James and Rutherford
Abhyudoy , Age 6, Santiniketan, West Bengal, India

Chapter 1: The Arrival of Rutherford

James was a country mouse. He was very excited. His friend Rutherford, who was a town mouse, was coming to his house (mouse hole). He prepared the best food and cleaned his house very well. After some days Rutherford arrived. He said to James, “This place is very small. Is this where you live?” James’s answer was “Yes”. He had prepared some cake and tarts. Rutherford said, “You must visit the town. It is much better and everything is bigger.” James was a bit annoyed, but he took Rutherford to the best room in his house. The Town Mouse said, “Such a small bed! We have beds of cheese!” James was very annoyed now. But he took Rutherford to the dining room and gave him the cakes and tarts. Rutherford said, “Is this what you have? You must come to the town. You can eat sausages, cheeses, etc. James thought, “Town could be a great place. Rutherford said that we’ll have beds of cheese and huge piles of chocolate, sausages and meat." After a long walk, it was time for Rutherford to return to the town. He waved goodbye to James and said, “You must go to the town. Everything there is bigger and better.” James said, “I’ll visit you in a month.”

Chapter 2: James Visits Rutherford

After a month, James visited Rutherford. He knocked at his door. Rutherford opened the door and said, “Shhh … be quiet.” James was shocked but he obeyed his friend and followed him to the kitchen. In the kitchen Rutherford was telling the truth. There were beds of cheese, and there were trillions of mice. Rutherford was their leader. He introduced the mice to James. And Rutherford told James why he had said, “Shhh … be quiet.” It was because people in this town hate mice. James could be crushed under the feet of the people. James was also told that the huge house was actually a pastry store. James spent many years in the pastry store.

Chapter 3: Who Will Bell the Cat?

Some years later, a mouse called Siraj who was a news carrier heard some news. Not good news or bad news. It was the worst news any mice or English mice in the world had heard. It was that the woman who is an animal collector has gifted a cat to the shop owner on his birthday. The shop owner had wanted a cat for years because one day he had seen a mouse or two in the kitchen lying on the bed of cheese and eating it. He also checked the goodness of the meat, chicken, sausages, and vegetables. They were all unhealthy because the mice have nibbled on the food, and he wanted a cat to chase or eat or injure them. After some days, Rutherford suggested a plan. He made a magnificent bell and announced, “I have a solution. Why not bell the cat with this yellow and magnificent bell?” Everyone agreed, but there was one problem. “Who will bell the cat?” said a young mouse. Everyone shouted, “You were the one who gave us the idea. Then you must do it.” Rutherford had grown old in those years. He could not do anything other than eat or sleep on the bed of cheese. He suggested that he could not do it because he was old and weak but not blind or deaf or dumb. Everyone suggested every mouse in the world to do it, but nobody could do it.

Chapter 4: James’ Observation

One day the cat ate Rutherford’s two cousins and two friends of Rutherford. He then noticed James shouting and jumping, “Hip hip hurrah!” Rutherford asked why he was jumping. James said, “I have noticed something very good. Why don’t we move into that house in the opposite side of the road? It is also a pastry shop. Its pastries are delicious, so delicious that it is the most famous in the world and even better, the shop owner hates cats.” Rutherford said, “How do you know?” James said that he saw the shop owner throw away his cat out of his house.

Chapter 5: Observation of James Comes True

Rutherford told his generals, vice-generals, and all his important captains to make preparations to go to the opposite house. Everyone agreed with James. James went with Rutherford to check the house. When they got inside the house, the observation was true. Not a sign of a cat or a dog or any carnivorous pet animals. Rutherford and James went back to the pastry store and said to the people of Rutherford that the observation was true. He also made James his general captain. They moved into the pastry shop opposite their old home. Some mice refused to go to the opposite shop, but Rutherford forced them to go and said they would live happily ever after, and they did live happily ever after.

                                                      The End

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