Mouse Du Jour

Susanna Leonard Hill’s Birthday Story Contest is going on over at her blog. For the contest, we had to write a birthday story in 300 words or less. Mine is 298 words…whew…just slid in under the limit. Be sure to keep reading after my story, as I have information about the contest and Susanna’s wonderful blog.

Mouse Du Jour

Mercer trembled. Mercer shook…
trapped beside The Cat’s Cookbook.
He’d been caught and stowed away
as the birthday gift this day.

He stole a glance…page twenty-four
featured Yummy Mouse Du Jour.
Carl the Cat devoured each word,
marked the page, and loudly purred.

Oh! I am toast,” Mercer thought,
“if I don’t improve my lot.”
So, he cleared his throat and spoke—
less a squeak, and more a croak.

“Mr. Cat, I’m rather small
to feed the Cats—one and all.
Just think how nice the feast would be
to have a dish or two—plus me.

See, I’m a chef and I can cook
up every entree in that book.
Then the Cats can all eat hearty
at your special birthday party.”

Carl blinked. His cat eyes bright,
and then meowed, “You may be right.
But, mousey, if you try to bail…
I’ll eat you…starting with your tail. ”

So Carl and Mercer, side by side,
minced and mixed and flaked and fried.

Carl chopped while Mercer topped.
Mercer dipped while Carl whipped.
Carl tossed while Mercer sauced.
Mercer stirred while Carl whirred.

Then they both glazed and basted;
scraped the bowls; licked and tasted.

Right before page twenty-four
the Cats were knocking at the door.
Mercer thought, “Hey, look at me!
It looks as if I might go free!”

But then he lost his cheery mood
when he was placed among the food.
He figured, “I’m good as dead!”
with candles blazing on his head.

Flames were swatted—swish, swish, swish!
And Carl purred, “My birthday wish….
…was for Yummy Mouse Du Jour.
But that has changed—I am sure.

So, now my little cooking friend
we’ll be chefs until the end.
And I’m asking you to stay
to celebrate my special day.”

The End and Bon Appétit 🙂

I discovered Susanna’s contests when she hosted a Thanksgiving contest this past November. I have entered every contest since. There are reasons why I enter the contests:

  • It’s a great writing exercise.
  • Susanna has prizes…great prizes!
  • Reading all the entries is just so much fun!!!
  • I have gotten to know awesome people in the writing community.
  • I have discovered other writer’s wonderful blogs while reading their entries.

When I found Susanna’s blog by entering the Thanksgiving contest, I became a faithful follower. I have to say that she has one of the most useful blogs out in kidlitosphere. I participate in each one of her features, because I learn from them. Check out her schedule blog HERE.

If you haven’t entered a contest before, now is the time. Even if you don’t enter, you will be doing yourself a favor to read the entries…really…it is so much fun!!! The deadline is Tuesday May 22 at 11:59 PM EDT. For all the details, click HERE.

44 thoughts on “Mouse Du Jour

  1. Penny, lovely story !! I really enjoyed reading it. I have a weak spot for cunning little heroes and your mc really fits the profile 🙂


  2. I smiled the first time I saw your title, Totally Penny. This an amazing story, so engaging. I knew you wouldn’t let the mouse be eaten. Still, I couldn’t wait to read how Penny Klostermann would resovle Mercer’s seemingly sealed fate. While reading it, I sorta envisioned a disney like illustration. If you haven’t guessed, I thought this was WONDERFUL! As always, Great work, lady!


  3. Love the title, the name, Mercer, the rhyme (both internal and regular) and the conclusion! Awesome, as ever, Penny!


  4. Penny,
    Great use of rhyme! I love cunning characters and your mouse is smart and endearing at the same time. That was fun to read! All the best,


  5. How much do I love this:

    Carl chopped while Mercer topped.
    Mercer dipped while Carl whipped.
    Carl tossed while Mercer sauced.
    Mercer stirred while Carl whirred.

    And the rest of this delightful poem, too, of course. I just wrote a cooking story called Cricket’s Picnic for one of the early readers, and had so much fun with all the cooking and food words. The kitchen is a font of inspiration, and your story is proof of that! Well done as always, Penny. We will see you published ere long…:)


  6. I agree with Cathy. I loved those two lines and your poem, of course.
    I haven’t had this much fun blog hopping, ever.
    I joined Susanna’s blog a few months back, but I hid watching and waiting. Then I thought, why not join in. I’m so glad I did.


  7. First of all, GREAT picture book rhyme…what a fun story…loved it from beginning to end! Secondly, I “second” everything you said about entering contests and Susanna’s blog! I am having the best time of my life participating and following all of these amazing writers, illustrators and others who love kids and encourage kids to love books. 🙂 Congrats, Penny…job well done!


    • I’m glad you liked my story, Vivian. It was fun to write. I am having the time of my life, too. I am reading and writing and reading and writing…etc. It’s wonderful!


      • It kind of interesting…for years my eye pressure was high (I have glaucoma) and drops didn’t help so I had quite a number of eye surgeries in the last couple of years…but the right eye was still not cooperating and I had to continue drops which I am allergic to. 😦 I returned to writing picture books (Julie’s 12 x 12 and Susanna’s contests) 5 months ago…and since then the pressure has gone down…and now I don’t need the eyedrops and the pressure is lower than ever before…even though I spend many hours every day on the computer (which my husband is afraid is bad for my eyes…but obviously it is not). Perhaps I am just so elated to be involved with this amazing kidlit community and writing again that the pressure has become balanced.
        Sorry for the long comment…but I’m so happy…about reading and writing and reading and writing…and normal eye pressure. 🙂 🙂


        • Wow! That is interesting. I do hope that your eyes remain steady and that the pressure stays normal! Sometimes things seem to do some correcting on their own, which is always a blessing!


  8. LOVE your entry, Penny! You never disappoint 🙂 I’m so glad Mercer made it through unscathed! 🙂 And thank you so much for all your kind words about my blog – I truly appreciate them and can’t tell you how much it means to me that you enjoy my humble offerings.


    • Thanks, Susanna! It’s so funny how I think of mice as such cute, little, cuddly, precious, not-to-be-eaten-by-cats creatures when I’m writing about them. But in real life…if one ran across my path…I’d be lookin’ for escape!


  9. Penny – I had images from “The Mice of Bistrot des Sept Frères” and “Tom’s Tweet” dancing in my head all the way to the end. Adorable!

    My favorite lines: Then they both glazed and basted;
    scraped the bowls; licked and tasted.


    • I love Tom’s Tweet. I haven’t read The Mice of Bistrot des Sept Frères. I just added it to my list of books to read. I looked it up and it sounds so cute. Thanks for stopping by 🙂


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