On the third Thursday of the month, Mr. Mouse and Mr. Rat took the bus downtown.
It was a chilly and windy morning as they slowly walked the three short blocks from their modest two-room apartment in the leafy Broadhurst section of town to the Number 3 stop. The mouse wore his usual waistcoat and best black hat, the rat a brown cardigan that matched his fur. Others passed them by hurriedly, looking at the ground as they walked. Traffic hummed along a few feet away. The sky above was a silvery grey, like the underside of a perch. As always, the rat avoided stepping on the cracks surrounding the sidewalk stones.
The bus stop sat a few feet back from the curb, rusted and graffiti-laden. They had taken the journey often enough to know the Number 3 came with reassuring regularity. Sure enough, moments later it heaved to a stop in front of them, packed with people. Patiently, they waited for those getting off before the mouse gestured for the rat to mount the steps for boarding.
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