Beginning a new series of short stories about a Mole who makes friends with a Turkish Van Cat and learns from his pearls of wisdom
By David Johnson (Akdamar Turkish Vans)PART ONE – MOLE IN A HOLE
MR MOLE clapped his hands over his ears and pressed himself to the bottom of his tunnel as a noise like thunder passed over his head.
‘What the heck was that?’ he muttered as he waited for the noise to pass.
‘Better have a look,’ he thought as he carefully pushed his nose up through the loose soil and then quickly pulled his head back down as he thought about what he had just seen.
‘Best have another look,’ he decided as he slowly eased his head up into the bright sunshine, making sure he could get back down again quickly if needs be, as he found himself looking into the eyes of a big auburn and white cat sitting on a shelf sunning himself in a large pen.
‘Who are you?’ called the mole.
‘Never mind who I am, pal,’ came the strong loud voice. ‘What are you doing in our garden besides making a mess, not to mention trespass and the like?’
‘Must be lost,’ replied the mole, ‘missed my way somewhere.’
‘You’ll be missing something else if you don’t keep your head down,’ replied the cat, ‘like your whiskers among other things.’
‘Why? What do you mean?’ asked the Mole, fearing that he’d just been threatened.
‘Like lawn mower dopey!’ replied the cat. ‘You know the sort of thing, all noise and sharp blades.’
‘He wouldn’t…!’ replied the mole with some trepidation.
‘Oh wouldn’t he?’ smiled the cat. ‘Look pal, if he comes back whistling and daydreaming with the mower out in front he won’t see you - then wallop! You’re a gonner.’
‘See what you mean,’ replied the Mole, ‘I’d best be off then.’
‘Good thinking Mr. Mole but tell me, before you crash dive,’ said the cat, ‘what are you doing this far from home in the first place?’
‘It’s a long story,’ replied the mole ‘and a bit sad.’
‘Try me,’ replied the cat, ‘you have a few minutes before he comes back and I’ll keep watch.’
‘I’ve left home…’ began the mole.
‘Left home?’ interrupted the cat. ‘Why did you want to go and do a silly thing like that for?’
‘Do you want to hear the story?’ asked the mole irritably, ‘or are you just sitting there waiting for the blood and fur to fly?’
‘Sorry,’ replied the cat with a smile, ‘you just took me by surprise that’s all.’
‘You’re sure I’m safe for a minute?’ asked the mole, turning his head to look if the coast was clear.
‘Yes, you’re safe for now,’ replied the cat. ‘I can see him down the other end of the garden, he’s having a glass of something cool and he’s wiping his brow but remember, if I shout ‘Duck’ I don’t mean feathers ok?’ The mole nodded in understanding.
‘Like I said,’ continued the mole, ‘I’ve left home, no one seemed to like me where I lived before, said I was too noisy among other things, so I thought I might find a place of my own.’
‘And you finished up here,’ said the cat in an understanding sort of way.
‘I didn’t mean to come here,’ continued the mole. ‘I was looking for a field but I had to get round a pile of old bricks that some clown had buried and sort of took a wrong turn.’
‘See what you mean,’ replied the cat with a knowing sort of nod and found himself talking to the ground as the head disappeared.
‘Not so much as a by your leave,’ thought the cat as he started to wash his face, when the head suddenly popped up again.
‘What happened to you then?’ asked the cat as he looked down at the small face.
‘I heard a noise and thought something was going to grab me,’ replied the mole. ‘I’m on my own down here and don’t have any back-up.’
‘Take it easy,’ replied the cat, ‘why don’t you have a look round and don’t go shedding any whiskers.’
‘Ok’ replied the mole as he turned his head to look around. ‘Blimey!’ came the disbelieving cry, ‘I’ve surfaced in a zoo!’
‘Calm down dopey!’ replied the cat with some alarm. ‘And keep your voice down! You’re not in a zoo for goodness sake, you’ve come up in our cattery and what you heard was one of the girls asking me what was going on, that’s all.’
‘That’s a relief,’ replied the mole as he looked round in amazement, finding himself surrounded with large pens on three sides. ‘Are they all friends of yours?’ he asked the cat.
‘Most of them,’ replied the cat. ‘The odd one or two keep to themselves but the girls are friendly… sometimes,’ he added with a smile.
‘What do you think I should do?’ asked the mole as he looked up at the cat.
‘Well you can’t stay here that’s for sure,’ replied the cat. ‘You wouldn’t last two minutes if you keep poking your nose up in the garden. The best thing for you my friend - and the safest - is to backtrack the way you came.’ He quickly told the mole to be quiet as he began to interrupt.
‘When you get to the pile of bricks as you put it - it’s our garden wall actually - what you do is turn left and head for the wilderness, that’s where the trees and long grass is, you’ll be safe there.
It’s ours so no one will come poking their noses in, not like some I could mention.’
‘But I’ll be frightened in the wilderness,’ replied the mole as a tear came into the corner of his eye. ‘And I’ll be alone.’
‘Don’t start with the tears,’ replied the cat, ‘You don’t have time, so listen in please. When you get to the wilderness, find a place and make a hole. Er - you do live in a hole don’t you?’ he asked, with a quiet laugh.
‘Funny, funny’ replied the mole, impatiently. ‘Then what?’
‘First thing,’ replied the cat, ‘you won’t be alone down there, there’s a robin who can’t keep his mouth shut and loads of other winged wonders. And there’s a rabbit or two as well, and I’ll bet if you look under the pile of old grass and leaves and the like you’ll find a fat slug or two. How does that sound?’
‘Sounds good,’ replied the mole, ‘but what about the lawnmower guy, what will he say?’
‘Who’s to know?’ replied the cat. ‘All you do is keep your head down and don’t make a mess and when he comes down there - which is most nights - I’ll tell him to look the other way.’
‘Oh and one other thing,’ added the cat.
‘What’s that?’ asked the mole.
‘When he comes down the wilderness late on he brings cornflakes and worms and things.’
‘What does he do that for?’ asked the mole.
‘Questions, questions, questions,’ muttered the cat with a slow shake of his head. ‘You haven’t been far that’s for sure.’
‘He brings cornflakes for the rabbits. Well, they look like cornflakes,’ added the cat, ‘and he brings worms for the robin, so lay off them ok, find your own grub.
And one final thing,’ added the cat, ‘if he should happen to grab you, by mistake I mean, don’t struggle. He won’t harm you, that’s a promise.
Just watch out for that brush that he has in his pocket, he gives me stick sometimes.’
‘Best be off then,’ answered the Mole.
‘Good thinking,’ replied the cat.
‘What’s your name?’ asked the mole as he started to submerge.
‘Tom,’ replied the cat, ‘that’s what the girls call me, Dad calls me Kugu. What’s your name?’
‘They threw me out before I was christened,’ replied the mole, ‘any ideas for a name?’
‘I’ll think of something,’ replied the cat. ‘And one final thing, so listen in, next time you’re down this way - stick to the borders.’
‘Promise!’ replied the mole, his paw waving goodbye as he dived.
Next: Mr. Mole – and Kugu – get the ‘brush off’.