Seville stopped mid-sentence as the truth dawned on him. "ANDY! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH MY TRAIL OF TREATS?"
"Treats? What treats?" Andy asked, looking about, innocently. "I didn't see any treats. I didn't see any treats lying on the floor of this dark and scary forest. I didn't see any trail of treats that led me right to you and Mason. Nope, not a single one. I didn't see a single tempting treat, at all."
Seville reached back and gave his sister a good smacky-paw across the face to calm her down.
"Seville," sniffed Mason, "the three of us are most certainly lost."
Anderson looked down at his paws. "I messed up again, didn't I," he murmured.
"You can say that again," Seville scowled. "In fact, you SHOULD say that again, Andy. Only this time, say it a little louder, so EVERYONE can hear you."
"I messed up again," Andy repeated. "I MESSED UP AGAIN. I MESSED UP AGAIN!"
An owl hooted, off in the distance.
"Okay, so maybe not that loud," and Seville motioned for Andy to quiet down. "Not sure I want all the creatures of this very dark and scary forest knowin' our whereabouts."
"We have to turn around, right now, and go straight back home," Mason stated.
"We have no trail to follow, remember? Andy ate it," Seville reminded his sister. "Now I think... I think we should forge on ahead. Do what we came here to do. Let's go find those darned, moused-up weasels. Who's with me?"
Hearing no answer, Seville took a good, hard look at his fur-sibs, only to find them shivering in their boots. Metaphorically speaking, of course, for neither one was actually wearing any boots.
"Come on, you two... So it's kinda dark out here. So it's kinda scary. It's a dark and scary forest! What else is it supposed to be? Have you ever known me to steer you wrong? DON'T ANSWER THAT," and he held up a paw. "MOUSES!"
Mason and Anderson refused to budge.
"Well I'm goin' in search of those weasels, even if you're not, so THERE." and Seville set off in the direction of where he believed the Weasel Syndicate had set up shop, heading deeper into the woods. Casually, he dropped a treat on the forest floor, and a few paces later, he dropped another. Seville surreptitiously looked over his shoulder and smiled to himself when he saw Andy following the dropped treats, even if he was eating them up as he went along.
"WELL YOU CAN'T LEAVE ME BEHIND!" Mason cried. "YOU CAN'T LEAVE ME ALL ALONE OUT HERE, ALL BY MYSELF! ALL BY MYSELF IN THIS DARK AND SCARY FOREST!" and she scampered after her two brothers.
Seville chuckled to himself, and forged ahead.
A little while later, the three cats came to a clearing in the woods. A young girl, wearing a bright red cloak, darted past. "Hey! YOU!" Seville cried out to her. But instead of replying, she just held the basket she was carrying closer to her chest, and ran that must faster. "How rude," Seville grumbled. "You'd think there was a wolf after her or somethin'. MOUSES!"
A few minutes later, a young boy entered the clearing and looked around. Seeing the three cats, he approached them. He was humming a happy tune to himself, all the while tossing up and down, a little leather pouch. The pouch made a crunchy noise each time the lad caught it. It was a familiar sound, rather like the nippy bean bags Peep #1 sometimes made. The ones she filled with dried beans and catnip. Seville sniffed the air but detected no sign of the nip. Clearly, he would have no use for a leather pouch containing nothing but dried beans.
"You happen to know of any buildings in this here neck of the woods?" Seville asked the boy. "Any buildings that might house the Weasel Syndicate's new enterprise?"
The boy thought for a moment before answering. "None that I know of," and he rubbed his chin. "None but the one a little ways down that path," and he pointed to the path on the other side of the clearing. "Now as for weasels... What exactly does a weasel look like?"
"If you don't know that, you've never met one," Seville stated. "But there's a house or somethin' down that path, you say?"
"Oh yes, that very one. It's a little house with a thatched roof. Actually, it's not just the roof that's thatched. The entire house is made of some odd kind of grass or straw."
Seville's eyes widened. "An odd kind of grass, you say?"
"Uh-huh." The boy screwed up his face, "It smells funny. Almost minty, but not really. It can't be regular straw. I once took some when no one was looking, thinking I could use it to feed my cow, but she refused to have anything to do with it."
"Did you hear that?" Seville turned to Mason and Anderson. "Grass that smells minty, but not really? That's gotta be a nip house, for sure. An entire house made of nip!" he cried with delight, doing a little jig, right on the spot. "A HOUSE MADE OF NIP! A HOUSE MADE OF NIP!" and without a second thought, Seville ran further into the woods.
"Oh crappy crapola mouses," Mason complained, placing her front paws on her hips. "I suppose there's nothing for it but for us to follow him," she told Anderson, before crossing the clearing and stepping onto the path down which Seville had disappeared, moments before.
"I'M COMING!" yelled Andy, scampering after his brother and sister. "WAIT FOR ME! WAIT FOR ME!"
The young lad shrugged his shoulders. "Cats! They can be so strange, sometimes," he murmured to himself, before heading off home, to his mother.