Literally Reruns, Short Fiction

Week 325: Little Vermin Have Big Ears


No vermin have been harmed during the production of this post. The only vermin the author would like to harm are those who police matters of pronoun usage. In this piece Rats will be referred to in the masculine and Mice in the feminine (and yes, I know capitalizing vermin species deviates from standard usage). It could have gone either way, but mention of the late Audrey Hepburn, in relation to Mice, was the deciding factor.

For those persons who will still take offense on general principle, due to the combined deficiencies of their parents, mentors and education systems, I offer this item I found on Google yesterday during my research for this piece: Oxygen through the rectum aids in respiration. Since the persons addressed in this paragraph think and speak with and through their rectums, I find it fair to point out that there are health benefits to be gained from such ignorant actions.

Wisdom Recently Acquired by Miss Allison

Your basic Mouse conveys her mood by the tilt of her head and her facial expressions. A winsome, Audrey Hepburn Funny Face sort of pose is indicative of a perky Mouse. Fidgety whiskers, darting eyes and twitchy ears speak of a troubled Mouse who is brooding over the rumors she has heard concerning the main ingredient in Snake Chow.

A Rat gets himself across by the set of his ears. if his ears are relaxed, the Rat is chill; any other position, especially laid back, and there will be trouble.

Furthermore, these “tells” are displayed by both the cute, busy-wheel spinning, socially acceptable pets in the kids’ room as well as those hidden personages you fear have taken up residence in the basement. It seems that even a one-eyed Norwegian Wharf Rat fresh off a pirate ship has feelings.

Science has proved that the overall vibe of the family in a household influences a rodent’s quality of life. Happy homes in which there’s a lot of laughter and singing result in satisfied, comely Mice and grounded Rats. But if there’s a lot of yelling going on because the oldest is dealing meth and no one knows where the money will come from to pay the lawyer, you can count on discontent down below.

Vermin have empathy. And a cynical soul might even say that vermin care more about your kids than you do. But that might be jumping to a conclusion…

Get Ready, Here it Comes: The Segue

One way to placate your vermin is by reading to them. Mice and Rats enjoy a good yarn as much as anybody. Fortunately we here at Literally Stories can help you with that. And I believe that an ideal place to find good reading material is here, with the five stories that graced the site this week. Three are told by newcomers and two come from the pens of site Masters.

Antony Osgood made his debut on Monday with All My Darlings Waiting (outstanding title, considering your audience). It is a mesmerizing, lyrical piece, indicative of talent we hope to see more from.

Yashar Seyedbaghari is publishing at an amazing pace. Bills, his eighteenth story, came due on Tuesday. For those who seek an example of writing with confidence, have a look at Yash’s rapidly piling canon.

A Good Person by site legend, the brilliant Frederick K. Foote appeared on Wednesday. I attempted to count his LS stock and arrived at sixty-five once and sixty-six twice. I was a Liberal Arts student. Could be wrong, maybe I forgot to carry the eleventeen. Still, every thing he writes, on no matter what topic, like Yash, is told with authority.

Thursday saw the arrival of Claire Dean’s wonderful One Treacherous Evening. I hope we get more treachery, regardless of the time of day. The words in this piece sprang to life immediately and they never failed her on her way to the end.

The week ended with our third new writer, Yancarlo gave us Dying Things to ponder. The author did right by the story. So often there’s a temptation to lean into the prose, to give it enhanced meaning, which almost always fails. No such sin appeared in this work.

Trying Not to Knock Over Too Much Stuff, as I Make My Clumsy Exit

Hear that happy chatter in the walls? Note the relaxed tone of the scratching below the floorboards? Yes you, my friend, are now a Vermin Master. And in a world in which kindness and sympathy have never been sustainable resources, that isn’t the worst of things.


Image by Alexei Chizhov from Pixabay 

I know you said no vermin, Hugh but look at his happy little face and his ears and his lickle whiskers and that. Awwwww. dd

-Is that no a fox??


NO – Are you saying I can’t tell the difference! Well – hello Cheese – dd

definitely a mouse

10 thoughts on “Week 325: Little Vermin Have Big Ears”

  1. Loved this! Especially got me thinking about how they may react emotionally to the goings-on in the house. Geez, I wonder what mine think about all the tremendous swearing that must float down through the floorboards!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi guys,
    Think he needs the cheese to prove he’s not a fox!!
    But foxes like cheese.
    Maybe he is a fox trying to look like a mouse so that he can get access to a computer. He could then look up some fox porn and no-one would suspect him if they checked the history as they all think he is a mouse.
    Great post Leila!!!


    1. Foxes prefer chicken to cheese. If the little vermin in the pic was holding a box of KFC, it would give legs (and wings and thighs and breasts) to the Fox Theory. One may suspect that a Fox would gloat over such a boon, but would merely politely nod at the camera if photographed in possession of a heart-shaped hunk of cheese. Frankly, Foxes have elevated standards of happiness, which are as unrealistic as those of human beings. Moreover, smiling like a loon and holding cheese for the world to see doesn’t strike me as a sly sort of behavior. Ergo, it is vermin, not a Fox.
      I hope this clarifies matters.


      1. Hi Leila,
        But surely the slyest of foxes would want you to believe that they are a mouse. That way mankind would protect all the cheese and the fox could then gorge itself on KFC.
        …I think I’m going mad this morning!!!!


  3. You have me there. But the only counter I have for that is the possibility that it is a Wolf. Wolves have been known to disguise themselves as Sheep and Grandmothers throughout history, so a Mouse wouldn’t be a stretch as long as the Wolf was small. So, it may be a Wolf pretending to be a Fox disguised as vermin in effort to avoid suspicion..



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