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Chapter 5: The New Deal
“I cannot believe you agreed to their terms Pudgy!” Pipsqueak whispered angrily. “After we worked so hard to keep them away from the strawberries!”
The Three Tails wandered back to the garage only to find that more strawberries were missing. Since the chipmunks were occupied in the garden, they knew their culprit was still at large.
“We have to work with them, Pipsqueak. Besides, they weren’t our strawberry thieves were they?”
“True,” sighed Pipsqueak. “So now we are back to square one.”
The trio huddled behind an old rusted coffee can watching the patch for trespassers.
“I just don’t know who it could be,” murmured Pudgy.
“Scoot over Gomer,” Pipsqueak whispered. “You’re hogging the coffee can.”
Gomer grunted but shuffled over.
“Shhh!” Pudgy squeaked. “I see movement behind the bushes!”
They peered around the side of the coffee can and watched as a few, very small, mice scurried around, digging around the strawberries.
“Uh…those don’t really look like mice. I mean, they do, but not really…you know what I mean Pudge?” said Gomer.
In surprise, Pipsqueak looked at Gomer and said, “Wow. You’re right Gomer.” He wasn’t normally so observant.
“What are you guys looking at?”
Pudgy, Pipsqueak and Gomer all jumped. One of the creatures had snuck up behind them. It had a mean look about it like it was ready to fight.
“We could ask you the same question,” said Pudgy, trying his best to sound menacing.
The not-mouse stared thoughtfully at them. “You must be the mice we’ve heard about. The ones who are living it up in the garage.”
“Yeah, so?” said Pipsqueak.
“Well, we all decided that we wanted in on that deal so we’re moving in.”
“What are you?” asked Pudgy. “You’re not regular mice.”
“That’s for sure,” it scoffed, looking offended. “We are field mice. I’m Chipper.”
Field mice, thought Pipsqueak. Burrowing under the ground, eating tubers and destroying gardens. Look at it with it’s short tail…mice are so much more civilized.
“Look, Chipper” said Pipsqueak. “This is our territory. We don’t have enough food to share with-with field mice so you’ll just have to scurry on to the next farm.”
“Ha! What a crock! We know you’ve made a deal with the chipmunks. We want in too.”
“No.” Pipsqueak twirled her tail aggressively around her paws.
Then, Chipper played his trump card. “Let us in on the deal you have with the chipmunks and I’ll tell you what I know about the strawberry thief. The real strawberry thief.”