Well. Two elephants were heading home, back to the ridge after a good day of solid gluttony. They had pulled up a couple of smaller trees for the good stuff, upset several ant hills along the way, though, bless them, they did try so very hard to walk softly. And they had eaten more grass than they had eaten yesterday, and that day more than the last, and even that day more than the one before it. It wasn’t a thing of pride, or even of hunger.
The grass had a lovely sour edge to it. But it was ever so subtle, this sour. It tickled and pulled the saliva out of their cheeks in the most pleasant way, but it was quite gone in two or three chews, the sourness, and it was rather quickly disappointing, rather quickly missed.
So they had to take a fresh bite of grass, and then another, and another, to keep sucking on that sour. In the same way and for nearly the same reason one might go through a few packets of potato chips, the two elephants had eaten most of a mile of grass and a few trees.
It had been a devil scorcher of a day, one of those afternoons where even elephants sweat it out. Agnes was just saying this when she stepped on something with her big elephant feet. “Just a minute, Mildred, I think I just squished something,” she said, rolling her eyes because this sort of thing inconvenienced her fairly often. She turned her foot out and said to Mildred, “Could you have a look and tell me what it is?”
“Certainly,” said Mildred. Then it happened slowly, because elephants are very large things, and things happen slowly with very large things. Mildred bent over a little, and then she turned her head, and by and by the underside of Agnes’s foot came into view, and with it the thing she had squished. Then Mildred’s fleshy mouth went absolutely slack. Her jaw took its time to drop, and then her eyes, slow as sunset but with considerable alarm flew wide open.
Then she went as pale as pachyderms could go. “What is it, Mildred?” asked Agnes. “Tell me, what is it?”
Mildred almost said something, then she sort of stammered and sputtered it, then she said it. She then ran off, leaving Agnes there with her foot still raised. “A what?” muttered Agnes.
As Agnes stood there with a puzzled little frown, watching Mildred grow smaller and smaller in the vast savanna, the little mouse ninjas crept up closer and closer and closer.
Oh, Agnes was in a lot of trouble now.