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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Vision (08/03/06)

TITLE: The True Story of the Three Blind Mice
By Jan Ackerson


You’ve heard that despicable children’s song—I know you have. Three blind mice, see how they run…I’m here to set the record straight; there’s not a word of truth in that odious tune. (I suppose you think a mouse once befriended a lion, too. A lion! Lies, I tell you. All lies.)

So—let me start with that first line. Three blind mice… Yes, there were three of us, but we were hardly blind. Granted, Maximilian squints a bit; it runs in his family. But Alexander and I—our eyesight is just fine, thank you very much. No, it’s not lack of sight that got us into trouble, but lack of foresight, of vision. Everything that happened to us was a result of rash action. My mother always used to say “Bartholomew, never go into a hole too small for your whiskers.” But we rushed into our grand scheme without thinking of the consequences.

What can I say? We’re mice. Our brains are the size of a morsel of cheese, a crumb of bread.

Pardon me while I sniff out a snack.

Where was I? Oh yes, our grand scheme. See how they run. Well, naturally we were going to run. We knew the time of day when the cat (that vile creature) was most likely to be taking a long nap. I’ll admit that we forgot another famous mouseish proverb: A cat sleeps with its eyes closed and its ears open. The plan was to run quickly past her on our journey into...The Promised Land.

There were rumors, you see—rumors of pies, of treacle tarts, of chewy bread with enough crustiness to trim an old mouse’s incisors. There were rumors of muffins, of peanuts, of cakes. And did I mention cheese? Oh, there were rumors of veritable mountains of cheese in The Promised Land, so Maximilian and Alexander and I ran toward it…

…but the cat woke up.

With an unholy noise, she bounded after us. Luckily we three scampered in separate directions, confounding the horrid beast. Cats are stupid and distractible; we were fortunate that Tabby lost sight of us when she stopped to lick a paw.

They all ran after the farmer’s wife…I take umbrage at this. Tiny brains or not, no self-respecting mouse would chase a human being. We ran to escape that giant hairball; is it our fault that the only escape route took us into the room where the farmer’s wife was sewing? We regrouped in a shadowy corner, our hearts fluttering madly. There was a certain amount of anxious squeaking on Alexander’s part.

Of course she screamed. Why do humans screech so? She was in no danger from us. She’d be wiser, I think, to scream when Tabby enters the room; I’ve seen the way that the cat unsheathes her horrible claws while gazing malevolently in the woman’s direction.

But I digress. Pardon me—there’s a crumb under the table that I must investigate. If it’s edible, I need to claim it before Alexander spies it. Alexander cannot be trusted.

Back to the farmer’s wife…there we were, Maximilian, Alexander, and I, paralyzed with fear at the woman’s shrieks. Tabby was lurking nearby and we were nowhere close to The Promised Land. And just at that moment, the farmer entered the room to investigate the cause of his wife’s terror.

We were trapped.

She cut off their tails with a carving knife. Again, this is not strictly true. The poor terrified woman flung her scissors at us as we cowered in the corner, and by virtue of an unlucky bounce, they nipped off a bit of Max’s tail. It was a piece no larger than the tip of his nose—but these stories grow with each retelling. Max is fine, save for the injury to his dignity; a mouse’s tail is his pride. “Guard your tail, boy,” my father always said. “Without it, you’re nothing but a hamster.”

Did you ever see such a sight in your life as three blind mice? Of course you didn’t. As I said earlier, it was vision, not sight that we lacked. We still hope one day to achieve The Promised Land, and I’m devising a new scheme to get there. I’ve seen the dog walking freely there and back, and I’ve decided that we should befriend him I think he can be useful to us. After all, we have a common enemy.

I don’t see how this plan can possibly fail.

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This article has been read 2742 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Amy Michelle Wiley 08/10/06
I love it, positively love it! This is hilarious, hehehe.
Jessica Schmit08/10/06
Let me catch my breath from laughing so hard. This is one of the best stories I've read on FW in a long time. I really hope this clenches a first place. So creative. A few of my favorite moments were the lines about the cat eyeing up the farmers wife, the wife nipping Max's tale and not being able to trust Alexander. The whole plot is genious and a definate new favorite of mine.
Caitlynn Lowe08/10/06
Wonderful! A very creative use of the topic, and a pure joy to read. I'm still laughing, even as I write this! ^_^
Marilyn Schnepp 08/11/06
Creative and cute.
Chrissi Dunn08/11/06
This was very funny, and clever! Both adults and kids would love this story.
Jen Davis08/11/06
Such wonderful creativity and great wit! I love that we have such talented writers at FW who sometimes just like to have fun. Extraordinarily well written.
Rita Garcia08/11/06
Creativity at its finest! Thanks for the laugh and by the way, great writing!!
Jan Ross08/12/06
Wonderfully creative! :)
Lynda Lee Schab 08/13/06
Masterful perfection! Oh...and funny too - a winning combination. Loved it!
Allison Egley 08/14/06
Loved it. The end of the piece reminds me of a saying I've herd in different contexts multiple times this week. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend."
Teri Wilson08/14/06
This is absolute perfection!! Definitely a winner.
Shari Armstrong 08/14/06
ROFL - “Guard your tail, boy,” my father always said. “Without it, you’re nothing but a hamster.” ROFL!!

Venice Kichura08/14/06
Now's here a winner for sure! ROFL!
Virginia Gorg08/14/06
Great humor! I love this. :)
Joanne Sher 08/15/06
This was just completely and utterly DELIGHTFUL!!! What a joy! I also loved the line about "just a hamster." What creativity and humor. No wonder you're a master!!!
Beth Muehlhausen08/15/06
Chuckle....I was grinning all the way (good therapy, btw) until I got to, "'Guard your tail, boy,' my father always said. 'Without it, you’re nothing but a hamster.'" Then I lost it - guffaws! Belly aches!

Fun and light, what a refreshing take on what it means to be visionary!! Go mousies...you've got it figured out. :-)

Joanne Malley08/15/06
Jan...how do you do it week after week? Just priceless!
Cheryl Harrison08/15/06
Loved it! Great way to freshen up this timeless story. Keep up the good work.
Lynda Schultz 08/16/06
Love it! This is wonderful writing and I know I'm not supposed to say "creative" since it's considered a death-knell to writers - but it is creative and so, so very good.
Teri Wilson08/17/06
Congratulations Jan!!! This was my favorite story all week. I wish I wrote it...
Trina Courtenay08/17/06
Jan, congrats on placing 2nd! This is such a delightful story and of course I just had to add another one of your stories to my favorites list.
Kenny Blade08/17/06
You should have won just for creating a piece that used the term "treacle tarts"... awesome!

I loved this piece. This was a true priviledge to read... You made me laugh and think at the same time... Once again, Incredible work!
Rita Garcia08/17/06
Jan, my heart is overflowing with thankfulness for you, I am so happy you have won with fantastic story!
Sherry Wendling08/17/06
Heeheehee! Congratulations, Jan! Deeeelightful!
Gary Sims08/17/06
Jan - very creative and a joy to read. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us and congratulations
Karen Treharne08/17/06
Congratulations Jan. It's always a delight to read your stories but this one was especially joyful. It truly made me laugh as you brought the words to life to help me visualize the action. I read part of it in rhyme as I hummed along. No wonder your name continues to appear in the winner circle. May God continue to bless your writing as you honor Him.
Joe Flowers08/17/06
THIS is exactly what I'm talking about! A fantastic message weaved cleverly in a tale as old as...well, cheese! You make the reader think and your writing is flawless. I look forward to reading so much more!
Kristen Hester02/11/08
My daughter and I enjoyed this. Our favorite line: “Guard your tail, boy,” my father always said. “Without it, you’re nothing but a hamster.” Too funny!