MOUSIKINS by Jeff Erzin -
Once upon a time there was this mouse named Mousikins. Mousikins lived quietly by himself in a small village in the mountains. He spent most of his day collecting cheese for the other mice in the village. You see everyone took advantage of Mousikins becuase of his good nature and becuase he wanted to be needed. Mousikins didn't know who his mother and father were and had lived most of his four years serving the village. The other mice kids would make fun of him and call him names, "Mushykins!, Mushykins" they would cry out and they would also call him Burt which he hated even more than Mushykins! Mousikins only friends were Madame Chaltet, a womble from England and her friend Chester the hedgehog. They recently moved from England with the hopes of making a go of it in the village. They were a bit older then Mousikins and did not feel the way the rest of the village felt about beating up on a poor defenceless mouse. One day while Mousikins was out gathering cheese for the village a young obnoxious mouse threw a box of animal crackers at him and it smacked him on the head. "Mushykins, Mushykins, Burt, Burt, Burt!" spouted the obnoxious mouse. "you'd better stop calling me that!" cried Mousikins. "What will you do if I don't screamed the obnoxious little mouse. Mousikins mustered all the courage he had and with a very small whimper he said, "I'll stop collecting cheese for the village!!" There was a gasp from the obnoxious mouse and then a moment of uneasy silence. Mousikins realized what he had said. This was something you did not do to the village. The obnoxious mouse started to yell "Mousikins doesn't want to collect cheese for us anymore!!" And he ran throughout the streets yelling and screaming to the townsfolk. Lights tuurned on in the village and all the mice ran out on their porches screaming "what shall we do!, what shall we do!"
Mousikins stood there in horror. He realized that he must leave the village or suffer the consequences. The village would give him to the evil cat, Bob, who lived just on the other side of the mountain. Bob was an evil cat who enjoyed terrorizing the village by coming down and stepping on their houses. He did this only when he did not get his tribute, the cheese given to him by the village which was collected by Mousikins. Mousikins decided to go to Madame Chalet and Chester the hedgehog and see if they could help in the matter. But their house was on the otherside of the village. Mr. Harvey J. Mole would help. Harvey had built a system of tunnels that crept and crawled beneath the village. So off to Harveys went Mousikins. When he arrived, Harvey was in this garden planting some beans.
"Hello Mousikins" said Harvey not knowing what had just happened in the village. Mousikins explained his predicament and asked Harvey for the use of his tunnels. "Sure!" said Harvey and off they went. The tunnels started beneath Harveys' toadstool house and wound their way up and down, side to side, left and right, under Martha mouses house and Virgil mouses house and the twins Larry and Curly mouses house. Everyone in the village had the same last name but know one was related. Finally they arrived beneath Madame Chalet and Chester the hedgehogs house. There was no way to get up into the house. "Lets try knocking" said Mousikins. "Lets try knocking!" said Harvey with a look of disbelief and amusement. "It wouldn't hurt" said Mousikins, so they did. "Knock, knock, knock" up in the house Madame Chalet and Chester had just sat down to a lovely cheese soufle when all of a sudden they heard the thump, thump, thump coming from the floor. "We must have mice!" said a startled Madame Chalet. "We live in a village of mice!" said Chester, "it must be an elephant. "I'll get the peanuts!" Said Madame Chalet and she ran the cupboard. Meanwhile Chester went about looking for the direction the noise was coming from. He found it and proceeded to lift up the floorboards. As Madame Chalet came with the peanuts, the last floorboard was pulled up and Mousikins popped his head out.
"Eek a mouse!" cried Madame Chalet. Mousikins blinked innocently and yelled, "It's me!...Mousikins!" "We were hoping you were an elephant" said Chester in a disgusted tone of voice. "No it's just me and Harvey, we've come for help from you!" Said Mousikins. The two climbled out of the hole in the floor and brushed themselves off. Mousikins explained the situation to Madame Chalet and Chester. "We must take you to the land of people" said Madame Chalet, "There you will be safe!" Since Madame Chalet and Chester had traveled so much they knew people very well and decided this was best for Mousikins.
"The first thing we must do is buy airline tickets" said Madame Chalet, "This is the easiest way to get to people." But what if the other mice recognize me!" said Mousikinds. "We'll diguise you as an infant!" said Chester, "and besides, infants get to fly free!" Mousikins thanked Harvey and the three went on their way, Madame Chalet, Chester and Mousikins wrapped up in a blanket in a stroller. When they arrived at mouse airlines, Madame Chalet bought two tickets. Mousikins was real nervouse that he would be recongnized. "Oh what a cute baby you have!" said the airline attendant. "Thank you" said Madame Chalet. "That baby looks very familiar" said the attendant. "He looks like me!" said Chester, even thought Mousikins was a mouse and Chester was a hedgehog. The attendant recognized Mouikins and yelled, "Hey wait! that's Mousikins! The village is looking for you!"
Mousikins jumped out of the stroller and the three ran for the airplane. The attendant alerted the mouse supervisor, who alerted the mouse patrolman and they announced on the loudspeaker that Mousikins had been spotted. The mouse police checked the plane but there was no sign of the three, so they plane took off. Little did anyone know that Madame Chalet, Chester and Mousikins ahd stowed away in the luggage compartment. Luckily Madame Chalet had wrapped up some of he cheese soufle so they wouldn't go hungry. Well they were off to the land of people. Mousikins wished he could see what movie was playing on the plane. "Oh, well I'll just sleep," said Mousikins. "So will we!" said Madame Chalet and Chester.
They slept and slept till finally the plane landed. It's time to go," said Madame Chalet, and with that they headed out into the world of people. "How do we get to live in a house with people?" Asked mousikins. Madame Chalet pulled a giant box out of her bag. It was covered with stamps. "We mail ourselves!" Said Madame Chalet. The three went to the first house they saw and stood at the door. "Everyone get in the box! I'll knock" said Madame Chalet. Thump thump on the door and then she jumped into the box with them. The door opened and a woman stepped out. "Oh, a box came in the mail!" said the woman and she hurried it into the house. Her husband asked what could it be. "I don't know, but it's for us," she said and franticaly opened the box. As the lid began to open, Mousikins was so excited he began to dance. "Oh dear look wahts in the box!" said the woman, "They're lovely!.....can we ckeep them?" Her husband agreeed and she proceeded to make tea and scones for everyone. After lunch the three went to bed becuase they were tired from their long ordeal. As Mousikins lay in bed sleeping, he smiled and realized he was with friends and new family forever. mousikins blurted out "No more cheese collecting!" and fell fast alseep.