"I saw something under that thar bridge" squawked Peeper to the General. "I am doing my job. I told you I would."
"What was it," asked the General?
"I didn't get a good look. I wanted to tell you first. Shall I go look," asked Peeper?
"Well of course ya dang bird," bellowed the General. "That's what I'm paying you for!"
Peeper swooped down to get a closer look under the bridge... But nothing was there!
No one spotted the 7 rats as they scampered across the dry riverbed to safety. When they were far enough away they stopped behind a bush to make sure no one was following them.
"Looks like we made it away without anyone seeing us," yawned NOD. He swatted at a fly that was buzzing around his head and yawned again. He was tired. This was way too much excitement for one day. All he wanted to do was sleep!
CHIPPER shook his head and agreed with NOD. "Yup we did... we really did." He jumped up and down and made such a ruckus that GROUCHY gave him an evil look and told him to sit down and shut up. They were not out of the woods yet. If they made too much noise the cats would hear them.
"Do you want the cats to hear us," GROUCHY growled?
"g-ggg--Guys??? The cats are leaving," said TIMID as he pointed in the direction of the bridge. "It looks like they didn't hear us. We are safe."
All 7 rats peered from behind the bush and watched as the last of the coach disappeared around the corner of the road. Peeper flew ahead of the coach and was chattering something to the General. Seven pair of eyes winced as the General swatted him away and poor Peeper fell into the thicket. They could see Peeper pick himself up and fly off, ahead of the dogs, chattering who knows what on the way.
Sure that they were safe, MD had everyone pick up their sticks and start searching for more grubs under the rocks. He was hungry and was sure the others were too. The faster they found food the faster they could head home before nightfall. He had to poke NOD several times to wake up. And all SNIFFLY & LOONEY wanted to do was play and he had to remind them several times to move some rocks. He could hear GROUCHY yelling at CHIPPER to put down the rock he found under the bridge and get to work. SNIFFLY let out another sneeze and everyone stopped working. They thought they were safe from the cats but no one was really sure.
The general was tired. It had been a trying day. Watching over the Queen and her precious cargo of kittens was no easy task. And having that darn bird around made him test his patience. He KNEW he had heard something and he didn't like having the worthless bird tell him it was nothing.
"SQWAAAAAAAAAAAKKK... General??? There is some rustling up ahead in the bushes. I see eyes looking at us." Peeper bellowed to the General from a safe distance. He did NOT want to end up in the thicket again. All those thorns ruffled his beautiful feathers.
The road ahead was dense with forest. A perfect place for an ambush. The General KNEW he had heard something and he was sure THIS was it.
With no time to think, large dogs came out from the trees!!! The General was tackled from his mount in a matter of seconds. All he could think about was the Queen and her kittens. He MUST keep them safe at all costs. He drew his sword and as he hit the first dog in the head, he saw one of the coachmen fall to the ground. He should have insisted to the King for more guards. He had heard about a band of wild dogs in the woods but he thought it was just a kitten tale to scare the children, and he WAS a proud General. He thought they could handle anything that came their way, but these dogs were proving him wrong.
CHIPPER gave a big burp... BURRRRRRRP... He had a full tummy. The others in turn burped too. BURRRRRRRR RRRRRRRRPP. They all laughed.
"g-ggg--Guys??? Do you hear that," asked TIMID in mid burp?
They all stopped laughing and listened. In the distance they could hear barking and hissing. The coach was in trouble!
"That is not our problem," grumbled GROUCHY. "Good riddance to the cats."
MD sighed... He was too old to fight. But he knew whoever was in the coach could not handle the dogs alone with so few guards. They MUST help... no matter what. A few dogs where no match for seven rats and three cats after all. And... they had their sticks. Each was an expert with their "weapon."
The seven rats made their way cautiously back down the riverbed to the bridge. The carved wooden cats on the bridge beams smiled down at them. With their hearts racing, each rat knew this, could be their last battle. Giving everyone a stern smile MD lead the way to through the bushes to the coach. From a ditch they observed the fighting. THIS pack of dogs they all knew too well. The dogs had terrorized their village for years. This time they would not cower. This time seven rats would fight!
There were 5 dogs giving the cats a good battle. The General knew he had to get the Queen and her kittens to safety. There was one coachman still sitting in his seat, fighting a great battle of his own. If the General could get the dogs to follow HIM, the coach could get away in safety.
MD, GROUCHY, SNIFFLY, CHIPPER, TIMID, LOONY and NOD sprang from the bushes yelling a great battle cry. This threw the dogs off guard and the cats too. Just WHO were the rats going to fight?