Excerpt for Tic Tac and the Raven by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Tic Tac

and the



Luthie M West

Illustrated by

Pier Giuseppe Giunta

Little Cabbagehead Books

at Smashwords

Copyright: 2017 by Luthie M West

ISBN: 978-0-9986548-1-2 (eBook)

ISBN: 978-0-9986548-5-0 (Hardcover)

ISBN: 978-0-9986548-8-1 (Paperback)

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About the Author

Other books by LM West

Excerpt: Cat Soup

Tic Tac was a young country-living mouse whose, only business in life was to help his father search for corn and barley and other grains to gather and take back to his family.

His family consisted of his father, mother, brother and sister. The day came, as Tic Tac knew and perhaps feared it would, when he was sent to gather the grains on his own.

His father explained how it would save time if each of them took a different direction. “And besides that,” his father said, “it will add to the table if I was to gather berries and nuts from the woods while you fetched the farmer’s grain from the fields nearby.”

And so it was.

Every day the young mouse took the same path, over roots and vines and under ferns and bushes and around rocks, out of the woods to the edge of the fields of grains.

One day Tic Tac was heading home, laden down with three large grains of barley, two of oats and a huge kernel of hominy. They fit, all wrapped in a cloth satchel his mother had cut from an old pair of trousers she found.

Suddenly, he came upon an enormous black bird! He quickly hid under a large leaf.

There he waited, quietly and patiently, for the bird to fly away. It was right in his path and had its back to him. So, he was certain it hadn’t seen him.

He waited and he waited. "What on Earth is that bird doing just standing there?" he wondered after a long moment.

Tic Tac was eaten up with curiosity. So, he crept out from under the leaf and slowly got closer and closer to the big... black... bird. Of course he went to one side so he could run away if it moved.

Sure enough, it appeared to be sleeping. "If I hurry on tip-toe,” he reasoned, “I might make it pass the bird, out of sight and home safely.”

That's just what he did. Tic Tac tip-toed past the bird and scurried safely home.

When he got home, he told his brother and sister about his near brush with death. “The most terrible huge bird tried to catch me and rip my fur off today!”

“Was it an owl?” they asked, eager for the story.

“No, it was a big black bird with evil red eyes.” The two little ones hugged each other.

He elaborated his story quite a bit. I squiggled around tree roots, trying to stay hidden. But its wicked fire-red eyes could see through everything!”

“Everything?” asked his sister.

“Everything. It was catching up to me! Its caw was so loud, I was deafened!” he claimed.

“You mean you can’t hear us?” asked Little Brother, greatly concerned.

“I was only deaf for a moment. I can hear you fine now. And then the monster bird grabbed my satchel and lifted me off the ground! I had to let it go to get away.”

“But you brought it home with you,” said his very smart sister.

“Oh uh... that’s because he didn’t want it and dropped it right away. I was racing homeward, and I could hear his big bird feet right behind me. ‘Thump, thump, thump’ they went.”

“Don’t birds fly?” remarked the ever-too-smart sister, which was beginning to annoy Tic Tac.

“There was lots of brush and growth about. If he flew, he would’ve lost sight of me. As it was, I kept trying to hide beneath things. But he would claw them away.” He made motions as if clawing at something between them.

Their eyes grew big as peas! Tic Tac put in a few snaps of the bird’s beak so it would sound exciting. “‘I’ll get you! I’ll eat your beady little eyes first!’ is what he cawed at me.”

The little ones screamed and buried their heads in their paws.

“Stop!” commanded his father. “You’re frightening them. They’ll have nightmares. Not another word. Off to bed all of you,” Father Mouse said. “Listen to me, please, Tic Tac.”

“Oh all right,” said Tic Tac with a pout. “But I really was close enough to a huge black bird to touch it.”

Mother Mouse tucked each of the little ones in and turned out the light.

“That was probably a crow you saw,” Father said, “only come into the shade from the field. If it cared for anything, it was the corn you carried and would likely have asked for it.“

“Bigger! It could’ve been…” Tic Tac started to object.

His father gave him a stern look. “Even ravens are no threat to you. Besides, it’ll be gone by morning. So let’s hear no more about it.”

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