One day a cat spied a family of mice trying to hide in a milk can.
These will be a fine supper, he thought, and thrust
his face into the pail. Lifting it he soon
had a mouthful of mice. But to his dismay he found
his bulging cheeks kept him stuck fast, and he could
not swallow the mice, even one at a time, because the narrowing
neck of the pail narrowed also around his own.
He stumbled about in frustration tipping the pail back and forth
as the mice tumbled into and out of his mouth. At length
some soldiers approached behind grumbled humvee engines. The cat
froze in terror, unaware he had wandered so close to a patrolled road,
unwilling to remove his head lest any of the mice escape.
How did a cat even get stuck in a pail is not a question
anyone stops to ask in a warzone. And why should they?
One soldier drew a pistol and fired. The cat ran back and forth
in frantic, erratic patterns. The soldier fired a second time —
no one knows what became of the mice.
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