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The Tale of the Tail
Once upon a time in an old Victorian home, there lived a colony of mice. Among these mice were two brothers, Pip and Peanut. Pip was the mischievous, disobedient, adventurer. Somehow he always found a way to wind up in trouble. His adopted brother Peanut was quite the opposite. Peanut was a chipmunk whose mother left him when he was young. He had always been one to follow the rules and was the more precautious of the two.
Pip and Peanut were raised by their grandmamma Gouda. She often told the two brothers of tales when she was little. The one tale she constantly repeated was when her brother got caught in a mouse trap and died. Every time she would tear up, and then turn to Pip and say,
“Pipsqueek, I better not catch you breaking the rules.” Then she would look at Peanut and sigh,
“Watch over your brother. Lord knows what he will get into.”
One day when Pip and Peanut were out searching for food, Pip spotted a buffet of cheese lying on the floor just outside of the mouse hole.
“Peanut,” he yelled, “look what I have found!” Peanut quickly shuffled over to gaze upon the smorgasbord of tasty cheese. Peanut couldn’t believe his eyes until he caught site of the traps. Underneath every hunk of cheese lay a large trap with a giant, metal spring.
“Oh Pip, it’s a trap. See there are springs beneath every cheese cube. And remember what grandmamma said about the traps…” Peanut looked at Pip who still had the look of desire in his eyes.
“Pip?” Peanut asked, scooting over next to him. Pip was frozen, almost in a trance. His eyes were large and drool was running down his fur.
“Just one bite,” Pip muttered, barely opening his mouth.
“Pip, are you crazy,” screamed Peanut. “Grandmamma’s brother died from one of those, they are far too dangerous.”
“Peanut, come on. When do we ever get cheese? This is too good to be true, and you know me, I’m the fastest mouse in the colony.” And with that Pip shot out of the hole and towards the first bit.
“Pip!” Screamed Peanut as he watched his brother, in horror, run for the cheese. Peanut quickly turned around and ran to get grandmamma Gouda. As Peanut was running, he heard a large, SNAP! and Pip’s ear-shattering scream.
As he approached grandmamma Gouda, all of his thoughts came out at once.
“Pip! Trap! Cheese! Then whack! Scream! I told him, grandmamma, I told him!” Peanut cried.
“Peanut, what is the matter? Pull yourself together and tell me what happened.”
“Pip, he went out to get the cheese on the traps and now he is dead!” With that, grandmamma Gouda took off as fast as she could, with Peanut following right behind her, sobbing uncontrollably. They shot out of the hole and began looking through all the traps, searching for Pip.
“Pip?! Pip?!” Screamed grandmamma Gouda, followed by the wails of Peanut.
“I’m over here,” a small voice whimpered. Peanut and grandmamma turned to see Pip caught by the tail in the trap. Grandmamma almost fainted at the site, thinking that she had lost Pip. Peanut ran over and latched onto Pip with a hug, noticing his trapped tail.
“I’m sorry grandmamma, I should have listened to you,” Pip cried, “I’ll never do it again, I promise!” He started sobbing.
“Pip, dear, you scared me so much. I thought I lost you like I lost my brother. But I’m so glad you’re alive. Now let’s get you out of that trap.”
From that day on, Pip followed the rules and was more precautious with everything he did. That day had left a mark on him forever, the loss of his tail.
“Now Pip,” grandmamma Gouda said, “When you are older, you can tell your grandchildren of the day you learned a valuable lesson; always obey the rules, or it will come back and bite you in the butt, or should we say tail?”