Merry Christmas

by Bob Hazlett

Miss Beazley is a cat. She is big, she is old, she is wise, and she is the boss. She is “Queen of the Clowder.” She rules the alley between Archer Boulevard and Parkside Avenue.
Snow was coming down hard in her alley this morning – trash cans and dumpsters buried in white. Everything quiet on this Christmas morning. Miss Beazley was on the prowl for a good meal in her snow-covered alley domain.
There’s breakfast, Beazley thought, spotting a small mouse shivering from the cold, huddled in the corner of one of the tenement building doorways.
Hunger gnawed the stomach, but pity pulled the heart. Why do I feel this way? Mice have always been my mainstay diet, she thought, approaching furtively.
The mouse saw the cat but was too cold and too scared to run. Stuck in the corner, the mouse was blocked with no escape possible. One move would be sure death.
Beazley crouched ready to pounce; the mouse quaked in fear. Then Miss Beazley stood up and smiled. “I’m hungry, but today is Christmas, and I can find another meal in these trash cans. You have a Merry Christmas.”
The mouse stared in startled disbelief. This was an unusual cat. Of course, she was unusual. She was the queen, and this alley was her domain. She could afford to be a magnanimous ruler on this cold, snowy Christmas morning.
“Let’s see if there are some fish remains in the garbage can behind Duffy’s Tavern,” Beazley said to her followers, “I think fish would be a better Christmas dinner than mice.”
The other cats gave a funny look but followed her lead. Not one dared go after that mouse. Today would be a good Christmas for all.

###

Prompt: snow, mice, corner. Word Count: 289

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