“It’s always Ralph doing foolish things. Why should I give up even one of my lives to save him from his silly adventures?” Alicia Flea thought for a tiny selfish moment. She wandered toward the mouse hole and slipped her paw inside giving it a swift swoosh. Instead of catching a mouse tail or a flurry of fur, Alicia Flea pulled out a small, square envelope, the color of a green pea. The mice had nibbled the edges, trying to get a peek inside. Her name was written on the front in bold blue letters, “FOR ALICIA FLEA’S EYES ONLY.” Briskly she swiped her paw once, then twice, and pulled out the message with her teeth.
“My dear Alicia,” it read. “Ralph is in dire danger; you are the only feline who can help him. Make your way carefully to Apollo’s dinner bowl, make an X with your paw in his grub, take five steps forward, pounce ten paces to the right, and run to the count of twenty. There in the hollow of a rotted gum tree, you will find a way to save his life. “Nice try Ralph,” Alicia Flea said out loud. “I’m not falling for this.” Then, there at the bottom of the secret message, something caught Alicia Flea’s eye. She sniffed around it. A sentence lingering at the tip end of the page read, “Postscript: Go only in the deepest dark of night.” “Meeooowww,” Alicia Flea hummed, “Only a cat would write that for all cats know their eyes glow in the dark.”
Being a cat herself, she found her natural curiosity purring inside of her and in the deepest dark; she made her way to Apollo’s dinner bowl. She marked an X with her paw in his leftovers, took five steps forward, pounced ten steps to the right, and scooted to the count of twenty. She popped up to find the rotted gum tree staring down at her. She carefully placed her spotted paw inside. Another envelope, small, square, and this time the color of a plum was nestled inside. She sliced it open with her paw nail. The sheet of parchment held a splatter of ink shaped like a fish.
Her feline heart thumped, thumped, thumped inside her chest like a tiny drum. Alicia Flea brushed up against the rotten gum tree; a mosquito hawk flitted close and whispered in her ear, “Go to the river.” She shivered with suspicion. Alicia Flea, a scardey cat, was ferociously afraid of water.