Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Mouseland. Stop voting for cats!

(A fable by Clare Gillis, as retold by Tommy Douglas)

Mouseland was a place where all the little mice lived and played, were born and died. And they lived much the same as you and I do.

They even had a Parliament. And every four years they had an election. Used to walk to the polls. And got a ride for the next four years afterwards too. Just like you and me. And every time on election day all the little mice used to go to the ballot box and they used to elect a government. A government made up of big, fat, black cats.

Now I'm not saying anything against the cats. They were nice fellows. They conducted their government with dignity. They passed good laws - that is, laws that were good for cats. But the laws that were good for cats weren't very good for mice. One of the laws said that mouseholes had to be big enough so a cat could get his paw in. Another law said that mice could only travel at certain speeds - so that a cat could get his breakfast without too much effort.

All the laws were good laws. For cats. But oh, they were hard on mice. And life was getting harder and harder. And when the mice couldn't put up with it any more, they decided something had to be done about it. So they went en masse to the polls. They voted the black cats out. They put in the white cats.

Now the white cats had put up a terrific campaign. They said: "All Mouseland needs is more vision". They said: "The trouble with Mouseland is those round mouseholes we got. If you put us in we'll establish square mouseholes.And they did. And the square mouseholes were twice as big as the round mouseholes, and now the cat could get both his paws in. And life was tougher than ever.

And when they couldn't take any more, they voted the white cats out and put the black ones in again. Then they went back to the white cats. Then to the black cats. They even tried half black cats and half white cats. And they called that coalition. They even got one government made up of cats with spots on them: they were cats who tried to make a noise like a mouse but ate like a cat.

You see, my friends, the trouble wasn't with the colour of the cats. The trouble was that they were cats. And because they were cats, they naturally looked after cats instead of mice.

Presently there came along one little mouse who had an idea. My friends, watch out for the little fellow with an idea. And he said to the other mice, look fellows, why do we keep on electing a government made up of cats? Why don't we elect a government made up of mice? Oh, they said, he's a Bolshevik. Lock him up! So they put him in jail.

But I want to remind you: that you can lock up a mouse or a man but you can't lock up an idea.

3 comments:

El Blogger said...

Tu profile me parece interesante / My english skills are just as great as what I can learn from Seinfeld Chapters.

saludos de otro blog literario, desde Perú

www.365novela.blogspot.com

Nexcor said...

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Luxury travel blog said...

So true. One can never lock up an idea:-) Lovely post!