Friday, 6 July 2007

Mice, and the Lighthouse -Updated...

At the lighthouse, the cat can rest, -the population of mice brave and intelligent enough to build boats out of lashed-together sardine cans and discarded chopsticks is small. Only a few of these mice land here, most go on, toward the west, the setting sun lures them. They dream of cheese, and rumoured cities where houses tower further into the sky than even lighthouses. A land where cheese is plentiful, where a mouse, a humble mouse has made it big, and has two magic kingdoms. O, brave mice, only a torn-out sail, ripped in the gale, might make them seek shelter on the lighthouse rock....

Once there, they search for a fragment of cloth to remake their sail. The perfect prize would be silk lingerie, (not much hope in the lighthouse of that....) -Lingerie of silk, light, strong, perfumed, it is prized above all others by mouse-navigators, who will recount how, long ago (in mouse terms, about five years in human ones), the great Fernando Mus, scavenging in the bedrooms of a grand Scottish mansion, discovered the grail of silken lingerie.

He was the first to hoist a triangular lateen sail, curved, perfectly proportioned.... The great storm of '02 ripped to shreds the sails of the flotilla, but Fernando Mus, brave leader of rodents, sailed to windward, picking up survivors, and later told how he owed his life to the extra strength of a double-stitched gusset.

A year later, he arrived in New York on his third voyage in record time, with an entirely new silken sail of his own devising, the Powder-Blue "C" Cup Spinnaker.
Sadly, it was at the termination of that voyage that he lost his life to a passing cat, and thus, we will never know if the Fishnet Fish-net was a success, nor whether it is true that he was once catapulted from a heaving bosom from which he was attempting to steal the bra.

Fernando's descendants, it is rumoured, are seeking to build a great new vessel.. A Sardine-can catamaran, twin hulled, twin masted.... see the logic of that?

(I so wish I had an illustrator for this.....)

Updated! Stop Press:
Look! An illustration. I'm delighted! This just in from Minx, to whom much thanks, she's pretty much got the scenario.... I envisaged a slightly more diagonal roll to the foredeck, and a slightly slimmer, more wiry crew, but WOW! Who'd have thought it! wish for an illustrator and Bzzzt! An illustrator responds! She says it's only a rough draft, and being short of a mouse, a hamster posed for the artwork. The full colour 6'X8' oil painting is at sketch stage, and I should receive it in three months or so...

Red Dirt Girl.... (-am I allowed to link?) suggests this may all be just a figtree of my fevered imagination, a fragment of fantasy prompted by cough medicine and cheese sandwich interaction.Nothing could be furthermore from the truth. If you, R.D.G., were to come out here; knock on the lighthouse door, I would take you climbing, up to the lantern gallery, and there we could sit, watching a twinkling myriad of tiny silk sails, catching the evening light, scattered across the sunset sea, all heading west. As the great orb settles on the horizon, and the light of those multicoloured sails goes dark, (From passionate mulberry, chocolate, powder blue, dramatic purple, black lace, flesh, to grubby many-times washed white....), a constellation of tiny sardine-oil lights twinkle upward, we would listen, in the darkness, to a thousand mouse voices, raised in a chanty,

" O shenandoah, I love your daughter
Look away, you rollin’ river
It was for her I’d cross the water.
Look away, we’re bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri

For seven long years I courted sally
Look away, you rollin’ river
Seven more years I longed to have her
Look away, we’re bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri "

Fading away, into the warm ocean night......

p.s. Any takers for further illustrations?


  1. Oh, I adore this! Yours? Fab! Absolutely fab!

  2. this is you ????? nahhhh

    you had to have made this up ........

  3. Made it up???
    How dare you suggest that I would do such a thing... This is REAL!
    Yes, Mine Me. My head is full of nonsense like this, just all jumbled up... it comes in short and erratic instalments. A horse swam past here one night. Got out on the rocks for a pee. I asked "Isn't that a bit pointless, it'll all run back in...?"
    The horse replied, lugubriously... "Don't know where you were brought up, but mother always taught me it was bad form to pee in the bath."
    It was almost twenty minutes after he left, that it occurred to me that, Mr Ed excepted, Horses don't usually talk..." And I'd wasted the only opportunity I'd ever had to look a talking horse in the eye and say.."Why the long face?"

  4. a paltry excuse ....... heck, horses swim by me every day just to get out and pee before jumping back into the river ....... and talk??? obviously you've never been to texas ....... horses here talk regularly and with profound pontification ......

    where've you been living all these years? some remote lighthouse???

    the world has changed, mister ..... harumph!

  5. ps.

    i forgot to add: here in Austin, TX - the center of god's own fair country - horses even have their own lobbying group: call themselves The Texas Rangers..... their motto? Don't Fence Me In!

    And it's a good thing you didn't ask the horse why his face was long .... he might've hauled off and kicked you for your bass ackwardness .... EVERYONE can see that they have beautiful small faces with long, proud, aquiline roman noses ....

    you might consider installing one of those pigeon satellites on top of that salty tower of yours ..... they're the ones who carry all the world news ...... might help you catch up ....

    geesh ...

  6. 'Orse-tin' Texas? You're kidding!

  7. hm. i am hearing rumblings within the ECLU about a possible libelous lawsuit ........

    (that would be Equine Civil Liberties Union )

    regarding the defamation of equus character and form ...

    though, i might be able to mediate a settlement - necessitating me to accept that offer you so graciously proposed regarding lighthouse visitations and such. i shall draft up a memo....

  8. The comments are as much fun as the post, but I must point out that the song Shenandoah is practically the Virginia state anthem. The river has the audacity to flow from south to north through the lovely green mountains about 100 miles to the northwest of my Richmond home, placing it too far inland for sea spray or lighthouses, but not of course for magic.

  9. Shenandoah's origins are unclear. Some say it's about escaping slaves, making for free territory across the missouri, out of Virginia, others that it was the story of a trader, who fell in love with the daughter of a chief, Shenandoah.The U.S. Library of Congress can find no definitive origin.
    The song became popular among flat-boat men, carrying cargoes on the rivers.
    Its rhythm made it a natural as a workson, hauling on ropes and capstans. it made its way down the river to the port cities, and was taken up as a hauling chanty by the crews of the square riggers, and in the late 1800s would have been heard around the globe.
    It was heard and remembered in ports throughout the world, i learned it as a schoolkid aged seven or eight...
    The mice
    well since the early days of sardine cans, it's been a favourite.

  10. Well, if the US can set it's national anthem to a British drinking song I do believe we could have swiped the tune and words from Shanandoah from elsewhere. Still a lovely tune though regardless of origions.


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