The Rat And The Mouse And The Cat In The House

by Duncan Jones

Came their favorite sound of jingling of bells
Upon the little girl’s shoes
She’d always come this time of day
To bring her fat cat food

And while the beast was feasting
All was quiet in the walls
Because the rat and mouse had left
To tiptoe through the halls

Through the den, behind the couch
Across the open floor
Then they’d pause before they crawled
Underneath the kitchen door

They’d not much time to make it there
Fill up, and run back home
Because that cat could eat his feast
As fast as you can read this poem

The rat would eat and stuff himself
(Good manners he was lacking)
The mouse out there ate not a crumb
She would spend their short time packing

Then in the safety of the walls
The mouse would sit and dine
And sometimes if she had found it
She would even have some wine

But from each meal in her backpack
The mouse would save a little bit
The rat would want it for himself
And each night would throw a fit

The response the mouse would give the rat
Was always just the same
“We may be safe inside these walls
But outside it is no game

And so my friend if you must have
Some more before you sleep
You’ll have to fill a backpack too
And bring it back here when we creep.”

The rat would say, “Nay, I surely won’t
Not when you have more here!
You always carry extra food
It makes no sense!” he’d sneer

And so one night the rat sat and thought
To make a mean, rude plan
“I’ll teach that mouse a lesson
And I’ll teach it as soon as I can!”

And as he thought came the jingling sound
Of something as it fell
Just like that! Outside the wall
The little girl had dropped a bell

The rat looked ‘round, and then reached out
And grabbed it with a smile
Because all at once he’d made his plan
It was a plan quite vile!

Next day when came the sound of bells
And the cat had turned to eat
The rat and mouse were ready
And moved lightly on their feet

Out in the hall the rat turned to the mouse
“You know, I’ll try this once your way
I’ll just run back, grab my backpack
And we’ll dine together today!”

So the rat ran back but really thought
“Her way? Ha Ha! Yeah right!”
He’d really gone back to get the lost bell
And he threw it will all his might

Straight at the mouse, alone in the hall
Who froze at this surprise
And when the jingling bell’s song rung out
The cat turned and fixed his eyes

Then just like a shot the chase was on
The mouse did her best and tried
But no mouse or rat can out-run a cat
No more than he can fly

As she ran for her life, the rat waited safe
Then slinked to the kitchen for dinner
And when all was quiet again he thought
“Sounds like the cat’s the winner

Well so long dear mouse now just me in the house!”
And he leaned back to rest his head
“I’ll wait till the cat has dozed off too
And then I’ll go home to bed.”

But when he awoke he nearly choked
In front of him stood our mouse …
“Do you know why I carry a backpack with food
Whenever I’m out in the house?

Because I always knew one day or the next
I would have to face that cat
(Although my friend I have to say
I never thought it would be like that)

And I at least would have a chance
If I had some food with me
Turns out I was right! Here I stand tonight!
Alive and happy and free!”

Then from her backpack she pulled the lost bell
That the rat had thrown on the ground
“I picked this up on my way back here
I know it’s your favorite sound!”

She raised it up high, then rang it out loud
And tossed it over to her rat friend
Saying, “Best of luck to you dear rat
I sure hope this is not the end!!”

Quickly enough the fat cat appeared
This now could have been no worse
And as that fat cat began to come close
The rat screamed and started to curse

“Oh you stupid mouse, oh what have you done?!?!
What on Earth are we going to do????”
“I’m not really sure?!” smiled the mouse at the rat
“It’s a good thing I’m faster than you!”