Saturday, July 30, 2016

A Mouse Tale

The two mice crept out of the warehouse on a dark night, watching the eastern sky over the harbor.  In a few minutes, the moon would rise.  The larger of the two mice moved a little slower and though you couldn't see it in the dark, his whiskers were decidedly gray.  As they moved down to the piers, the pair of mice moved silently, but once they had reached the water's edge, the larger of the mice finally spoke to his companion.

"We must be very still while we wait; it is dangerous to be out in the open, even though it is still dark.  When the moon rises, we could be seen. "

"Then why are we here, grandfather?", asked the smaller mouse.

"I want you to SEE!  The life of a mouse is hard, but it is bearable as long as you know that you will be rewarded in the next life.  To truly believe, however, you must see for yourself."

"What will I see, grandfather?", asked the younger mouse.  "What is out here?"

The young mouse's grandfather forgot his own warning, and with a loud voice, answered, "We came to see proof of the next life, for there are signs.  Long after a day of hard work and when the moon is full, you can see angels flying--the angels of mice flying in the sky.  It is a message of hope for all mouse-kind!"

The younger mouse said nothing in return, for while he loved his grandfather, he certainly did not believe his wild stories of an afterlife, and of a heaven for mice.  He was here only for the chance to be outside of the warehouse.  The warehouse that before tonight had been his entire world and he would pretend to believe in anything for a chance to finally see life outside of that building.

Now as the moon slowly rose over the harbor, the two mice could make out the bay, see the waves on the water, the dark shapes of a few distant ships tied at piers.  The larger mouse motioned to his grandson to stay still, for now that the moon had begun to light up the harbor, it was too dangerous to even talk.  The younger mouse mouse occasionally looked sympathetically at his grandfather as the older mouse stared intently upward into the cold night sky, straining to see something in the inky blackness.

The younger mouse had just about decided that it was time to get his grandfather back in the warm warehouse where he would be safe--when suddenly his grandfather gave a soft shriek and stiffened.

"Look!", he whispered.  "Look!  There's the angel!"

The younger mouse stared up into the night and was shocked.  There was something in the sky.  It swooped and swirled, soaring up and down in the night sky.  Then suddenly, the moonlight broke through the clouds and clearly illuminated the dark object.  It was an angel, an angel in the shape of a mouse!  And it flew through the sky, gracefully turning and twisting in the air.  Then, the clouds moved, and as the moon disappeared behind them, the angel vanished in the night air.

For several long minutes, the two mice neither moved nor spoke, then the grandfather broke the stillness.

"Now you understand," the Grandfather said to his grandson.  "Now you can believe for yourself--you've seen the sign."

The smaller mouse was too shocked to even answer.  He didn't know what to think, but his whole world had changed in just a few minutes.   His grandfather's stories were true!

As the two mice quietly left the pier and made their way back to the safety of the warehouse, an old wise rat watched them from the top of a dock piling.  He had been watching them the whole evening, enjoying their religious vigil, had seen them watching the angel, and heard every word the pair had said.

"Stupid rodents!", he muttered.  "Only mice can see a bat and start worshiping angels."


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. A little post-modernist for my taste....

    Humans look for meaning in life. We're born to create and tell stories. It's how we cope with all the random violence, loss and tribulation. If we can assign meaning to it, we can survive and thrive. If not, we shrivel and dry up and become literature professors with tenure.

    The old rat, like the arrogant post-modernist, sees no meaning in anything and contents himself with belittling anyone who does try to find some reason to be here.

    I'm a mouse. I find rats to be cynical bastards and unworthy of my notice. Probably why I never read "Catcher in the Rye" or "Slaughterhouse Five" and hated "No Country for Old Men."

    I think the fact that most of us search so desperately for meaning in life points to a design factor built into humans and from there to a designer. This is not a popular idea among university post-modernists, which is why I didn't even try to pursue a Ph.D. in literature. They'd have never let me into the club. It's a club for rats. Mice are excluded from membership.

    Tom King