YOUNG WORLD

Help! There's a mouse in my kitchen

Mouthy knocked us out the very first time we set eyes on him.

NIMI KURIAN

Help! There's a mouse in my kitchen

The mouse had come into the kitchen again. We knew we had to do something. So mother called the grocery store for a trap. But they had only a cake! A rat cake, they said, guaranteed to kill.

So we bought the cake and laid it out at night. The next morning, very eagerly we flocked to the kitchen. But sadly, there was no sign of the dead mouse, though the cake had been nibbled at. The following days followed the same pattern. The cake was fast disappearing but there was no sign of the mouse — dead or alive.

And then one morning, we heard a loud knocking. We struggled out of bed and tried to find out where the noise was coming from. It was coming from the kitchen! Mother, in her eagerness, ran towards the door and without a second's thought, opened it.

The sight that beheld us caused us to topple over — all in a heap. There stood the biggest mouse we had ever seen. We were too scared to even scream. That is, mother and I — Baby was different. She was up on her feet in no time, lisping, "Mouthy! Mouthy!"

"Oh please don't be scared," cried the creature.

Oh, I thought I would die then — a giant-sized talking mouse! Mother and I lay paralysed on the floor.

"It's all your fault actually. It's because of that cake you left out for me!"

"It was meant to kill!" mumbled mother.

"Oh please help me!" cried the creature.

Mother thought for a while — we were still on the floor.

"I know," she suddenly cried out, jumping up. "The circus. That's the answer. I know the manager. I'll call him now." So saying she rushed off.

In a couple of hours the manager had been and seen and hustled off with dear `Mouthy' - as we all called him now.

Weeks later, we went to the circus. There was noise and excitement, elephants, bears, dancing horses, birds riding bicycles, and so much more. Finally, the manager came on stage, "Now Ladies and Gentlemen, the star of the show!" We knew it was time for Mouthy to make his appearance. We sat up expectantly. But there was no sign of him.

And then we heard him speak, " Hello everyone! This is your friend Mouthy!"

"Where is he? We can't see him!" we shouted with the crowd.

The manager raised his hands — and then we saw him, a small, teeny-weeny mouse. When the crowd saw him they roared, they clapped, they whistled, they wanted him to talk some more. It was a good hour later when the show wound up.

We went to meet Mouthy. "How did you become so small?" I asked.

"Mouthy, mouthy!" lisped Baby.

"A week after I came here I started getting smaller. I don't know what happened."

"But I think I will keep Mouthy on my show," said the manager. "He is still a big attraction! No other circus has a talking mouse."

Mother was incredulous. A cake could do this?

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