Deep in the woods of Maine, Montgomery the Moose was looking for his favorite food – chocolate.
He often found some small pieces – or even giant candy bars – when humans stayed in the woods in strange fabric houses. They must not like the houses very much, he thought, because they always took them away after a day or two. Sometimes when the humans were away from their houses, he would try to go into one to see what they were like inside, but it never really worked; he tried going through the doors that people went through, but he couldn’t seem to open them. He pushed, but the whole house would move. So he pushed again, and it moved some more. So he pushed again, and this time the whole house collapsed. Then it was quite a fun thing to walk on – very soft and made fun popping noises.
But today he couldn’t find any small fabric houses, so he just sniffed around where he’d seen houses before. He sniffed the ground and found some nuts and raisins, so he thought he might find some chocolate chips nearby. So he sniffed some more and found some.
He opened his mouth to gobble them up.
What was that?
“Don’t eat me! Please!”
Montgomery panicked. The chocolate chips were talking! He got so scared he backed up to see what was going on, but tripped himself up, and collapsed in a heap on a nearby bush, crushing it down into a flat cushion.
“I didn’t mean to scare you. Sorry,” the small and friendly voice apologized.
From his new position on the bush cushion, Montgomery focused his eyes and looked over to where the voice was coming from. He saw some chocolate chips, but he also saw something else; a small, white mouse.
“It’s just – you were about to eat me,” the mouse continued. “And I don’t really want to be eaten.”
“No, neither do I,” agreed Montgomery. “And I wouldn’t really want to eat you either -“
“- I was just trying to eat those yummy chocolate chips that people leave for me.”
“Ooh, me too!” the mouse said. “Aren’t they good? I knew I’d find some here because I smelled some nuts and raisins, and they usually go together.”
Montgomery nodded. He could tell he’d found a kindred spirit.
“Would you like me to take you somewhere where there’s always chocolate?” offered the mouse.
“Yes, please!” Montgomery replied. “Is it around here?”
“Pretty close. Well, close for you, I suppose – you have much longer legs than me. Maybe, if you wouldn’t mind, I could ride on your back to get there?”
“Yes, of course,” Montgomery replied, happy to make a new friend.
The small creature climbed up Montgomery’s fur and onto his back, eventually settling on his head. He felt comfortable and warm in his fur, and Montgomery was happy to have him there. As the creature told him which direction to go to find chocolate, Montgomery felt glad he had met his new friend, and wanted to learn more about him.
“I’ve never see a creature like you before; what kind of creature are you?”
“I’m a mouse,” replied the mouse. “What kind of creature are you?”
“No you’re not, I’m a moose,” Montgomery replied. “You’re not a moose; you’re way too small!”
“No, I’m a mouse,” the mouse replied. “You’re not a mouse; you’re way too big!”
“Wait, what did you say?” they both asked at the same time.
“Moose!” “Mouse!” they spoke over each other again.
“Ohhhhhhh…” they both exclaimed as they realized that a moose and a mouse were, in fact, two different creatures.
“Well, my name is Montgomery,” continued the mouse. “What’s yours?”
“Wait, how did you know my name?” Montgomery asked.
“What?” the mouse replied, confused once more. “I said my name is Montgomery. What’s yours?”
“Your name is Montgomery the Mouse?” Montgomery asked, almost unable to believe it.
“Yes,” Montgomery the Mouse answered, losing patience. “Now that we’ve got that figured out, what’s your name?”
“My name’s Montgomery too,” Montgomery the Moose replied.
Montgomery the Mouse didn’t say anything for a few seconds.
“Montgomery Two?” he finally replied.
“No, just Montgomery. Montgomery the Moose.”
Montgomery the Mouse paused again, with a suspicious look on his face.
“What?” he asked finally.
“My name is Montgomery the Moose.”
“Hahahahaha,” Montgomery the Mouse laughed. “I don’t believe it! That’s crazy!”
“Hahahahaha,” Montgomery the Moose laughed too. “That is crazy…”
As they continued walking, with Montgomery the Mouse pointing the way, they kept laughing at the coincidence; anytime there was silence, one of them would giggle a little, and then before they could stop it they’d both be laughing so much that a few times Montgomery the Mouse fell off Montgomery the Moose’s head and tumbled all the way to the ground. After making sure he was OK, they’d both start laughing again, and by the time they got where they were going it was starting to get dark.
“OK, here we are, Montgomery the Moose,” Montgomery the Mouse announced, emphasizing his name and pointing at a series of wood cabins facing a lake.
“Thank you, Montgomery the Mouse,” replied Montgomery the Moose, returning the favor. “But I don’t understand, where’s the chocolate?”
“It’s inside these. And now that it’s getting dark, that’s the best time to look. We find a place without lights on, and then go inside.”
“But how do we get in?”
“Simple – there are always holes somewhere,” Montgomery the Mouse explained. “Look, I’ll show you.”
He could tell Montgomery the Moose’s was doubtful, and led them both around the side of a cabin without lights on, and climbed down from Montgomery’s back, running straight up to the side of the building, and in through a small hole. He came back ten seconds later, announcing “Yep, this is a good one. There’s lots of chocolate in here.”
“But I don’t think I’ll fit through that hole,” Montgomery the Moose sighed.
“Well, you might be right. What I do when it’s a tight squeeze is to just run fast at the hole, and before I know it, I’m through the hole and on the other side,” his new friend explained. “I’ll go back in and get us some chocolate.” He ran back through the hole.
As Montgomery the Moose waited, he thought about what his friend said. Hmm, that hole does look like it would be a tight squeeze, he thought to himself. And I can run pretty fast…
He backed up, and squinted his eyes as he focused on the small hole at the bottom of the cabin’s wall. Then he closed his eyes and ran right towards it, tipping his head down to make sure his big antlers didn’t stop him from squeezing through the hole.
Montgomery the Mouse stood motionless in shock as he looked at the rubble in front of him. The chocolate he’d been holding in his paw dropped, and more fell out of his mouth.
Montgomery the Moose opened his eyes and was thrilled to discover he’d made it through the hole and was standing right in the cabin’s kitchen.
“Wow, you were right!” he proudly announced to his new friend. “That was easier than I thought!”
Montgomery the Mouse stood still in shock, staring at his giant friend and the destruction all around them.
“Ooooh, chocolate,” Montgomery the Moose said excitedly, and started munching off the floor. After a minute of eating, he looked around while his friend still couldn’t move. “Wow, they left this kitchen a mess, didn’t they? And look at that hole! Ha ha ha! How did I think I wouldn’t make it through that? It’s much bigger than it looked on the outside!”