“What a miserable rainy day,” Timothy thought as he slowly made his way through the countryside. He has much to worry about! So many things want to eat him. He moves as though he is in a covert operation. "the enemy will strike at any moment! Hawks, Cats, Snakes - good gravy! Must stay alert!"
Timothy decided a couple of days ago to set out on his own to find new friends and experience more of what this world has to offer. He now thinks “I have no idea what I'm going to do."
“Why doesn't the world like me? I mean seriously, I'm cute, little, and have big eyes. What's not to love!?”
Timothy is starting to get homesick. At home all he had known was the love and safety of his family. But out in the world, it turns out, the world really doesn't like mice and getting decent tasting food is really hard.
As Timothy continues his stop and go movements he thinks about the world and how he has been treated "People hate mice! I've been swatted at with a broom, screamed (like super loud screeches while jumping around, it would be funny if it didn't startle me so - the humans are super big compared to me - it's weird they go nuts like that... but then they do like cats... Now that's a love-hate relationship I'll never understand between the humans and cats.
The humans LOVE the cats and the cats could care less if the human is around or not. If a human loved, fed, petted me, and scooped my poop the way they do for their cats I'd be forever grateful.
I have to avoid the barn where the cats hang out, the barn and the field have lots of sneaky snakes. Now, I get why humans scream when they see a snake, but the snakes just smile and stick their tongues out...I'd love to be that brave.”
Timothy has been walking for 2 hours and his stomach is growling. “I've got to find something to eat, I've only eaten 5 times today, at this rate I'll starve!”
At that moment the wind brought a new smell to Timothy's nose. It smelled heavenly, not like the stuff he found in the big metal containers. His stomach growled in agreement with his nose - 'this is a must-have!'
Timothy threw caution to the wind and raised up on his hind legs to sniff the air to figure out where the amazing smell was coming from. And then he and his nose saw it “It's coming from that house. I have to go take a look!”
With great excitement and speed, Timothy hopped onto the gray walkway so he could run faster toward the house. He knew that he was now out in the open where hawks and cats could easily spot him, so he had to be fast. He was running as fast as he could and was thinking fast too! He was looking for shelter and a space big enough for him to escape. “There!' he thought. And as quick as he could, with wet fur and wet feet, he slipped right under the door and came to a screeching halt.
'Bored, bored, bored.. I'm bored.' Liam thinks as he sits looking out the window with his elbows propped and the windowsill and his hands under his chin, watching the rain drizzle down the window.
Liam thought “I don't dare tell mom that I'm bored, if I do she'll send me out to the barn to do some work of some sort (there is always something to do on the farm). So I guess I'll just sit here… or maybe, I could read. Nah, all the books I have are summer reading and they are way more boring than sitting here doing nothing.
I could draw, but what would I draw? I could clean my room...go gravy where did that thought come from!”
Liam started huffing his breath onto the window to create a soft cloud of fog, just to wipe away, and started thinking about what was coming up next week. “This is one of the few times I wish school would just start already…”
Liam turns his head to hear his mom in the kitchen, where he knows she is making broccoli, cheese, and chicken casserole. “It's Monday, mom always makes that casserole on Mondays. It's not bad, not the best thing in the world, but it does smell good. I guess I'm hungry. Maybe I'll go and see if it's ready."
And then, something catches Liam's eye!
“Oh look a mouse! Cool!!!” Liam sits up peering out the window. “How neat is that, he's running almost like he's darting in between the raindrops - that's pretty cool!
I wonder what the world looks like from his perspective...can he actually predict where the raindrops are going to fall? How fast can he run 'cause those little legs are moving!”
Liam watches the little mouse scurry up the walkway with great interest.
“Oh no, he's headed to the house, mom isn't going to like that.”
Liam couldn't believe his eyes “Oh geez, he just slipped through the little space between the door and the door frame! Mom is so going to freak out! Dad was supposed to fix that gap weeks ago, it's on his list to do before winter comes so that he can "seal the house up tight for the winter". I'd always assumed he meant to keep the cold from coming in, I'd never thought of a mouse slipping through something that small! I can't even fit my pointer finger in that space!”
Liam was standing up to peer out the window, but he couldn't see any further without opening the window. He literally just watched the little mouse adventure into the house! He decided he better do something about the mouse before mom and dad do!
“I don't want mom and dad to kill it - that's just mean. First things first, I've got to help it avoid getting killed!” and off he went into the kitchen with one of his empty shoe boxes.
As Timothy skidded to a stop. He realized he is in a new world that he has never seen before, it was so bright and clean. He looked around amazed! The floors are smooth as glass with different shades. The air is crisp, clean, and dry, it's beautiful. There were 4 pieces of material hanging neatly on the wall, and shoes on the floor lined up under the hanging material things. There were too large boxes that had a pile of material laying in front of one. Timothy thought about the pile of material “I bet that's warm and comfortable.” But his stomach grumbled again and he remembered his mission. He went to the nearest wall and walked alongside it following his nose.
As Timothy walked slowly along the edge, he took in what was around him. Unlike what was beyond the door, this place felt comfortable.
There was a thing above him so that he couldn't be spotted by the hawks and protected from the rain. He slowly turns to see his surroundings. 'There are no signs of a cat or snakes or places for them to hide.'
But as he continued to move cautiously along the wall, he slowly started to gain a new worry “This is where the humans must live. They don't like mice. But I like this place, I'll just need to find what I smelled, grab some food, some of that soft-looking material, and find a home. And hopefully a friend.”
Liam ran into the kitchen where his mom was cooking and skidded to a halt startling his mom. It was always funny to him when he scared his mom. Sometimes he'd hide behind doors just to jump out at her with a boo. She'd take it with good nature most of the time. And then it was fun when she did it for him as well.
Smiling Liam said "Sorry mom, didn't mean to scare you...this time. But I can smell the food from my room and realized, I'm starving. Watcha got to eat now?"
Liam was thinking quickly, about food options to entice the mouse but then he saw his favorite snack.
Liam asked, "Did Grandma and Grandpa bring me Reese's Peanut Buttercups?" Liam's grandparents have been buying him these candies since he was 3 and they were his all-time favorite. Liam's mouth started immediately watering.
Liam's mom, regained her composure and asked "Did you eat lunch?"
Liam thought, “why do I have to eat something before I can eat something better? This line of questioning never made sense!" But he knew the right answer...in order to get something great you have to eat something not so great. So he answered, "I had a sandwich earlier."
She nodded that that was good enough. Liam brightened, the goodie was as good as his! But then he remembered the whole reason he came in here...the mouse! Where was he?
Liam grabbed a stool at the kitchen bar, and sat down with a glass of water and the package of Reese's Peanut Buttercups.
Liam is particularly slow and thoughtful about each bite because he is looking for the mouse at the supreme vantage point of the kitchen counter, high-top stool.
As Liam unwraps the second morsel of goodness, he sees the mouse enter the kitchen from the laundry room. The mouse's nose is up in the air with one hand up. He's cute and little.
Then like the mouse could feel Liam's eyes on him, the mouse looks directly at Liam. For a few seconds, their eyes lock. Then Liam sees that the mouse is looking at the Reese's Peanut Butter cup and then to the direction where the casserole is cooling and back to Liam's candy.
Just then Liam's mom says "Don't eat too many of those or you won't be hungry for dinner." Her voice grabs Liam's and the mouse's attention.
She still hasn't spotted the mouse.
Liam has an idea! He asks "Can I get one more pack of these to save for later? If dad sees them they'll be gone and I'd like to keep one for later if that's ok."
Liam's mom learned a long time ago, if you want a snack later, you better squirrel it away now. She says with a smile and a wink "Yep, I know what you mean. Sure, grab 2 for 'hard times'."
Liam smiles and grabs 2 more packages of peanut butter cups and his shoe box. "Thanks, mom!"
Liam slides off the chair and walks as though he is walking toward his bedroom. He pauses at the place where the hallway meets the kitchen and laundry room to see the mouse.
The mouse is still there!
Liam still has the second peanut butter cup that he just unwrapped in his hand. The mouse is staring at him.
Careful to make moves that his mom won't hear and to not startle the mouse, Liam slowly opens the shoe box, carefully, and quietly places the shoe box next to the wall and adds half of the peanut butter cup inside the shoebox.
Then Liam sits down on his knees. He takes a 1/4 of the remaining half and tosses it towards the mouse. The mouse jumps back into the laundry room.
"Oh no did I scare him off!"
Timothy stood at the edge of the glass shiny floor and the wood planks that now lined the floors. He saw a really tall human and then a short human.
This space seemed much scarier than the space with the pile of material. There was so much going on in here.
Timothy thought “I'm afraid to move, what if they see me? Will they scream, will they try to beat me, or throw one of those sharp-looking things at me?”
Timothy stood as still as a statue watching the big one talk to the little one. Timothy thought “They seem friendly to each other. She smiles a lot as my mom did to me. It's nice.”
Timothy saw the smaller human grab a package of something, “I've seen that before, but never with anything inside of it. I wonder what's in it.”
Timothy watches the little human open the package and unwrap something that was inside the package. Then, the smell wafted through the air! It smelled even better than what brought him into this room. Timothy followed his nose with his eyes and froze. “Oh no! He sees me!"
But to his amazement, the small human doesn't scream!
Timothy thinks “Well, that was unexpected. He actually seemed glad to see me.” And with that Timothy smiled for the first time in a long time and his shoulders relaxed.
Then out of the corner of his eye, he spots the small human again! AND HE'S CLOSER!! "How did he get there!!!"
He watches the smaller human carefully place a box on the floor. And there in the box is what smells so good. It's a big piece too, “that will last me all day” Timothy thinks.
Timothy looks towards the bigger human, she's not even looking his way. She seems like she doesn't know that the smaller human is over here.
Timothy shifts to look back at the smaller human just as the smaller human throws something at him. And like a spring had sprung Timothy bounces back on the shiny glass floors, his heart racing.
Timothy considers running back outside, but his stomach growls again and he thinks 'the smaller human doesn't seem mean, he doesn't seem like he wants to hurt me or eat me...so what did he throw at me?”
Timothy decides not to run. He eases towards the peanut butter and chocolate morsel keeping his eyes on the human.
The human doesn't move.
Timothy picks up the little morsel with two hands and nibbles the outside chocolatey part first. Timothy had never tasted anything like this before. His eyes lit up and he stuffed the remaining portion into his mouth and closed his eyes in gratitude for the mouthwatering treat.
Then with gratitude, Timothy looked up at the little human again, and this time the human placed a piece in between where Timothy stood and where the biggest piece was.
Timothy walked slowly forward again, watching the human. The human sat there smiling a nice smile like Timothy's dad would do. He decided, he liked this human and would gladly accept the gift of food from him.
Timothy ate this second piece the same way: starting from the thicker side to work his way to the middle. As he finished the morsel, again he looked up at the human, the human smiled again and pointed at the larger piece. Timothy thought “there is something off here, why put that piece inside the box?” But his mouth watered for the biggest piece and so he walked towards the yummy food.
As he got closer and closer, he realized he was also getting closer to the human, he thought “he doesn't seem mean...ARRRGHHHHH!”.
And that was Timothy's last thought before his world went dark.
Liam couldn't believe it worked! He caught the mouse!
AND his mom didn't hear a thing!!!
“Now,” Liam thought “I have to keep him safe!”
Liam gently picks up the box. He could feel the mouse scurrying about inside the box. As Liam is walking back to his room, he is softly whispering to the mouse "It's ok, I promise you I won't hurt you. I've got a perfect space for you to live, eat and play. It used to be my sister's hamster cage before she went off to college, but now it can be your home."
Liam got back into his room, placed the box on his bed gently placed a book on top so the lid wouldn't come off.
Liam ran to his sister’s room to grab the old hamster cage and the extra cedar chips that had never been discarded.
With his treasures in hand, Liam made quick work of assembling the hamster cage with all of the tubes, the water bottle, and the cedar chips.
Liam thought “ok, now for the transition...mom would go nuts if she knew I touched the mouse without getting some sort of vet check first...so ok, here goes nothing.”
Liam gently lifts the box off the bed, and slowly tilts so the mouse would move to the smaller side of the shoe box. Then Liam gently lowers the box inside the hamster cage and once it is on the bottom, he lifts the lid.
The mouse shoots out of the box and runs right into the plastic wall, bouncing back onto its butt. Liam feels so bad "sorry little buddy, are you ok?" The mouse looks up at him as Liam removes the box from the hamster cage.
Without another word, Liam gets up and runs back into the kitchen.
"Hey mom, can I have some of that cheese left over from the casserole?"
"Sure. You know oddly, I really like eating cheese with Reeses' Peanut Butter cups too! It's getting sweet and savory." Liam's mom says as she hands Liam a small block of cheese.
"Thanks, mom!" and off Liam ran to his room.
When Liam came back to his room, the mouse was hiding under the set of stairs that is inside the hamster cage. Which gave him another idea, “He needs some soft bedding!” Liam ran to his sock drawer, there are a ton of socks that don't have matches! He grabs one and the pair of scissors from his desk. He then sits down in front of the hamster cage.
Liam sees the little guy peeking out. “This is neat, he's curious!"
Liam cuts the sock down one side so that it opens up. He then reaches into the cage to place the sock next to where the mouse is. Then he places the cheese across from the stairs at the furthest point in the hamster cage. Liam thinks “I want him to explore his new home.”
Timothy has been scared more times in his life than he can count, but this is the first time that it has been dark and the world is moving around him. "What is happening!!!"
He's running around in a blind panic hitting every wall. Until just as suddenly as it all started moving, the moving stops.
Just as Timothy started getting a normal heartbeat, the world started moving and tilting and he thought “Where am I going!!! Wherever it is I must run as fast as I can to get away as fast as I can!” As the light cracked through the box Timothy bolted for less than a second and then knocked into an invisible wall.
Timothy was bounced back onto his butt, knocked back by a magic wall! He'd heard about these walls but this is the first time he'd seen one… or not seen one…
He looked around “There is the little human again, he's on the other side of the magical wall. Wait where is he going? Don't leave me here alone!!!”
Timothy watched the small human leave. Then he looked around at the clean, fluffy wood chips beneath his feet, the shiny stairs that lead to a tube, and thought 'I wonder where that goes.' Then he saw beneath the stairs a small opening, ”I need to hide and rest and that looks like a nice spot.”
So he went under the stairs in the shiny soft cage and curled up. Just as he was about to drift off to sleep, the small human came back. Timothy noticed the air smells different again.
Like before, Timothy's nose leads him out to search for the food that caught his attention. He watches as the small human lowers soft material down into the cage and the thing that smells so good at the other end.
Timothy thinks “well, I'm not dead. The small human could've killed me while I was in the dark, but he didn't. Instead, he gave me a shiny, clean box, what looks like soft material and that yummy good thing that smells so nice."
So Timothy ventures out to first grab the soft material. He brings it under the stairs. He spends time, moving the material around to create a soft nest. Once that was done Timothy walks slowly towards the other side of the cage, all the while watching the human.
Once he gets to the cheese, he sits and stares back at the human. He smiles and thanks his new friend.
(one week later)
It's Monday at 9 am. Liam is off to school and hubby is at work. She thinks 'Ahhh, school started. I finally get the place to myself! It's time to do a bit of cleaning.'
Liam's mom was happily going from space to space inside the house, almost like reclaiming the home. She couldn't help but notice the house is so quiet when no one is there.
But then she heard it... there is a noise, like a squeak coming from Liam's room.
Talking to no one in particular, mom says aloud "Did Liam leave something on?".
She walks inside the room to investigate and picks up clothes as she moves through the room following the noise. As she gets to the other side of Liam's bed, there it is.
A mouse running on a hamster wheel.
The mouse stops running and looks right at Liam's mom with one hand up.
Liam's mom grabs the phone and calls her husband to ask "When the heck did Liam get a mouse?!"
Let's Chat About the Story - Ideas for Talking with Kids
It's all about perspective. In art, perspective helps the artist create artwork from a certain view point. In this story, the author (and artist) is telling the story from the mouse's perspective, Liam's perspective and the mom's perspective. What view point did you find the most interesting?
Fun Facts About Mice
- Mice live for 12 - 18 month. EarthKind.com
- Mice eat 15 to 20 times a day. LiveScience.com
- Mice can also run up to 8 mph, which may not seem like much. However, to put things in perspective, that's the speed equivalent of an average sized human being running up to 160 mph.
- Mice can fit through a crack or hole one-fourth of an inch or larger - or about the
- Mice are dichromats meaning they can't see red light; they only see blue and green light, similar to a person with red-green color blindness.
- Of all the foods included on the mouse menu, chocolate is hands-down the favorite, followed closely by peanut butter. Although, like humans, it isn't healthy for them. So if you get a mouse, feed them what would make them healthy and save the treats for treat time.
- Although it is not generally recommended to just get a mouse from the wild, if you do, it is strongly advised that you get them examined by a vet. Wild mice often carry diseases that may be able to be transmitted to humans and other animals.