Miss Esther walked along the road, swinging her basket and thinking of all the groceries she needed to pick up for the week. At the same time she tried to watch for her beloved cat Carrots who had not been home for breakfast or lunch.
And like most people who try to do lots of things at once, she was quickly distracted by something else.
It sounded like someone or something was crying on Tea Cup Street.
“I hope they are alright!” Miss Esther quickened her steps. “If only Susanna were here!”
Miss Esther reached the three way stop and looked to see where the sound was coming from.
Then suddenly Miss Esther’s heart almost stopped.
It was Carrots!
And something was terribly, terribly wrong!
Miss Esther rushed forward and dropped her basket by the side of the road.
“Meow!” Carrots wailed for joy at the sight of her.
“Carrots!” Miss Esther knelt beside her pet. “I’ve found you at last! And ah, you’ve gotten yourself stuck in the grating haven’t you?”
Poor Carrots was stuck on one of the metal rods, his legs hanging down into space.
Miss Esther gently lifted him off and then set him down on her lap.
“Meow.” Carrots leaned up against her and purred with relief.
“Did you try to walk the metal railings?” Miss Esther gave her pussy a wise look. “That is a very risky thing to do, Carrots.”
Carrots hung his head.
“I’m sure it looked like fun, but then getting stuck isn’t much fun, is it?” Miss Esther ran a hand over Carrot’s back.
Carrots looked up apologetically. “Meow.”
“But now we know.” Miss Esther gave him a forgiving smile. “Are you hurt?”
She noticed that Carrots seemed to be favoring one leg. She felt it gently and Carrots yelped in good earnest.
“We’ll have Susanna take a look at it tonight. She’ll know if it’s a sprain or a break.”
Suddenly a new voice broke into the conversation.
“I’m so glad to see you, ma’am. We tried to help him but we were too small.”
Miss Esther turned to see a small mouse with red hair standing just before her. “Hello, sir! I’m sorry. I didn’t see you.”
“Most people don’t.” The little mouse bowed politely. “I’m Mel Mouse and down there is my house.”
“I’m very pleased to meet you Mel Mouse. My name is Miss Esther MaeWell, but everyone calls me Miss Esther.”
“Glad to meet you!” The white mouse shook hands heartily with Miss Esther. “My wife will be delighted to make your acquaintance. We’re new here, you see, and looking for friends.”
Mel scampered over to the grating. “Mellie! It’s alright. The cat is rescued and we have a new friend!”
Miss Esther heard the sound of scurrying and then suddenly from around the corner came another white mouse, with two more just behind her.
“Mellie, this is Miss Esther.” Mel seemed very pleased to be making the introductions. “Miss Esther, this is my beautiful wife Mellie and our twin girls, Milly and Molly.”
“So good to meet you all!” Miss Esther shook hands with each one. “And this is my cat, Carrots. I hope he didn’t disturb you too much.”
“We were more worried about him than we were about our sleep.” Mel tipped his head. “Is he a friendly cat?”
“Very. Everyone in Small Village knows Carrots. The two of us are very good friends with all the mice here.”
Mel beamed his relief.
“Can you stay for tea?” Mellie had a beautiful smile and her voice was very musical.
“I would love to, but I’m afraid Carrots has hurt his leg. I need to take him to my sister Susanna. She’s a nurse.”
“Yes, yes!” Mel nodded his agreement. “Perhaps you can come for tea tomorrow?”
“I would love to.” Miss Esther smiled. “Where do you live?”
“Just down there.” Mel motioned with his hand.
Miss Esther bent forward. Sure enough! There was a small house built right under the floor!
“How lovely!” Miss Esther’s face lit up with joy. “You’ve made it a beautiful home, Mellie.”
Mellie smiled her thanks.
“So I’ll see you tomorrow.” Miss Esther rose and lifted Carrots up in her arms. “Thank-you so much for your help. I hope you have a wonderful evening!”
“You too!” The white mice all waved good-bye and Miss Esther moved back down the street.
“Come on, Carrots, we need to get you to Susanna as soon as possible!”