Throughout this time, the dreams continued. Those nights, I started out already gnawing the ropes, with a peculiar combination of intensity and care. It was vital that I gnaw through the cords, of course. But my mouse brain somehow knew that the cords must look unweakened for as long as possible. It made sense during the dream; during the day, all I could remember was the intensity of my certainty. That memory was enough.
Did the dreams fuel my preparations, or were my preparations reflected in my dreams? Even now, I am not sure. It seemed that the gnawing went easier on nights where the plan was going well; as the children grew accustomed to me, and my tolerance of their presence, our interactions increased. Again, nothing insinuating, or untoward. But they soon learned that I would not yell at them from the house, or object if they walked across my lawn, and that I had no flower beds or prize bushes to be wary of. When I began preparing my house for Halloween, I knew that the children were taking note. I imagined them whispering to each other, That one will have candy. Do not torment him yet.
Yes, I imagine that I do not have a good idea of how children really talk when there are no adults around. I never have, even when I was a child.