Be it known, this mouse was no fool.
He knew adventure. He knew courage and knew by sailing to new countries and seeing exotic vistas and gully’s, there were great rewards to be had.
He knew about large families who dedicated themselves to each other; living beside large food sources and blessed with never knowing true survival.
But he also knew the peril of both; of boarding ships destined to sink and families who turned on and destroyed one another.
The woman spoke again, “There are one thousand ways to Heaven, little mouse and one way to return to me. Not everything is your choice and not everything is for you to know.”
“Perhaps my only purpose is to have this conversation?” The mouse replied. “These are important questions to ask. No one else remains, to contain or to pass along.”
“It’s not good to always ask why, little mouse. Mice are meant to eat, sleep, and gather warmth and food for the winter.
But a mouse cannot question every twitch in his body or the meaning of every new tooth grown or worn.
Pondering begets pondering, questions only deliver bigger questions and the more of a mystery that is known, the more of the mystery you will never know.”
Before the mouse could speak, the beautiful woman continued: “There is an artist who strolls by a path near here every day. Like you he wonders.
He wants to create and make need for his art in the village. Is it not possible, little mouse, your purpose is to provide for him? The artist laments having no brush to paint.
Like my gold and marble, you can give away your hair. You can strip yourself bare and make him a brush to paint, if you like.
If he paints the Saints on the walls of this decrepit church, the people would return. Your needs would be fulfilled, little mouse.”
The mouse suddenly became excited about such a noble gesture.
“But surely you will die in the coming winter without a coat of hair. More than this, little mouse, you will never know if your plan succeeds.
Perhaps this artist will see the paint brush and the old church and will decide that all hope is lost for this abandoned relic. You will never know. And there is no promise from me or the sky.
Just like mice with big families who will never know if their children will succeed. And like great mice with great ideas who fear they will be forgotten with time.
You can only be a mouse, little mouse. Nothing more.”
The mouse left the beautiful statue and scurried outside. He watched the sun rise above an outcropping of cider trees.
Something felt different; like being awoken from the deepest sleep and finally understanding what should happen.