Leslie Wants to Cook – Victoria Abel

For the past 50 years, the Pawnee mischief of mice have inhabited the abandoned JJ’s Diner. The fat mice of the group are in charge of cooking all of the meals and the thin mice are prohibited from helping in the kitchen. Bobby Newport, their leader, has stuck to this principle for his long reign as executive chef. There have been a few rebellions by the thin mice but all have been unsuccessful until Leslie Knope, daughter of  Queen Marlene, tried her hand.

Tenacious little Leslie has wanted to be a cook since the day she ate her first meal. She was impressed by the transformation of ingredients into delicious dishes, but didn’t strive to be an actual chef until she was visited by Hera in a dream. Hera told her to start recruiting for there would be a battle soon and Leslie was crucial for the thin mice to win because of her superior ability of being able to lift a spoon. With this knowledge Leslie assembled her team with the speed of a lion who just saw a gazelle eating grass in a far off field and it hasn’t eaten for three days because he has been giving all of his food to his cubs. This team was filled with family and friends who were done with being told they were not the acceptable body type for cooking.

Before the thin mice could even fight the fat mice, they had to cross the vast dining room to enter the kitchen. JJ’s Diner has been on the market for some time with the occasional realtor bringing people in to look at the property. The day the journey was about to start was an open house. The mice now had to maneuver around the feet of humans. Many mice lost their lives to the gruesome march and at the end the scene looked like a bunch of small animals had traveled near an elephant that didn’t understand the magnitude of his feet so he paid no attention to where he was stepping.

The thin mice eventually arrived at the doors of the kitchen. They were met by Bobby Newport and his thugs. There was a lengthy verbal confrontation like a barking match between two dogs on opposite sides of a fence each having owners that are screaming for their dogs to be quiet. This ended with an agreement for a cook-off. Tenacious little Leslie and Scrooge-like Bobby would each make a three course meal using mystery ingredients and they would be judged by the cockroaches that also shared the kitchen. In the appetizer round, Hera dumped Scrooge-like Bobby’s pot of soup with a minute left in the round. Bobby had to be disqualified from the round for not producing a dish. Zeus was angry at Hera for interfering in a frivolous pursuit and decided to help the fat mice. During the second round he set tenacious little Leslie’s stove on fire causing her to make an unsatisfactory steak tartar instead of a nice grilled steak. She lost that round to Scrooge-like Bobby but nothing would be decided until after the dessert round. Leslie made a beautiful ice cream and Bobby made a perfectly browned bread pudding so the judges had an extremely hard decision to make. In the end they decided to pick tenacious little Leslie and she was filled with joy like a mother bird who just saw her baby fly for the first time and the baby was able to do all the dips and dives of an experienced flier.

After the triumphant win of the determined thin mice, they decided to share the kitchen with all the mice. Any mouse could be chef if they wanted and it was all thanks to tenacious little Leslie. They made a statue of her out of cobwebs and it was placed on a table in the center of the dining room so all chefs could know who opened the kitchen doors to all mice.

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