Friday, March 03, 2017

Church Mouse in the Library

When Moses and Asa were little boys I began telling stories of a Church Mouse. One of my goals for this year is to explore putting them in a form accessible to others. This story came about a couple of nights ago in a story telling session with Aravis and Kyrie. 
I'd love to have some feedback.
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Church Mouse in The Library

It was seldom that CM found himself surprised by the presence of a person. Today was not that day. He was in the Library, returning C.S. Lewis' book, The Last Battle, his favorite in the Chronicles of Narnia series. He almost had it inserted back on the shelf when around the corner came Marie Lamb. He wasn't sure how she had come into the church. He hadn't heard the doors open. He did know that Marie, who was slight in stature, could move without much of a sound, but he hadn't heard her come in. While the thought of not hearing her crossed his mind, his eyes perceived that he should get moving. For hurtling through the air, coming his direction, was a book.

Marie had come to the church to put away a stack of books that had been accumulating in the returned book section. She had stopped by the office first to check-in on Pastor Marion, but he was out for the moment. So she made her way through the empty halls quietly. She didn't turn on a light, she knew where all the furniture was, she was as quiet as a mouse. But seeing a real mouse - that was not on Marie's agenda for the day.

Rounding the corner she saw a nose, whiskers, a tail and a book. Marie's instincts were not to run, but to squash the beast. She picked up the first thing her hand came to - Martin Luther's commentary on Romans. While in High School she had great aim with a softball, but she had never thrown a book before. Desperate times called for desperate measures. She didn't even look at the title, she knew it was big enough, hard, and could squash a mouse. 

CM's eyes opened up, his mind calculating his lack of hearing, and then suddenly his legs became like a race car. The book in his hands gave way as he went into survival mode. He raced to one of his internal library tunnels. He had been caught in the library before and could always hide for a while in a tunnel. 

Something had happened in Marie, she was in no mood to avoid a mouse. She wanted to rid the church of the mouse.  She began peeling back books, seeing the tunnels, hunting for CM. 

CM came out in the open. He was on a top shelf with all of John Wesley's Works arrayed behind him. 

Marie took aim, book after book flew like missiles from her hands. Bonhoeffer, Barth, Brunner - never mind that they were pacifist writers of the 1930's - the mouse had to be stopped. 

He darted in, and around, and behind. Finally he was able to make it to the duct work that would lead to his apartment, way up in the attic. Instead of making the climb he turned around to watch. Marie was still on the hunt. 

She cleared shelves of their books looking for the mouse. It was almost as if she was trying to get the last bit of yeast out of the house before Passover. 

After an hour or so the adrenaline stopped. Marie stopped. She looked around and then sat down on the floor. The shelves were empty.

About that time Pastor Marion returned. He had been to the hardware store getting some paint for the kids worship room. He popped his head into the sanctuary and saw something strange. Then he noticed all the books off of the shelves. Sitting on the floor, her hands were in moving back and forth, and her lips were moving but not there was no sound. 

Pastor Marion asked, "Marie are you ok? What happened here?" 
She sat quietly for a moment, then raised her head and looked him in the eye. "A mouse. I saw a mouse and tried to catch it." That was all she could say. 

After 20 minutes Pastor Marion said, "Marie, maybe you need some food." He decided to take her to the Side Tap Trap for a bowl of chili. Marie loved the chili at the Side Tap Trap and Pastor Marion thought it would bring her out of the daze she was in. 

As she settled into a booth CM was telling the story of today's events to his friends, Baptist, Naz Boy, and Episcopacy. They sipped their soda and looked on Marie, who sat below them with a dazed look. Naz Boy asked, "think we should drop in on her now? "

Now way, said CM. I've caused enough trouble for one day. Next thing you know she'll have her bent pointer finger staring us down, and it won't be good. She may be small but she is mighty."  

CM finished his soda and returned to his apartment. 

Pastor Marion worked late that night, putting all the books back on their shelves. He came across the Last Battle, and thought, I think it's time I read this again. 

The End. 

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