Set peacefully in the descent of a rolling mound, which was once certainly a canefield, was this little chattel house. It was painted white in some parts and green in others. Around it were morning glory and bougainvillea, frangipani, hibiscus and at night, lady-in-the night sweetly scented the air, from which would be heard crickets, grasshoppers and the croaking frogs from the pond.
In this house there lived a family. Most of all, there lived an unwelcome mouse – Sylvester was his name.
Randomly, or so thought to be by most, Sylvester would come dashing across the floor. In a split second he would disappear. Soon this behavior became predictable and also puzzling, for moments later he would trace his steps with a certain smile on his face as though someone gave him good news, or had even given him a kiss.
This little mouse had more tricks than a monkey. He may have been smiling at his own cunning in evading all the traps and poison bait set for him. It was felt that he was a vegetarian. It therefore took some scheming to capture Sylvester.
When his movements were monitored very closely, it was observed that he watched only one programme on TV – Junior Talent – which he never watched from the floor.
He would scamper up the window curtain hanging beside the TV and from half way up the edge, he would watch the children perform. Sometimes, stringing from his hind legs, he would clap and applaud with squeaks at a good performance.
One evening he was seen climbing down the curtain – not his usual slide-dance down. He ran across the floor sobbing and as he did, disappeared somewhere in the kitchen. No one could understand it until Cudberts said, “that’s why he is sad, that’s why! They are singing Three Blind Mice”.
He was right, for as soon as they had finished Sylvester appeared again, rubbing his eyes, but squeaking joyfully and once more was quite happy watching TV from his favourite spot.
When his favourite programme was finished, he scampered down, “Squeak, Squeak”, he said and disappeared to wherever it was that brought him his greatest happiness on evenings.
In a corner of Cudbert’s bedroom, there was a bookshelf. It was just possible that Sylvester had some sort of business behind there.
Yes, there he was seen peeping left, then peeping right. Seeing no one in sight, he darted back behind the shelf and appeared once more leading another mouse by the front paw.
From behind a book, the un-stacked a good mouthful of corn curls which the other mouse gleefully ate.
He then kissed his friend, squeaked all over the nose and left again. No doubt that was his girlfriend mouse and she was blind.
That night before he went to bed, Cudberts removed all the mouse traps. He had grown a special understanding, perhaps love for Sylvester.
His mother understood his love for the mouse. “Better safe, than sorry”, she said. She put the mouse traps back in place.