Sniffy nibbled on some crumbs of cheese. He wondered where his little friends were. Just then, Nibbles appeared around the corner.
“Hi, Sniffy!” she said.
“Hi, Nibbles. Where’s Twitch?”
“Oh, he’s drying out on the back porch,” Nibbles said. “Grandma gave him a bath. His white fur was dirty.”
A short time later, Twitch scurried over to where Sniffy and Nibbles were eating the last of the cheese. “Here,” Nibbles said, I saved a piece for you.”
“Thanks, Nibbles. I was hungry.”
“You look great, Twitch.” Sniffy noted. “Your fur looks shiny and white.”
“Thanks. Grandma scrubbed me so hard, I thought I wouldn’t have any fur left.”
“That’s the trouble with being white,” Sniffy said. “My fur is gray. It doesn’t show the dirt.”
“And mine is pink,” Nibbles said. “If you had pink fur, you wouldn’t need a bath so often.”
“Well, did I have a choice of what color of fur I would have?” Twitch asked.
“No, and neither did I,” Sniffy said.
“Yeah, look at you Sniffy,” Nibbles said. “Who ever heard of a mouse with gray stripes? Only skunks have stripes!”
“Hey,” Sniffy protested. “What was I supposed to do –– tell the people who sewed me together that I didn’t want to be made out of striped material?”
“No, you couldn’t. You were too young to talk then,” Twitch said.
“You might have been made out of someone’s leftover scraps,” Nibbles suggested.
“What?” Sniffy huffed. “Do you think I’m funny-looking?”
“Well,” Twitch said, “your ears are way too big.”
“Yours are too small!” Sniffy shot back.
“And mine are just right,” Nibbles said, feeling her soft pink ears.
“Yeah, but look at you,” Sniffy said. ‘Your paws are a different color than you body! Who ever heard of something that crazy?”
“Well, at least I know where my paws end and my body starts,” Nibbles said. “You’re the same color all over.”
“Well, your eyes are too close together, though,” Sniffy said.
“And Twitch’s eyes are far apart!” Nibbles said. “How in the world can you see anything with eyes like that?”
“I can see out of both sides of my head at the same time,” Twitch said, “and you can’t! I can watch out for cats without even moving my head.”
“That sounds like a good idea,” Sniffy said. “You’re a better ‘watch mouse’ than we are.”
“Hey, Sniffy,” Twitch said, “Why do you have a pink nose and gray fur, but Nibbles has a gray nose and pink fur? I think you should trade noses!”
Sniffy and Nibbles tugged on their noses, but they couldn’t get them off to make the trade. “I guess we’re stuck with what we’ve got,” Nibbles said.
“I don’t even have a nose,” Twitch cried. “You should be happy you have one at all, even if it doesn’t match.”
Just then, a new little mouse with dark brown fur peeked around the corner. “Hi, little mouse,” Nibbles said. “What’s your name?”
“Louie,” he said.
“Welcome to Grandpa and Grandma’s house!” Sniffy said.
“Thanks,” Louie said. “Before I came around the corner, I heard you talking about the color of your fur. None of you look like me.”
“Hey, brown fur is OK,” Nibbles said.
“Yeah,” Twitch said. “You wouldn’t get dirty as fast as I do. Every time one of the grandchildren picks me up, they get gooey finger prints all over me.”
“There aren’t any grandchildren where I live,” Louie said. “No one picks me up and plays with me.”
“Aw, that’s too bad,” the other mice said.
“Do you think it’s because I have brown fur?” Louie asked.
“Maybe no one in your house likes mice like Grandma does in ours,” Nibbles suggested.
“Well, let’s think about this for a minute,” Sniffy said. “People come in different colors, too.”
“Grandpa and Grandma are white,” Twitch said.
“There are white, brown and black people at the beach,” Nibbles said.
“Some of the white ones turn red when they sit in the sun too long,” Sniffy noted.
“I always wanted to be a white mouse like Twitch,” Louie said, “but now I see there are some advantages to having dark fur. I don’t get dirty as easily and I don’t burn in the sun.”
“We like you just the way you are, Louie,” Nibbles said.
“We’re all different and a bit funny-looking, but inside we’re all just cute mice,” Sniffy said.
“Yeah, the kids don’t care if we’re pink, or white, or brown, or gray-striped. They just want a lovable mouse to play with,” Nibbles said.
“I’m lovable,” Louie said. “Maybe they’ll play with me, too.”
“Sure, just hang around a few days. I heard Grandma and Grandpa say the kids are coming soon,” Sniffy said.
“They usually take us to the beach,” Twitch said.
“Not if Grandma has anything to say about it,” Nibbles said. “Remember all the trouble we got into last time?”
“Aw, come on guys. What could happen?” Sniffy asked.
“With you around,” Nibbles said, “anything could happen.”