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Necko sat in a dusty widow sill (his favorite reading spot), just thinking. It was a beautiful sunny day outside, but Necko wouldn't be out there. Not even today.
Necko had a great view of the woods, the library was on the last outskirts of the city. That was a lucky fact for this mouse or else he never would have met Midnight. Actually her name was Fluffy, but she disliked that name so much that whenever her owner the librarian called her by that name she disdainfully turned her back. Desperate, the librarian calls her "cat." It was a strange relationship- a cat and a mouse friends! But it wasn't in the slightest way awkward for Necko. He could remember that first day that they met like yesterday.
“Please Father, I promise I'll be back before sunset,” said a much younger version of Necko.
“Well.......Fine son. But I'll have your tail if you break your promise!”
Necko was already scampering away into the midst of the fallen brown leaves. His father only caught a glimpse of Necko's tail before it slipped away. You see, Necko had recently discovered a huge towering block shaped thing that he heard was called a building, definitely a very interesting new object . He scurried up the wall (another human word) with ease and peeked for the thousandth time through his future reading window. A great force suddenly knocked him head over heels and then he was falling the long way to the ground.
“Gotcha!”, his attacker had one paw on his tiny chest. O-no! it was a cat . A giant mouse-eating cat!
"Don't eat me!", cried Necko in terror, then he fainted.
Gently the cat lifted her paw off of him. The mouse was stunned and lay still. when finally he opened his eyes he was overcome by curiosity; why had the cat let him go?
The cat leaned close to his face and grinned so she showed every tooth. Un-knowingly she answered his question,"How could I eat a book lover?"
That was how it all began. Necko wanted to know more about books, he had seen them before through his window and apparently Midnight had seen him too. Midnight taught him to read. Being the librarian's cat, she was surrounded by books everyday thus teaching herself to read. Necko wondered how his family hated cats yet they were so intelligent (this one was for sure). (flashback)
Presently Midnight walked up to him the same dominating presence as the day they met, but Necko knew there was no danger. She was lean and graceful, her fur was a sleek, glossy black. Her shining green eyes penetrated his and she playfully swatted the space above his head, sending thousands of minuscule dust specks spinning and swirling through the sunlit air. (snapshot)
"Hey, I was just thinking of you," said Necko.
"What are you doing inside thinking on a glorious day such as today Necko? Come and play with me in the forest like you used to," Midnight said eagerly.
"You know why I'm inside as well as I do!" Necko snapped.
Midnight stared at the floor.
Why did I have to bring that up?Midnight thought. She did know why he always stayed inside. He was afraid. Midnight and Necko were playing chase in the woods one day. They were always alone because not one cat and mouse had been friends before. Ever. No one would understand. That day they weren't alone. Whiskers was out scavenging and stumbled upon their game.
"Ahhhhhhhh! what is a cat doing here?" screamed Whiskers.
"She's my friend but you mustn't tell Whiskers!" Necko pleaded.
he simply couldn't comprehend Necko's answer, he raised the alarm.
"Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!," Whiskers shrieked fearfully. The cat scream was only used to call for help in times of great danger. Every single mouse in the forest came together. When finally they had all gathered, the leader came forward to speak. It was none other than Necko's father.
"What is going on son?" his father asked in bewilderment.
It was Midnight who answered."We are friends."
"A cat! Is this true son?!" demanded his father. His voice was small yet strong and it rang through the woods for every beast present was silent. His eyes burned into his son to the core. Necko was so ashamed he could only utter the smallest sound, quite the opposite of his father. But there might as well have been a human crashing through the under growth and his answer reached each creatures ear with astounding clarity.
"Yes father." (flashback)
"Just because you were outcast doesn't mean you can't enjoy yourself. It's been a year since it happened and mice don't live forever. Come out, it's a beautiful day," Midnight reasoned.
Necko sighed. "Okay,"
They were outside the next moment. Necko was ecstatic, he had forgotten how the sun warmed his fur and the wind made the branches of the great trees above to slowly sway. They laughed as they ran to the familiar forest that was Necko's birthplace.
"I'm glad you talked me into this Midnight!'' Necko called out to his friend.
But there was no response. He couldn't see her. He crept behind a tree, waiting for her to playfully pounce at him as she often did. Strangely she didn't come. Necko wondered why.
What does she think she's doing? Maybe- his thoughts were interrupted.
It was a cry of a cat, "Yeowwwwwwwwwl!"
The mouse sprinted frantically towards the noise. he ran and ran as fast as a mouse could go then suddenly he stopped. He saw her. She was captive of the stray cats that roamed the forest. Midnight was glaring at them all.
"Let me go!" she yowled. But the cats paid no attention.
"I found her consorting with the enemy, she is a disgrace to us all," the unknown feline said.
Murmurs of disapproval emanated from the crowd of forest cats.
"As we all know the penalty for breaking this law is sacrifice to the humans, who will put her in the animal jail," said the cat. Obviously he was their leader.
"My owner will never let me go to the pound, ever!" Midnight screeched .
"O you have an owner, well then where are they? not here. You will leave at sunset."
Necko's eyes grew wide in terror. Midnight was his only friend, he must save her. But how?
He could only do the first logical thing that popped in his head. The cat scream.
"Sqeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!," Necko's shrill voice was heard through the whole forest and every mouse came. From every direction a sea of tiny furry rodents came streaming towards Necko to help. Their creamy brown fur blended with the deep reds, the copper yellow and vivid orange leaves that made up the floor of the forest in autumn. They weaved over, under each leaf speedily and it looked as if all the mice were one and not individuals. the ground became a moving work of art. (snapshot)
"The ground is alive!" screamed the cat leader. Seeing their leader frightened sent the cats fleeing up every nearby tree. Once there, they hissed at the ground angrily, their fur standing on end. Leaves rustling, mice chattering, cats yowling. The woods were in an uproar.
"Stop!" an angry voice was raised above the madness and all fell silent. It was the mouse leader, Necko's dad.
"Father!" cried Necko. He started to run to his dad. He had missed him so much!
"I said stop. Now explain yourself outcast. Why have you called us here to the very home of our enemy?," His dad said. But right then he wasn't his Dad, he was the leader. And yet Necko could tell that he regretted ever having to send him away.
"That is the reason that I called you, to explain myself. I want to explain to everyone because it involves everyone. Even the cats, you come down here and listen too." He said.
And so, for the first time in the history of the forest; cat and mouse sat side by side and did what they were told. Listen. Necko spoke of the past year he had spent in the library with Midnight. He told of his wonderful discovery of books and how they could tell stories without speaking. Slowly every single muscle of every creature relaxed and accepted the reason of this bright young mouse. He continued to talk until he realized he had told them everything, his story was over. Then the leaders of both species stepped forward and when they looked at each other they knew without speaking that they agreed.
"My son is true, we shouldn't be enemies just because that's the way it is. We can be different from our ancestors and become friends," said the mouse leader.
"I too agree. We should live in harmony and share the forest so the mice won't live in fear. I declare that from now on it is against the laws of the forest for cats to eat mice or harm them in any way." said the leader of the cats.
The mouse leader looked at his son.
"Necko, you can come and live with the mice again," he gushed. He had missed Necko terribly.
"No, Midnight is my best friend and I'll live at the library for the rest of my life," Necko answered.
"Well, both of you can come and visit us in the forest Necko. We shall all be friends," his father said happily.
The cat leader turned to everyone and said,"We shall all be friends."
That is the story of Necko-the first cat friend, and how he shared the gift of friendship with the whole forest. Today all the cats and mice of that forest read and love many stories now. This is one of them.