snowy late December night called Christmas Eve the snow slowly fell and made
the grass all around as white as a big fluffy blanket. Jemima Ginger
Cat, who was very annoyed, sat outside Fred’s house shivering with cold.
Jemima Ginger Cat had a lot of fur, but all afternoon she
had been crouched very, very still ready to pounce. She had been ready to
pounce on poor Martina mouse from the nearby field. Martinamouse had been
very frightened so she had run around and around in frenzied circles all day
Martinamouse got very hot with all the running she had done. But, Jemima Ginger Cat was very cold now as she had been quite still most of
the afternoon. Jemima Ginger Cat was looking forward to curling up in front
of the fire.
Now as teatime came, the sky was getting darker and darker
and both Jemima Ginger Cat and Martina mouse wondered what to do next.
Although Martina was hot that minute, she really preferred in winter to nest
inside the house. In fact, she had already made a secret little nest in the
loft and she wanted to get back into the house away from Jemima Ginger Cat. She wanted to be next to her beloved Mouse husband who was called Mallowmouse.
Mallowmouse was really a tame mouse that had escaped from
its cage. Mallowmouse was called that because he was a soft and powdery
grey white and looked just like a big fat dusty marshmallow.
Martina was a little field
mouse and she was a strange, but interesting colour that fashionistas called greige. In fact Martina had a lovely
thick grey fur coat that was very beautiful and was
all the rage in the world of the London fashion Mouseland scene too.
Jemima Ginger Cat looked at Martina and thought too about
Martina’s mouse husband Mallowmouse. Mmmmm marshmallows are so nice to eat
she thought with a flick of her whiskers.
Like Jemima Ginger Cat Martina mouse wanted to get back into
the house and waited patiently. Suddenly Fred came out to get the Christmas
tree he had left earlier in the garage. Fred shooed the cat away as he need
to carry the tree into the house without a cat in his path. Martina jumped
with Christmas joy. Her chance to escape had come at last as she ran toward the
garage. She knew she was very lucky and had escaped from Jemima Ginger Cat
at last. Jemima Ginger Cat would not get that extra special Christmas dinner
she had been planning for weeks.
Martina knew her way into the house from the garage. It was
a long climb to the loft, but she could do it. She was after all very fit
from all that running in circles that the ginger cat regularly put her through.
Long ago when the cement floor had dropped, it had settled at
a lower level and it had exposed a gap in the skirting board. Fred was too
lazy to fix the gap, but Martina was very glad he thought it wasn’t an
urgent problem. She squeezed her tiny body under the garage’s skirting board
and soon she began the long slow climb to the top of the house. An hour or
more later after many hops, jumps and wrong turns, she was in the crawl
space and she decided to rest there. This was a good place to be as Bobby
Bear lived right next door in the small room, which was Ben’s bedroom. She
knew Bobby bear would help her if he could if she needed help.
Ben was really looking forward to Christmas. He was
expecting Santa to climb down the chimney and bring him lots of presents in
a big, big sack. Because of this, Ben and his sister Belinda had insisted
that the fire was left unlit, as they didn’t want Santa to burn his boots or
hurt himself. What a surprise that would be for Jemima Ginger Cat, who was
longing to curl up by the fire. In fact, Jemima Ginger Cat would soon get
another big surprise. She was soon to find herself sleeping in the utility
room for the next 12 days of Christmas.
Fred had declared that it was too dangerous for Jemima
Ginger Cat to stay in the sitting room where the new Christmas tree was
being decked. Fred said Jemima Ginger Cat was a hazard what with all the
fairy lights, chocolate ornaments, gingerbread cookies, tinsel and hanging
glass baubles on the tree.
In other years, Jemima had been very silly and would jump up
and down fighting with the moving lights, pawing at the tinsel and baubles. Last year she had caused havoc on Christmas Day when she brought the tree
crashing down and thick dark earth poured out of the tree bucket pot all
over Fred’s pale cream carpet. Fred said he had had enough of that, as the
last thing he wanted to do after his Christmas dinner was clean up a fallen
over tree. So this year the sitting room was declared out of bounds to
Jemima Ginger Cat for the whole of the Xmas season.
So Jemima Ginger Cat was sent into the cold utility room to
stay with the cold freezer, the refrigerator and the cold washing machine
and worse as it was snowing, the cold draught from the back door. She was
not a happy cat. She would show them she thought. She would make sure that
next year she would have six kittens so they could all make a big fuss of her
instead of a decorated Christmas tree.
Meanwhile upstairs in the crawl space Martina mouse was just
setting off for the loft when she came upon a new passageway. For a while
she was scared as she explored the new passageway. But, bravely she
travelled on and further down and then up and down and up and down again.
Although it got nearer and nearer to 10pm she was soon in a different part
of the house. Soon she could see a chink of light, smell a Christmas Fir
tree smell, cinnamon and tangerines. She felt drawn to the area and the cosy
warmth that was coming from this new place. This was all so exciting and her
nose twitched at the smells of Christmas.
‘Wow’ she could see fairy lights. ‘Wow………..how spectacular’
she thought to herself.
She hummed and ahhhhhd and decided that it was too good an
opportunity to miss seeing more of the lights and taking in all the
wonderful smells of Christmas. So even though she was very hungry with no
chance of eating some of the foods that must be nearby somewhere, she
settled down to sit and watch the lights through the gap in the skirting
board. At first, she forgot all about her beloved Mr Mallowmouse waiting for
her high up in the loft. Now she was further than ever from him settled down
behind the sitting room skirting board.
Meanwhile up in the loft Mr Mallowmouse was getting very
worried. All sorts of ideas ran through his head. Maybe that nasty Jemima
Ginger Cat had at last caught Martina his beloved little mouse wife and
already had her lined up for a luxury Christmas dinner. He felt sick to his
stomach. ‘Oh no not my beloved Martina, not my darling mouse,’ he cried out
Adrenaline soared through his body and Mr Mallowmouse set
off on the long journey through the house in search of his beloved Martina. She was such a pretty cheerful mouse he thought, beautiful both inside and
outside and he knew that life without her wasn’t something he could even
begin to think about. He must save her. He must rescue her. Most importantly
if she had been attacked by the cat he must nurse her back to full health. He would look after his beloved princess his beautiful Martina, his darling
He raced down the dusty floorboard secret house passageways
across all the covered electric cables. He carefully avoided the central
heating copper pipes which ran through along the under floorboards. Mr Mallowmouse had learnt long ago that the pipes could get very hot. They were
nice to be near as they were warm, but not nice to touch as they could get
very hot when the radiators were being heated or it was near bedtime bath
time for Ben and Belinda. Once he had burnt his little pink feet when he
jumped on the copper pipes and jumped off just as fast. He had been very
careful about touching hot things ever after that.
He got to the floor where Ben’s bedroom was and for a moment
stopped to catch his breath. He just didn’t know which way to go next. But
something made him take a new route, a new path and soon he was scurrying
along a new secret tunnel. It was getting so late that he thought Fred and
his family would soon be going to bed. This worried him because he knew then
that he would have to be silent because any noise would alert Fred again to
the mice living in the loft and he didn’t want that.
Last year when they had made their home in the loft they had
asked a few friends to join them. They had got so excited at their
housewarming party when Stephen Squirrel, Susie Squirrel, Richard Rat, Rosie
Rat, Michael Mouse, Mary Mouse and Hubert Hedgehog had all entered by the
secret entrance. Hubert had taken two days to arrive, but it was worth the
wait to have him with them. They had danced half the night away and must
have woken Fred and his wife in the middle of the night.
Fred was a big man who was never scared, but his wife who
had been screaming and screeching for hours was frightened by the thought of
a tiny mouse in the loft. She became very strict with Fred and started
to make lots of demands on Fred. At breakfast, she had told Fred off
for not taking urgent action to get rid of the mice. By elevenses, she
had warned Fred that his life would not be worth living if he did not sort
out the ‘mouse problem’. By lunchtime, they had heard her insist that
Fred go shopping with her. Shopping that minute, not a moment longer could she wait was
the message they heard.
This was unusual as Fred NEVER liked going shopping never,
ever, but his wife liked to shop for hours and hours looking at clothes,
perfumes and jewellery, which she put in her bulging wardrobe. When his wife
opened her wardrobe, to get dressed to go out shopping again, clothes and
shoes would come tumbling out as she had bought so many just the week
before. Some still even had their tickets and tags on the clothes. Despite
all the clothes in the wardrobe she could often be heard to say ‘I’ve
nothing to wear’ and would then have an excuse to go shopping again. Fred
despaired and would roll his eyes upward. He liked a simple easy life. Most
of all he liked to focus on the important things in life, like watching
football or eating freshly baked scones or working on his computer for hours
That day when Fred came home after shopping with his wife,
he rushed straight to the refrigerator in the kitchen. After a few minutes
he then went straight to the loft. He got out his stepladder and poked open
the loft door just a little and slipped in something before quickly shutting
the hatch door.
Mr Mallowmouse had trained as a mouse engineer and
understood how machines worked. He soon realised Fred was trying to torture
them with one of those nasty trick gadgets he had heard Fred call a
mousetrap. He had read about this in the latest Mouse Engineering Monthly
magazine. The trap would have a neat square of fresh chocolate or cheese on
it and was meant to lure them. But Mr Mallowmouse knew his facts and he knew
these mousetraps were like Roman battle machines that sprung into action if
any weight was put on them. ‘Weight’ meant mouse foot and he was not going
to fall for that one.
‘Arghhhhhhhhhh please don’t let my poor Martina be in one of
those mousetraps’, Mr Mallowmouse thought. Yes cheese was delicious and so
was chocolate, but those mousetraps were what every mouse had nightmares
about. They were a cruel deceit and an unwary mouse could easily get caught
in one. Fortunately, the mousetrap was banished when Fred was checking it one
day and got his finger trapped in it. ‘No more mousetraps’ he told his wife. But could Martina and Mallowmouse really believe that?
Now he was having a different kind of nightmare as he
searched for Martina.
Would he ever find his beloved mouse?
Would she be caught in a trap?
Would she be lined up for a cat’s feast?
He despaired, but suddenly he could sniff Martina’s scent. She always smelt very fragrant. Indeed she always wore the latest perfume
from Paris as he himself had often acquired little small bottles of famous
perfumes he sometimes found on Fred’s wife’s dressing table when she was out
shopping again. He had even heard Fred’s wife call them the latest perfume
samples. His favourite perfume was the
Caron perfume she wore now and he had
heard it was all the rage this season. She smelled delicious and he could
not wait to see her again. He was so glad she was nearby.
Knowing she was nearby he decided to let her know he was
coming near to her. He was a very thoughtful mouse and he knew she was
easily scared and would sometimes give a start and a little jump if he
suddenly appeared from nowhere. So he squeaked a little and he heard her
send a friendly squeak back to him.
The squeak was really a sigh of relief from Martina. She was
glad to have her Mr Mallowmouse nearby to sit with her and enjoy the fairy
lights. Martina rubbed noses with Mr Mallowmouse she was so delighted to see
him. She told him she was quite hungry, but just happy to be safe and back
in his arms. He told her he was very excited and happy to see her too. Tomorrow there would be lots of food lying around all day and maybe they
could get some leftovers when the adults slumped in front of the telly and
were sleeping off their dinners.
Then he said why didn’t they just sit and watch the fairly
lights twinkle on the tree as they wouldn’t have many chances to do that at
other times of the year. It was pure bliss he thought, to be with Martina
So entwined in each others arms, they had been happily
sitting there for half an hour watching the fairy lights when they heard the
clock strike midnight. With that they both glanced at the clock on the
fireplace to notice two black feet dangling through the chimney hole.
Then they saw a splash of one very red leg, then another red
leg, then some white fluffy fur and more red and suddenly there was a man on
the cream carpet. It was Father Christmas smoothing off the soot from his
fancy red fur trimmed suit as he emerged from the fireplace. The mice
watched as Santa placed a big sack on the floor and stretched his arms out
as if he was stiff from the clamber down the chimney.
Santa felt peckish. He looked around the sitting room and
suddenly spied a covered up plate of food and a drink which he knew had been
left for him. Santa carefully removed the napkin covering the plate of mince
pies and popped one into his mouth.
‘What fine mince pies, full of cherries, currants, raisins,
sultanas, apple, peel and nuts’, he said out aloud. ‘Mmmmmm’ said Santa,
‘these are melting in my mouth, but I must only eat one at each house as
everyone leaves a plate of mince pies for me and I have to eat those made by
poor cooks, as well as eat those made by good cooks. It’s no wonder I have
grown so large with all the pies I have to eat up.’
He started to hum as he licked the crumbs off his lips. His
full tummy made him feel extra generous, so he left twice as many presents
as he usually left. Ben and Belinda would be very happy on Christmas morning
when they saw all the lovely Christmas boxes under the tree.
Santa always leaves by the back door or a window instead of
climbing back up the chimney. When he went into the cold scullery, he saw
Jemima Ginger Cat who looked so sad and unhappy.
Santa knew what would cheer her up - a nice warm thick mat
and a cat basket. He fetched one out of his never empty sack of goodies.
it he put a rubber toy mouse that would bounce and bounce as long as Jemima
Ginger Cat wanted to play cat and mouse. As an extra treat he clipped a
lovely jewelled collar onto Jemima’s neck.
Jemima Ginger Cat sighed and the
purred with satisfaction. Life seemed almost complete for her what with the
new necklace and the cat basket of her very own. Some handsome cat would
surely find her very attractive very soon when they saw her with her
beautiful choker necklace and heard all about her gracious living
accommodation. She purred contentedly as she thought this to herself.
And suddenly Santa was gone.
Now just two little beings were awake in the house as all
slept sweetly. Those two little beings were two very loving mice called Mr Mallowmouse and Martina mouse. They were having the very best Christmas ever
as they danced in the glow of the fairy lights before the automatic timer
switched the lights off. They were full of mince pies from the plate that
Santa had kindly left uncovered. They were two happy and content mice in
love with each other and with life.
When the tree light timer went off at 12.15 a.m., they
carefully made their way back to their home in the loft where they flopped
into their nest at 2a.m. just two very tired little mice.
They slept very soundly knowing that they were safe and warm
inside the house and best of all together. Outside the snow continued to
fall and cover the ground to make Christmas Day a winter wonderland
Christmas of Peace and Joy on Earth and Goodwill to all Men.
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