The Mice, the Cat, and the Falcon

Once in a rural township, there was a miller who kept several pets: a rather calm peregrine falcon for his own pleasure and a Siberian cat at the behest of his wife and daughters. He lived in a grand house downstream from his mill and made a decent living, enough for his wife to thoroughly furnish the rooms in all sorts of white upholstery, for she could not stand any color less pure than that of fresh milk.

One day, while the miller was at work and the ladies of the household were out shopping in town, Bird was horrified to find a silver mouse with little pointed ears and puffy cheeks nibbling through the hemp bags full of flour stacked in the pantry.

"Why, Mr. Mouse! What reason have you for taking this flour? The bread on the shelf there is surely more desirable than this. What say you?" Bird said, landing atop the perfectly white shelves stacked with goods.

"I do not recall," said Mr. Mouse, backing away from the ruptured sack and glancing back and forth. Bird frowned at this, his keen sight barely perceiving trails of flour on the usually clean, creamy white tile. Were those...paw prints? My, would the lady have a fit about this!

"Mr. Mouse, dear sir, did you make those tracks there?" Bird asked.

"I do not recall," said Mr. Mouse again, clacking his claws against the tile and staring longingly at the mouse hole in the wall. It was so close, yet so far…

"Oh, but Mr. Mouse, surely you know who did make them, if not you?" Bird asked, quickly losing his patience with the skittish creature.

"I do not recall!" And at that, Mr. Mouse fled, sprinting as fast as he possibly could, but alas, he was not fast enough. Bird dove from the shelf, snatched Mr. Mouse up in his claws, and devoured him before Mouse could even make it to the next tile.

"It seems I have no choice but to investigate myself," Bird declared. "First, I shall follow these odd tracks. Perhaps I shall find something interesting." So, follow he did, fluttering through each room, careful not to ruin any of the lady's furniture as he went. The trail led back to another mouse hole in the wall, so Bird bent over to peer into the hole and found there a horrid sight.

A party of mice were gathered in a circle around a large pile of flour, and they were singing and laughing and dancing and feasting upon all manner of delicious goods from the pantry from breadcrumbs to the miller's finest champagne, clinking tiny toy glasses from the young ladies' dollhouse and smoking the miller's tobacco.

"Here, here!" said Caesar Mouse, the leader of all the mice in the land, as he struggled to hold his glass due to his tiny mouse hands. The room quieted, and he rose to his feet, struggling to maintain balance under the gratuitous wads of fat lining his skin. "This is a big, big land full of some great, great people. Now, thanks to you, we are going to make the mice great again. To the one who made this a very tremendous, like, super tremendous day! To Cat!"

Cat? But why? Why on earth would Cat encourage these mice to seek shelter within these walls? This was not his duty! Then, Caesar Mouse continued, "By the way, let's lock up that nasty Bird guy. What a disgusting animal. Covfefe! Let's party, boys!"

Bird leaned back from the hole, shaking with anger. How dare the mice conspire with Cat! This could not go unpunished. So, Bird came up with an idea. He went to the pantry and took from it some of the flour and the box matches kept there for the miller's tobacco, and then, he returned to the mouse hole, setting alight some of the flour and carefully watching it smolder.

"Fire! Fire!" Bird cried, and all of the mice squealed, running out of the celebration and right into the falcon's waiting beak. In a matter of moments, the entire assembly of mice had been gobbled up, and Bird quickly blew the match out.

Now, to deal with Cat. He would need to set up some sort of trap around his perch, something to lure Cat into the room. So, he returned to his perch only to find much larger paw prints of flour in there, and it suddenly all made sense.

Cat had made a deal with the mice; if they acquired flour for him to hide his tracks among the whiteness of the rest of the house, Cat wouldn't attack them. In this way, Cat could sneak around undetected and could even murder Bird, the only remaining threat to their plans! With this finally made clear, Bird rested upon his perch and pretended to sleep. All he had to do was wait.

Cat slinked in soon after with a predatory look in his eyes, his sinewy muscles stretching as he prepared to pounce. Before he could, Bird swept down and grabbed Cat by the scruff of his pampered fur coat, dragging him out of the house through an open window and dropping him into the river before returning home, satisfied with the results of his investigation.

The miller, his wife, and his daughters returned, but Cat never did. At first, they were dismayed at the loss of their pet, but soon after, they focused their attention on Bird instead, rewarding him with all sorts of lovely treats and cherishing him far more than he ever had been before. Everything was at peace once more.

Truth always wins.