Rows of shiny black boots marched past the little window as David watched intrigued. Left, right, left, right, they moved with graceful precision. Always accompanied by a signal shout and shadows that danced on the alley walls; arms extended into a pose, hand saluting the Führer.
David always thought that they were playing some sort of game. A game he didn't want to play with them—because their game was scary. His parents were taken away because of this game and now he had to hide Herr Baumann's cellar to be able to win the game.
The shiny boots came closer, and David scrambled away from the window, into the dark corners. He didn't like this part of the game. Frau Baumann had taught him the game. She called it, "Still as a Mouse," and even though David thought it was a funny name for a game, it was really boring.
He had to sit in a dark corner in a box with a blanket over his head and not make a sound. She taught him to put his finger over his lips and think to himself, "'Shhhh, Shhh,' said the little mouse hiding from the barn cat."
So, off to the little box where the Little Mouse game was played, David ran. He crawled in, just at the sound of the banging on the door upstairs echoed through Herr Baumann's home. He could hear the harsh voices demanding to search the house.
David curled up tighter, his blanket covering his head. He could only pray that there were no dogs with the soldiers. He didn't want to be found.
He pressed his finger to his lips, hearing the heavy boots move around the upstairs, and finally descending into the cellar.
Shhhh...Shhhh. Be quiet little mouse. The cats are around; don't make a sound and you won't be found. Shhhh...Shhhh, little mouse. The sound of boxes being moved filled the cellar and David cringed, squeezing his eyes shut, waiting... Shhhh...Shhhh. Be quiet little mouse. The cats are around; don't make a sound and you won't be found.
The heavy boots squeaked as the soldier grunted and walked back up the stairs. David had to wonder, was the little mouse safe?
Thud, thud, thud
The boots walked out the door and David let out a quiet sigh. Now he just had to wait for Frau Baumann to come and get him once again.
* Kleine Maus is German for "Little Mouse"
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