I was reading Garrison Keillor's Substack, and inspiration struck me. So surprise and happy February. Here's a very short story.
Once upon a time there was a Democrat Mouse. They lived in a big city with excellent public transportation and plenty of vegan restaurants. Their incisor teeth were filed down and their fur was styled in the most supportive patterns and colors. And yet, they felt something was missing from their life.
In the suburb of that same city, where the gas was cheap and the sidewalks nonexistent, there lived a Republican Mouse. He went to the gym every day to pull heavy weights and practice biting. His teeth were stronger and yellower than anyone's, but he couldn't ignore a certain longing.
Life felt stale, crusted, empty of nourishment. Things couldn't go on like this. A change of scenery might offer a solution, or at least a distraction.
And so, the Democrat Mouse and the Republican Mouse decided to take a vacation. Not together, of course. They shared no acquaintances and had no forums in common. They simply set out on the same day, each mouse headed toward the home of the other. In the middle, they met.
What a freak, thought the Republican Mouse. She's shaved off half her fur and dyed the other half green. And all those tattoos. Filed her teeth down? Is this what mice are turning into? Grandpa was right.
And the Democrat Mouse looked at the Republican Mouse, thinking, I'm in danger. Look at those muscles. Look at those teeth. Those mean little eyes. That mouse could run me down and bite right through my spine. I've read about how that happens.
They froze, bristling.
If I call the police, thought the Democrat Mouse, they'll be on his side. They'll help him eat me.
If she takes a picture of me, thought the Republican mouse, that's it. Life over. Nobody will hire me and I'll starve.
In the windows of the houses and apartments around them, blinds twitched. Camera lenses pointed, and behind those lenses crouched yet more mice. They watched in their millions, waiting for something —anything! —to end.
Mouse pictures from Phylopic
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Daniel M. Bensen