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Cynthia Voigt crafts a novel about discovery, perspective, and the meaning of home—all through the eyes of an affable and worried little mouse. Fredle is an earnest young fellow suddenly cast out of his cozy home behind the kitchen cabinets—into the outside. It's a new world of color and texture and grass and sky. But with all that comes snakes and rain and lawnmowers and raccoons and a different sort of mouse (field mice, they're called) not entirely trustworthy. Do the dangers outweigh the thrill of discovery? Fredle's quest to get back inside soon becomes a wild adventure of predators and allies, of color and sound, of discovery and nostalgia. And, as Fredle himself will come to understand, of freedom.
From the Hardcover edition.
gleam of her white teeth when she yawned at one of Grandfather’s stories, the proud lift of her tail. “Why—” he started to ask, because now he was wondering why they had to forget, as if a went mouse had never lived with them, but he was silenced by an odd sound, and there was something he smelled.… Everybody froze, as mice do when they are afraid, waiting motionless and, they hoped, invisible. Everybody listened. Was it a mouse sound they were hearing? It couldn’t be a cat, could it? Something
huddled close up against the back wall and listened. The stomping ceased and they heard Missus. “Have a drink of water. Then I want you two to burn off some of that energy. Run around, wrestle, chase cats, whatever. If it starts to rain, I’ll let you back in, I promise.” At the splashing and slurping, Fredle whispered, “Only the dogs.” Bardo shook his head, impatient. “Be quiet!” he hissed. Fredle shook his head right back at Bardo, and whispered, “You don’t know dogs. They don’t eat mice.”
be mice living, too. Fredle thought now that the wall near which the raccoons had their burrow probably belonged to Mister. After all, the raccoons wouldn’t live too far from the source of their food, and the source of their food seemed to be the compost and the garbage cans, both of which belonged to Mister, and therefore, Fredle concluded, the wall, too, must be Mister’s. Thus, he decided, if he followed the stone wall he might have a chance of finding the farm again, and the garden, and the
It was as he remembered it, a soft dirt floor and in the distance a faint glimmer of gray light. For a long time, Fredle sat where he was, glad to have made it, glad to feel the dry ground under him, glad to feel a ceiling even closer overhead than the ceiling over his territory under the porch, mostly just glad to have gotten safely back inside. After that long time, he began to make his way toward the light. This was nothing like sun-filled daylight, or even the cold brightness of the moon. In
Fredle wondered what they might use it for, and why its edges were ridged. He wondered about the design on its surface. He’d never seen anything like it—was that a nose sticking out? An eye? And where was the body, if this was a head? He wondered, but he wasn’t about to ask his cousin. Sometimes he got tired of knowing less and being bossed around. “Metal rhymes with Fredle,” he explained, to irritate her. “I’m not waiting around any longer,” Axle announced, and she scurried off. Fredle planned