With a post called The Mousetrap, you might think a booklover such as I would be leading into a book review or commentary on Agatha Christie’s famous mystery. But this is even better.
I guess this is one of those stories that are told and retold, but I heard it for the first time a couple of weeks ago from Rev. Stanley Long, of South Bay Community Church, in Fremont. It’s thought provoking, and so cute that I smiled all day.
I won’t tell it exactly as Dr. Long did, but here’s the gist of it.
Little Mouse lived in a cozy condo in the wall of Farmer’s house. It was a good life and Little Mouse was well provided for. He didn’t realize Farmer and his wife considered him to be a pest. Until one day he peeked out his tiny mouse hole and saw them open a innocent looking Home Depot bag, and take out a mouse trap! Little Mouse was aghast!
In a panic, he ran out into the farmyard where a chicken was industriously pecking at scratch. “There’s a mousetrap in the house, there’s a mousetrap in the house!” he screamed.
The chicken stepped back apace and shook her head. “Mr. Mouse, I’m sorry for you, but this doesn’t affect my life, so I can’t be bothered by it.” No doubt she was remembering her notorious ancestor, Chicken Little who had caused a similar stir in the barnyard some years back. And all for nothing.
Little Mouse scurried to the pigpen. Wringing his tail he poured out his torrent of fear. “There’s a mousetrap in the house!”
“Sorry Mouse,” the pig shrugged, “but there’s nothing I can do about it.” She callously returned to slurping her slops.
Discouraged, Little Mouse approached the cow in the hope of help or advice. But the cow just stared straight ahead, chewed her cud, and pretended that she didn’t hear.
Is anybody there? Does anybody care? Little Mouse went back to the Farm House feeling very alone.
That night, the very walls of his cozy condo shook when a loud snap reverberated through the house. The farmer’s wife rushed downstairs to see what was caught in the mousetrap.
In the darkness, she didn’t realize that it was not the pesky little mouse, but the trap had caught the tail of a poisonous snake. In the dimness she reached toward the sprung trap, and the very much alive snake bit her! No doubt the snake was feeling particularly venomous over the injury to his tail.
Little Mouse watched as Farmer rushed his wife to the hospital.
And he saw her when she came home a few days later. She still had a fever, but the hospital staff said she would recuperate more quickly at home with a little TLC and Fresh Chicken Soup.
Looking out his hole, Little Mouse watched the Farmer head to the chicken coop with his hatchet.
Little Mouse watched day after day as Farmer’s wife continued to be ill. Friends and neighbors came to sit with her day and night. So many caring people – but Farmer had to feed them.
So he butchered the pig.
In spite of all the tender loving care, and the good chicken soup, Farmer’s wife didn’t get well. She died.
And so many people came to the funeral that Farmer had to have the cow slaughtered to provide enough food for the mourners.
The moral of the story is that we’re all connected. We might think, “It has nothing to do with me,” but we never know how the misfortune of someone else will affect our own lives.
February 10, 2012 at 12:01 pm
Just the other day, Tanner, Sam, and I listened online to Dr. Stanley’s message and story. You retell it well. A very good reminder about how our actions (or inactions) affect others. -Sally