Archives for July 2014

Sarah, Tig, and the Roll-Around House

After the Holidays,
Sarah’s mouse, Tig, had to invent a ‘Mobile Home’ for protection against Scat, Sarah’s daughter’s cat.

Tig Lounged in the Large Living room, munched Granola, and watched Sarah pack the big round Christmas-tree ornaments in a box.
Sarah smiled at the little white mouse.
“For the holidays there’s no place like home, Tig.”
Maybe so, thought Tig, but I want to see the world.
The front door opened and in walked Sarah’s daughter, Missy, who together with Scat, her cat, was going to live with Sarah.
The moment Scat saw Tig she LEAPED for him with claws bared, but Sarah SNAGGED the cat in mid-leap and carried her, amid Struggles and Shrieks, to Missy’s room and slammed the door.
“Sorry, mom,” said Missy. “I’ll keep an eye on Scat – promise.”
Sarah shook her head thoughtfully.
“I’ll have to keep Tig in a safer place with Scat around.”
Sarah was about to put Tig in a Big Barred Bird cage,
but Tig jumped from her hand, rushed to the tallest round clear ornament, opened the little door on the side, and jumped inside.
Surprised, Sarah Surveyed the Scene, laughed, and snapped the little door shut.
“What a great idea, Tig!”
When Tig RAN, the ball rolled across the floor in any direction he moved.
“Wow!” thought Tig. “Now maybe I can see the WORLD in my new home.”
Sarah knew this was a perfect ‘safe-house’ for Tig and she drilled several vent holes in the top for air. Once again Tig roamed Sarah’s house safe from Scat… until…
… a few days later the front door was left open and Scat Struck Tig’s Sphere by Surprise.
The plastic bubble SQUIRTED from her claws, out the front door, across the front porch, bounced PLOP, PLOP, PLOP, PLOP down the porch steps (Which Tumbled Tig Topsy-Turvy), and ROLLED into the yard next door through a crack in the fence.
“Gee,” thought Tig, “Maybe this is my day to see the world!”
Scat charged after Tig, but Stopped Short, Stiffened where She Stood, and darted back in the house.
Tig wondered what had terrified Scat…but not for long…
The plastic bubble Dashed against a Dirty Doghouse occupied by Shep, a Shaggy Sheepdog (who had never seen a sheep in his life).
His nap interrupted, he Stretched and Scrutinized this Strange Big Ball that Blocked his doorway. Shep nudged the bubble with his nose.
The bubble rolled…
Being a sheep dog, Shep HERDED the plastic bubble about the yard — until he noticed the wide-eyed mouse inside staring back at him!
The scraggly hair on Shep’s Broad Back Bristled, he growled deep in his throat, and CHOMPED on the ball – which SPURTED from his jaws like a watermelon seed,  over the fence, into the street, and right in front of a Speeding Silver SUV.
Tig ran as fast as he could in his ball, closed his eyes
and covered his face as the Massive Metal Monster bore down on him.
He was about to be SMUNCHED by a tire!
…but Tig’s RUNNING Scooted the Sphere Sideways and it glanced off the tire and into the curb where Tig found his ball AFLOAT on water rushing toward the black MAW of a STORM SEWER!
Dirty water poured in through the air vents, and Tig, being fleet-footed, flew over his floor and rotated his air vents above the water.
As Tig steadied the bubble, the water rushed ahead, and the drain was about to SWALLOW Tig when…
… a city street Cleaner Clattered and Clanged down the street, the wheel-like BRUSHES flinging STUFF out of the gutter – including Tig and his bubble!
The Sphere Soared over the Sidewalk like a Badly Bowled Ball into the Bushes. His mobile home landed KERPLOP and barely missed a large brown field mouse.
“Sorry,’ said Tig.
Breathless he Brushed the Bad water from his eyes and coat.
“Hi, I’m Tig from Sarah’s up the street. What’s your name?”
The surprised gray mouse stared at this Stranger Straight from the Sky.
His whisker-Tips Trembled and Twitched.
He was so shocked that he dropped his Paw-full of Pleasant Peanuts.
“Um…I’m Chug and THIS is my house.” He motioned around him.
In minutes the two mice had made friends and began to compare lifestyles.
“I gather my own food,” said Chug.
Picking Palatable Peanuts off the ground he showed them to Tig. “I eat whatever I like.”
“Hmmm. Sarah feeds me Granola ‘cause it’s healthy,” said Tig, “and my new bubble house protects me from almost EVERYTHING.”
“Yeah, you’re lucky. I have to guard against hungry critters like cats and dogs and squirrels and also people who don’t like mice — but I can come and go when I want to,” said Chug.
“Yes, you’re lucky to be so free. But I do have a cozy warm home with Sarah in winter.”
“Hmm. Yeah, winters are cold, so if I can, I find an inside house wall where I can live till spring — but I have to watch out for mouse traps.”
They sat in silence for a few moments, each a bit curious and maybe a tad envious of the other’s lifestyle;
Chug with his TOTAL FREEDOM,
Tig with his WARM HOUSE.
Tig broke the silence.
“Uh, Chug, do you suppose you could help me get my bubble back home?”
Chug THUMPED and SHOVED the bubble, and the ball rolled.
Soon between Chug PUSHING and Tig RUNNING inside, they rolled the ball back to Sarah’s yard.
They evaded Shep who eyed Chug and the ball and yanked his doghouse halfway across the yard with growls, howls, and yowls.
The plastic bubble soon rested against the base of Sarah’s porch step.
“Gosh, now what do we do?” asked Chug. He gazed up at the four tall concrete steps before them. “We’ll never get your house up those steps.”
Tig Studied the Situation in Silence while he watched a balloon sailing merrily above, and looked around the yard.
If only I could fly like that balloon, he thought.
And instantly his Wild Whiskers Wiggled and his face brightened.
“Chug, I have an idea. See that Piece of Protruding Plywood? Can you drag it over here?”
Chug Scurried, Skittered, and Scooted across the yard and in a minute returned Pulling the Plywood Plank.
“Now put that Big Broken Brick in the middle of the sidewalk  and balance the Big Board on top.”
Chug Balanced the Board on the Brick, and then Turned to Tig.
“That’s it! See? Now we have a SEE-SAW,” Tig said brightly. “Can you help me roll my bubble onto one end?”
“Hmmm, “ said Chug. “So we’re going to play on the sew-saw? I thought you wanted to get up on your porch, Tig.”
He looked at Tig and shrugged, but then helpful as ever, Chug did as Tig asked, and Tig braced his legs so the bubble wouldn’t roll off the edge.
Chug shook his head, not sure what was going to happen next.
“Now comes the tough part. Chug, can you climb that little Poplar tree next to the sidewalk?” asked Tig.
With difficulty, and not quite knowing why, Chug Found Fourteen Favorable Footholds, climbed the little tree, and peered down at the board.
“Ok, Chug, now JUMP off the limb onto the board,” yelled Tig.
Surprised and Skeptical, Chug looked down at the board from his Precarious Perch on the Poplar.
Chug closed his eyes, JUMPED off the limb onto the raised end of the board, and CATAPULTED the bubble H-I-G-H into the air. Tig braced himself as best he could.
“I did it! I’m flying just like that balloon.”
Tig watched his ball drop right onto Sarah’s porch, bounce twice, and roll with a WHAP against the front door.
With a shake of his head Tig’s vision cleared from the jolt.
“Thank you, thank you. You’ve been a great help. I could never have got home without you, Chug………Chug?”
But Chug had disappeared around the corner as Scat the cat Started a Stealthy Search near the porch.
Tig held his breath, hoping Scat wouldn’t see him…
Soon Scat Scurried away and disappeared from sight, too.
Tig forced his bubble against the door repeatedly with a hard SMACK each time, and finally Sarah opened the door, looked out and down to find Tig in the sphere at her feet.
“Tig! How’d you get out here? I thought you were inside.”
Sarah picked up the ball and carried Tig into the cozy house where she gave him his favorite Granola, stroked his head and neck fur (which Tig loved), and placed his mobile home once more on the floor.
Worn out from his perilous adventure, Tig collapsed, Munched Granola, and sighed.
“Maybe I’ll see the WHOLE world some other day.”
He snuggled down in Sarah’s nice warm house.
“Sarah was right.
“There’s no place like home.”

Note:
Children and parents will recognize Tig’s mobile home ball as a real product, the ‘Runabout Ball’ and the ‘Kritter Krawler’ sold by most pet stores. The balls come in several sizes and models.
These wonderful plastic spheres allow gerbils, mice, ferrets and other small pets to roam about freely, and provide hours of fun for adults and children, too – while keeping their pets safe — and out of mischief.
You can also locate these balls with a ‘search’ on the Internet by using the words ‘Runabout Ball’ or ‘Kritter Krawler’.
Go ahead, kids, have a ball with your pets!