The path was simple -- left, right, left, and left again. Occasionally, there would be intersections with dead ends in plain sight. Soon, Allie approached a point where she could either go straight ahead or right. She looked both ways and saw nothing to indicate which way would lead to her destination. With a shrug, she went right.
Allie appeared to have made the correct choice, for the hall continued to go on. The rat ran around a corner and suddenly smacked right into a wall and fell on her back. She pulled herself to her two feet and went back to take the other route.
She soon came to another pair of corridors -- one on either side of her. Cautiously, she walked through the right entryway. This passage was very long. Allie was getting frustrated at walking in the same direction with the same walls and the same floor and lack of any visible progress for what seemed like hours to her.
Finally, she made it to another area with two routes on opposite sides. She picked the right path and walked on.
Out of nowhere, a very loud whistle rang in Allie's ears, nearly causing her to jump out of her skin. She covered her round ears and scoped the area for the source of the shrill sound. Nothing was there, but the noise returned, breaking through the barrier that was Allie hands. The rat ran back the way she came and through the opposite doorway.
It was silent now, so Allie dropped her hands. She passed through the corridor, eyes focused on the end that she could barely see.
Allie suddenly fell forward, hitting the ground on her left knee. When she tried to get up, she found that both feet, her knee, and her left hand were stuck to a yellow floor. The rat considered yelling for help, but realized that no one would hear. She would have to get out of this on her own.
Her hand was what she decided to start with. Rocking her body to the side, carefully not to touch the trap with her free hand, she began pulling on her hand. It was difficult, but Allie managed to get it free.
In an attempt to stand up, the rat tested the strength of the glue on her knee. One look at how her furry knee was positioned told Allie that this was not going to be easy and especially not painless. She leaned her body to the side. Little by little, her knee was loosened from the glue trap, accompanied by the sound of fur slowly being torn off. Low whimpers of pain escaped her mouth. Sometimes she had to stop in order to ease the pain. When she broke free, a large clump of hair was where her knee was.
Stepping her left foot outside of the trap, Allie pulled on her right foot using her body and hands. She got free and stood against the wall to rest.
Allie could not believe it. After trekking down a lengthy hallway to find two more corridors, both of them turned out to be traps, and now she had to go back the way she came! With a growl, she did what she had to.
An even bigger shock came when Allie took that other route and met three solid walls at the end. She fell to her knees and pondered where she could have gone wrong. She knew she could not have missed any doorways on the way there for the first time. Only one more passageway was available, which she already went through. Behind one doorway was a glue trap. And the other...
It was then Allie realized that she never saw the end of the hall with the loud whistle. She had the chance to look around, but only saw more path. The rat got up and jogged back to that spot.
Nervously, Allie stood near the corridor where she heard the ear-splitting whistle. She was afraid and didn't want to go in, but had no alternatives. Hands on her ears, she ran inside.
Almost immediately, the shrill whistle sounded loud and clear, sending a chill up Allie's spine. Allie kept sprinting, eyes wide and hands covering her ears. The whistle stopped for a mere second before reappearing in a higher note. The rat ran as fast as her legs would carry her. As she ran, the sound would repeatedly stop and resume. There were a few left and right turns, indicating that this really was the correct passage.
When Allie finally made it to a new intersection, the whistle stopped. The rat sat down to catch her breath and get the ringing out of her ears. She saw three paths, one straight, the others on either side.
Allie selected the left path. It was a dead end, so she went right. Eventually, she could see a round, yellow object in the distance. She headed for that room and saw a round piece of cheese in the corner.
Oddly, Allie could not smell the cheese. Shrugging off the thought, she bit into the cheese as hard as she could.
Allie's teeth chattered along the solid object. She dropped it, making it hit the floor with a thud, and held her mouth. Her teeth ached very badly. She knelt over the "cheese" and looked at it closer. She had actually bitten into a yellow pebble! Still holding her mouth, she left the room.
Allie's journey took her from dead end to trap, to dead end. She was getting tired of walking. Traps made her wary of every corner. The drab surroundings did nothing to boost her spirits. She was ready to give up. After reaching a spot with three different paths, she picked one without thinking and soon entered a room.
In the center of this room, taking up the majority of space, was a block of Swiss cheese. Allie made it to the end of the maze!
The rat rushed to claim her prize. She dug in with both hands and fell asleep with a full stomach.
The moral of the story is, the path to success is riddled with obstacles called failures. In order to reach your goals, you'll have to pass through many dead ends and traps.