Large capital letter Once on a time there was a field mouse named Tripp. The mouse was the great-grandson of Captain Jamal, a skipper of high repute until he disappeared while circumnavigating the four quarters of the globe with a crew of animals that to the casual observer looked like a reimagining of Noah's ark. The crown jewels of their obsessive pursuit: a legendary basket of cheese and jar of milk which magically refilled themselves. A tornado over the ocean swept up the captain's ship and neither he, his assemblage of diverse recruits, nor a chip of wood from a plank of his vessel were ever seen again.

One night there was a scratch, scratch, scratch, at Tripp's door. A hooked claw slipped through the crack to pick the latch. Powdery snow drifted in small whirlwinds around the twisted silhouette of a bat framed in the doorway. The mysterious stranger scurried into the light to reveal hair as ghostly white as a dead insect bleached by the sun in a west facing window sill and smiled with matching crooked teeth. "Dost this be the 'ouse o' Cap'n Jamal's descendant?"

Animated bat appears at door

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