The hope found in a dead mouse

only free cheese is in the mouse trap

My  father was always filling my tiny mouse brain  with mouse-lore.

He always said the early bird catches the worm but the only free cheese is in the mouse trap.

I thought “Yay. Free cheese.”

The mouse-lore was wisdom down the generations of mice,from fathers to sons.

Even my father was first mouse for one day only.


Mice and the British love to Queue


Over my life, I’ve found my own wisdom and maybe my words will be added to the mouse-lore one day.

When we are together, us mice are very orderly.

Everybody knows that  the 2nd mouse gets the cheese.

Each day we would queue up to get ready for the trap.

Each day we would move a little closer to the front.

I was finally moved up  to  third mouse.

The next trap triggered  meant next day was cheese day for me.

I would move up to be the 2nd mouse.


Up there for thinking,down there for dancing.


Everyone wanted to be the  2nd mouse, then it hit me.

I would only be fed for one day before I got moved up the queue again – to 1st mouse.


Benevolent Mouse


What is better self-respect or loss of respect in other peoples eyes?

I achieved both when I let the fourth mouse take my place – and jump up to second.

All  mice ever think about is getting the cheese.

They queued up in order, each day one of them would die.

Not me.


Mice Hatred


As soon as I made that decision to let the fourth mouse move ahead of me.

The other mice hated me, put me down,disrespected me,

I was the first ever mouse to think for himself.

I could see how it was all set up, for us slowly to die,one by one.

The laying of the trap, the thrill of easy cheese.

Nobody listened to me, as they had no respect for me.

In their eyes I didn’t want the cheese,you see.

They only saw me as foolish.

I was destined to get older, and older while all my fellow mice died,one by one.

All mice are selfish, I found.

That is what is stopping them from learning.

They do line up in order, yet they are only out for themselves. Cheese-blind.

It was hard, I was still the third mouse. Everyone now knows just to walk past me and become the 2nd mouse.

A mighty legacy


I knew I was the first ever thinking mouse.

The only mouse to turn down the cheese.

But how could I pass on my knowledge?

How could I help the other mice after I was gone?

brown wooden mouse trap with cheese bait on top
Photo by Skitterphoto on

The trap

I started to get nasty to win my place back. I attacked the fourth mouse, making sure I would move up from 3rd to 2nd mouse.

Next day, the first mouse moved in as usual. The trap triggered,catching the poor guys head, killing him.

I got in and ,just as I got to the cheese, I lifted up the metal bar and, with my rear legs,

managed to free the dead mouse, kicking and pushing it free from the trap.

As I dragged his body away, the third mouse ran in and got the cheese.

I was the only 2nd mouse never to get any cheese.

1st mouse


The next day,promoted to 1st mouse,  I could see them all waiting in anticipation.

The 2nd mouse especially.

I dragged the body of yesterdays mouse forward and, with some difficulty pushed him towards the trap.

The trap triggered,trapping the poor mouses head for the 2nd day in a row.

For the first time ever, the first mouse got the cheese.


the dead mouse frees the cheese

Mouse time runs down


As I’ve said many times in my life, the only free cheese may be in the trap but the dead mouse frees the cheese.

Perhaps they will add it to the mouse-lore when I’m gone.

It’s my turn to go forward and be the new trap mouse.

You can only re-use a body so many times before it gets a bit icky.

I wonder how long they will remember me?


Tim Willow

I have never spent as long thinking about the order of fictional mice in my life.

Is this the joy of writing? 🙂

Perhaps this is a modern allegory.

There are many cheese-blind among us,ignorant of mouse-lore.

Perhaps it’s just a thing I made up 🙂





19 thoughts on “The hope found in a dead mouse

  1. Thanks for sharing the brilliant proverbs…although it is painful to be reminded on having been the dead mouse several times in my professional life…. Well, I guess, I should change my timing in future.

    Liked by 1 person

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