Being a Mother Goose mouse is not easy. Sometimes we have to wait under the Queen's chair for pussycats to come and frighten one of us:
Other times we have to play Little Tommy Tittlemouse and eat fish:
or be the Six little Mice sitting down to spin:
Why, from time to time one of us even wraps herself up in a pair of fake wings to fill in for the bat in
'cause, Dad says, good bats are hard to find these days.
Thank goodness there are three of us mouselets in the family. Since Dad is named Chicory and Mom is named Flickery, they named my older sister Hickory and my older brother Dickory. When I came along, they couldn't think of another name to rhyme with Chicory and Flickery. None of us ever could. Can You?
So Mom didn't really have a name in mind, and when they asked her what my name should be, she said the first thing that came into her mind there in the animal hospital.
And I became Doc.
Anyway, just think of the schedule we have to keep, the five of us. Dad mostly works the chair for the Queen. We'll get a call that some important pussycat is due to visit the Queen on, say, Tuesday at three in the afternoon, and he'll zip over there and lounge around under her chair, so that when the cat shows up, he can go Squeak! Squeak! and flick his whiskers like he's scared to death and scoot out of sight. Of course he isn't scared at all. Not my Dad!
Hickory is good with the bat wings. She likes hiding under the hat and going Squeak! Squeak!
And Dickory and Mom usually take turns doing the Tommy Tittlemouse fish-eating.
But what is hardest of all for our schedule is that darn old clock. Twice a day, every single day, just before the clock strikes one, one of us—and it seems like it's usually me—has to run up the clock and then back down again. That's not too bad at one in the afternoon, but boy, at one in the morning, when mouselets ought to be in bed and sound asleep, it can be a drag.
A major challenge for us is doing the Three Blind Mice:
We don't mind putting on the little dark glasses and running around after the farmer's wife with white canes in our hands, but it's tough to fake the part where she cuts off our tails. It's safe enough, though. We curl our real tails up out of sight and hang out fake tails made out of old shoestrings.
Which reminds me of our best performance, when we do the Six Little Mice sat down to spin. Since there are only the five of us, Mom stuffs an old brown sock full of cotton, and with Dickery modeling for her, she glues two buttons on it for eyes and sews on one of those cut-off shoestring tails to make mouse number six.
And so there we are. You'll need both hands to count us; we are Mom and Dad and Hickory and Dickory and Doc and...