The Dourmouse was a brave mouse. When he was not napping at the Hatter's table, he would spend his afternoons looking for great creatures to snag, claiming their eyes or hearts as his prize. He wouldn't keep them for very long, for he had no place to keep them inside his home. The Hatter wouldn't let him keep them in the extra teacups either and the Hare looked disgusted everytime the Dourmouse would ask if he could keep his prizes as his home. In the end, he had to throw them away until he can find himself a good pouch. Right now, they were all burried in a little hole just a bit beyond his mailbox. Of course, he always forgets where the hole he made was.

When he got home after his talk with the Hare, the Dourmouse prepared a new hole exactly two inches away from his mailbox for his next prize- the Cat's heart. Surely it was small so it was a small hole the Mouse had made. This time, he grabbed a twig with a green leaf and marked his whole for tomorrow's prize.

~.../\...~

His small pocket knife tucked away safely, the Mouse ventured out past his home and past the Hatter's table. The Hare said that there was nothing to fear of the Cat so nothing would he fear indeed. The Woods Beyond the Table were dark and thickly covered, sometimes the trees even moved so it was quite easy to get lost. The Tea Party has been empty lately for that reason. Guests traveling from the Mushroom Forest or the Rose Gardens would end up lost in the mass woods, dying off slowly or getting out in a place completely new. It was quite tragic really.

But the Dourmouse was a smart mouse. As long as he remembered where the sign was, he can easily find his way back to the Table. He rarely got lost in the rich land of Wonderland and he was thankful for that. Then again, he has never gone too deep within the Woods so he could, perhaps, become lost like many before him. The Cat could also find him instead and eat him when he wasn't looking. That would be quite tragic for the Hare and Hatter. And it was also a Monday in October, a brisk cold morning on a Monday in October. Surely not a very good day to die.

Wide, green eyes started at the entrance of the Woods. "Nothing to fear says the Hare. So I shall fear not the Cat but becoming lost. I really, really don't wish to become one of the lost. Nor would I want to loose my head, that too would be quite unfortunate." the Dourmouse took forward in his steps and the light become dark as trees surrounded his every side. Who would want to live in place like this? It was quite dark, but it was a good place to hide. The Dourmouse kept his eyes open, scanning and looking all around him for any signs of the Cat.

That was until he remembered he forgot something from before- to ask the Hare what the Cat even looked like! How could he look for something and not know what it really is? He's seen a cat before, pointed ears, a long tail, and some sharp teeth. But the color all differs! What if he is to run into another cat and take that prize by mistake? Then the Cat would still be alive and could still possibly eat the Mouse!

"So many doors how do you choose~? So much to gain so much to lose!"

His head shot up, searching blindly for the souce of the taunting voice. "Sh-show yourself Cat! Have you come to eat me?"

"No time today~ No time today~ Which eat do you mean little mouse?"

"There's only one eat Cat! Don't make a fool of me! It isn't nice to play with your food you know!"

"Hnmmm...~ It isn't very nice indeed... a good point you have made there Mousy! Maybe there is time today..."

The Dourmouse looked up in the trees, searching with his eyes through the branches and leaves. Though he really wished he hadn't.

Almost right above him was a smile. A very Cheshire Cat smile with teeth all raised to a sharp point was directly in front of his face. It wasn't the smile itself that disturbed the Mouse but the fact that it was only a smile! "I-I said show yourself! Your whole self!"

The smile flipped around, resulting it taking the shape of a frown. "Reveal my whole self to a Mouse such as yourself? I will admit you do look quite tasty." the voice got lower, suggestive even. What kind of a Cat was this? Exactly what did the Mouse get himself into?

"I'm not afraid of you! Now let me see you and I'll take your heart! That is my only purpose here today!" he declared bravely, more so then he actually felt. He can see why the Hare was irritated by this Cat.

"Ahhhhh~ The Mouse being the predator? I love a game of make beleive even though we already live in a make believe world! Come and catch me handsome!" the Dourmouse blinked and the frown was gone, now replaced with a purple and pink striped tail waving in his face. Sneezing after it brushed over his nose a few times, he opened his eyes again to find the tail far off ahead of him (with legs and a lower half of a man's body joining it). This was surely not a Cat he's ever heard of before.

"Come and catch me if you can! I'll give you my heart if you can catch me~" the voice provoked.

"It's not fair Cat! I can barely see you!" removing the knife from his pocket, and holding it firmly in his stronger right hand, the Dourmouse ran after the striped cat- determined to get his goal. It was strange though, for one to have a dominent right hand. Nearly everyone in Wonerland was left handed; it was considered strange, odd, even abnormal for one to favor their right hand.

The further he ran, the thicker the woods became and less light was able to get at the Mouse's eyes. He did live underground but he had candels and lights to avoid the dark! There were no candels here to light. His eyes were trained on the Cat ahead of him, but he was growing smaller and smaller- soon to a point where he vanished entirely.

"Cat! Come out and stop hiding! We're playing tag not Hide and Seek!" he called out, stopping in his tracks and scanning the area. But he was gone, his prize had gotten away. Sighing in defeat, he turned around to start his way home. He did, however, jump back a couple of mice feet when the smile was directly in front of his face again- this time a whole face came with it!

"My my! You give up so soon little Mouse!" the Cat purred, standing on the trail below, his full self revealed to the Dourmouse. He was perhaps an inch shorter than the Mouse, and very lean. He too wore a red vest but held his open and a purple and pink striped scarf covered his neck. Long, flaming red hair swam down his backside, not a single tangle or knot to be seen with a twin pair of violet and pink ears on his head. His heels clicked as he walked over to the Mouse, bending down directly over his stomach. "Far too easily do you give up. Do you truely want my heart? You're not trying very hard. Perhaps I shall eat you know and take your heart instead hm~?"

"I'm still not afraid of you," the Mouse declared, looking up at the red haired cat. "Eat me if you wish but I won't say I taste very good."

"But you look tastly and smell quite delious as well! You are a handsome mouse so I will say that you taste absolutly devine..." his purr grew deeper, more suggestive than the first time before. "Close your eyes now my dear Mouse, it turns out you were the prey in the end after all. A pity indeed."

The Dourmouse did as told, shutting his eyes tightly and bracing himself for those sharp teeth to sink into his face and rip it off entirely. His body began to tremble when he felt the Cat's cinnoman breath on his face. 'I am afraid! I am afraid! The reason I should fear the Cat is that I die if I don't!'

He was more than anything suprised when a pair of soft, moist lips rested on his own mouth. He gasped sharply at the feeling, only worsening the situation when the Cat's tongue ventured into his mouth- tasting him completely. 'So... this is the other eat in Wonderland... I'm sure that there is far more to it than this... I'd rather continue with than having the Cat eat me whole... then again- that doesn't sound all to bad if this is the eat he mean...'