I had been given a mission in my Equestria dreamscape. Petina had elected, decided, ordered me to fly over to Fluttershy's cottage to enlist her aid in dealing with the mice that had taken up residency in our kitchen. [link]
After hearing of our problem Ponyville's resident animal expert agreed to come over that afternoon to assist with the problem. With my mission completed I flew home and took long hot bath to warm up from my winter aerial activity.
At about two in the afternoon Fluttershy made her appearance. Unlike I who had been quickly pushed out the door Fluttershy had bundled up for the trip. Chiffon yellow ear muffs with butterflies motifs adorned her ears, a pink scarf, plus long knitted legging and snug fuzzy sweater of violet made up her wardrobe. I admit that she looked painfully cute in the sweater and leggings. She removed the muffs, scarf, the legging from her front legs, and a small pouch she'd brought. She then asked to introduced to other party in the dispute. Oh and could she have some hot chocolate please?
We led her into the kitchen to where the mice were entering and leave the wall. I found a towel for her to lie down on in front of the hole and in about ten minutes I had whisked her up a steaming mug of chocolate. We had not seen our unexpected guests since their appearance that morning. With her workspace set up she asked if we stand back and give her and the other party some space. Settling down on the towel and with her mug of chocolate, she sat there for several minutes just staring at the hole with a sleepy smile on her face and sipping on the chocolate. Finally in a soft voice she spoke.
"I know you're in there and no one will hurt you. Would please come out and introduce yourselves to me. I brought you all a treat." She then opened to pouch and poured out a small pile of sunflower seeds. "I brought these for you to snack on while we talk. They're really good!" She said this while popping some in her mouth and munching on them.
For a few minutes nothing happened. Then slowly a whiskered nose poked out of the hole. Then another and another. Cautiously three brownish gray mice emerged from the wall. All the while Fluttershy sat there and slowly sipped her chocolate. Finally after a minute of so checking it was safe they scurried over to the seeds and started nibbling on them. The seeds seemed to meet with their approval.
While the mice ate Fluttershy began talking to them as if she was having an ordinary conversation with a pony. She asked them where they were from? How many of them there were and why they had suddenly moved into this cottage? If the mice were verbally replying it was at a frequency none us could hear, but chiffon yellow pegasus mare seemed to be happy with their responses and they soon were enthralled in a happy little discussions. It was like listening to someone talking on the telephone where you can only hear one person's responses and you have to guess what the person on the other end of line is saying.
Eventually certain details came out about our new visitors. First they had fled their original home and had taken refuge in our cottage to escape the Deep Freeze. When asked what had happened to their original home we found out that they had fled it out of fear of what had happened to several of their neighbors. Since mice do not hibernate they had continued to scavenge when the weather permitted. On several occasions they came across animals that had been drug out of their burrows and killed. All of them had had their blood drained and certain parts of them eaten. [link]
Therefore they had sought shelter not only from the cold but from a strange terror that was stalking the fields and woods this winter. Nopony gathered in that kitchen felt it was appropriate at that time to offer an explanation to the killings. [link]
To their credit the mice had actually succeeded in dragging much of their cache into our cottage which was no small task. So they weren't really eating any of our supplies. This went a long ways toward easing concerns on our end. In the end it was decided that they could stay for the rest of the winter so long as they used a litter box that Fluttershy assembled from scrap materials lying around the cottage. That and if they could refrain from gnawing on the house, furniture, and belongings. Fluttershy agreed to provide them some gnawing sticks to satisfy their urges.
to be continued.