Downstairs, the pot in the fireplace was boiling rapidly. Olivia immediately got up, changed back into her blue long-sleeved shirt, white collar, forest green bow, blue plaid miniskirt, white socks, black Mary Jane shoes, and red hair-bow and ran downstairs to it. She removed the lid from the pot, stirred it up, and tasted it.
Meanwhile the seven mice were peeking from the top of the banister where Monterey Jack had stuck his head into a hole in it. They sniffed the air, breathed in deeply, sighed, and shouted, "Ahhhhh! Soup! Hurray!" Basil, Red, Dawson, Papa, Bernard, and Snakes, who were not stupid enough to stick their heads through the banister, ran to the table, each one stepping on Monterey Jack's back. They were arguing over the food, each one wanting to be the first. "Wait for me! I'm coming too!" Monterey Jack tried to follow them, but his head was in the banister. "Ugh! I can't--I mean--" After several bumps, his head finally popped through, and he flew backwards into the wall. "Here I come!" Aching from the pain, he ran down the stairs, only to end up tumbling. He got up and quickly ran to the table and into his chair, but his chair fell backwards, and he went rolling out of it. He stood up in his chair and sat down to join the argument. Soon, all seven mice were fighting over bread rolls and knocking Monterey Jack out of his chair again. "Hey!" They were just about to bite into them when Olivia stopped them.
"Ah, ah, ah! Just a minute!" Olivia called to them. The mice stopped fighting and turned their heads to listen.
"Supper's not quite ready yet," said Olivia. "You'll just have time to wash."
"Wash?" Basil, Dawson, Papa, questioned in wonder.
"Ha! I knew there was a catch to it!" Red grumbled, throwing down his spoon and crossing his arms in defiance.
"Why wash?" asked Bernard.
"What for?" asked Dr. Dawson.
"We're not going anywhere, are we?" asked Monterey Jack.
"It's not the New Year." said Basil, as Dr. Dawson, Bernard, Snakes, and Monterey Jack shook their heads.
"Oh, perhaps you have washed." Olivia smiled.
Basil pondered for a moment. "Perhaps we..." Then he remembered what Olivia meant. "Yes, perhaps we have!"
"But when?" asked Olivia, crossly putting her hands on her hips.
Basil kept waffling about when he and the other mice had already washed. "When? When? You said... Ah, last week, month, ye..., why, recently!" he finally said.
"Yes, recently!" said Dr. Dawson, Papa, Bernard, Snakes, and Monterey Jack.
"Oh, really?" said Olivia. "Let me see your hands."
Basil, Dr. Dawson, Papa, Bernard, Snakes, and Monterey Jack placed their hands and hands promptly behind their backs and backed up a bit. But Red crossed his arms defiantly.
"Let me see your hands!" demanded Olivia.
Finally, Basil held out his filthy hands.
"Why, Basil! I'm surprised!" exclaimed a shocked Olivia. Basil giggled bashfully and his hands once again.
Olivia looked at Bernard. "Come on. Let's see them." Bernard held out his hands as well. "Oh, Bernard, my, my, my..." The gray mouse blushed and hid his hands again.
Then she looked at Snakes. "And you?" Snakes held out his hands, and Olivia tsked at the sight.
Dr. Dawson rubbed his hands on his pants and held them out for Olivia to inspect. "Worse than I thought." Olivia said sadly.
Monterey Jack held out his filthy hands. "Oops!" he said, as Olivia laughed, making the sleeves of his jacket droop over his hands.
Finally, Papa held out his hands. Olivia gasped at the sight of his filthy hands. "Oh! How shocking!" Papa quickly hid hands.
"Goodness me! This won't do at all!" said Olivia.
Red looked at his hand and angrily shoved it back down.
"March straight outside and wash or you're not gonna get a bite to eat!" Olivia ordered the mice.
Sadly, the woodland animals, other than Red, looked at Basil, who nodded and led them outside the open door, whose doorknob was remarkably fixed!
Naturally, Monterey Jack was not looking where he was going and walked straight into the wall on the wrong side of the door, which is actually the closet for storing pots and pans. He ran out and around the door to the outside. "Sorry about that!" he called.
"Humph!" said Red, as he glared at the wall again.
"Well, aren't you going to wash?" Olivia asked the chubby mouse.
Red ignored her.
"What's the matter?" asked Olivia, "Rat got your tongue?"
Red only turned to face Olivia and stuck his tongue out at her. Then he stomped outside, only to bump into a wall, making her laugh.
"Awwww, did you hurt yourself?" Olivia asked emphatically.
"Humph!" Red pouted. And with that, he marched straight outside, slamming the door behind him. He sat on a barrel, grabbed a slice of buckwheat cake, and stuck it in his mouth. "Humph! Girls!"
"Courage, boys, courage," Basil told his friends. "Don't be nervous."
Red watched his friends approach an empty horse trough. They peered at the water nervously. Dr. Dawson stuck a finger in the water and swirled it around. "Gosh!" he said, "It's wet!"
Snakes stuck his finger in it, too. He quickly pulled it out, shivering. "Brrrrr!" he complained, "it's cold too!"
"We're not gonna do it, are we?" Bernard asked nervously.
"Well," Basil. "It would please the princess."
"I'll take a chance on her!" Dr. Dawson spoke up.
"Me too!" Papa, Bernard, Snakes, and Monterey Jack said in unison.
"Humph," Red said from on top of the barrel. "Her wiles are beginning to work! But I'm warning you, you give them an inch, they'll walk all over you!"
"Don't listen to that old warthog!" Basil said indignantly. Then he turned to face Dr. Dawson, Papa, Bernard, Snakes and Monterey Jack. "Come one now, boys!"
"How hard can you scrub?" Snakes asked.
"Will our clothes shrink?" Papa asked.
"Do you get in the tub?" Dr. Dawson asked.
"Do you have to wash where it doesn't show?" Bernard asked.
"Now, don't get excited," Basil told them. "Here we go!" Then he began to sing.
Basil: Step up to the tub
Oh! T'ain't no disgrace
Just pull up your sleeves
And pin them in place
Then, scoop up the water
And rub it on your face
Dr. Dawson, Papa, Bernard, Snakes, and Monterey Jack picked up five separate bars of soap and began working up a lather on their hands and faces.
Basil: Pick up the soap
Now, don't try to bluff
Work up a lather
And when you got enough
Get your hands full of water
And you snort
And you snuff
In the meantime, the fly that bothered Papa returned by buzzing around Papa's head. Then it landed on the soap and started scrubbing.
Basil: You douse and souse
You rub and scrub
You sputter and splash
All over the tub
You may be cold and wet
When you're done
But you gotta admit
It's good and clean fun
So splash all you like
T'ain't any trick
As soon as you're through
You'll feel mighty slick
Red: Bunch of old nanny goats
You make me sick
Red then spat at them.
Basil then took a scrubbing floor brush and scrubbed Dr. Dawson's, Papa's, Bernard's, and Snakes' heads. He tried to scrub Monterey Jack's head, but he ducked several times, avoiding the brush. Basil got mad and knocked Monterey Jack into the trough with it.
"Brrr! Brrr! Brrr!" he shouted underwater, kicking his legs frantically, as Basil instead brushed his rear end with the brush.
Meanwhile, Red was still making fun of his friends. "Ha! Next thing you know, she'll be tying your fur up in pink ribbons and smelling you up with that stuff called perfume!" Then he spat out the chewed part of the buckwheat cake.
Meanwhile, the mice went back to washing. While Basil was cleaning Dr. Dawson's, he shook like a dog to dry his fur and clothes and soaked Basil.
Monterey Jack hit himself in the head to get the water out of his ears. Then, he shook his head, only to cause the water to slosh around. Finally, he stuck his finger in his mouth and blew hard, making the water comes shooting out of his ears.
Snakes couldn't see, so, he grabs the first thing he touched to dry his face off with. It happened to be Papa's clothing. Bernard couldn't see either and grabbed Papa's other clothing to dry off his face. This caused Papa to be lifted lift up off the ground. When Snakes and Bernard were done, they dropped the old mouse painfully on the ground.
"A fine bunch of waterlilies you turned out to be!" Red said, still sitting on top of the barrel. Basil glared at him. "I'd like to see anybody make me wash, if I didn't wanna!"
"Hey!" snapped Basil. But then he calmed down a bit, cleared his throat, and motioned his friends to come. Dawson took the glasses from Basil, set them in a small case, and placed it in his jacket pocket. Then he and the mice were all gathered in a football-esque huddle. Basil whispered and pointed to Red, who didn't seem to notice. Dr. Dawson looked up and slightly laughed. Monterey Jack looked up, smiling at Red, but Snakes reached up, grabbed his head, and dragged him back into the huddle.
Whistling, Basil, Dr. Dawson, Papa, Bernard, Monterey Jack, and Snakes made their way to the barrel to surround Red, who noticed that it was late.
"Get him!" Basil cried.
Red tried to run away, but the others quickly grabbed onto his arms and legs. Now he was kicking and screaming while the other mice carried him to the trough, while keeping hold of his arms, waist, and ears. "Hey! Let go of me!" he shouted.
"Get him over to the tub!" cried Basil, "Get him over to the tub!"
"Let me loose, you fools! Let me loose!" shouted Red.
"Get him up on the tub!" Basil continued crying, "Get him up! Hang onto him! Get him up on the tub! The tub, the tub! Don't get excited! Don't get--"
They managed to get him in, and, in the process, Monterey Jack fell off of Snakes and rolled over with Basil. He landed with his arms around a dazed Basil's neck and looked up at him lovingly.
Basil pushed the crazed mouse off of him. "Get the soap!" he commanded, as Monterey Jack nodded at Basil while going to get the soap. But he tripped, got up, and quickly ran past the soap. He stopped, went back, and got it, but it slipped out of his hands ten times.
"Oh! Steady, boys!" Basil said to those who were holding the tortured mouse in the water.
The soap landed on Monterey Jack's head and bounced off. He snuck up on it and pounced on it. That only caused it to slip out of his hands, bounce off of Papa's rear end, and go down Monterey Jack's throat, nearly choking him, but it went straight down. "Did we have to use real soap?" he asked, feeling sick. Luckily, Monterey Jack pretended not to notice the fact that he just swallowed an entire bar of soap and looked around for the missing soap. He couldn't find it of course. He hiccuped, and bubbles came out of his mouth. He kept looking around until he kept hiccuping bubbles again. He pat his stomach and felt the bar of soap. He kept hiccuping bubbles, feeling sicker and sicker.
During all of this, Basil, Dr. Dawson, Papa, Bernard, and Snakes were scrubbing Red's face and laughing. Snakes washed his fur while Papa and Bernard held him down. Dr. Dawson scrubbed his forehead while Basil scrubbed his teeth. Basil began singing again, and the other mice joined in.
Basil: Now scrub good and hard
It can't be denied
But he'll look mighty cute
As soon as he's dried
Basil, Dr. Dawson, Papa, Bernard, and Snakes: Well, it's good for the soul
And it's good for the hide
Monterey Jack was still hiccuping bubbles. He tried holding them in until he hiccuped so hard, sending his skyrocketing in the air. He hiccuped one last time, causing the last bubble to come out of his mouth, followed by his pilot's helmet, and pop, causing the hat to land back on his head. "Whew!" sighed the mouse, "I feel much better already."
By this time, Basil, Dr. Dawson, Papa, Bernard, and Snakes were tying blue ribbons in Red's fur. "Ain't he sweet?" Basil smiled.
Snakes sniffed the mouse. "Smells like a petunia." he said.
Dr. Dawson placed a wreath of flowers on Red's head. "He sure is cute." he said.
"You'll pay dearly for this!" Red snarled.
"Supper!" Olivia called to the mice, banging the spoon against the cauldron.
"Supper!" Basil exclaimed happily.
"Food! Hurray!" Dr. Dawson, Papa, Bernard, Snakes, and Monterey Jack cheered, as they ran back inside, dropping Red into the trough.
"Brrr! Brrr! Brrr!" Red screamed underwater. When he popped his head up out of the water, he sat up and pouted. "Humph!"