Everyone has heard of Puss and Boots, no doubt because being a male chauvinistic world no one looks further than a pair of scruffy boots. My name is Brynhildr but I allow my human to call me Brynn. We met one spring evening while I was out with my brother and sister and I decided to adopt the poor boy, he really needed someone to straighten out his life. By the way, Puss was my great-great uncle on my mother’s side. Here’s the story I want to tell you …
Our life together was rather nice right from the start. He knew just the right games to play and oh how I loved the kibbles he offered me – really scrumptious. So I thought it might be a good idea to help him make his way in the wide world. No one could have done it better than I, of course.
One morning, as he was snoring on the bed, I bopped him on the nose to get his attention and then once he was awake, flew out the window. He jumped up instantly and ran to the door to follow me. We live near an old castle in Northern Italy. I remembered from listening to Mum that old uncle Boots had put aside a bit of treasure, just in case, in the castle.
Once I reached the door of the castle, I discovered that the place had been over-run by mice. These weren’t just ordinary mice of course, they were enchanted and right arrogant too. They sat around in a circle not far from where Puss’ treasure was hidden singing a silly mouse song:
scrape, scramble, peck and laugh
looks like the dish is frozen fast
silent seven in a nameless land
look over the brim of a speckled band ….
My human came clumsily at a run and grabbed at me where I stood near the door watching the mice. The mice of course heard him long before he actually got to the door and so had plenty of time to run to their refuge just under an old plank. They hadn’t seen me though so I was one up on them.
We went home and I had my breakfast then sat down at the window to watch the birds in my persimmon tree. After a while, White-face, one of my neighbours came sauntering as proud as you please into my garden.
“Psst, White-face! I’d like to ask you a question or two about the castle.”
“What do you want to know about it?”
“Well, I was up there today and I saw seven mice sitting in a circle reciting poetry …”
“Poetry? Is that what they call it now? Anyway … that doesn’t sound like a question to me!”
“It wasn’t because you interrupted me you gormy cat. But you answered my first question anyway … so you know who they are. Tell me about them.”
“Not much to tell. They’re enchanted … they were set up here, so I’ve heard, some centuries ago by an ogre who’d lost all his belongings to one of Us. They’re the seventh generation of the Silent Seven to live in the castle and they’re there to take revenge on any cat that gets near a treasure which was hidden there by Master Puss. Or so goes the legend. Fact is, they’re a bad lot, even the local count is afraid of them. The humans have been trying to get rid of them for years!”
“Ah … interesting!”
I sat for awhile taking in the news. I thought and I thought until I came up with an idea. But first of all, I’d have to talk to my human.
“Meowr … chit chit … brrr-rup” I said as I jumped onto his lap.
“What a chatter box you are dear Brynn!” he said.
“A lot more than you might expect!”
He nearly jumped out of his skin when he heard me address him.
“Don’t go quirky on me old boy! I’ve got something to say which you need to hear, so listen.” I told him the Uncle’s story(which he seemed to have already known) and then info that White-face had just given me.
“By rights … I figure that treasure is mine to dispose of as I see fit. So, I’ve decided that it should go to you so that you can make us comfortable.”
“Uh … sure, uh … “
“Don’t stutter. What I need is some of my kibble … the special Sunday treat and one of those mice prisons. I’ve got a feeling that I should be able to get them away from the treasure with the kibble … I’m not sure they’ll fall for the prison though. What you have to do is slip in QUIETLY once they start following the kibble trail and then just under a broken plank in the floor not far from the door, you’ll find a strong box. Grab it and come out to where I’ll be waiting for you.”
The plan worked a charm, the mice followed the kibble trail and all but one walked right into the mouse prison.
My human came out holding a strong box … he then looked at the mouse prison a little worried.
“Well, now we curry favour from the local gov. Take this prison to the constabulary. The count has put a reward up for their capture!”
“Hey, if you do that, the coppers will kill all my mates! We’ve done nothing to deserve such treatment … but you know how humans are.”
I looked at my human … and he looked at me. It’s was one thing to capture enchanted mice but after all but to kill them – it was not their fault they’d been born into a weird family. It just didn’t seem right that they should be killed just because they sat around singing in an old abandoned castle. On the other hand, I did want my human to have all the benefits of wealth and fame.
“Listen Kitty Brynn,” my human said. “I can’t profit from another creature’s death. That just isn’t who I am. We’ll take the mice out to the woods and let them go, once they’ve promised never to return. We do have the treasure … “
“That’s a great idea young human … once the treasure is gone we don’t have to stay here anyway … and once you’ve taken us away from here, the enchantment is ended! We sure would prefer to live in the woods!”
So that’s what we did. When we got back home my human opened the strong-box and we found 20 solid gold, mint condition, sovereigns … they were worth millions. So we were well covered wealth wise. As for fame … well you have to know my human’s a writer and I’ve told him quite a few tales he’s published, you know his name of course it’s … but I can’t tell you that now can I … it would ruin his reputation!
© G.s.k. ‘15
Tale Weaver #40: Snow White Stop Kissing that Frog!*