Daily Flash Fiction Contest Jan 14
|"It's a jungle over there." Uncle Rodriguez shook his head; and was that a tear welling in one eye, threatening to overflow his lower lid? "A rat race!" he continued.
His small audience of three glanced furtively at each other. This was obviously going to be scary stuff for three near-blind mice. They'd been hopeful of romantic tales of life on the rolling seas, passing within cooee (if not closer) to an idyllic tropical paradise or four. But this?
From the moment Uncle Rodriguez from Peru had appeared at their front door (otherwise known rather crassly as a 'mouse-hole'), having stowed away on a cargo ship bound for Australia, the triplets, Howie, Mowie and Kerpowie, had been 'hanging out' for the adults to finish their never-ending palaver, leaving their bestiest uncle free to get down to some 'real' seafaring stories.
They had to admit, it had been great news at first, hearing about part of the cargo being a brand new sweet produced from the mandarin forests at the base of Machu Picchu. A new company called Kandy Konfectionery, had created a line of small orange coloured discs, called 'Kandy's Mandies from the Andes'. Uncle Rodriguez told the trio he had some carefully concealed samples he'd sneakily shanghaied from the ship, and promised he'd dig them out of his swag right after he found his toothbrush and PJ's and laid them out ready for a night in a 'real' bed again.
"Ahh…" Uncle Rodriguez sighed lustily. "To be with family again, with no need to fear in this little haven you have behind the freezer." He couldn't resist stretching out his small paws to hug his nephews. He was feeling totally at ease, now he knew the space back here wasn't wide enough for the fearful CAT of the house to get more than her paw in—and even then, for only the shortest distance.
"You have no idea how blessed you little fellows are to have a safe house to retreat to when the chase is on. Unlike MY home." A shudder ran through his hairy body, all the way to the tip of his long, long tail. Howie, Mowie and Kerpowie found themselves giving an involuntary shake, in sympathy, as their globe-trotting uncle continued.
"Well hidden In the rain-forest over there, lives a super-cat called an Ocelot. Mouse-ohh-mouse… is he formidable, or what? The one I know most intimately (though I surely wish I didn't), I call Sir Chancelot. He will hide on the branch of a tree, motionless for an hour or more, if that's what it takes to trap his prey. No chance is too random for him." A series of sniffs and snowks are needed before he can continue. "… and his coat! Well-ll-ll… it's all stripey and black/dark brown/mustard colour, so he blends perfectly into the foliage. Not a sound from him. Until he drops on his unsuspecting victim!"
Uncle Rodriguez brushed his paw across his closed eyes as another shudder ran through him.
"Like I said at the beginning — it's a jungle over there!"