When Mice Live in Trees

(My first attempt at a Thurber-esque fable)

In a remote corner of the Black Forest, not long ago, a family of field mice was discussing the finer issues of the days’ newspaper headlines, when the youngest, Jonathan, came into the room.

“What’s all the racket about, Pa?” he asked, having heard the debate through the thin walls of their modest, forest floor bungalow.

“Don’t worry Johnny,” he calmed, “It’s just the papers telling us fox tales again.” He turned a glaring eye to Jonathan’s uncle, who sat across the table, gripping the newspaper tight in his hands.

“They’re out there,” Uncle Stu countered, “and there’s nothing we can do to stop them from rushing in on us.”

Pa rolled his eyes and batted his hand through the air in his brother’s direction.

“I’m protecting my family, and you should to!” he continued. “I’ve already moved Darla and the girls up to top of the old Elm tree. We’ll be safe from those nasty foxes there.”

“You’re a field mouse, Stu. You ought to stay near the field,” Pa cautioned, in earnest brotherly fashion.

Stu, still flustered, pushed back. “These are extreme times, brother. We have to take whatever measures we can to be ready.”

Jonathan, now long past interested, returned to the living room to watch Netflix. Stu and Pa finished their coffees, said their farewells, and Stu made the trek back to the old Elm tree.

Later that same night, a couple young owls, returning from a night on the town, stopped over at the old Elm tree for a break and a quick bite to eat.


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