[dictionary.com and Merriam-Webster Learner’s Word of the Day selections; photo credit-Merriam-Webster Learner’s Word of the Day]
ort – noun
mischievous – adjective
- causing or tending to cause annoyance or minor harm or damage
2. showing a playful desire to cause trouble
3. intended to harm someone or someone’s reputation
Cat was angry at Mouse. Mouse was laughing at Cat because Mouse had just won his third game against Cat. Cat slunk off to figure out how to beat Mouse at Mouse’s games.
I have to slow down Mouse or trip him up somehow, Cat thought. Visions of glue, tape and food danced in his head. With the glue, Mouse was begging for help reaching out to be pulled from the glob of glue gumming up his paws. Cat shuddered at the thought. No glue.
Tape took over, tacking Mouse to it who was desperately trying to escape. Tape won’t work either. I don’t want to hurt my friend.
While Cat was contemplating his next move, Mouse was mulling over how to help Cat win a game. A mischievous idea formed quickly.
Mouse made a maze in the middle of the yard. To help Cat win, he made Cat smiley faces on each turn leading the way out. Whoever got to the end of the maze first would win.
Tap, tap, tap.
Cat whirled around, surprised to see Mouse.
“I don’t want to play anymore of your games. I think we should play one of mine,” Cat said.
“Sure, but can we play one of yours after this last game of mine? I worked really hard at creating it,” Mouse said.
Cat’s whiskers twitched. “What’s the game?”
“I built a maze in the yard. Whoever gets to the end first wins and can choose the next three games to play.”
Cat shook his head. “Since you made the maze, you know how to go through it. That’s not fair.”
Mouse sighed. “You have a point, Cat. I will wear a blindfold to even us out.”
Cat thought about this. “We should each choose a winning treat for the other to place at the end of the maze. Whoever makes it through the maze and finishes their treat first, wins.”
Together they scoured the house for the perfect treat.
Mouse found part of a tuna sandwich and carried it out.
Cat scoured the kitchen but there were no orts about, not even one crumb. All he could find was a small pink glob under the table. It was a little big for Mouse to eat but Cat planned on winning.
Treats in place, Cat and Mouse took their spots at the beginning of the maze. Cat was haunched in start position while Mouse was blindfolded and ready to go.
“Go!” Cat shouted.
Cat darted away turning this way that, into a dead end. “Drat!” He looked for Mouse. No Mouse around. He listened for Mouse. He could hear scurrying ahead of him.
Mouse twitched his nose letting him guide him to the end. He bumped into wall after wall but the strawberry smell was getting stronger.
Cat turned right, then followed straight. He turned left and left again into another dead end. He sat down and pouted. Doggone Mouse! He’s going to win. As a tear rolled into his whiskers, he noticed a smiley cat picture on the opposite wall. Oh sure, rub it in Mouse!
Cat ran to the picture and scratched it out. He sulked through the maze scratching out each Cat Smiley he found. He was so busy looking for these smiling Cats, he didn’t realize what he had done.
I. Smell. Tuna! Cat’s nose twitched and his tail swished. He followed his nose right to the end of the maze. Mouse was already there, chewing and chewing.
Cat’s ears drooped. Mouse had won again.
“You won Mouse. But I’m going to enjoy this sandwich anyways.” He took a bite, then another.
Mouse said nothing but kept chewing away.
Cat finished his sandwich. “This was a great treat Mouse. Thank you.” Cat licked his paws.
Mouse just chewed.
“I said, ‘Thank you’ Mouse.” Cat stared at Mouse.
Mouse inhaled deeply.
As he breathed out, a bubble formed and grew and grew. Then…
Cat jumped straight into the air.
Mouse’s mouth still full he muttered, “Clever cat, giving me this ort. Not supposed to swallow gum. I lost.”
Cat blushed. “Mischievous mouse. Drawing those Smiley Cat faces to tease me. If I had seen those sooner I would have…Hey!”
“Won sooner,” Mouse said still chewing.
“You said a mouseful.” Cat laughed.
The next three games were Cat’s choice and he lost all but one.
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