrow. "You're a bad brother."

Nobody wanted to sleep on the outside top because of cold winds seeping in. The large throbbing jumble would be constantly shifting as those on the outside got cold, woke, and burrowed down to keep warm, forcing still sleeping brothers and sisters to the top.

In that instance, the cold had woken Jeff, where he'd found the others had shoved him to the top of the heap. He stepped again on his sister, June's, head and shoved his body downward into warmth....

***

"Oh. Oof!" Jeff woke, back to reality. He'd been kicking against the pipe itself, which did no good. But ... but the pipe was now warmer. It gave a gurgling sound as water flowed through it. A small hole in the joint where he lay emitted drops of water, slowly gathering together to drip downward to the ground. Gratefully and thirstily, Jeff tasted it.

"Uggggh." He spit, and spit again, a bad taste in his mouth. What WAS that stuff? (What it was was his first taste of how strangely humans lived.) "Guussspit," he spit again. Jeff didn't blame the human for throwing that stuff away. At the same time, he heard a deep rumbling sound. (As I flushed the toilet.)

Jeff did see light coming from where the pipe entered the surface above. He stood on hind legs, stretching up toward where metal entered the hole. Jeff could almost see the other side -- almost. Looking down into darkness far below, he took a deep breath and lunged upward at an angle, claws frantically clutching for the opening. If he didn't make it, he might fall all the way to the ground. But there was no time for fear.

Tiny young fingers clutched at the sky, grabbing hold. His eyebrows hit against hard wood, back legs swinging, scratching as they tried for purchase. Pulling in his tummy, Jeff's wildly thrusting back-claws hit against the pipe's insulation and helped push himself upwards. Tucking his chin way down, Jeff managed to force head and clutching hands inside, over the top itself, back legs swinging freely into empty space.

Taking time to catch his breath, the panting mouse could see a vast expanse of white stuff above him. Stretching his neck against one side of the hole and elbows against the other, he rested for a few moments, the rest of his body hanging free. The young mouse carefully pulled himself up, inside the human thing.

Jeff stood on shaky legs, looking around to see white porcelain all around, except for under him. That surface was wood. Light came from a spot along the edge, where the toilet itself sat on a sort of circling rubber washer. The rubber was broken or crumpled at that one spot, letting in warm air and light. Although too small for a mouse, he spent hours nibbling at that opening, leaving a pile of particles around himself as he chewed until he could squeeze through the hole.

At last. His dream had come true. He was inside the gigantic towering human thing.

Although frightened and exhausted, Jeff Meescowski couldn't help but smile. He had made it into the thing, his lifelong ambition. Now, he thought, he could live like a human -- if he could stand that human stink. And, he thought, there must be great treasures in the place. The mouse had dreamed of piles of food, more than a mouse could ever eat. Already, he could feel, it was so much warmer than outside at night. And all the light? All the light in the world must go in here at night. He'd sometimes wondered where it went.

Above and mixed in with the human smell were many others, some nice and others not so nice. He could, for instance, smell a cat. Not only that, but also rat. One time, him and Squeeky had found a dead rat and it smelled very bad. As they watched, a possum had come by and ate the thing. Uggggy.

The huge shiny-white toilet towered above him. There was a cabinet next to the shiny thing, with a lot of space underneath. Going under it, Jeff found loose paper, very soft paper. Tired from his adventure, he made a quick nest and slept for a few hours.

When he woke, it was dark. Where did all the light go? he wondered. Was there a sun in there? One that could be turned off and on? Well, he was rested and ready for adventure. Enough light came in for him to see, so he left the bathroom to explore. Still hungry and thirsty, he hoped to find something to eat. He could smell human, very strongly, as he entered a bedroom, the cliff of a bed along one wall, table legs along his other side to give him shelter.

Keeping close to the wall, sniffing as he went, Jeff crept between a large dresser and the wall. Turning a corner, the cat and rat smell grew stronger. The mouse saw a large opening, more light coming from there. Cautiously, he crept into the kitchen.

Something smelled good. Jeff could also sniff water. Creeping along a wall, he eventually came to a bowl of food, cat smell strong around it. There was also a bowl of water. He knelt down near it, ready to run as he peered around for the cat he knew was around there somewhere.

Although his mouth was watering, he knew he had to try to find the cat before he could eat. If it caught him while eating, he would be defenseless. And he needed shelter. Jeff knew he'd be slow after eating and drinking his fill and need a place to hide afterward. His nest in the bathroom would be too far away. And that nest was too open. A cat could get him in there.

Jeff saw a crack between a cupboard and a wall. Knowing he should explore it, but very hungry, Jeff took a chance. (Not a good thing for a mouse to do.) Bracing front feet on the edge of the bowl, he reached in to lick up yummy cat-food. It was the canned type, with enough moisture that he wouldn't need a drink.

Full, indeed stuffed like a turkey, Jeff staggered into the nearby crack between kitchen counter and wall. At the rear, he looked up, way up, at a tower of wood. It was broken in places by long rectangular open spaces. In front of him lay a forest of metal pans and skillets, old mouse droppings and dust filling the back of the cabinet. Pipes (Under the kitchen sink.) led from floor to ceiling.

It looked comfortable enough, although he couldn't see any paper or cloth to make a nest. Still, it was better than the bare ground outside. Crawling into a corner, he rested, waiting for digestion to make him more nimble. To the mouse, it felt good to be full of food and in a warm dry place. Not hungry and in a drafty cold burrow like the night before. He did miss his mother and siblings, though.

***

Morning brought more light into the space. In his excitement before sleeping, Jeff hadn't noticed the difference. Now that a warming sunbeam filtered under the sink from a window across the room, Jeff recalled the former light hadn't given off any heat. Now, he felt much better and ready for exploring.

First, he thought, he would check out his present location, the one filled with metal objects. Clambering onto a pot, he tentatively walked across a slippery surface, claws having no purchase at all. Near the other side, the thing made a loud "Clang," tipping over and dumping the mouse into a large kettle. Surrounded by high metal walls, he had to use all his strength to jump out past the rim.

Jeff landed in a smaller pan, knees hitting with a jolt of pain and bumping his snout against cold hard metal. He lay for minutes, suffering in silence. It was a skillet, the rim low enough to crawl over, back legs frantically clawing for purchase. At least it forced all that poop out of him, he thought, again standing on the wooden floor.

Still in pain, the mouse tired of crawling around those dangerous things and kept to the edges as he made his way back to the rear of the storage space. Now what would even a human want with those things? he wondered.

Taking a deep breath, Jeff jumped as high as he could with sore knees, front paws grasping the rim of the first drawer. With a mighty kick, he fell inside, amid a pile of more metal. He recognized a hammer, having seen one while playing. This one wasn't rusty like the first. He didn't know what those long things were, having never seen screwdrivers or other tools. Jeff tested a loose screw with his teeth, finding it inedible.

After a brief exploration, he tried the next drawer. It was filled with cloth, perfect for a nest but, again, no food. Since the mouse wasn't tired, or particularly hungry, he jumped up to the next drawer, finding it also full of unknown metal objects. Looking over the back rim, he saw only one drawer to go. Also that it was a long way down to the floor. Shrugging, might as well, he thought, Jeff made the final jump, almost hitting his head on the underside of the kitchen counter.

That drawer was also filled with unknown metal implements. The only difference being that they were in orderly rows. (A silverware drawer.) By then, Jeff was tired by all that exertion, and feeling the need to empty his bowels again. And, he thought, he was probably the only mouse to make it that far and really should mark it for the next guy that climbed that high. For those reasons he sprinkled the area liberally, pumping his little bowels and bladder to get everything out. He then lay down for a nap.

***

"Slam." "Bam." Harsher light filled the front of the drawer. Jeff jumped to his feet, wiping sleep out of his eye with one hand. A huge human claw appeared, filling half the open space, grasping for one of the metal objects.

"What the hell! Mouse turds. Darn it, I have a mouse in here."

Jeff understood a little, but very little, human language. Hed been third from the bottom in his Animal School English class. But he had no doubt at all at the tone. Huddled against the back of the drawer, he heard words he knew he hadn't been taught in school, as the human jerked the drawer in and out. Jeff would have loved to jump out the back, but didn't dare.

In silence, heart beating wildly, he waited until the human walked away. Then he scurried out the back and jumped down, heedless of skinned knees or bumped snouts.

Trying to make himself seem small against the back wall, Jeff heard drawers open and slam. The doors in front of his hiding place were pulled open, light flooding in as pots and pans were slammed around. What, he wondered, did I do to make that human so angry? Maybe the human hadn't seen his territorial markings? Jeff thought, making up his mind to make it more obvious later. Certainly not at that moment.

End of part one of two. The rest will be posted tomorrow.
Charlie

Noth
March 16th, 2015, 07:21 PM
Oh sire your story while interesting by the end had a bit of a dull start don't you think? I advise to carefully detail the surroundings a little more since my royal mind felt a bit lack of story driven background. You sire have a lot of potential and someday you just might become a blue pikachu with a sombrero and fire techniques or as you and your people call it, a very good writer.

hvysmker
March 16th, 2015, 07:54 PM
Sorry, Noth. It's a true, though embellished, story of a loved companion. I had to get his background in and didn't want it to be a flashback. He is the MC. Jeff lived with me for about 2 1/2 years, having the run of the house. At first, he was a nuisance but as he aged and was well fed became a companion. He wasn't particularly afraid of the twenty-some year old cat. After she died, he took over the house, being seen walking across floors anytime of day or night. I couldn't pet Jeff, but he wasn't afraid of me or my caged ratties. One day, though, he didn't come home, though I still put fresh food out for him for a couple of weeks.

The last half will be posted tomorrow. About once when I actually picked him up and put him out in a cornfield, and how he was back that night.

Charlie

musichal
April 18th, 2015, 07:40 PM
Bumped to keep the two parts together.

By the way, Part Two stands well on its own, and, imo, is the better half, though I can't let my wife know I said so.