Plop! A clump of snow landed on top of Morley Mouse and buried him. He pushed his little body up through the snow and shook himself. Snow flew everywhere.
‘That does it!' Morley said. ‘I can't put up with this any longer.'
Harry Hare hopped by. ‘What's wrong, Morley?' he asked.
all this snow,' said Morley. ‘Every time I come out for a run, I get buried with snow.'
‘Maybe you should find a new house,' said Harry.
Morley thought about it and then called Roger Raven. Morley had once chewed through a net that Roger's feet were tangled in and so Roger owed him a favour.
‘What's up, Morley?' asked Roger, as he landed on a tree stump.
‘I want you to help me find a new place to live,' said Morley. ‘Somewhere I won't get snow dumped on me.'
‘Climb on my back,' said Roger.
So Morley climbed up and held on tight as Roger's strong wings lifted them up into the sky. ‘Where do you want to look?' Roger asked.
‘Everywhere,' said Morley. So they flew until they came to a big meadow with a frozen pond. ‘This looks nice,' said Morley as they landed.
A little chipmunk was sitting on a log, cleaning its grey and brown striped fur. ‘This is not a good place for a mouse,' he said.
‘Why not?' asked Morley.
‘Lots of hawks hunt in this meadow,' said the chipmunk.
‘We'll just keep looking,' said Roger and away they flew again. Soon they came to a country village with lots of neat little houses.
‘This looks like a good place,' said Morley and they flew down to check it out. Morley slid down from Roger's back and looked around.
A little brown house sparrow came and pitched beside him. ‘I'd think twice about living here if I were a mouse,' said the sparrow.
‘Why is that?' asked Morley.
‘Lots of cats live here in this village. And cats chase mice,' the sparrow said.
‘So this is not a good place to find a house for a mouse,' said Morley sadly. He climbed onto Roger's back and they flew off again.
‘We'll just keep looking for the right place,' said Roger. His black wings flapped gently. They flew until they came to the mountains and Roger had to go higher. The clouds looked so close that Morley thought they would hit their heads.
‘This looks like a good place,' said Morley. ‘No trees here to dump snow on me.' Roger landed on the snow-covered mountain and Morley slid from his back.
A young mountain goat came over to them. ‘What are you doing way up here?' he asked.
‘I'm looking for a house,' said Morley.
‘Not very smart,' said the goat. ‘Lots of eagles nest in these mountains. And lots of young eaglets to feed in the summer.'
Morley shivered. ‘This is not a good place to find a house for a mouse,' he said. He climbed on Roger's back and they took off once more.
‘Never mind,' said Roger. ‘We'll just keep looking.'
Next they came to a big lake. ‘This might be a good place' said Morley as they touched down. A raccoon was fishing in the lake. The black fur around his eyes made him look like a robber. ‘I'm looking for a house,' said Morley.
‘Suit yourself,' said the raccoon, ‘but you better keep watch for the mink who come here to fish. There's lots of them around.'
Morley was getting very tired and he was unhappy. ‘Oh dear! Where will I find a house for a mouse?' he wondered.
‘We'll find one,' said Roger. He flapped his wings and away they went. Then Morley saw something.
‘This is the place,' he said. Roger landed. Morley slid to the ground and looked around. The meadow was not too big and not too small. The trees were not too short and not too tall. ‘This is good,' said Morley.
‘Are you sure?' asked Roger.
‘Yes,' said Morley. ‘There are no hawks here, and no cats, and no eagles, and no mink.'
‘The snow will fall on you,' said Roger.
Morley nodded his head. ‘I know, but it doesn't seem quite so bad anymore.' He watched as Roger flew off up into the cloudy winter sky. Then he scampered into his own snug little house in the trunk of a large oak tree.
‘This is a good place to find a house for a mouse,' he said to himself. Then he yawned and curled up into a furry little ball and went to sleep.
© 1999, F. Herridge
Printed in Newfoundland Herald, March 1999
Tales of Morley Mouse
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