Anatole: A True Story

One morning I was eating breakfast when my brother, Jimmy, shouted, ''The cat caught a mouse.'' I screamed because I don't like it when our cat catches mice. I asked my mom if I could put the cat inside, and she said yes. So I put the cat inside and finished my breakfast.

Then I went outside to see if the mouse was still there. It was. It looked like it was cold because it was shaking, but that was probably from fright. I asked my mom if I could keep the mouse. She said I could keep it for that day; then we would talk to my dad that night.

My mom found a shoe box and punched some holes in the lid. Meanwhile I picked up the mouse with a tissue on my hand. I had never picked up a mouse before and I was afraid. It climbed up on my arm from my hand. It stayed there until my mom tried to put it in the box. Then it climbed up to my shoulder and into my hair. It felt like someone was pulling my hair. Finally my mom scooped it into the box. I wasn't afraid anymore because I liked the feeling of his fur. He had dark brown fur with white feet, black eyes, and big round ears.

Suddenly the school bus went by. I said goodbye to Mom and goodbye to my mouse, and went out to the school bus stop. While was at school that day, I told everyone I knew about my mouse.

I had never been so anxious to get home from school before. Mom and Dad agreed that I could keep the mouse at least for a few days. My brother loaned me his empty aquarium, but I had to pay him 5 cents a month. Fortunately, that is a price I can afford to pay. He helped me carry the aquarium up to my bedroom and set it on my chest. I put newspapers on the bottom and got two jar lids, one for water and one for bird food and cheese. Then I got a shoe box and cut a little door in it, and put it in the corner of the aquarium.

The first thing my mouse did was eat some bird seed and a little cheese. Then he went into the shoe box. Since I couldn't watch him anymore, I went and ate my own supper. After supper I came back and watched him as he ate more food and drank water. I sat on my bed, trying to think of a name for him. Finally I thought of a book I had read called ''Anatole and the Cat'', and I decided to call him Anatole.

The next day my friend Melanie came over at about 7:00 o'clock and we played a game and fed Anatole cheese. For several days my friends and neighbors came over and looked at him.

One night when I woke up to check on Anatole, he was not in the aquarium! Where could he be? The next morning I told my whole family about it. We looked everywhere, but we couldn't find him. The next night I woke to find that Anatole was back, but not for long. The next day he was gone again. I could not figure out where he kept going.

One night I found out. My mom had gone to church. After I was in bed, I heard a scratching noise in my dollhouse drawer, and who do you thnk I saw? Anatole! He had made a nest of pieces of tissues he had found on my floor, but at night he would go back to the aquarium and get food.

I picked up Anatole and put him outside. I would miss him, but I knew he really belonged outdoors.

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