For Brovicio to be elected to the highest branch in the Parliament of Owls for the third year in a row was quite an honor. Though young, he distinguished his first term by successfully bringing an end to the sanitation worker strike that had plagued the nests for more than a month, then reorganizing the selective service structure to fill the ranks of the Canopy Commandos.
A replete winged services became extremely invaluable during his second term, which was dominated by war with the jackals. Brovicio managed to run a successful austerity campaign at home, transferring surplus nut and bone supplies to the front lines. By the cessation of hostilities, the owls had not only gained exclusive hunting rights to the disputed Eastern Prairie and solidified a tenuous alliance with the eagles, but he also negotiated a tribute system through which the birds would gain a portion of all carrion the jackals came across.
This blew a wind through the leaves of Brovicio’s brain, and he began to plan an ambitious piece of legislation for his third term. The Parliament would take one out of every four mice that its citizens killed or captured, to hold them briefly in storage. From a central fund, they could be distributed to feed the elderly or sick, or trade with the foxes to gain a clawhold on the ground, or fulfill any number of governmental demands.
It was a bold policy, unheard of in the Parliament’s history. Brovicio clucked a congratulations to himself as he waddled through the Parliamentary Tree for the ceremonial taking of oaths. Suddenly a mouse careened from his hiding spot atop a high branch, screaming death to all tyrants, and landed on Brovicio’s head. The rodent raised a needle, but before he could plunge it into the Prime Minister Elect’s skull, the owl leapt into the air, flipping over and catching the creature in his beak.
Brovicio held it there a moment, shaking the would-be assassin till it quivered. Then he crunched its head between his jaws and spit it to the ground below. “Thus to all who oppose me,” he hissed.
“Long live the Prime Minister!” the Parliament hooted. “Long live Brovicio!”