My leg aches but I don’t move. Beside me Nezume crouches motionless, coiled to spring at Sensei’s next word. Like his spirit totem, the long tailed rat, Nezume radiates nervous energy. Nose twitching, ears wriggling. He’d flick his tail too, if he had one.
The fastest sword in the mountains, Nezume always draws last and slices first. No wonder the Dragon Master wants him back. He doesn’t want Nezume on our team at the games next year.
(Owl Ninja, Ch 6: The Back Road to Toyozawa)