Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this sun …
Shakespeare’s Elizabethan ramblings were surely striking a chord down at the depot as us mice longed for a glorious summer and a bit of light relief from this long cold pestilence plagued winter.
It’s been a busy time for us mice what with having to sort through truck loads of extra cards and personal letters during the pandemic, but as a reward for all our hard work Santa sent us an extra special present this year, the first part of which arrived some days before Christmas rolled up in an enormous cardboard tube some thirteen mice long. Contained therein a lovely antique painting, which Millie immediately ordered to be hung in pride of place on the big wall at the end of the sorting office. For a few days as the giant watercolour towered over us we all dreamt of sailing away into the balmy summer sunset of that lovely old painting.
Strangely enough our dreams were answered on the day before Christmas Eve when a huge tea chest appeared in our loading bay. Before Millie had a chance to figure out how to get the giant chest through the internal doors, depot mice were diving in and scrambling out with pawfuls of exquisitely decorated silk air balloons. Excitement and disappointment came in equal measure as they found the bottom of the chest barren of baskets and hot air burners.
Scratching our heads in unison Gertrude decided the only sensible course of action was to crack open the Christmas selection box early and have a good old collective think over tea and biscuits. Everyone agreed that a conundrum of this proportion indeed required biscuits with an extra thick seasonal chocolatey layer.
Mid cuppa our ears turned our attention to a commotion behind the sorting bench furthest from Millie’s office. Turning to see Cuthbert gliding mysteriously toward the big wall as if on one of those conveyor floors you find at the airport, aggravated that half his shortbread had broken off in his brew and squeaking furiously at Clive to “for once in your life stop sodding about!” I too was shocked that for once in his life Clive wasn’t, he was standing next to me having trouble deciding whether to go for a custard cream or a Viennese whirl. Before we could shout ‘put your brew down’ the silk balloon upon which Cuthbert was seemingly standing magically inflated with air and floated into the painting. Now, in any other establishment workers might stand in silence entranced by the magical sight unfolding before them but not at the mouse depot, a split second later all hell broke lose as mice rushed hither and dither in search of something to attach to their balloons that might work as a make shift seating receptacle.
Needless to say we all had a wonderful Christmas. Just behind the trees we found a picnic spot perfect for holding a running buffet Christmas lunch. Cuthbert apologised to Clive and on accepting his apology pushed a boat out and helped Cuthbert pull from the depths his favourite mug that he’d dropped in ‘the drink’ on his maiden flight.
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