1: Cracked | By: Rebecca Dawson
3: Warning: You might not understand this book if you don't read the Nutcracker and the Mouse King first!
4: Chapter One "Okay, the meeting is over" said the Mouse King, as he quickly started packing up his things. "But Sire, what about the upcoming famine?" a worker named Dawson, stood up and asked. Chatter roused up "We'll all die!" some mice shouted. "Everyone, I have someplace very important to be. I'm sure that Dawson's vision was only a dream." the king shouted across the courtroom. "If it does come, we're blaming you." someone among the crowd hollered. Mice started to murmur among themselves about his foolishness, but the king payed no attention to them, and exited the room through a hole in the wall. He skittered across the humans' kitchen without being seen by Marie and her brother, Fritz. "Am I late?" the Mouse King asked as he entered his home.
5: "Not at all" his wife sarcastically answered as she rocked her newborn litter in a crib made from a piece of plastic. "I'm so sorry I wasn't here to comfort you while you were giving birth! There was this crazy guy that thought there would be a famine, and-" the king tried to explain. "It's alright. I've grown used to situations like this." the queen replied. "As long as you're here now, I'm happy." The couple hugged, and talked about the newborns. "Ah, six beautiful babies" the Mouse King said. "There are actually seven of them. That light gray one over there kept crawling out of the crib, so I just left him under the stool." she stated. The king wasn't really paying attention as he simply replied "Oh", and picked up three of the children to play with. The rest of that day, every newborn was given attention, except for the light gray mouse.
6: The next morning, the royal couple began to name the newborns. To the queen's disappointment, she couldn't use any of the girl names she wanted to use, because this litter didn't have any girls. "I'll name him Hans, he'll be Michael, Arthur, Ethan, Maxwell, Lenny, and I'm not sure what to name the pale one." said the mother. "How about Friedrich?" the Mouse King recommended. "Oh, fine." That afternoon, the babies were being bottle fed. Friedrich was often knocked over by the other babies, and they would try to steal his bottle. Mouse Queen only chuckled and refilled it, but his brothers just stole his milk again. Friedrich's disadvantages never changed as they grew into children. He still got the least attention from his parents and the least food, but that didn't wreck his spirits. His siblings despised the way he walked around the hole and the humans' kitchen like he owned the place. "I hate him so much!" Friedrich's brothers would shout at a club meeting. It was the only time they could be away from him. "We should trick him into running away, and tell Mum and Dad that the humans killed him." said Arthur. "No, how about we only get the humans to kill him, with no running away involved." replied Maxwell. Hans was leader of the club, so he always decided what they would do. "Let's start out slow with the harassments, and simply make him one of our victims for pranks." Hans proclaimed. So, when Friedrich was walking across the kitchen table one day, his brother, Lenny, ran up to him to get the prank started. "Hey Friedrich, want to try something fun?" "Sure" was the reply. "The mats on the chairs are really soft and bouncy, so if you jump off of the table, you'll bounce up really high." Lenny explained. "Okay, I'll try it." Friedrich said as he began to look where he would fall. "Wait, stop! It's more fun if you jump down backwards." Lenny said. "Uh huh...." Friedrich said nervously. Lenny moved Friedrich to the edge of the table backwards. "Now jump." He took a large backwards leap, but instead of landing on a soft mat, he fell into a cherry pie.
7: "Yuck, what's this? You tricked me!" he shouted. "Duh" his brother replied. The rest of his siblings emerged from their hiding places, and started laughing like crazy at him. Friedrich climbed out of the pie tin, but slipped on a cherry. He fell off of the chair and onto the ground with a thud. His siblings began to laugh even harder, when an angry voice rang through the air. "Stop messing with him!" Everyone turned their heads to see a small group of mice all dressed in blue. "It's bad enough that you bullies have messed with us, but you went too far when you pulled a horrible prank like that on your own brother!" one of them shouted. The smallest of the gang said "So leave the pale one alone and go home." Surprisingly, the brothers left without any comments. They spat on the ground as they left, not wanting to admit that being scolded by their own targets for pranks embarrassed them. Friedrich sat up, rubbing his aching head. "Thanks for making them leave." he said. "We couldn't just stand back and watch sibling rivalry take place. It almost would feel like a sin." the tallest of the group said. They helped him up, and they became friends for life. Problems were almost always resolved when all of the friends were together. So, when Friedrich went for a stroll around the kitchen and even in other rooms with the group of mice in blue, his brothers never bothered him. They eventually just forgot about harassing him, until something happened that would change everyone forever.
8: Chapter two The day was starting out as it usually would. Friedrich put on his green jacket, flashed an evil look at Ethan and Lenny, and stole a grape from the humans' kitchen for breakfast. The day marked itself special, when he returned to the mouse-hole, and found his father resting on a feather, coughing violently. "Dad, what happened?" he asked. The Mouse King answered "It seems that I've caught the huntavirus." "How?" "Stop asking your father so many questions!" Mouse Queen snapped. The brothers gathered around the king, because it looked like he was going to announce something. "The day has come. I won't be living much longer, so one of you boys will have to replace me. I will only choose someone who is a great leader." said the Mouse King. Michael exclaimed "I think that the new king should be Hans!" All of the other brothers except for Friedrich agreed. "Why should he be ruler?" the dad asked. "I'm leader of our club." Hans answered. "Oh yeah? I'm leader of all of the neighbor kids, the mice in
9: blue." Friedrich said. "Wow, that's a lot of kids to be in control of. I guess the new king will either be Hans, or Friedrich." said their father, as he began to take a nap. "You fellows should go for a walk and leave your dad alone for a little while." the Mouse Queen said. "You'd make a great king." the tallest of the mice in blue told Friedrich, as they strolled in Marie's bedroom, on top of her bed. "There are way more of us to lead than the brothers in that stupid club." "Yeah, I guess you're right." he replied to the tallest. After saying that, Friedrich stopped talking and did more daydreaming. What would it be like to rule a whole mouse kingdom? It would feel nice to be the envy of his brothers. He wouldn't be underfed anymore either. A lovely crown made of pure gold would sit upon his head, and he would be a legend. These wonderful thoughts were soon halted when Friedrich ran into Hans, who had also been thinking about being king. "What are you doing here?" Hans asked. "I'm doing what mom told me to do. I'm going for a walk." Friedrich answered. Arthur nudged Hans with an odd look in his eye. "Oh yea, um, Dad said that I would be the next king. So.... you know, you can stop trying to look good in front of him now, because I already won." said Hans as he fidgeted with his tail. "Liar!" the smallest of the mice in blue shouted boldly. He obviously wasn't scared of Hans or any of the others in the brother club. "Okay, maybe I was lying, but we all know that Dad likes me ten times better than Friedrich." Hans told the smallest in a stern voice. With a chuckle, the leader of the club said "This competition is REALLY lopsided!" "How would you like it if I beat you so hard, it made your whole face lopsided?" Friedrich shouted, stepping forward. The mice in blue were shocked, because it was really unlike him to threaten his stronger brothers. "I'd like to see you try." Hans said. The mice among the club snickered. For a moment, it looked like smoke would come out Friedrich's ears, as he got ready punch his evil brother. "Now now, let's all try to get along...." one
10: of the mice in blue softly said, but by now, he was the only one who wasn't in on the fight. Hans pushed Friedrich aside for a moment, and said to the mouse that tried to calm them down "Oh sure, we'll just drop everything and be friends now, because you said tha-AAAAT!" Friedrich turned around and saw what his brother was screaming about. Marie was coming into her room to play with her toys. Both of them ran to the head of the bed to try to find a place to hide. The other mice had quickly concealed themselves in the best spots already, so the only place left to hide was the doll tea party on the ground. Just as the girl came in, Friedrich and Hans had leaped off of the bed, skittered to the arranged toys, climbed up a doll's dress, and held on to her glass legs. "Mrs. Trudy, I found your bonnet!" Clara said to the doll the brothers were hiding in, as she came into her room. Friedrich hung onto the leg for dear life as the girl picked up her doll. "Oh no, your red bonnet doesn't match your dress. I'll be right back." Marie said as she got up and ran into the hall to
11: get her mini wardrobe for her toys. Hans whispered "Nows our chance to get away." Friedrich and Hans sprinted away from Mrs. Trudy's dress. The rest of the mice came out from their hiding places, and followed them. "We might actually get away without being seen." the tallest mouse in blue said hopefully as they cautiously climbed down the staircase. Unfortunately, right after he said that, Marie started coming upstairs, saw them, and yelled "AAAAAHHH, rats!" Without any hesitation, she took off one of her shoes and threw it at the large group of mice. Most of them leaped out of the way just in time, but poor Friedrich wasn't quick enough. The shoe slammed right into him while he was jumping down one step. He tumbled down the staircase, and landed on his back. It was too painful to get up, so the mice in blue lifted Friedrich by the arms and legs once they were down the stairs and away from the terrified girl. Everyone eventually got to the royal family's hole safe and sound, but when they reached the entrance, the queen asked if the neighbor kids in blue could leave for the moment. There was to be a family meeting.
12: "Please, can at least one of my friends stay to assist me? I fell down the stairs, and it's hard to walk." Friedrich asked his mother. She slowly replied "Well, alright..." The mice in blue set him down in a stool and all left except for one of them. Once that was taken care of, the Mouse Queen started to sob. "He's dead. The Mouse King is dead!" The brothers simultaneously shouted "What?" Their mother dabbed the corners of her eyes with a hankie as she explained everything. "As he woke up from his nap, he tried to say something, but only managed to utter 'Free-'. He either meant to say freedom, or Friedrich. Since he never really told you boys who the new king was, I guess it was Friedrich, due to the king's last word." Friedrich almost fell out of the stool after hearing this. Mouse Queen placed the old king's crown of pure gold on his head, and curtsied. Everyone else bowed down to him. Ethan muttered to himself "He doesn't deserve that position, Hans does." and, for once in his life, Friedrich wanted to agree with him.