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Friday, January 27, 2012



Carlo the mouse was born in Great Florida Hospital on 1411 Water View Drive in a clean hospital basement. His home was behind the hospital’s kitchen walls, and with his first breath, Carlo inhaled the smell of cooked food. Since then, Carlo had been eating.
Always chewing, the chubby little mouse grew up to become a happy plump mouse. Carefree and joyful, he married a beautiful red-haired mouse named Maria. They lived happily inside the hospital walls with their three red-haired daughters.
Most of the time, Carlo was a happy mouse, although he had one unfulfilled wish: a vacation. He had never left Florida.
One hot day, lying in the sun on top of a garbage can, he was daydreaming. “There must be more to life than the hospital,” he thought restlessly, turning from side to side. Fixing his broken sunglasses on his sniffing nose, Carlo decided to go on vacation.
Running between the cars in the parking lot, he checked their license plates, reading the state each car had come from.
“Alabama, Ohio, Tennessee,” he read.
“Booooooring!” he said, running to the next row.
“Georgia, North … South Carolina, Virginia,” he kept reading, moving his sunglasses up and down.
Page 7
“Aaah!” He sighed, disappointed, reading neighboring states. “The neighbors. Too close.” He waved good-bye to the familiar plates and ran to the second level of the parking lot.
“Florida, Florida, Florida, Florida.” Carlo lost count of the many cars from his state. Deep in thought, he continued his snooping, twitching his whiskers.
“Something must be going on in the hospital! The cardiology department seems to be very busy.” Worried, he ran back toward the building to check on things.
Passing a black car, he stopped. This car was from New York. Taking his sunglasses off, he scratched his head.
I looooove New York! Carlo thought, remembering seeing it on TV in the waiting room. But then he thought about the movie that he once watched with the patients in the emergency room. It was scary!
Huge rats with sharp teeth that looked like monsters from another planet occupied the city. Chewing everything in their path, they pushed his relatives into the Hudson River.
“Brrr,” Carlo shivered, shaking his fat belly, imagining what had happened to the poor mice. “No! I will pass on New York,” he said, walking away.
Climbing to the cardiology department, he jumped on the canopy roof that covered the entrance. Preoccupied with his new problem, Carlo, not paying attention, slipped.
“Owww,” he screamed, pushing hard on his back legs to stop himself from falling. Sliding down the canopy, he landed in an open car trunk.
Not seeing Carlo, the driver slammed the trunk shut and drove away. It was Mr. D. from New Jersey, and he was allergic to mice.
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After driving many hours and sneezing nonstop, Mr. D. opened his garage door. He was home after visiting his father in the Florida hospital.
So was Carlo the mouse, but not in his Florida home. Waiting for the trunk to open, a slimmer Carlo was hiding behind a suitcase. Nyda the cat saw him sticking his narrow nose out of the trunk as soon as it opened.
“Who are you?” the friendly cat asked the mouse, jumping on top of the car. Carlo dove inside the trunk and hid between Mr. D.’s tools.
“You’d better come out before Mr. D. comes back!” the house cat said, looking inside the car.
“Where am I?” Carlo asked, instead of coming out.
“You are near Atlantic City, if that’s what you are asking,” the smiling cat replied. Sitting on top of the car, Nyda was watching the shocked mouse.
“New Jersey!” Carlo yelled happily, jumping out of the trunk. “Cool! Vacation!” he said, lifting his sunglasses from his nose.
Page 11
He wiped his dirty paws on his fur, trying to shake the friendly outstretched cat’s paw.
“Sorry. The trunk isn’t the best seat in the house,” the mouse said, introducing himself to the cat. “I am Carlo, the mouse from Florida.” He coughed, clearing his throat.
“Florida?” The shocked Nyda opened her green eyes wide.
“Uh-huh.” The mouse coughed again. “I came on vacation. Where are the best restaurants in town?” Carlo asked politely.
“Mrs. D.’s kitchen,” the house cat answered, not knowing any.
“So what are we waiting for?” Carlo asked impatiently.
“For Mrs. D. to come home,” the surprised cat replied.

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ISBN 13 (SOFT): 978-1-4628-4449-4
ISBN 13 (HARD): 978-1-4628-2993-4

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