When I was around say, the age of 10 or 11, my mom asked me, (or my brother and sister) as she often did, to run over to the barn to get some milk out of the dairy. So, off I went with a blue plastic jug in-hand and headed down our short drive-way towards the barn when...
Almost half way, I heard something rustling in the tall grass off to my right, just past the gas tanks. I stopped to check it out and about four feet in, was one of our tabby barn cats pawing at something tentatively on the ground in front of him/her. Cautiously, I stepped into the deep grass to find out what was really going on.
I saw that a tiny, little gray mouse was standing upright on it’s hind legs with his dukes up – swinging back at the cat who was nervously poking back.
I couldn't believe what I was actually seeing and how I was now, a spectator to what seemed an implausible bout.
At one point, I'm sure that I saw the mouse make contact with the cat's nose! I stood there shaking my head in disbelief. I thought I could also hear the mouse chanting, "Put ‘em up! Put ‘em up... Just try it... Just try it!"
Still clutching the milk jug (now-squashed) under my arm, to not disturb the event, I carefully squatted down cross-legged and watched in awe for quite some time – mesmerized with the silent, slow-mo match. I cheered the little gray guy on.
I was astounded as to how persistent both the cat and mouse were. That gutsy mouse was just not going to back down, no matter what, nor the cat – a definite stand-off. And still, no sound from either...
I couldn’t help it… I eventually broke the match up by shooing the tabby away... thinking I was ultimately rescuing the incredibly brave mouse... though, at the same time I also wondered if I was really redeeming the wimpy cat. I also knew I had to get back with the milk.
When I returned with the requested jug, my annoyed mom sighed, asking me why it took me so damn long to get back. I replied, “I don’t know.”
I thought about what I had witnessed that day for quite some time after that and sometimes still do. If I hadn’t broken up the match, who would have eventually won? Maybe there’s more to mice than we really know? Maybe that’s how the idea for the classic Disney cartoon "Mighty Mouse" may have come from?
I think what I really learned from that day is, that it really doesn't matter how big or small you are or how insignificant you might “think” you are – all that matters is how you “feel and know" who you are.
Truly, it was a moment that a tiny little mouse mightily roared – silently… and I got to see it, not hear it!
Written by carol weaver © 2005
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i wish to acknowledge with gratitude that i live, work + play on the traditional and unceded territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation...
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