Columnists Mark my words

Some lessons come as quiet as a mouse

Father Mark Goldasich is the pastor of Sacred Heart parish in Tonganoxie. He has been editor of the Leaven since 1989.

by Father Mark Goldasich

Guess whose 94th birthday is Nov. 18?

If you said, “Father Mark,” shame on you. Hey, I’m old, but not that old!

The correct answer is Mickey Mouse. Here’s what creator Walt Disney said about him: “I had this mouse in the back of my head . . . because a mouse is sort of a sympathetic character in spite of the fact that everyone’s frightened of a mouse . . . including myself.”

One of my enduring childhood memories is watching “The Mickey Mouse Club” and joining in on that memorable theme song. I loved the line: “Hey there, Hi there, Ho there. You’re as welcome as can be! M-I-C-K-E-Y–M-O-U-S-E!” Being an only child, it was nice belonging to a club.

In honor of Mickey, here’s a story about another mouse:

A mouse looked through a crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. Curiosity turned to shock as he discovered it was a mousetrap.

Scurrying to the farmyard, the mouse announced: “There’s a mousetrap in the house!”

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, “Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it’s of no consequence to me. I can’t be bothered.”

The mouse repeated the warning to the pig, who said, “I’m so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there’s nothing I can do about it. Be assured that you’re in my prayers.”

Finally, the mouse passed the message on to the cow, who replied, “Wow, Mr. Mouse. I’m sorry, but it’s no skin off my nose.”

The dejected mouse returned to the house to face the mousetrap alone.

That very night, a loud snap was heard. The farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she didn’t see it was a poisonous snake whose tail was caught in the mousetrap. The snake bit the woman, causing her a fever.

Because a fever is treated with fresh chicken soup, the farmer took his hatchet to secure the soup’s main ingredient. As his wife’s condition deteriorated, friends came to sit with her. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig. Sadly, the farmer’s wife soon died. So many came to her funeral, that the farmer slaughtered the cow to feed them all.

And the mouse looked on with great sadness from his crack in the wall. (Adapted from a story in Meir Liraz’s “Top 100 Motivational Stories.”)

The moral is: We’re all connected in this adventure called life. We’re all part of the “club” and can’t afford to be indifferent to the problems of others, as Pope Francis so often reminds us. We need to look out for one another . . . for the sake of us all.

Yes, there is indeed a lot we can learn from a mouse.

About the author

Fr. Mark Goldasich

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