Have you ever met a mouse?
I mean really met a mouse
a mouse that converses
in human tongue.
I did once upon a time.
I found her in the library
peeping out from Lewis Carroll.
“Ssshh” she said. “The children
I turned from ‘The Old Curiosity Shop’
my interest piqued;
knelt and raised a finger to
my lips, to show I understood
and whispered “where are they?
Where are they asleep”
“In there” she said, with tiny paw
pointing to ‘Great Expectations’.
“May I see them, may I see
the little mites?”
She sat upright on her haunches,
her jet bead eyes fixed on
mine, her whiskers twitched
and her tail curled in. “Yes” she said
“Yes you may, I sense your kindness,
but remember, ssshh, we must be quiet.”
I slowly opened the gilded cover;
there nested, in a neat round cup
of chiselled fine paper, four
tiny pink, furless, newborns
breathed the breath of sleep,
in Dickensian words.
I marvelled at her ingenuity,
her intelligence. Compared her
to chimpanzees and the corvids.
She scampered across the page
her feet, light as a feather
not making a sound, snuggled
in with her young.
“Would you please now, close
out the light” she asked of me.
“Of course, and thank you” I said
“Sleep well and thrive. It’s been
a pleasure to meet you;
have you a name?“
“Little Nell” she yawned
and shut her eyes.