THE MOUSE PRINCE
Copyright John Winter. Read by author at 5 pm on 5/5/55.
 

A little white mouse named Dickery sat sadly in his cage. He was sad, hungry and frightened. Sad and hungry because his little master, Johnny Smith, had forgotten to feed him, and frightened because Thomas the cat vowed to kill him, just as he had killed and eaten poor Silky, his little mouse wife.

Dikery ran round his cage; he really didn’t hope to get out, he’d nothing else to do. As he ran round for the fiftieth time, he saw the door wasn’t quite closed - he pushed it with his little pink nose, and took a hurried glance round the room.

Not a soul was in sight, he ran to some crumbs and hurriedly ate them up. Oh! He was free at last, how often he had dreamed of freedom. Now he wasn’t quite sure what to do next, but as he heard something he rushed to a little hole in the corner. As he slipped into the darkness, he heard a “Niaow” of disgust. Then there was a squeak beside him, and there he saw a fat brown mouse, who said: “O great White Prince welcome”. Dickery was surprised. “Follow me”, said brown mouse. Dickery meekly fell in behind, and down the road they went. The road was really just under the pantry shelf. A tiny brown mouse bowed low as they passed by a notice which read “To The Palace”. Round the next corner Dickery gasped. There sat the entire mouse colony. A large piece of cheese had “Throne” written on it. Brown mouse (who was really the Prime Minister, and Food Controller too) squeaked “O great brown people, here is a noble prince, will you accept him as your king?” There was such a squeaking as was never heard before, and Thomas, who was listening outside, heard the chorus and turned pale under his fur in anger.

Now Dickery, who was trying very hard to look something like the Prince he was supposed to be, and at the same time wishing he could have a good go at the cheese throne, said with dignity and difficulty: “I am only a humble mouse, but I will try and rule over you justly”. The Prime Minister then said: “Bring out the lovely Princess Goldie”. Midst great rejoicing, the Princess and Dickery were married and crowned at one go.

A great feast was set out to celebrate, but long before it was ready the cheese throne has disappeared. Of course, no-one thought of blaming the new king - so he announced with more dignity: “The culprit will be forgiven, and have another throne made at once; I suggest Dutch cheese, as my ancestors came from that country.”

Johnny Smith often wondered what became of his pet. Thomas got severely slapped. He tried to miaow, “I didn’t kill Dickery” - but no-one believed him - after all he would have done so if he’d got the chance.

Although Dickery lived happily with his wife and numerous little princes and princesses, he often dreamed of freedom, because, as you know, kings are not free like you and me.