Adventures in Homesteading: The Tale of Three Tails Chapter 3
Chapter 3: Rodent Rage
A tidal wave of chipmunks poured out toward the three frozen mice. Fueled by fear, Pudgy, Pipsqueak and Gomer raced back to the garage and barricaded the entrance.
“How many were there?” asked Pipsqueak breathing heavily.
Pudgy, who hadn’t run that fast since he was a pup, shook his head as he tried to catch his breath. “A-huff-puff huff-puff-lot.”
“What can we do?” Pipsqueak brushed the dust off her feet and fur with a look of distaste.
“Let me think, let me think.” Pudgy rose to his paws and peeked out the crack. The chipmunks were huddled together staring at the garage. “We are definitely outnumbered, so we’ll have to---”.
Pipsqueak and Pudgy looked back at Gomer, who was lying on the floor with a look of misery on his face. “I’m sooooo hungry.”
“How can you think of food at a time like this Gomer!”
“That’s it!” Pipsqueak jumped to her paws. “The garden! The vegetables!”
Gomer’s stomach gave another mighty growl.
Pipsqueak smiled broadly. “We lead them to the garden. We show them all the vegetables...the tomatoes, the cucumbers...all of it.”
“Yes!” Pudgy grinned. “Of course! There’s plenty for all of us.”
The mice tidied up and headed back outside.
“Well hello there,” said Leo. “Not so tough now are you?” Laughter rumbled through the crowd.
“These strawberries will be gone soon, and there are not enough to share,” began Pudgy.
Pipsqueak stepped forward. “But there is a place where food will grow all summer. A place where there is plenty enough for all of us.”
The chipmunks chattered with each other. “We’re listening.”
“Come with us, we’ll show you...The Garden.” Pudgy led the group to the back of the house.
The crowd of chipmunks chittered. “We know about the garden.”
“You do?” asked Pudgy, a bit crestfallen.
“Yes,” said Leo. “It’s a trap. A giant maze of death and injury. The owner has it rigged to keep us out.”
The Three Tails snickered.
“Yes,” said Pipsqueak. “Unless you know the secret.”
The chipmunks grew quiet.
“And we do,” added Pudgy.
The chipmunks grew even quieter.
“Yeah,” said Gomer. “All you have to do is--”.
“Gomer!” Pudgy snapped.
“Wait til they take the deal,” said Pipsqueak through clenched teeth.
Pudgy looked Leo in the eye and waited.
Previously published on A Pinch of Homestead