Ollie’s ally was a clowder of cats. In return for the dog allowing them to sleep in the nicest junked cars, the cats helped guard Ollie’s turf. They stopped up all the holes they could find. They welcomed everyone Ollie liked and attacked Ollie’s enemies. They spied for Ollie. They sashayed out into the world and took all the food from all the country around and gave it to Ollie (although they kept back some for themselves—wouldn’t you?). The cats kept Ollie rich, and Ollie kept the cats fat. Everybody inside the junk yard was happy, but everybody outside the junk yard had a very hard time finding enough to eat.
One day, a tiny, hungry little mouse smelled the food on the other side of the fence. He stuck his nose through a hole in the fence the cats had missed. Ollie was upon the mouse in an instant. “Get out or I will eat you up!” Ollie growled. The mouse pulled out his nose and ran home to tell his mother. She told the little mouse’s father. He told all the other mice.
The next day, a hundred mice poured through the hole in the fence. Ollie growled and snapped and pounced. He killed several mice. The cats helped him. But there were so many mice, neither the cats nor Ollie could kill them all. The mice who escaped spread out amongst the rusty cars and settled in. Not even the cats, sneaky as they were, could find all the little mice. There were just too many.
When the cats realized their easy lives were over, many left the junk yard for more hospitable homes. They didn’t want to fight mice all the time; they only wanted to win. The cats that stayed promised the mice they would leave them alone, and the mice said, “See that you keep your promise, or we will chase you out too. And stop bringing all the food in here. That’s stealing.”
When Ollie’s allies were gone, the mice began raiding Ollie’s food dish every night until Ollie was forced to guard his dish or starve. Ollie had to stop patrolling the junk yard. More mice moved in. The first wave of mice fed the new ones and showed them all the paths in the junk yard. And lo and behold, the junk yard stopped belonging only to Ollie. He didn’t control it. He wasn’t the boss.
Ollie retreated to the six feet he could protect and cursed the traitor cats and growled at the mice who passed by him on their appointed rounds, but he dared not leave his dish.
The mice still had to watch Ollie lest he get so angry he chased them again, which he often did. When he chased them, however, the mice sent in a commando squad of their best mice to raid his food dish, and Ollie had to circle back to what the mice had decided was plenty and enough.
Eventually, Ollie learned that he could have as much food as he needed, but he couldn’t have all the food in the whole junk yard. He had to share.
Ollie never changed his mind about chasing the mice out, and they never changed their minds about staying. The mice and the dog distrusted one another forever.
But the junk yard was everybody’s home, and that’s the way it stayed. The end.