Plop! Right into the middle of a dumpster full of garbage she tumbled. And Zoe-Zoe, the itsy bitsy kitty, didn’t have the tiniest clue how she got into this dark and unfriendly world. In Her World everything smelled like fresh cut grass and sweet clover. But not in the Other World. Here everything was mixed together. Zoe-Zoe looked up and saw the gray, colorless sky. She didn’t like what she saw in this Other World. This was a dark and scary world.
Then it happened. She saw the empty ketchup bottle move up and down. The empty milk cartons began to fly across the dumpster. One almost hit her in the head! Meow! Zoe-Zoe couldn’t believe what she saw next.
A family of city mice paraded across her long, bright pink tail. First came the father. He was plump and twice as big as the mother. Mother was next, followed by five little babies. They all held each other’s long skinny tails so they would not get lost or fall to the bottom of the dumpster and bury themselves under a ton of garbage.
Mother kept a keen eye on her five babies, while father foraged deep into the blue dumpster for the best stuff to eat. There were unopened bottles of milk, juicy red, round apples, and all kinds of half eaten hamburgers and hot dogs. There was even pizza.
Suddenly, the father mouse stood up on his hind legs. He stretched his body as tall as he possibly could, with his tiny paws high above his ears. Then he squeaked at Zoe-Zoe in a high-pitched threatening voice that made Zoe-Zoe cry!
“Are you a mouse like us?” asked the father mouse.
“M-E-O-W!!! Let me out. I am in the wrong world. I belong in a land across the rainbow bridge. Meow! Don’t hurt me!” In Her World, everyone was polite and helpful. It certainly was impolite to frighten her. Zoe wiggled herself into an itsy bitsy ball and wrapped her long, thin, bright pink tail completely around her body for protection.
And then she did something she knew was impolite in Her World. She did it instinctively. She couldn’t help herself. She HISSED!! …and she HISSED…and she HISSED. But even her hissing came out itsy bitsy, since she was only eight weeks old.
“What was that?” asked the mother mouse. “It sounded something like a kitty.
“Mom, she has a long thin tail like us. But it’s pink.” And then all the baby mice laughed at Zoe-Zoe’s beautiful pink tail. That made Zoe-Zoe very sad. In Her World, everyone was allowed to be whomever they wanted to be.
“Are you a mouse?” Mother mouse was straight-forward about it. She needed to know if her family would be eaten by this itsy bitsy kitty.
“Meow! No, my name is Zoe-Zoe, and I want to go home.” She was tired and hungry and scared.
“Get out now!” shouted father mouse. “This is our food. We won’t share it.” When it came to feeding his family, Father mouse was protective. And then, without warning, the mice all made a circle around Zoe-Zoe and linked tails.
Zoe-Zoe was trapped! They picked her up by her long pink tail. And in one horrible throw, Zoe-Zoe was flung over the top of the dumpster and landed on a rotting banana peel. She slid from the slippery banana peel onto the hard cement, and bumped her itsy bitsy kitty nose on the metal dumpster.
Meow! she cried. But no one heard her. She crawled behind the smelly trash dumpster, close to the wall, and fell asleep with her long pink tail wrapped around her for comfort. But there was no comfort in the Other World.
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