by Marcy Denecke

       My house is in big woods near a pond. A long time ago all we lived in were trees and the forest floor. Then one day this guy came and decided we needed houses. We did not really care too much but, hey why not? Beats digging and finding a warm place every winter. The house I lived in was fun. We had this pantry and all of our food was easy to reach. We could live in any room we wanted. Also there was this cherry tree right outside. It was so easy to come and go and save those cherry pits all over the house.

       Then our landlord moved away and sold the house to people who asked us to leave. But why would we do that when there is lots of food and places to store it. However every now and then a big snap happens and some of my friends are forced to leave.

       The night Mark & Katie came home from Alaska I was so excited I kept running up and down the fireplace. Everyone pretended they did not see me but I know they did! The next day I heard that loud snapping sound again so I decided I better be more discreet.

       One day I found this magnificent castle to play in and I wanted to live there. But I fell down the trap door and got caught in the dungeon. The landlord took the castle outside and took my picture. I guess they were happy to have me in jail. They let me out and I wanted to run all around the castle some more. They wanted me to go live in the woods. So I pretended to but went right back in the next night. I needed to get busy storing my cherry pits and birdseed all over the house before winter. Speaking of winter, this year I had a great plan. I found some popcorn in the pantry and planted it in a geranium. I thought it was very nice of my landlord to bring a pot of dirt in the house so I could farm. I also put some in the baking soda just in case I would rather eat popcorn on a cold snowy evening. It grew nicely and the landlord even watered it for me. Then one morning she pulled it out of the plant and started complaining about someone farming in the house. What did she expect? Then she got really mad when she had to borrow baking soda to make cookies and threw out my perfectly good popcorn. Now I'll have to look for those cookies.

       Christmas day I had a close call; too close to those loud snaps. It frightened me a lot so I just sat close by and rested. When the landlord opened the cupboard she scared me when she yelled something weird like "A creature is stirring". I just stayed there until I was hungry and decided to try some peanut butter they left me for Christmas dinner. There was a loud snap and my foot was stuck. Now what am I going to do? I tried ripping insulation off the dishwasher but my foot was still stuck. Finally they came home and freed me in the woods.

       We got lots of snow today so I am right back in the house. No more peanut butter for me though.

       The landlord looks forward to spring as I do I guess. Last year she placed 3 small flower bulbs over tiny glass vases in the dark basement. I heard her talking about how that would make them grow. But I thought she really put them there for me to eat as they were in the basement. They were delicious but the landlords were mad when they realized there would be no flowers.

       To be cont'd probably- i.e. most likely