th' Boy who Dealt with Mice
--a microwave fable by Taliesin Tyndall
Most all the boys and girls of the orphanage did come that night. Firstly when all were there, Thomjamin told of all he'd seen of mice. Secondly, he told of that he planned to save them. Thirdly...all did laugh at poor Thomjamin. They said that he was mad. That mice did not feel; no less talk and plan as only 'people' do. As his fellows were set to leave, the boy did play his hand and bid them stay. That's when the mouse, whom I hope you remember, sprung from the sullenness.
All, then, were hush.
Now it was its turn to speak. It spoke of Thomjamin's true words. It spoke of its people. And ever more. The masses then were shocked, for they had not known of the Mousy Plight. More then were morely shocked, as the mouse uttered fainting words. He vociferated then on me. On all the evils I had done. This caused some to fall.
I know not how, but for all my wicked ways and vices, the children, until then, had loved me.
They had thought I served them well as headmaster. That they'd 'ov been all the worse without me.
But somehow, by midnigh's kiss, the boy and mouse had turned the throng 'ginst me.
Soon both were cheered on as the way ahead was lined out.
Only through the diligence of the few children could the single headmaster be convinced to spare the many mice. They would simply cease all work. They would cook and eat, but they would not clean thereafter or elsewhere. They would not help me with this or that, and soon the house would fall into disrepair. What's more, the mice would do all they could to hinder me in every way.
Such was the plan.
To such did all swear by blood.
On the mind of all was such when they gayly filed off to bed.
* * *
THREE WEEKS SOON HAD PASSED.
A plan that once had seemed brilliant no longer did.
Some things had to be done or none at all.
But let us not let such time slip us by. Let us rather see how this began.
At first I had ignored their cries, sure of their eminent renouncement.
They did not.
But nor did I relent.
Soon enough I found myself laughing profusely. I mocked them at every turn; but still I did nothing as headmaster to stop them. I let them continue. I let them continue doing all that which amounts to nothing, yet symbolizes much.
Then I didn't.
It had been two weeks. I gave no more of what they loved. My ire then arisen, I gave them no peace.
If they would not clean when they cooked, then I would not give them food.
If they would not make their beds, then I would give them none. I had each, pillow and all, hauled away.
With all they didn't do, I merely helped it along. I knew their destructive tendencies would soon be their downfall. I knew, full & well, that they would give up as the house descended into hell. For these children were as junkies to my ways of doing, and to the order of the house.
But as for what I did with the mice? The first morns in those weeks I awoke to a room in modest disrepair. Each time I turned my head, I found any food left unguarded nibbled. Each time I put on my clothing, I found more holes than what's in the cheese which was all gone.
My shoes disappeared. My gold lay stained with their urine, as did all that they knew would rust or turn to green with their efforts. My garden out back seemed back out to God knows where!
But they too I had ways to control. Just as I had left the orphans addicted to my intoxicating concoction of things that could thus be stolen, so too I had spent years deteriorating their souls.
Everything I could do to make them suffer, such had I been doing. But all the while, till then, I had known that if I'd pushed them too far, they'd have done what they then did: revolt.
Now they had done just that, and so I gave them too no peace.
I took my poisons and doubled their pain.
I made a public display out of the death of each mouse I caught.
I found amongst them those who would be moles, and they I trick into helping me.
I took those moles of mice and made them known, and destroyed all trust in the doing.
Bit by bit I stole their souls.
Then at last they were broken.
I found myself hindered less by them, for they knew to fear me again.
But still, for all this, those little, ungrateful brats and those small, little, fury scum pouches continued.
They went on doing, or not doing, as they saw fit, for some weeks.
Nonetheless, then those three weeks had passed; it was then that the tables turned. Both mice and children I had been wearing down, and it was now that they finally snapped.
Most of the mice had slipped away and hid from my fiery wrath. They knew that soon they would be dead if they continued to move so openly.
Most of the children had quit coming to the assemblies. Most were hungry beyond worth and had given up most hope of reconciliation.
Slowly the last began to crack and fall as the shell of an egg.
They knew all to well, then, how good a life I'd given them.
But the two part yoke did not succumb and join the batter. Mouse and boy both tried as they might to persuade the crowd.
And while the mouse went out to his people, Thomjamin went to his.
“You CAN'T back down now!”
Thomjamin huffed as he spoke to one of the orphans who had helped him most in organizing.
“Yes. Yes I can.”
She turned from him in an empty room.
“We just need to keep it up a short while longer!”
“No. Stop lying to yourself, Thomjamin. We can't win. The headmaster holds all the power in this house. He makes the rules, and he's turned them against us.”
“Only as long as we keep playing the same game as him does he have such power! It is with the mice and us that the power truly is!”
“No!...well, maybe it was, but not anymore. We gave that power to the headmaster. Now it's his, and he's done well with it all the years till you showed up.”
Thomjamin was silent.
“I thought I knew you all better,” he said. “I thought I knew you better after that night with the mouse. You were there too, you saw what the headmaster does to things he doesn't like, and we will be next! You saw how cruel he is when he takes off the mask of charismatic rule. I thought you all knew this after we swore to see this to the end.”
“Well, apparently you were wrong about a lot of things, Thomjamin.”
She turned and walked for the door.
But stopped as she held it open.
Quietly she spoke:
“Besides...who cares if a few mice have to die as long as we get the things we love? At least before you we had food and beds...but the headmaster took both away.”
With that she trailed off.
And Thomjamin began to realize why his plan had failed.
* * *
FOUR WEEKS THEN WERE SLAIN BY MY STUBBORN INCONGRUITY.
By then so many had flaked that there was no hope.
Then the last went and they reveled in the abundance of what I gave them; though it was half as much as before.
Then Thomjamin sat alone in a dark room.
No 'friends' to save him from me.
There'd been a time when they wold have flocked to him. When I would never have gotten away with locking one them up.
But their bellies were just now full, and they were more desperate than ever to maintain the status quo.
It seemed that the boy's little revolution had worked in my favor.
But now I know this turn of events was good for none.
Good for none, that is, but the boy. He saw nothing. Smelled nothing. Heard nothing. Tasted nothing. Yet he felt much.
His isolation cell was a vacuum.
Nothing came in.
Nothing but four.
Nothing but hope.
A new plan.
Three days after this, the mouse at last found his way in.
“Thomjamin?” it squeaked as it groped about for an ear in the dark.
At last he found his perch.
“Mouse?” he said blindly.
“I am here, boy. Though I fear with dread that all hope has vanished as you here in the dark.”
“Nay, may friend.”
It looked over at him.
“I have a plan.”
“If there's hopes, it's with the mice. The orphans are far too weak for the overcoming of fear that seems so necessary for our progress.
“I see now it's with the mice that we might prevail. That if we can but lift them up in soul and spirit, free them from their shackles, they could rise above the stars.”
“Now get me out of here.”
* * *
THAT NIGHT THERE'S A GATH'RING
Of the timid mice.
All do agree.
The way is hard and slow, but the boy persuades them again to his will.
He teaches them their worth, and in time they give to the necessities of their situation.
He rallies their might, till a fervor is reached, and a plan hatched.
Now some must become dead that all might live and be as reborn.
the Boy who Dealt with Mice.