Grandma Mouse

I just finished your book, buddy.  I’ll bring a copy next week. 8 more days. gma


Jim the carpenter had been hammering in the old kitchen all week. He had to take the old cabinets apart to fix them.

A pile of scraps grew and grew. Some of it would be used again. Some was rubbish.


A little mouse scurried across the floor and dashed outside.

She dipped out of sight and quickly slid underneath the porch. “SQUEAK”, she said, speaking to herself.


The old mouse pushed together some dry grasses and a bit of stuffing from a torn patio chair.

She was making a nest for six tiny mouselings. They were not her babies.

They were her grandmice.


Grandma worked the entire afternoon, getting ready for her mouselings.

She moved her collection of recycled household items out of the cabin. She pushed them safely back into the furthermost corner.


Grandma Mouse didn’t know where mommy mouse had gone.  It was a good thing that she still knew how to take care of young mice.

She carried them one by one to the soft, warm nest.  And sang them a little song as she pulled the stuffing up and over them.  Grandma was never sure about the words of songs. “Rockin’ Rollin’ rider, out across the bay.  Train bound for morning town, many miles away.”


Grandma became an artist after her children left home.  She carved figures from wood and had begun several paintings.  She had an interest in clay work, too.

But now her grandmice needed her.

So her art would have to wait.


Grandma pushed a piece of bread into one of her graying cheeks and some fatty meat scraps into the other.

She pulled small portions from her mouth and pushed them into each of the open mouths.

As they awaited their turn, the mouselings squeaked and squealed with delight at the delicious meal.

Then with full tummies, they snuggled down into the nest, rolled up and went to sleep


Grandma Mouse had always lived in the cabin.  Her ancestors had never spoken about any other place.

This would be the family home of her grandmice, too. Or so she thought.

But things changed right about the time the Big Creek Lumber truck pulled up. It arrived to unload Jim’s wood.  Up on the truck bed Grandma saw a big box that read, Montana Slate.


Two well-worn laced leather boots clumped across the wooden porch.

A stack of lumber dropped to the floor. Boom!

And the next thing grandma knew, she was flying through the air and landed in the rosemary!


Grandma Mouse slipped down a bristled branch, gathering some of the lacy lavender blooms and a few of the aromatic needles for her kitchen.

She was okay.

She rubbed her tender backside and hustled back under the porch.


The nest was empty.  Her grandmice were gone.

Grandma called and called. Her voice, crackled with age, grew weary. She squeaked out to them again and again. “Mousies, Mousies!” But they were truly gone. The truck had driven away.

After awhile she stopped waiting for them and went on with her life.


Grandma slept alone in the comfy nest she’d made for the mouselings. It had been a perfect place to raise little mice, she thought sadly. But it was just fine for her, too.

She stretched her furry legs and rubbed her rounded belly with her paws.  She cleaned her face and few remaining whiskers then headed off to get some clay.

She’d found a nice deposit of red clay by the pump.  And now that she had time, she could gather it up and bring it home.


Grandma Mouse scooped up the sticky clay with her claws and rolled it into smooth, round balls.  It would be a struggle to get them back to her home. But well worth it, she thought.

It took several days to guide each sticky ball through sticks, over small hills and out of holes. The gophers got a few freebies.

Back home, she removed the dirt and debris and stored them under a cup to keep them moist.


Grandma mouse was lonely without her family, but she had plenty to keep her busy.

She had a great idea; she’d make her grandmice each a tea cup. And began working the clay.

Tea cups could have handles or not, could be tall, short, round or even square.  But Grandma was a little bit traditional.  Her cups would be round, with handles and glazed in earthen tones.


Grandma hummed a little song as she worked, patting the cups on all sides to keep them well-shaped.

On the outside she looked quite happy, but inside she ached with longing.  Doing something with her hands always helped to cheer her up a little.


When the clay was dry and then fired in the woodstove, she set the cups out to cool.

She carefully strung one at a time on her tail and held it up high to prevent breakage.  The cups, though small, were quite heavy and took a strength she didn’t know she had in her old tail.

She stacked the colorful teacups on the floor in her home. Clink, clink, clink.


She set a pan of water to heat for tea. A favorite tea of all young mice is “Honey Vanilla Chamomile.”

As the water reached a boil, she sang a song.  (Grandma always thought it was okay to change the words in songs). And because she had so much time on her hands, it was a long one.  (Originally called Teddy’s Bears Picnic)


With a deep sigh, feeling a bit disappointed, Grandma turned off the pot.  Her ears twitched at a sound.

It was the rumble of a truck.  It was Big Creek with another delivery. That Montana slate must be popular she thought, another box sat perched on the back of the truck.

Grandma hid as several cans of recycled paint were delivered out front.  Clank, Clank!

In one of the cans was yellow paint.


Grandma had saved a few spots on each of her paintings for some yellow.  Now she could finish them.

And with nothing but time on her paws, she scooped the tip of her tail in yellow paint and returned home.

She painted a moon, some stars and began some flowers… But she heard a faint squeak.


It was a voice, then more voices.  “Grandma, Grandma.”  Yes!  It was her grandmice.  They had come back!

As it turns out, mommy had been frightened by Jim’s hammering and jumped into the big box on the Big Creek truck to seek a better place to raise her children.

But nothing was better than home.  They were hungry and very, very cold.


Come in, said Grandma, with her arms open as wide as they could get. “Have a bite to eat and a cup of warm tea.”

Welcome home, mouselings.

After a snooze, the young ones asked Mommy, Where’s Grandma Mouse?

The mouselings called for her.

But Grandma couldn’t hear them for she was in her studio; measuring, pounding and sawing.  She was building a new bed for herself.

It would have a carved wooden headboard, with stars and a moon and maybe she’d find some gold leaf to make it shiny.

She’d just have to see, she thought, sipping the warm tea.

(I see that you could not read my adapted song- here it is again)

Adapted from “Teddy Bear’s Picnic”

If you go under the porch today
You’re sure of a big surprise
If you go under the porch today
You’d better go in disguise

For ev’ry mouse that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today’s the day the Mousies have their tea time.

Ev’ry Mouse who’s been good
Is sure of a treat today.
There’s lots of marvelous things to eat
And wonderful games to play

Beneath the porch where nobody sees
They’ll hide and seek as long as they please
Cause that’s the way the Mousies have their tea time.

If you go under the porch today
You’d better not go alone
It’s lovely under the porch today
But safer to stay at home

For ev’ry mouse that ever there was
Will gather there for certain, because
Today’s the day the Mousies have their tea time.

Picnic time for Mousie, Dears
The little Mousie, Dears are having a lovely time today
Watch them, catch them unawares
And see them sup tea on their holiday.

See them gaily gad about
They love to play and shout;
They never have any care;

At six o’clock their Mummies and Grandmas,
Will take them home to bed,
Because they’re tired little Mousie, Dears.

For music go to:

One thought on “Grandma Mouse

  1. Your prose is warm, thoughtful and delightful to read–I didn’t stop reading til the end and am wishing for more.

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