The Verse from Hell

“Be straight with me, boy,” snarled Constable Wilhelm Maniculatus. “Didya get a ‘nother letter?”

“Found it this morning,” squeaked Marcus Musculus, his short white fur standing on end. “Was going to bring it in right away. But,” he paused and exhaled, “I had to redo the morning edition.”

“What!?!” shrieked Wilhelm. “Didya not think?” Wilhelm glared at him with wizened beady eyes. “Let me see it.”

Marcus sighed, tossing the Constable a fresh copy of the Grainery Gazette, ink wet and paw smears apparent. On the cover was emblazoned a poorly made verse:

Eight little mice with no hope for Heaven,
One goes missing, then there be seven.
Seven little mice, begging for some corn,
One talks to me, wishes she’s ne’er born.
Six little mice, all glad to still be alive,
I comes a stalking, then there be five.
Five little mice, all shivering with fear,
Ne’er quite knowing when I’ll be near.
The game is afoot, the number called,
Stop me, Boss, ‘fore another be mauled.

“Bloody ‘Ell,” was all Wilhelm could muster.

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