Mice and Other Things

The rain is coming down in bucketfuls. The school grounds are muddy and the old gum trees outside Miss A’s school stand silent, cold and lonely. The cheerful group of little girls that normally runs around the school yard is missing today. When I open the doors to the child care and let myself in, I find Miss A, Sophie of the current best friend fame, Noelle, Riya and a dozen others huddled around the TV. A bowl of popcorn is passed around and much singing in sync is happening.

Noelle and Riya have their mouth half open. Whether this is because they are waiting for the popcorn bowl to pass their way again or whether this is because the movie has them enraptured, one will never know.

A largish person dressed in a piggy suit is dancing on TV. Clearly, people dressed in piggy suits and warm popcorn are the best antidotes to a stormy evening because the kids are lost in their own world and are fairly oblivious of their surroundings.

I sit down next to the carer Diana, waiting for the movie to finish so that Miss A and I can head off.

“Piggies”, Riya says loudly. Her eyes are still glued to the TV. But one must say what needs to be said. Even when temptations arise.

“Piggies”, Noelle agrees.

“Piggies and Mices” Riya says next, eyes still firmly glued.

“Mices”, Noelle repeats. She doesn’t look at Riya. Or at any of us. The movie is compelling, one gathers.

“Many, many mices!” Riya says for effect.

No one takes notice of said ‘mices’.

For anyone that thought that Riya was dropping random words for effect, ย the misunderstanding is swiftly corrected.

“There is many mices here”, Riya says. At this stage, she leans over and pokes Diana.

Diana absentmindedly offers her more popcorn. Riya however has a message to convey.

“Diana, there is many mices here”, she stresses.

“Not in here, Riya”, Diana starts, “the mice are outside.”

Riya is not convinced. She shoots Noelle an urgent look.

“There is mices in here”, she wails.

Noelle decides to prove that she is nothing if not a worthy friend.

“Many big mices in here”, Noelle reiterates.

A few of the other kids unwillingly pry away their eyes from person-dressed-as-piggy-on-tv and start giving Riya more attention.

Logic will always fail in the face of such burning belief. Diana’s explanations fall on deaf ears. The debate of “mices inside” versus “mices outside” reaches new and emphatic heights.

Never dismiss an idea just because the source is three feet tall and uses plurals in unconventional ways.

“Are you sure?”, Diana finally asks Riya.

Riya nods with much seriousness. Noelle eats a handful of popcorn and does the same.

“Diana doesn’t like mices very much”, Diana tells us.

“In fact Diana doesn’t like mices at all. Diana is now going to get up and make sure the doors are locked. And the windows”.

Riya seems pleased that her whistle-blower services have been accepted.

Diana gets up and checks the windows. The rest of the motley bunch goes back to watching TV. More popcorn is passed around and Riya and Noelle go back to leaving their mouth half open in anticipation.

“Do you really think there are mices? In here?” I ask Diana as I am signing her out. See, how utterly liberating it is to use plurals in new ways, dear reader? Mices. Rolls of the tongue, that word. You will never go back to plain, boring mice again.

Diana is not too sure but she doesn’t want to take any chances.

Riya and Noelle notice Diana bustling around the room looking for the said rodents.

Riya walks up to Diana and hugs her.

“Come and watch Piggy Man, Diana”, she says.

“We better make sure the room is safe, hey?”, Diana asks.

Riya is not too pleased. She has plans of sitting on Diana’s lap for the Piggy Man movie and her plan is fast fading.

“Awww, Diana, they are just mices”, she says. And just like that, she drags Diana back to the TV. If there are mices, so be it. The world is big enough, one understands, for all of us.

There are dangers. And then there the are things we know. These are mostly fewer than the things we don’t know. But these things we do not know – you must understand that most of them are just mices. And mices should never get into the way of piggies or movies. Or anything else for that matter.

At the center of every upheaval lies immense peace. You just need to learn how to ignore the storm.


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Captain Nemo
    Aug 27, 2010 @ 15:24:05

    Nice one, good build up.
    “At the center of every upheaval lies immense peace. You just need to learn how to ignore the storm.” Very true.


  2. Rajavel
    Aug 27, 2010 @ 21:31:22

    ๐Ÿ™‚ Mices indeed. Thought patch adams.


  3. ardra
    Aug 27, 2010 @ 22:48:03

    Just thought of telling you that I’m very much around hopping in to read everyday, though I leave no footprints…am thinking you see- about so many things-about phone calls to mum, about lost love, and about mices too…
    aha! but there was something that I did not think about- about the food stories…:-D


  4. scarlettletters
    Aug 30, 2010 @ 10:18:41

    Captain and Rajavel – thanks. As the mices would say!

    Ardra – always good to see you here. Glad to know you are thinking about food and mices and lost love. They are all very important ๐Ÿ™‚ Hugs to you.



  5. IW
    Aug 30, 2010 @ 13:36:24

    >> You just need to learn how to ignore the storm.

    Reading your posts in middle of a crazie day @ office.. is how I ignore the storm kicked up by users through e-mails n meetings during a typical workday.. ๐Ÿ™‚

    It’s always peaches n sunshine here , in your blog queendom ๐Ÿ™‚


  6. scarlettletters
    Aug 30, 2010 @ 14:24:12

    Peaches and sunshine is a lovely combo. Like one of those lovely food court meals – one rice and three curries. ๐Ÿ˜›

    Glad you are enjoying this mad ride of mices and other things.


  7. Aria
    Oct 26, 2010 @ 03:50:25

    reading all these posts.. I’ve started regretting this ‘growing up’ .. sigh .. missing my childhood.. like never before..


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