Bluffy, the Feline Flimflammer

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(prompt: 'bluff' 12/7/2019)

"Once upon a very long time ago," Granny Mouse began. All the little mousies giggled. Her bestiest stories always started with those words. The grandies wriggled closer in cheerful anticipation. The way Granny dropped her chin and peeked over the top of her specs, and the frown behind her fringe showed a story of substance was coming, but the babes didn't mind. Any story from Granny would be a bewdy mate sort of yarn. It went without saying in their Aussie corner of the world.

"I ventured out from behind the Giants' freezer to have a quick peek in the cats' food bowl!" she continued. (And Granny saw, by the hugely widened eyes in front of her, she had suitably impressed her young audience. So much for modern know-how, she thought.

"I know. I shouldn't have done it. But sometimes, when we're younger, we allow hunger to overcome common sense. Remember, I did say it was a 'long time ago'!" Small heads shook slowly and sadly from side to side, as if saying they would never be guilty of such as this.

"And our greatest enemy, that furry called Missy was waiting - up on top of the freezer where I couldn't see or smell her. And she dropped, like a hailstone from the clouds... and she had me—" A horrified gasp from her audience stopped Granny from totally reliving the horror and pain. Quick as the quiver of a bee's whisker, she continued. Her warning was far too important to be waylaid by panicky reactions. "First her claws, and then in an instant, her teeth held me captive. " And she ignored the "Oo-o-o-o-o-o" issuing from little mouths now as wide open as the eyes staring fearfully at her.

"Luckily for me, that fearsome Missy cat was not hungry - as I would have discovered if I'd made it to her empty bowl. So she played with me. A miserable and terrifying game of 'Cat and Mouse'...

"Yep, I 'get' that Granny, but what was lucky?" Trust that little monkey Mortimer to pipe up and interrupt... AGAIN!

"LUCKY was when I remembered our famous 'dead as a doormouse' bluff." Granny's teeth would have gritted even tighter if they'd not been 'falsies'. "YES! DEAR little Mr. Mortimer! I WAS very, very LUCKY, because she let me go to tap my lifeless body a short way before another capture - and another - and another. But I kept faking dead until she began to get sloppy and didn't realise how close we were to the freezer. Before she knew what was what, I was suddenly reincarnated, and scurried into a tiny space she couldn't fit more than half her nose. And try as she would, I was out of reach of her lethal weapon... her paw!"

A collective sigh blew from her small audience, except for Mortimer, who once again had to speak out.

"Granny Bluffy? Is that a table manners rule for yucky Missy-cat, too? The one that says - 'Don't play with your food'?

Author's Note: 16/7/19 - Changed my cover pic. Really prefer this one.

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