“Now that you have seen Squirrel City, you cannot leave,” explained Scurrius. “But do not despair! Our world is beautiful, free from the loud noises and scary smells of the city! Free from traps and poison and dogs---er, uh, bad dogs, I mean. You might have trouble with the climbing at first, but I’m sure you’ll adjust, and if not I’m sure we can dig you some lovely burrows on the forest floor.” “No! I can’t stay here!” Sam exclaimed. “I have to go back and get Miss Blatz! She’s like my mom! She’ll die without me! Just die!”
“And Louey and I have our human to look after!” said Sadie Lynn. “And our friend Mimi!”
“Sorry,” said Scurrius, “but rules are rules.”
“If you went back,” added Gris, “you’d tell others! And then they’d come, and we’d be done for!”
“We wouldn’t!” promised Louey, but the squirrels could not be convinced.
“Besides,” said a squirrel named Skia, “you need to stay to show us how to make those wonderful garments you are wearing.”
“Garments?” Sadie Lynn looked at Louey’s cowboy hat, and then down at her own neck. She was wearing a denim bandana from the Mister Migs boutique, as well as a Mister Migs collar cover complete with handy metal loops from which hung a Migrubbie People Pouch to hold supplies for the hike like a compass, snacks, and paw sanitizer.
“Yes!” said Skia, tugging a bit on Sadie Lynn’s bandana. “We love them! They’re so unique and stylish, like nothing we’ve ever seen before!”
“Well,” said Louey, thinking quickly, “the bandana, collar cover, and people pouch all come from Mister Migs, and that can only be found in the city. If you let us go, we could get some for you.”
“But then you might not come back!” said Gris.
“Here,” said Louey, taking off his prized cowboy hat and giving it to Scurrius. “You can keep this, to ensure that I’ll come back for it.”
Scurrius examined the hat, then placed it on his own head. “I must discuss this with the council.”
With that, he scampered up a tree and disappeared into one of the pagoda-like little structures in the branches. After some time had passed, he returned, still wearing the hat.
“Sadie Lynn, Louey, Sam, strangers from the outside world, it has been decreed that you shall be our ambassadors to this Mister Migs. And as proof of our trust that you will return... I return your hat.” With that, he took the cowboy hat from his head and held it out ceremoniously to Louey.
“Ambassador Louey,” said Louey as he took the hat and set it back on his own head. “Kind of has a nice ring to it.”
And so, with an escort of squirrels to show them the way out of the woods, the three pets returned home, ready to go to Mister Migs and see about getting a jumbo order of squirrel-sized Migrubbies.
Story and illustration by Mary Grace Mauney
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