In a big city full of energy and excitement, there lived a cheery little mouse who always had a smile on her face.
She had the biggest, cheesiest grin that was infectious, and she plastered this smile whenever she went out.
And she went out, a lot!
She loved being surrounded by lots of other mice, all different types and all different colours. Big mice, small mice, fat mice, thin mice, old mice and young mice.
She loved to entertain them and play games with them all day long.
She would put on a show, be like a clown and make jokes and even laugh at her own jokes!
Every day after mice school, she would leave her bag at home and rush straight to her neighbour's house to play with them.
"Good Afternoon Mrs Haber, how are you today?"
"I am well thank you Polka, Lindy is eating lunch and then you two can play. You can join her at the table."
"Thank you Mrs Haber, I'm not hungry, but I'll go and sit with her."
Polka Mouse hopped and skipped towards the table to be near her friend and waited patiently for her to finish eating.
"Have just a little," said Mrs Haber.
And so Polka Mouse enjoyed a little bit of a lovely home made meal.
After the meal, the two little mice went outside in the garden and played, and played, and played.
Every so often, the Haber Mouse's granny who lived with them would peep out the window and sneer.
Eventually, she wobbled outside with the help of her walking stick and would scream, “Go way your house!” in her broken English.
Lindy and Polka Mouse just laughed and mimicked her, “go way your house, go, go go!” And they carried on playing.
The daylight was coming to an end and Mrs Haber called Lindy in to start getting ready for bed.
"I'll see you tomorrow Lindy," said Polka Mouse merrily, as she skilped towards the stairs, to make her way home.
"See you," said Lindy and rushed inside her home, to the outstretched arms of her mother.
Klop klop klop
Polka heard Lindy's older sister, Susan Haber walk up the stairs as she came home from work.
"You're here again... Why am I not surprised?" She rolled her eyes and pushed past Polka Mouse.
"Yes, but I will have to come back again tomorrow because it's getting late now," said Polka, without realising that Susan Haber sneered at her and uttered one last thing before she went inside her home,
"You should try staying at your own home so you don't become a nuisance and eat all our food."
Polka Mouse stopped skipping as she got to the bottom of the stairs and scurried faster to her house while pondering what was told to her.
What did she mean by nuisance? thought Polka Mouse,
I’m just there to have some company; I don’t want their food.
Polka Mouse reached her home, opened the door and peered in, "Hello? I'm home."
She closed the door behind her and went to the kitchen. There was no Mommy mouse with outstretched hands waiting for her and a nice, big homemade meal on the table.
There was, however, a note on the fridge that said Mommy Mouse has to stay at her work tonight because other mice need her (Mommy Mouse was a Paramedic) and Daddy Mouse has to return from driving into other towns looking for business, but he will be home later.
Polka mouse knew that her mommy and her daddy had to work hard because they weren't privileged like the other mice, but thoughts of Susan Haber's words kept sticking in her head.
"No," she shouted out aloud to shout away those thoughts.
"I have a home of my own… I am not a nuisance."
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Nabihah Plaatjes is the Co-Founder of iloveza.com.
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