A Christmas Story

A small community of mice living between a barn and a tenement house – a small living room – painted red – in the forest far out in the country – and it’s snowing and there’s a rather large and furry cat who is the big mean troublemaker – who live in the barn and simply terrorize the mice who just want to live in peace and quiet. Santa Claus has been conspicuous by his absence, but will he return soon?

Quick paws speed across the floor towards the bowl of porridge. The snow had been falling for almost a week now. All sound was muffled against the snow-covered heavy and snow-hung fir trees. The mild air threatened to destroy the idyll, by slowly dripping the snow under the wide branches. The little mouse struggled to get across the square and up the barn bridge. It was almost sweating and its eyes stood out like two large rolling balls. With its ears whirling around like two large plates and its whiskers vibrating in front of it, the little body crawled with its long tail over the snowdrifts and through large snowdrifts until it finally reached the small hole in the middle of the barn door. It peered in excitedly and sure enough, there stood the Santa’s bowl of porridge completely untouched.

She looked back anxiously and looked at the small living room which was almost completely covered in snow on the other side of the courtyard. It glittered behind the checkered windows, the lights flickered and she could hear the carols they were singing in there, as they raced around the Christmas tree. The wind caressed the mouse’s whiskers, she smiled to herself and crept into the hole in the door, leaving the carols behind. It was eerily dark under the high roof and all the hay that she pushed over and around. There was dust under her little paws. Her mother had said that if no one had touched the porridge, all she had to do was open the bag she had with her and take out the spoon and start eating as quickly as possible. She just had to jump into the barrel and get started. She had no sooner licked her mouth than she heard a meowing voice say: «And what are you planning to do, little mouse squirrel!». She spun around and widened her eyes and her chin dropped and she froze in terror in the middle of a big mouthful of porridge! Stuttering, she couldn’t get a single syllable out. She threw down the spoon, spat out the porridge and jumped onto the edge of the dish, but there she almost froze in mid-leap.

A large claw popped forward from the paw to the creature, who with a wry smile said: «Oh, no you. You won’t get the chance to run away here!» Inside the living room: Worried mine. Little Kari’s mouth slowly stretched to a thin line. Deep lines of worry crossed her forehead and she flinched the gaze. She concentrated. But could not find out what it was that had happened. She heard little desperate beeps in her head. Where did it come from? She got up and looked out through the glass in the window. The nice candles in the living room fluttered over the slightly uneven surface of the window pane like reflections from the moon in the waves of an ocean. She pressed her nose against the window and closed her eyes. Did she see something?

It had started to snow again. And the large snowflakes swirled around in the gentle wind from the kakelinna. Soon the traces of Kakoline were completely erased. But it was still possible to make out the small ski tracks that led the way to the barn door. Yes! Now the voice in her head was clear and pure and filled with terror and horror! «Help», Kakoline screamed, and Kari grabbed her hat and pulled it down over her ears and flew across the floor and the exit door flew open. Outside, she felt the dark gurgling of what might just now be happening in the barn!

The cat held her claw quiveringly against Kakoline’s stomach. She raised her arms in the air and screamed «Help!». «No one can hear you here, you little mouse!». «You think you can come here and just take Santa’s porridge?». «Yes, but that’s what we’re all meant to do. Both you and I will feed ourselves from the bowl of porridge, and then the children will think it’s Santa who’s been here and eaten everything! They believe what they see!». The cat raised her eyebrows and meowed softly. «Hmm, you’re probably right about that, but I also have the right to take you, because I’m quite a scary cat, who can easily eat both you and the porridge!». Just then the barn door was opened with a bang as Kari came rushing in from the barn bridge. «Let go of Kakoline», she screamed and reached out for the cat, who in pure bewilderment jumped in the air like a, yes, cat.» Lightning fast Kari grabbed Kakoline and lifted her up and put her in her hat and put it on