The Fuzzle is a small mouse-like rodent with long fluffy fur that can be found throughout Sarvonia. Being a timid creature but of a curious nature it tends to hide in the shadows only emerging when the temptation is too great. Some people, especially small children will catch them and keep them as pets. The Fuzzle’s excitement over anything new and the fact that they fit easily in a small hand is why children delight in finally catching one. Children will bring them little presents such as buttons or just about anything and watch them explore every square grain with their tiny little hands. Fuzzles will do well in captivity if properly cared for and will eat almost anything. Some say that this rodent became known as the "Lint Mouse" as a misunderstanding of the Styrásh term "Lín’melór", meaning "little shadow".
Fuzzles are small rodents that could easily fit in the palm of your hand being
about a half of a palmspan
long and weighing around two
muts. They have large black eyes due to the fact that they prefer the dark.
The ears are very much like a mouse’s but slightly
longer, about one nailsbreath.
They have stiff black whiskers two
nailsbreaths in length. Their
paws are very much like tiny hands having opposable thumbs and they have a short
fluffy tail two nailsbreaths
long that they tend to hold up in the air and
twitch but not quite as flamboyantly as a kuatu does.
Fuzzles are covered in very soft gray fur about two nailsbreaths long with a lighter gray under fuzz and darker top hairs and they feel very much like air when you pet them. Fuzzles always smell like bredden grain. This is not limited only to their fur and breath from their love of eating and rolling in it but the babies and nest will actually have this odour also. Fuzzle teeth are smaller than most rodents, one grain long, due to the fact that they don’t have a tendency to gnaw, and their claws are half that length.They have a delicate but flexible skeleton, the skull being the largest bone in the body.
The only special ability Fuzzles have is opposable thumbs which they use to
twist and turn items so they can examine them thoroughly. They also use their
little hands to pry open seeds and nuts and anything else they wish to get into.
They have good hearing, eye sight and sense of smell but nothing exceptional for
a rodent. They hide very well due to their small size and grey color. Once
caught, a Fuzzle will tame very well after it becomes accustomed to a person but
will still try to flee from anyone new. They can jump almost two
fores and climb most
Being rodents they have the ability to fit through holes that look much too small, one nailsbreaths would not be a problem for them. The older children will carve homes for their Fuzzles with very small holes for doors to watch them squeeze through only to fluff back out once the fur is through.
Territory. Fuzzles can be found near homes, in woods, swamps, mountains or deserts and survive in almost any climate as long as it is not extreme. Fuzzles seem to thrive best in temperate climates near grain fields or forests however they can be found throughout Sarvonia except for the very coldest and hottest regions. Neither an abundance or lack of water appears to be an issue for the little creatures.
Habitat/Behaviour. Fuzzles will dart from shadow to shadow looking for little bits of food and satisfying their curious nature. They will curl up in any dark corner where they feel safe to rest only making a nest when they have young. Their nest will be anywhere from tree hollows to abandoned boroughs to behind a cupboard.
Fuzzles average life span tends to be quite short due to the fact that they are very low on the food chain. Just about anything and everything from cats to birds, snakes and even other rodents will prey upon them. Even the larger animals that rarely bother with such small prey seem quite happy to have a Fuzzle for a snack.
When kept in captivity their lifespan seems to be solely dependent upon the care they receive. Food alone will not keep it alive when kept in a cage. If Fuzzles are not given toys and such on a regular basis to satisfy their curiosity, it is said they will die of boredom. However it is rumoured that a properly cared for Fuzzle can live up to twenty years.
Fuzzles do not live in packs but will be social if they encounter another one of their kind, if only for a short while. They are very timid and not aggressive at any time toward any creature other than small insects. If they are threatened they will try to run and hide. If caught they will merely squeal until they are killed. If a human or other intelligent being catches one it will squeal and try to escape but has never been known to bite.
Fuzzles make a high pitched, almost whistling sound when frightened. When calm, an almost non-stop but very quiet chattering noise. Humans can not hear this chattering unless they have caught one and hold it close to their ear. Unfortunately for the poor fuzzle that is not the case for most of its predators and probably the main reason the animal is kept in check. It will be very skittish in the cage but if kept in the dark will settle down and eventually even let you handle them willingly. However if you let it loose it’s gone and will not return.
Fuzzles are not considered the pest that mice and rats are since they do not set up residence in homes or congregate in large groups and do not seem to spread disease. Their biggest annoyance is their love of bredden grain. Not only will they eat the grain but if they find their way into the flour will roll in it covering themselves like a child in a bubble bath. The easiest way to catch a Fuzzle is to tempt it with bredden grain.
Diet. Fuzzles are foragers eating almost anything they can find which is why they are often found lurking around dwellings. They do not eat meat or eggs and they are not fond of cheese but will eat it if hungry enough and nothing else can be found. The same goes for small insects. They do have a particular fondness for bredden grain.
Mating. Being small animals their gestation period and rearing time is equally 2 weeks generally having 8 to 10 young at a time. New born Fuzzles, or "Fuzzlettes" are 2 grains long and blind. Unlike many small rodents they are covered in soft fuzz. They grow rapidly and at 2 weeks their curiosity usually takes them far enough away from the nest that they just don’t return having the instincts to forage for themselves. After mating the male goes on his way and the young are the sole responsibility of the female. She will not nest until several hours before birth and stays close to the nest for only the two weeks then leaves whether the babies are all gone or not. They will not breed in captivity. The reason for this is as yet unknown, but it is common opinion that they are just too shy.
Usages. Fuzzles have no actual use other than as food for predators and amusing pets. Even the Brownies don’t care to use their pelts due to the fact that they are just too fluffy.
Myth/Lore. Because of their very small size, appearance and tendency to stay in dark out of the way places mothers will ask their children when set to clean, “Did you get all the dustfuzzles?” When children are caught lurking in the shadows eavesdropping or spying they will be told, “Quit being a little Fuzzle.” Assassins will use "Fuzzle" as a derogatory term to imply that the person will get caught. “He’s just a Fuzzle." Another common saying is “As happy as a Fuzzle with a new toy.”