Dichall came back within fifteen minutes and got back into the fur with us to warm up.
“Good news. It’s the same truck going back. 6214.”
I licked his cheek and poked my head up out of the fur. “Thank you. Good work. I can go
find that truck.”
“Already done, my dear. We just have to get in it. They should start loading soon.
Gretchen, would you mind having Emerson keep watch so we know when the truck opens?”
Gretchen was holding her moth, and a brief look of fear crossed her face.
“Gretchen.” I put my paw on her wrist. “She’ll be all right.”
Gretchen smiled and shook her head at herself. “Of course.” She went into a trance, establishing her familiar connection, and Emerson flew off.
I snuggled up close to Dichall, happy to have him back. “How was it?”
“Easy, of course. Turns out you could have done it, after all.”
I laughed. “Thank you for being so gallant.”
Emerson flew back and Gretchen opened her eyes. “Too many people. I don’t think a
Pomeranian’s going to be able to get on there without being seen.”
Waffles turned his head and tried to look at us on his back, but it was impossible. “Um,
can you come down here so I can talk to you?”
“Oh!” I leaped down to the snow in front of him. “Of course.” The other mice followed.
In the snow in front of us Gretchen sketched the scene she’d witnessed through Emerson’s eyes. “The building is here. Our truck over here, ja? But there are lots of men around. They’re loading snow blowers into the truck. Not boxes, like last time.”
Waffles cocked his head. “The riding snow blowers?”
Gretchen nodded. “The big ones, where a person sits inside. The ones with windows.”
“Then I could sneak into one of the cabs.”
I looked at Gretchen and Dichall. There were no objections. “That’s a good idea,
We got back into his fur and Gretchen sent Emerson out again. “There was one with a
door open, I think. Let me…. There it is! Go, now!”
Waffles ran out from behind the dumpster and Gretchen, eyes closed, seeing through
Emerson, directed him. “Left, go behind the… that’s it. Wait! … Okay, look right. No, left.
Sorry, I’m Emerson is facing you and right and left are reversed… Do you see the cab? With the door ajar?”
Waffles turned and saw it. “Yes!”
“When I say… wait…. Now!”
Waffles took off across the yard and leaped up inside the cab and hid under the seat of the
snow blower the best he could.
Emerson flapped over a few seconds later and landed on Gretchen’s arm. Nobody came.
Nobody had seen us.
Within minutes the snow blower had been pushed into the truck, the door shut us into
darkness, and we were on our way.
Waffles soon fell asleep, and Gretchen and Dichall were not far behind. We were all
hungry and tired. I felt around, ensured that the glasses were secure on Waffles’s collar,
snuggled up against Dichall, and soon succumbed as well.
We all woke at the same time at the feeling of the truck stopping and shutting down its
engine. We felt Waffles lift his head and yawn widely. We heard the truck door rolling up as some light spilled into the cargo area. We had a few minutes to wait while the snow blowers closer to the door were removed. When it was our turn, Waffles wedged himself under the seat as far as he could go. We felt the little vehicle move as it was brought outside.
Waffles sniffed the air. “Now?”
“Just wait a minute.” I jumped up to the window. “I’ll tell you when the coast is clear.”
Soon the men were done unloading and went on to other business. “Now!”
I jumped down into Waffles’s fur. He got up on his hind legs and pulled the lever of the
door down with his front paws. It opened, and he ran out into the cold air and we were back on the streets of Ottawa. We mice huddled into the fur and tried to rest as Waffles made the long walk across Ottawa, over the bridge to Quebec, and into the dark woodsy area around the Kilby house.
Waffles paused outside his home, looking longingly at his dog door. I stroked his head.
“Soon you’ll be back home, and with your beloved Vivian. Come on, Waffles, let’s go into the woods.”
Gretchen started concentrating. Waffles closed his one eye and we headed into the woods;
I steered with his ears once again.