“There you go again, looking down on me, “ said Miss Mouse to Mr. Giraffe.
“What do you expect me to do?” he asked. “Look at the sky when I’m talking to you? Then you would complain that I’m being rude. Besides that it’s hard on my old knees to get down on the ground, “ Mr. Giraffe answered.
“Can’t you kneel down when you’re talking to me?” Miss Mouse asked.
“I don’t see how that would help. I’d still be way taller than you. Why don’t you climb up to the top of this trees where I’m having brunch and look me in the eye?”
“No way. Mr. Hawk can’t see me under this leaf, but he would make me his morning snack if he heard me up there talking to you. No thanks!”
“Is that why you always talk so softly? You don’t want Mr. Hawk to hear you? I thought you were testing me because I’m older than you and you wanted to show off your keen hearing,” he answered.
“No, it’s all about staying safe. Setting boundaries,” she answered.
“So how can we work this out?” asked Mr. Giraffe. “You are a great conversationalist and I would miss our talks.”
“You never told me that before. I had no idea you enjoyed our talks so much. Maybe I don’t feel so looked down upon now. I’m beginning to think it was my own issue. Thanks for talking that chip off my shoulder.”
“And I thought you hid under that leaf because you were ashamed to be seen with someone who is not your own kind. Now I realize you were just protecting yourself from Mr. Hawk,” said Mr. Giraffe, swallowing a lump in his very long throat. He was afraid if he shed even one tear it would drown Miss Mouse.
“I’m proud to be your friend. I talk about our friendship to any one who will listen. But I still have to keep myself safe, “ answered Miss Mouse, trying not to sob and give away her location. “You’ll notice I always hide under a mint leaf to disguise my delicious mousy smell.”
“I have it!” said Mr. Giraffe, looking quite proud of himself.
“Tell me,” squeaked Miss Mouse as quietly as she could in her excitement.
“I’ll bend down and you climb up my neck and perch by my ear. Mr. Hawk would never attack you there. You’ll be safe and we can talk to our hearts’ content. What do you think?” he asked as he bent down to Miss Mouse’s level.
“I love it!” said Miss Mouse as she climbed on to Mr. Giraffe’s velvety nose and scampered up his neck to safety.
Today’s topic: What’s happens when you presume goodwill?
Rebekah Spivey for the Poplar Grove Muse