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How Grasshopper Mouse Got His Howl - Started by: Roadstripe
How Grasshopper Mouse Got His Howl
Posted: 27 Nov 2007, 02:28 AM
This post has been edited 1 time. Last edit on 27 Nov 2007, 02:30 AM.

For Furcadia's 2007 WolfHowl Story Contest, I wrote the following story. It tied for first place with two others.

How Grasshopper Mouse Got His Howl
In the BeforeTime, when mice took their first steps in the World, they encountered many other species, some uncaring, some indifferent, most dangerous. They feared the cats above all, whispering in frightened little voices of the felines' love of torment and cruelty. The mice took to small places, hiding from the horrible gaze of the cats who would hunt them down and kill them. But Grasshopper Mouse felt only discontent in the shadows and small places his tribe scurried within. He stared out at the wide World denied his people, and anger stirred within his heart. "Why should mice be forever prey?" Envy whispered in his ear, "Mice deserve this World as much as the cats and dogs do. Why should we hide?" Grasshopper Mouse resolved to seek out a teacher who could show him the predators' ways and free his people from the chains of fear. He journeyed far and wide, relentless in his hunt, ever seeking the right predator. He sought out Mountain Lion and Lynx, but they scoffed at the notion. "A mouse seeks to be more than he is?" they snorted in derision. "Fool! Return to your tribe and accept your lot!" He asked Gray Fox and Red Fox, but they tried to eat him for their supper. "Fool!" they laughed. "Mice do not belong in our ranks! They belong in our bellies!" Frustrated, but resolute, Grasshopper Mouse traveled on until he found Dire Wolf. "Here is a creature even the cats fear," thought Grasshopper Mouse. "Surely, I can learn from him." Dire Wolf merely laughed at the impudent creature. "I may be the last of my tribe, ruined by those accursed cats, but never have we been as lowly as mice! Why should I teach you?" Grasshopper Mouse grew angry at Dire Wolf's words. "If you will not teach me, I will find my own way or die trying!" he shouted. "I see fire in your heart," replied Dire Wolf, impressed by Grasshopper Mouse's boldness. "But you need more than passion to be a Dire Wolf!" "Then show me!" demanded Grasshopper Mouse. "Show me how to be like the Dire Wolf! Let the Dire Wolf live on through me and my tribe." Dire Wolf agreed and taught Grasshopper Mouse the ways of a canine, bestowing upon him the secrets of the hunt, the knowledge of the pack, and the wisdom and customs of Dire Wolf's own lost tribe. Lastly, Dire Wolf took the WolfSong in his heart and placed it within Grasshopper Mouse's breast. "Hear the Great Chorus," Dire Wolf said. "Add your Voice to it, and you will be called Kin to Wolf and Dog." Listening to the ululations of wolves and coyotes and dogs rising to the sky, Grasshopper Mouse threw back his small head and gave forth a shrill howl, defiant and fierce. The Great Chorus answered him, lifting his cries to the sky as their new brother. Grasshopper Mouse knew he had at last learned what he most desired and bore his gifts back to his tribe. He taught them the ways of the lost Dire Wolves and gave each the secret of the WolfSong in his heart. To this day, when the Full Moon shines high over the sky, listen closely, and you shall hear this smallest kin of wolves sing in the Great Chorus, praising the last Dire Wolf and the Song he gave them.

As a side note, grasshopper mice really do exist, and they really do act like little wolves, right down to their howls.

Posted: 27 Nov 2007, 02:20 PM

Awesome story! I like it a lot. Very endearing, and very tribal myth-like. :)

-- BK

Posted: 27 Nov 2007, 07:14 PM

Very nice fable sound to it. Thanks for sharing.

Posted: 28 Nov 2007, 02:25 AM

Thank you, you two. :) I won 50 Gold DragonScales for my story. That's the in-game equivalent of 50 dollars.

I wanted to give the story the feel of a Native American origin story, especially since grasshopper mice are North American animals. I'm glad I managed to pull it off. :)

If you want to read the other contest entries, they're here: WolfHowl Story Contestants. Ora Lu and Mauser also placed first (indicated by gold trophies). Second place winners are marked with silver trophies, third placers with broze, while Honorable Mention get green stars in gold laurels.

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