bright blue; she weighs a bit more than I do. She enjoys
stalking me. Fortunately she is not fireproof, so if I stoke
my bed well enough she does not molest me there -- she lurks
on mantleplace, leering at me hungrily or playfully.
I am not the one that she is supposed to hunt.
The Cani roommate sniff-sniff-sniffs one night. "Please
empty every chamberpot, Thery."
"I did, Havune," said Thery.
"It's some sort of mammal, and that leaves out
Dustweed and Sythyry -- unless Sythyry's had much better
luck with one or another of those Orren than I had heard
about," said Havune.
Further sniffing was performed. The mystery mammal's
chamberpot was in the pantry... Pantry is too glorious a
name for it, but here we pretend to glory in all respects.
It is a closet in the kitchen. Nuts were there in baskets,
grain were in leather bags thumped unceremoniously on
shelves by very tired Dustweed; dried fruit was stacked in
loose-lidded pottery jugs; twice-smoked sausages were piled
on top of cardboard boxes of crackers.
The feast for the little mouse! The feast for the little
mouse and half a dozen children! Little stinky pellets all
over the shelf!
We named "Sneaky Veffu" after the children's story. We
hunted the mouse. We took every food out of the pantry. I
left a bound Crawly Sparks on a cookie. In the night a
crackling zap, a dead mouse!
Two cley, one mouse. We repeat this, three times, until
there are no more mice.
I am the one who must clean out the shelf. It narrows
towards the back, and everyone else is far too big. Thery
stuffed a pillow under her shirt to make sure everyone knew
how big she was.
Hence, we acquire Pazi-Pazi. Pazi-Pazi is a used cat: she
was abandoned by one of Real-Eel's former roommates, and
Real-Eel grudgingly tended her until, well, Havune and I
requisitioned her services. Havune instantly requisitioned
her affections as well, by devious Cani tricks, scritching
and feeding and all of that.
I, of course, was left with the dregs of her emotions. When
there are no mice, I am her favorite prey ... along with
Thery's tail, or a tuft of wool tied on a string waved by
anyone at all. She is a fierce, fierce beast!
And so I shall pile the fire high tonight, and have dreams
of miniature Sleeth seeking me for all the wrong reasons...
But better than mice!