Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Four:
Case File No. 40-196
This work is supported by the generous backers who adore my cat stories at Patreon.com/amberunmasked and they also get first access to what’s happening with my books and podcast. For a one-time tip, you can go to the new PayPal.me.
Where We Left Off:
A mysterious key was placed inside the human’s grocery bag and we had to figure out its origin.
This report is closely linked to Case File No. 37-193 about the super mice. It was a Saturday night and the Butler was already asleep. I was too but unless I’m deeply medicated, I usually hear what’s going on in the room. I must have sensed Gus and Ollie in the room because I opened my eyes.
Normally when Gus has a perp in his grasp, he growls and trots at a particular pace. He wasn’t doing that, but there was a shadow that I thought might be a mouse in his jaws. I started talking to the cats and woke up the butler. I turned on the light to be sure and was shocked at what I saw.
It was the BIGGEST MOUSE KING I’ve ever seen! The tail alone had me questioning if Gus actually found a rat for the first time, but it wasn’t. I never got a good look at its face. Gus stood still and I put my hand on his back just to keep him from wanting to run. I got the designated mouse-catching candle jar ready. This big fella was going to do some time in eucalyptus solitary confinement.
That was the plan anyway.
My hair was hanging over my face and I was simply not prepared to go up against this Mouse King. As I took him from Gus, the mouse bit my finger and escaped! Luckily no broken skin or blood drawn. We couldn’t even see where it went because of my giant hair. The Butler pointed in the general direction but it wasn’t enough to find the Mouse King. How could something so substantially bigger than an average house mouse get away so easily without anyone being able to follow its track?
The boys were annoyed at my terrible job performance and hopped on the bed to go to sleep while I stayed awake mad at myself. It was one of the worst night’s in recent history. On most nights, it’s the nightmares that disturb me. That night was so unusual. It was the guilt. Why did I have such tremendous guilt over letting a mouse escape? I suppose since the mouse was unique, my thoughts would be too. One thing was certain: Gus and Oliver would have to figure out who this Mouse King is.
Do you know about the legends of rat kings? It’s when a bunch of rats get their tails tangled together and they can’t be separated forming a Voltron type of giant rat called a rat king. I’ve never read such a thing about mice. I also doubt Gus would have been able to carry a tangled and squirming bundle of mice even with Oliver’s assistance. No, this mouse was definitely singular, but special.
Mice have always played a significant role in storytelling and folklore. The Pied Piper. The Lion and the Mouse. The Mouse and the Motorcycle. Redwall. An American Tail. The Secrets of NIMH. Maus. Mouse Guard. The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (later adapted and then turned into the famous Nutcracker ballet) and of course the most famous of all, Mickey Mouse. Most of the lore seemed to be coming from Europe and Russia. I continued the research and found a blog about mice in ancient Egypt. Our previous case file had an ancient Egypt connection even though it was about activities and an artifact in New Jersey.
According to the Pirotta blog, mice were seen as both carriers of disease and medicine in Egypt. Some mice were mummified and buried with humans. That had to be a difficult process if they removed the brain the same in mice as they did for humans. Maybe the priests had different methods for small animals. Since it seemed like mice were perpetually regenerating from the ground, I wonder if that’s why Egyptians revered cats as they did. Pestilence is a regional plague we still see today.
I dubbed the critter Gus delivered to me as a Mouse King, but we needed to figure out the origins of the mouse for ourselves. Other than being one of the Incredible Hulk Mice who beefed up on protein powders and supplements, we didn’t know its identity. Oliver accepted that part of the case as his assignment. If this estate has become a mini planet of Hulk Mice, should I expect Throg (Frog Thor if you don’t know) to show up by summer? We’ve had our run-ins with frogs and toads.
While Oliver was looking into the identity of the critter, Gus and I poked around the house and the yard to see if we could rustle up any clues as to why the ROUS (rodent of unusual size) was so easily captured and didn’t put up a fight with Gus the way it did with me. Now that I think about, was it a rigorous fight with me? It bit me good and solid, but not strong enough to break the skin. Was that intentional? That mouse could have done some real harm if it had wanted, but it only wanted to get away. I was going to let the critter go, but outside somewhere. Was I the lion in this scenario or was the giant mouse?
In the fable, the lion catches the mouse and when the mouse pleads for its life, the lion lets it go with the favor to be repaid someday; the lion gets caught in a net and the mouse chews the net to set the lion free. Does this mouse owe me a favor now? Or was this about Gus and the mouse? Gus could have caused considerable harm and as we know, kill the critter eventually. This mouse was almost the size of Vole Fielding but with a long tail missing on voles.
Hercules Hunt. That’s the name Oliver came back with. Hercules Hunt could easily work his way up to becoming the Mouse King because the title is not inherited like British royalty. It’s a bit more Conan style or M’Baku. The strongest warrior wins and so forth. The current leader is a smaller mouse who has agility over brawn.
The ROUS was not actually a mouse king, not yet. He was a brawny rodent who was more interested in living his own life than fighting. But this mouse, Hercules Hunt, would defend himself when needed. Hercules wants to be left alone to enjoy life inside the tunnels of the residence.
Case Status: Closed