Kreative Kue 242 asked for submissions based on this photograph:
The Night by John W. Howell © 2019
“Yes, you. What do you think you are doing?”
“Um. Just looking for something to munch on.”
“You know you’re not supposed to be running around.”
“Who says so?”
“Clement Clark Moore. That’s who.”
“Who the heck is Clement Clark Moore?”
“The author of the poem “A Visit from Saint Nicholas” Known more by the first line “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”
“Yeah, so what does that have to do with me?”
“The next lines have something to do with you.”
“So what are they?”
“And all through the house.”
“So, far, nothing.”
“Not a creature was stirring not even a mouse.”
“Still don’t get it.”
“What do you think you are?”
“What do you mean?”
“Are you a creature?”
“I never thought about it.”
“Well, I can tell you. You are a mouse.”
“That’s not what my mama told me.”
“I can’t wait to hear.”
“A beautiful boy.”
“That’s just mother talk. You are a mouse, and you shouldn’t be stirring.”
“I don’t even have a spoon.”
“Not that kind of stirring you dummkopf. Moving around, stirring.”
“Okay, I get it. Just let me find a bit of cheese, and I’ll quit.”
“If that’s all you need here, take some of mine.”
“Wow. That is so nice of you.”
“It is Christmas Eve, after all.”
“You look pretty big for a mouse.”
“That’s ’cause I’m not a mouse.”
“What are you then?”
“Never heard of it.”
“Look it up and count your lucky stars.”
“Great cheese. Merry Christmas to us all.”
This sobering tale is from Na’ama Yehuda, who blogs at https://naamayehuda.com :
“He’s never going to make it,” Benji declared.
Shelly shrugged. “I think he can.”
Benji twitched in irritation. “Mark my words. He’s never gonna make it. Not after all the eggnog he’d snagged.”
Shelly sniffed. Eggnog? There was eggnog? He wanted some!
Tilly wriggled between them and squeezed herself onto the couch. “What’cha doing?”
“Nothing.” Benji huffed.
“Ignore Benji, Sis, he’s just being his grouchy self.” Shelly scooted over a bit to make room for their sibling, who was younger by whole two minutes and by that officially the baby. Well, till the next babies had arrived.
“What is he doing down there?” Tilly squeaked. “If Mama sees him on the floor in the middle of the living room he is toast!”
“He’s trying to walk the line to the other side,” Shelly explained. Toast? Why’d she have to mention toast? Now he wanted toast.
“He’s walking funny,” Tilly noted.
“Of course he is. He’s drunk.” Benji muttered. “Now hush.”
“Sorry, Benji,” Tilly demurred, but true to form could barely keep herself still for half a second. “His tail is droopy. It is all in the tail, you know. He can’t keep to the line if his back-end is all draggy. Hey, Giddy,” she called, her whiskers trembling in excitement, “you can do it! lift your tail! It’ll give you better balance! It’s my turn next!”
My effort was
‘Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the house
Not a creature was stirring
Not even a mouse.*
You reckon? You think we have an easy time of it? Look – the message of Christmas is supposed to be ‘good will to all men’, ennit? Don’t say nothing about meesses though, do it? And do you think these yoomans show us good will? It’s alright, I’ll answer that for you. No. They don’t!
How hard would it be to leave out some tasty food for us? No, not cheese. Meesses don’t go much on cheese. That’s an old-wives’ tale. No. Seeds, cereal, maybe some fruit and nuts. You know, the stuff they put in them little packets, only preferably not laced with warfarin!
The only time Christmas is good for us is when the yoomans eat too much and don’t clear up after themselves because they’re too stuffed. While they fall asleep in front of the telly in the evening we can grab whatever they leave lying around. It’s even better if they’ve got young. They spill and drop stuff all over the place and if they don’t have a dog, it stays there until one of the yoomans, usually an adult female, tidy it up.
That’s true – it’s not always the female, but lots of alpha males don’t see that sort of thing as their job.
What time? Night-time is best. Bright lights hurt our eyes and they yoomans can see us easier. After dark we can find – wassat? Are we nocturnal or crepuscular? Look, I can’t spell either of those words so I’ll say we’re both. That’s true, actually. Dusk and dawn are good for us – a little bit of light to see by – but we cope at night.
Yeah, I know it’s daylight now, but I’ve got young kids to feed and they need to eat regular, like yooman kids – well, all young’uns I s’pose.
You bet it’s dangerous. What do you suppose these yoomans would do if they saw me? You don’t know? Okay, I’ll tell you. The good ones would catch me up and let me go somewhere miles from anywhere; miles away from the missus and the kids. The bad ones? I’ve heard they have lots of ways of ‘dealing with’ meesses, and they all end up with yoomans one, meesses nil.
Anyway, I’ve enjoyed our little chat, but I need to grab some food for my brood before I’m spotted.
Oh, and as Tiny Tim said, “A Merry Christmas to us all; God bless us, every one!”**
** Charles Dickens
On to this week’s challenge: Using this photo as inspiration, write a short story, flash fiction, scene, poem; anything, really; even just a caption for the photograph. Either put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org before 6pm next Sunday (if you aren’t sure what the time is where I live, this link will tell you). If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be appreciated, but please do also mention it in a comment here.
Go on. You know you want to. Let your creativity and imagination soar. I shall display the entries next Monday.