Sunday Thinking

Once upon a time, there was a small, insignificant mouse, with beautiful patterns scattered across its fur, and a sharp mind in its head, but small and insignificant nonetheless. The mouse knew its own potential, knew what it could achieve if only the other mice from the kingdoms around it would listen and bend to its will, and so it sat, quietly observing for many years, ruling over its own kingdom, until it found the very right words to say.

Soon, the other mice leaders started paying attention. This mouse was clever, they realised, wise beyond its years, and so full of good ideas that when the mouse made suggestions to them they of course followed suit. They began adopting its mannerisms and quirks, and allowing the mouse the freedom to wander through their own mouse kingdoms, proud to show it around.

The mouse saw opportunity wherever it turned its head, could feel possibilities in the very twitching of its whiskers in the air of these strange new lands. And the mouse, so very clever, whispered new ideas, about colonizing those other mouse kingdoms, allowing his own kingdom to build its own forts within their walls, to establish his kingdom there. And soon, as is probably to be expected, those forts took over, claimed those other mouse kingdoms to be the mouse’s, and its alone. And so it was, for hundreds upon hundreds of years.

The mouse, and its ideas, were clever, but in those hundreds of years, the other mice around it became clever too, and soon, the mouse’s voice was not the only one of reason. And though it had footholds in many places around the world, its importance began to wane.

The mouse wouldn’t believe that though, refused to, still whispered to the wider world about its own self-importance and how without it and its ideas the very world might collapse. It established treaties with other kingdoms then tried to take of it what it wanted, leaving behind only the things it thought were beneath it or to be far too much trouble to implement in its own kingdom.

The day came when those kingdoms who had treaties with the mouse came to recognise the mouse for just how small, and insignificant the mouse really was. And bit by bit, day by day, they retreated from the mouse, although the mouse, full of self-importance, claimed that it was it doing the retreating.

The mouse was a fool, a proud one, incapable of adapting, still telling the stories of old, as though they were still relevant to the world around them. And one by one, the other mouse kingdoms stopped listening, turned their back on the mouse and began to laugh at the mouse both in private and out in public for anyone to hear.

Having ostracised itself, severed all ties, the mouse lashed out and clawed for attention, but it was too late; the world had changed around it, when it was clinging to its once-powerful past.

The mouse became small, and insignificant again, and the world went on without it, occasionally glimpsing in its direction and smiling, telling its children of a once great mouse leader who dreamt big, but without listeners was nothing but a small, insignificant mouse.

And they all lived happily ever after… though what happened to the mouse, no one knows. No one is paying attention to it anymore.

M

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