The large leather shoe came down perilously close to the waving tail of the Queen of the Field Mice.
Her Majesty looked about and found something that would do nicely.
Picking up the nearby dime which was lying on top of the sewer grate, the diminutive, yet regal mouse heaved it with all her might.
The trajectory was perfect and the speed just about right.
Moments later, the dime found its mark and left a sharp mark on the back of the target’s ear.
“Outsiders!” screamed the little mouse, her voice barely reaching the now-throbbing ear of the target.
The Outsider walked away, rubbing her ear and wondering what just happened.
It had been one month since the Queen of the Field Mice had come looking for Dorothy.
For over a hundred years in Oz, Dorothy had been content to be a ten year old girl in a fantasy land. Then came time and biology and Dorothy yearned to “grow up a bit,” as she called it.
“It’s not a matter of happy,” she had explained to the rodent ruler as she stepped through the green wooden doorway that Princess Ozma had created for just this purpose. “I just need to grow up a little.”
Now, four years after leaving Oz and one month after Dorothy’s plea for help had brought the royal rodent to the Great Outside, the Queen of the Field Mice had nearly completed her task.
The alley in which Dorothy had spent many an evening was as empty as ever. The human who had nearly crushed the Queen was the first one she had seen since sundown.
When Dorothy had explained to Her Majesty the facts about a young man who was causing a great deal of trouble for her and her friends, the royal rodent spent several weeks devising a plan to put the young man in his place.
The Queen of the Field Mice had found a box lid lying in an adjacent alleyway and it seemed to provide a blueprint for a perfect trap that a mouse could build.
Her Majesty found numerous rodents, cats, dogs and a snake or two living in the nearby urban landscape of the big city Dorothy had called home for nearly four years.
Each animal recognized that the diminutive mouse was royalty, even if she was from Oz and they all vowed to serve her needs. They knew instinctively who Dorothy was and that the mouse was here to help.
It took weeks to build the contraption of the box lid from all sorts of objects, scrap and trash that the animals scrounged wherever they could. It filled the entire alley but looked like it belonged there… even the bathtub.
Dorothy was impressed and decided the Queen of the Field Mice had done well.
On the night of the full moon, Dorothy knew the time had come to deal with the young man who had been causing trouble for everyone in the little alley.
Now, both Queen and Dorothy waited for trouble to arrive, and they didn’t have to wait long.
The young man of trouble sauntered into the alley, acting all cocky and rude. He was accompanied by another young man, very similar in appearance to him. Both looked around as though they owned the alley and the gathering of girls, including Dorothy were a nuisance to deal with.
In no time, the young man of trouble was in Dorothy’s face and grabbing hard on her arm. He threw her back into the three other girls that always hung out with Dorothy.
Dorothy backed away towards the large wooden thing by the fire escape ladder.
She grabbed the handle protruding from the wooden thing and turned the large pegged gear clockwise one full turn.
High above, the streetlight shook gently and a long metal rod with a shoe on one end swung down and kicked a bucket which was sitting on the top step of the fire escape.
Both young men watched in fascination as the bowling ball poured out of the bucket and rolled down the metal steps, one by one, turning the corner on each flight down until it found the rain guttering lining the side of the building. It came to rest hard inside another metal bucket, which swung around to the bathtub mounted above the fire escape on the other side of the alley and directly over the heads of the two young men.
The bowling ball came out of the small metal bucket, then rolled around the cast iron tub and fell through a hole down onto the head of the young man of trouble. He promptly fell over, knocked out by the perfect strike. His friend promptly ran away as the girls laughed loudly at the unconscious young man.
Just then, a metal cage came crashing down, trapping the young man of trouble inside.
The gathering of girls cheered loudly, not noticing the diminutive rodent near their feet.
“How did you build all of this?” Dorothy asked her good friend from Oz while the other girls went to examine their catch.
The royal rodent whistled sharply and a dog appeared from the shadows with a box lid grasped firmly in its jaws.
“I think Princess Ozma sent this,” she said to Dorothy.
Dorothy took the box lid in hand.
“Are you ready to go?” inquired the royal rodent of Dorothy, now that her task was complete.
“No. I’m not done growing up just yet,” she declared.
“Very well,” the Queen said as she tried to understand. She clapped her paws and a doorway of green mist appeared, then opened slowly.
Her Majesty, the Queen of the Field Mice stepped into the doorway and back into Oz as Dorothy looked over the box lid the dog had given her.
Dorothy began laughing as she looked over at the strange contraption in the alley.
“Mousetrap!” she exclaimed as all four girls now examined their catch and wondered what to do with him.