A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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March 2007, vol 3 no 1

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Francis W. Alexander

Frederick Ace

The small mouse approaches and wiggles its nose. We linen room workers are amazed. Though the place probably has a good number of mice, I declare it as being none other than Frederick Ace.

Two weeks ago we had seen a mouse dash from under the huge scale and head for the door. I sought names for our new mascot. Justin, the 'playa' of the place, called it "Ace." Holly, a little hottie, named it Frederick. So I had settled on Frederick Ace the Mouse.

Last week, we had seen a cat stalking the place. That afternoon Holly came to me with tears in her eyes, "Frederick is dead." She hustled me to the spot where crushed bones and fur shared space with the bottom wheels of our huge linen cart. "That's not Frederick Ace," I had said, tried to soothe her.

So today, Frederick scuttles up to me as if to say, "Here I am." It then begins to roam around the place for a while before one of the bosses stomps her foot and scares it away.

mouse droppings on top
of the clean linen pile