This article is part of the Reading Time series.


P: I escaped my socially inadequate botanical adversaries, only to meet with a wolf, who released a wolfish howl! I realize this might sound like a redundant description, but it is necessary to distinguish between beasts who still speak as beasts and enlightened animals such as myself, who speak as with the golden tongue of God.

P: Finally, someone to whom I could speak freely! This chap was squatty and sharkish in appearance, but he sang sweetly as he massaged the pads of my paws. I'll never forget this kind man, such was the extent of his ugliness.

P: The unsightly saint with the heavenly hands had a robot butler, to whom he delegated all means of menial labor. In this case, though, he was less interested in cleanliness, and more inclined to swat me with a broom, given that an older resident of the house had mistaken me for a mouse, as age-addled halfwits are wont to do. I jest, woman. Say, Stevie, why does your witch not respond to my devastating gibes?

Stevie: I think she has gone to bad sleep.

P: Once I'd convinced this doddering stooge that I wasn't a rat but in fact a supremely intellectual panther, I set about persuading him to hire me in place of the metallic custodian, because someone as smart as I am should be gainfully employed. Naturally I'd prefer something more dignified, but I assume there's still prejudice against hiring jungle cats, so I could use the reference.

P: The wretched butler didn't care to see me campaign for his position. He forced me, through the use of some sort of magnetic allure, to watch him sit in a cage and gorge himself on keys, apparently his favorite snack.

P: Feeling this was a dreadful infringement on my leisure time and employment opportunities, I sent a message about my plight via carrier beetle to the President. The President never received it, having been forced into hiding during one of the recent violent overthrows, but he happened past my room in his hang glider. He eventually crashed into the wall, creating the hole through which I escaped. He died a hero. At least I assume he died, I didn't check.

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Raised and trained in a mysterious facility, piteous brute Stevie seeks answers.

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