Samstag, November 28, 2015

The story of the splintered cullets

- a Fairytale not only for Mice and Rats

Keeping my promise: Here it is for my international readers! - 






Before this story starts, I just want to tell you,
not to worry, if I sometimes call the heroine a mousesse.
It is perfectly right, to do so - as a normal mouse.... she isn´t.



"You mustn't do that; you have to stay here", it whispered next to her in the dark of the mouse nest.
"You will perish like all the others; the Two-headed One will get you."
"Nothing has been proven", she whispered back angrily. "Has anyone ever found proof for all these stories? Ah? You see. He's supposed to be two-headed. What if he just has a growth?"
"Oh, regardless, a rat's a rat. Wolf rat... ", the sister next to her spewed audibly in the dark of the den. "Ulcer which... "
"You weren't there - don't know him at all. He was supposed to have been different from other rats", it came back unimpressed.
"Ah, as usual, you're impossible; you defend something we don't know anything about."
"That's exactly why! Because we're not sure of anything! And should all of this be true, unlike you all, I find it absolutely NOT heroic what the mice did there. I find it disgustingly shabby. This story about him - how mean and cruel what happened to him!"
"What? That was a... Heaven and Mouse Goddess, with your way, you will turn off any decent mouseman. Just this talk alone, so enthusiastic about a murderer - the lowest and against his own tribe..."
"Ha, as if, they will still look. Maybe they like me precisely because I can scrutinize."
The mother let out a displeasing sigh - as she did so often when it came to her wild daughter.
"Mathilde... You're completely consumed by this story; where is this going to lead? But no, you're getting even worse! That was an ill-fated liaison which happened there - impossible! To get involved with something like that! Where would we be if such vermin as rats could associate with good mice? They are our mortal enemies! And they are dangerous, cunning, and wicked. Not us... The ears of grain are bending just splendidly this year, don't you think?"
"Yeah, yeah, change the subject again; you really like to do THAT", it came back heatedly. "This being, however, seems to have really been different--and the mice were indeed quite fascinated by its actions at first, weren't they?"
Sounds of displeasure were heard.
But the rebellious mouse didn't give up. "Oh, I already  know; you don't know what you should do with me; yeah,yeah, and I am indeed different. Do stick together... But what do you think - to be so much better? Don't you dream about not being underground the whole time once? To experience something? Just to go out at night for a short time to get some germs and grains; what kind of a limited life is this supposed to be? Wouldn't it be beautiful to also go exploring during the day once?"
"And perish", it came in a choir.
"I'm fast."
"Not fast enough", it whispered from even several mousse snouts.
"I won't perish - I'm strong! What if someone needs me out there?"
"Ha, and that coming from you, the puniest and weakest? Who do you think you are, Mathilde? What can you do?"
"Evolve??"
"Nothing is good enough for her! Let her go - she´ll never fit in with us; she is entirely different from the rest of us, and she can't have babies anyway... ", it came from the background.
"Ahhhhh, at least I know what I need", it answered back in the darkness profoundly hurt.
"And what would that be?" it sneered.

"That which obviously only I can feel... ", it came back meekly.


When Mathilde woke up, she had only slept for a short while. 
The mouse nest layed quiet; however, unrest had seized her. 
Dawn. Now the cat was sneaking around before, fed by man, it ponderously would  lay down to sleep. Wasn't it rustling suspiciously outside?
The closeness of the others who so gladly lived this mouse life in the nest weighed heavily on the mousesse. 
As if she was in the wrong skin. The others, yes... , who banded together so gladly.
"I have to live differently; I was born this way. My heavenly parents have made me this way after all; yup, they have", she whispered without being heard, and at the same time, she felt a little ashamed of her immodesty for which she had always been reproached.
Yes, who was she? But there was something so strong in her, so wild and wonderful; it took away all doubt. Her decision - it was matured. "I have to get away from here, just away from here."
The mousesse cocked her ears. There, a leap, another jump... , and the fat cat had given up and dashed home.
It was time - now it was.
Mathilde's skin seemed to become tighter. Her heart pounded; her pert nose sniffed like it had never sniffed before. With shiny eyes, the young mousesse glanced at the light which now sparsely penetrated the exit as if it wanted to entice her softly. And then she went.
Little step by little step toward the exit and out into the world; she didn't even look around once. It was the call that she had to follow.

The call of the other - who was the same.

Strangely certain her little paws led her farther into the forest. 
It was unknown here; never before had she ventured so far away. However, she knew in which direction the quarters of Luna's mouse clan were located.
"Can't have babies... . They still rub it in! Yes, I won't have a litter, but ha, I can conceive so much beauty... which THEY have no use for", grumbled Mathilde and distracted herself from the great fear that wanted to overcome her. The mousesse knew the forest better than anyone else. She knew already that the old owl was dead. There was no danger from her. However, here now she didn't know her way around. Here, in the deep forest which lead to Devil's Hill.
What if the legend were really true? That everything that the story told actually happened on this hill?
Incoherent and incomplete was the course of events; many things had been conjectured - but alone that a rat and a mouse were to have found each other in a strange love triggered a pleasant tingling in Mathilde.

She had felt such a tingling once before. Back then, when she met a handsome mouseboy who... well... had wooed her extremely tenderly. Mathilde had to chuckle at this brief memory.


"If they knew", she amused secretly. The fear was gone.
And even when Mathilde's little paws hurt from the long walk, and she almost wanted to give up because of exhaustion - there was, she knew, no going back.

The legend - it captivated Mathilde much more than anything she knew. Even the handsome mouseboy couldn't keep up with that.
The story of the "evil two-headed one", which everyone told like a heroic epic of the mice. The "heroic" mouse clans which ganged up to annihilate the beast in order to restore decency and morality.
But Mathilde's heart suffered when she heard this story. And with all of these thoughts, she forgot the time and went on...



The Comte,
that's what everyone called him then because he was overbearing and vain - moreover wicked, a traitor and a murderer.
Hated by his own tribe, he had once engaged in a deadly battle with his tribe. He had betrayed them - with what, no one knew.
In a duel, he had killed the leader of the clan. Here too, no one knew why exactly.
In any case, the Comte was expelled and wounded he dragged himself away. During exactly this escape, he must have met a gorgeous mouse called Luna. This was how his doom took its continuing course.
Luna namely, who was different from usual mice who are rather dumb and not at all creative, was to have been able to create short stage performances. With her talent, she enchanted the mice in her clan as word about it spread everywhere. Obviously, with her beauty and this otherness of imagination- which otherwise was only typical of the intelligent rats - she enchanted the Comte as well.
Just at that moment, when the Comte observed her during her secret rehearsals in the deep forest, a cat burst out of the brush to grab Luna. Still disabled, he saved her with his last strength. This at least was verified.
The rescued one and her clan brought him food to thank him and threw it down for him - full of fear of the big ugly beast which consumed meal worms and the like in a much greater amount than the mice.
Because of shame about his disfiguring injuries and as a warning against enemies, he now put on a coat of black fur. It was the fur of his mortal enemy whom the Comte had killed in a duel, so it was said. In reality, however, it was supposed to have been the fur of a squirrel, which certainly strengthened the effect of a warning here even more.
However, he didn't hurt the mice, and after all, he also kept the enemies away - as quite probably this squirrel. This is how the rat man gained the trust of Luna with whom he had obviously completely fallen in love.
In the following time, the unbelievable was to have happened. The rat man built his beloved a fabulous theater to now really win her love outright. He built it from stone, so the story went, and something like that had naturally never been seen before in the mouse kingdom. Adept, the rat man worked on the building day and night, and it flourished into a magnificent little palace.
The Comte even made up stage performances for Luna. And they were supposed to have been stories that really only rats could conceive.
As well, a stage performance, so the legend went, which was said to have been about a magic mirror with wings. And when the moon shined into the mirror while underneath it logs where glowing like the sun in the fireplace, the wishes of the protagonist were said to have come true. And not only they, but also the moon and the sun had the opportunity, despite their diversity, to be united in the mirror for a short time. In the same way as Luna and the Comte through precisely their art.
But the piece had been lost; the mice themselves kept quiet about it and avoided the subject like an embarrassment - as if they had literally allowed the beast to seduce them then...

But then, when the theatre was finished, and when the first big success of the piece made the rounds, the whole horde of mice moved in on the Comte.
Since the mouse clan didn't want to take this any longer after all - that one of their mortal enemies associated with them and courted their wonderful Luna as well.
That by itself was not the only tragedy which hurt Mathilde so much that it didn't want to heal anymore - no, it was what Luna did then. She... cheered on her clan.
Maybe, she did it because the whole time she was ashamed and feared the revenge and expulsion of her tribe, but maybe also because she had feigned the certain affection to get the theatre. Something that only the strong and resourceful wolf rat could have built. Mice would have never been able to do such a thing.
Fact was that Luna was supposed have been downright happy to be rid of the Comte. A handsome mouse of distinction delighted her with a litter, and she was consensually integrated in the community.
The rat man, however, it was rumored, was to have died in this assault- at least, he didn't defend himself anymore when Luna began to cheer on the horde. As if all his strength had left him in just that moment. Then, the assault and the smashing of the teeth of the one lying on the ground ended suddenly when a peacock on the roof of the theatre sent his cry through the night, and everyone fled in a panic.
  


The story ended as it had to end. Not many plays were performed since then; ultimately, Luna could not hold a candle to the creativity of the wolf rat. She performed less and less often, and little by little, everyone avoided this place as if they had awoken from what they had gotten themselves into there.
Eventually, everyone moved on, deserted this part of the forest, where one had... only too willingly associated with the scandalous.

But the theatre continued to be a disquieting place - it was rumored that the Comte haunted there as a two-headed one as punishment.



During all these thoughts, Mathilde had to sniffle away a tear that ran down her little nose.
"He didn't even defend himself... ohhhh... dirtbags of hypocrites these so-called heroes! They continued until he... And why is he supposed to have gotten two heads as punishment? Rather as a symbol of how much smarter and more creative he was compared to them! Yuck, Luna!"
Mathilde shook her head so vigorously that her ears were flapping. "No, no, this is injustice - no, this wasn't right. And not at all... Oh, Mouse Goddess, such a story... Even though it began so beautifully. A rat and a mouse... Not a so-called love because they wanted to mate nicely to have a litter - but rather  a love against the tide, which was so much greater. At least from his side - and initially probably from hers as well. It was about so much more... In case it's really true. Oh, I have to find out how it really was!"

Mathilde's breath faltered. Now, she had to be very close to Devil's Hill, and suddenly, she felt terribly small.


The mice in the vicinity had named the hill this way since the horrible had happened. Here somewhere, it had happened. 
As if awoken, the mousesse looked around. And then... up. She was there! She already stood squarely at the foot of the hill.
She could hardly bring herself to look at what was written up there.
"Indeed", she breathed to then shout out, forgetting all caution, "IT IS TRUE! It exists!"


With almost flying paws, she hurried up the hill. Oh, she wanted to look at everything closely! Mice don't see so well at a distance, but Mathilde thought to have seen something white, something very little scurry away. 



But it was probably just a little reflection of a sun speckle on the ground. Completely unchallenged, she reached the sidewall of the theatre. A faded, old poster hung torn in the frame, witness of a bygone time... 
The name of the leading actress was still clearly legible and captivated Mathilde´s eye immediately.


"Theater Performance", she deciphered quietly, and her heart beat even faster than it already did behind her ribs. "The Winged Mirror... starring Luna..."


At least this part of the legend was true, the mousesse realized in amazement, and had she still had doubts about it, now not anymore. The "ill-fated activities", which were only talked about in secret behind upheld paws, had actually happened here. However, it seemed odd to Mathilde that precisely there at the corner where the almost magical, famous name was written, the poster seemed as if it were protected. Indeed rather faded, but undamaged.
"Of all things, had he then left this, her name, undisturbed; had he come back? Or his ghost, which is said to be haunting here in these walls? I don't understand that."

Mathilde's curiosity won. Carefully, she went around the corner to the front of the building. More excited than now, she couldn't be anyhow. And now she couldn't wait anymore!


There it was. Here. The entrance to dreams. The stage opened wide in front of Mathilde.

"Here then it lifted; the last curtain... to never fall again - as exactly here, the gruesome happened", she whispered deeply moved.


The little mousesse took a deep breath. "Oh, but the Mouse Goddess shall swallow me, if this isn't the most beautiful thing I have ever see..."
She couldn't continue.
Mathilde took a huge, reflexive leap in the air and came down hard. She almost fell down the hill backwards, so great was her horror. On the roof of the theatre, she perceived the silhouette of a peacock!
"Mouse eater", it hissed out of her as if someone let out the air in her. Escape was now unthinkable. It looked straight down at her! 



Mathilde couldn't move anymore, and even assertions that she, Mathilde, was not one of the mice who once bit the Comte to death, got stuck in her throat.

However, oh, the great horror fizzled out. Its originator turned out to be harmless as soon as in the next moment. It was a statue!


And a real peacock, well, would have been much bigger, the mousesse scolded herself. She would probably have smelled it immediately despite everything!
To some extend, her blood flowed through her whole, little body again, and, oblivious of all around her, she finally looked at the impressive building which stood threatening there in front of her in the light of the setting sun.
The little mousesse cried. On the one hand out of relief, not having ended as a peacock´s food, on the other because of exhaustion. Most of all she cried because the legend had indeed actually happened.
As Mathilde stood and cried for the Comte, who was not of her kind but so unimaginably similar to her, the grandiose, white peacock made of stone seemed to bend down to her a little. And in this moment, something fell from the side of the roof.
The mousesse ducked instinctively; then once more, her curiosity won. She could have sworn pieces of the statue fell out from its side. However, when Mathilde checked, small soft, white feathers layed on the ground. 


Utterly enchanted, she took them into safekeeping.
"I will stay here", she whispered.
And in the light of the setting sun, she gathered material for a mouse nest.


"Somehow we are probably both molting, ghost or not... if you're even still here. I will get to the bottom of all of this."
 
The curtain falls to rise again - here the story continues





Mathilde had been living in the theatre for a few days now.
In some moments she thought that she sensed the presence of a being, but this alone did not drive away the mousesse. It was too beautiful here after all!
The ghost seemed to tolerate her, and food was available in abundance. It was quite different here compared to around the mouse nest from where she came. There, where everything had already been gnawed off in the close vicinity, especially down at the bottom, and a mouse had to scurry very far or even climb up to get enough to eat. Always in danger.
Oh no, it was so much better here even when Mathilde felt increasingly lonely. But had she not already always been lonely among the others? And she asked herself whether that had not been much worse.
Yes, the little mousesse liked the building as a dwelling quite enormously well, especially since nothing and no one, except for her, dared to even come close. The birds high up in the trees were certainly unimpressed by this - she had to be careful, of course, even though crows, buzzards, or other dangers for mice were not detected. Moreover, there was no owl here either.
Was everyone afraid of the ghost?


But there was also something disquieting.

Evidence of what must have happened here, was a chandelier made of crystal which surely once plunged the occurrences on the stage in candlelight. But maybe, it had just simply reflected the light in the fireplace - and surely, the horror which had taken place here.

It had been smashed. Its chains hung down partly in a loose structure. Only brute force could have broken the wiring - had mice been able to do this? Probably not, decided Mathilde.








Had it not been the unbridled fury of the betrayed rat instead? Was the Comte still alive and had come back to do this? His dream in splintershards branded as exorbitance and  indecency...




Somehow Mathilde knew deep down inside that it would have been a lack of respect to simply make the chandelier whole again as if nothing had happened, as if  no pain had been caused, no disruption in the fate of the rat. Irrespective of that, however, Mathilde liked the glass object much better that way in any case, than had it stayed whole .
























As well, she did not wipe away the strong, wondrous spiderwebs in the corner, which made the morning dew sparkle so magically. Rather, on impulse, she hung the shards as a further blaze of light in precisely this gossamer and was highly content with the result. Now, it looked as if the morning dew had solidified - and it sparkled the whole day long.


Moreover, now a mouse did not cut its little paws on the splintershards anymore.

Yes, it was Mathilde as if she had made amends for something.



However, in doing so, she noticed something strange. According to the rumors, a big arachnid was to have taken possession of the old masonry. For this reason, Mathilde had also built her mouse nest above a  big hole in the floorboards of the stage...



... just in case this were to be true. For when she slept, she really did not want to be crawled on by such a creature, which could not come up in this way. To jump down into the hole, however,... ; no, there, even her curiosity failed.
But these spiderwebs, so  Mathilde realized then, had not been made by spiders at all!
In fact, they were artfully shredded, coarser fabric; even white hairs of fur had been used. Therefore, someone wanted the stories to be believed. 
Someone who wanted to keep away dumb mice. A theater trick...  a jugglery.







Fueled by this discovery, Mathilde subsequently inspected everything more precisely - and was flabbergasted.
In the daylight, the building had turned out to be a successful construction of cross-ribbed arches, and at first, Mathilde simply could not avert her eyes from the magnificent patina which time had magically put on the walls.
But now, the mousesse understood that the very morbid building was not at all dilapidated as it had initially appeared to be!
Instead, even though fleeting mouse time had taken its toll, however,... ; it had been repaired.
So that this was not apparent, the measures were masked by a special application of color and plaster so that, from a few steps farther away, it looked like the building was completely ramshackle and left to decay.


Earth tones had probably been used - maybe even from the clay pit close by that Mathilde had discovered.


"Ha, I might indeed be just a little mouse", Mathilde babbled to herself pensively, "however, I definitely have eyes in my head. The others may have been fooled, but..."
Unconsciously, she tied the white feathers from the day before into her fur like a dress and pushed away the thought of how impossible "the others" would have found this. But all of a sudden, the mousesse became very nervous.
Her heart was beating too strongly, and Mathilde had the feeling that she was getting severely frightened:
"Ohhh! I understand! A ghost doesn't do anything like that - even when the camouflage had succeeded so well, and it wasn't expected that anyone would come this close after all that. I seeee! And a mouse can't actually even figure out such a thought. Not on its own. But I can at least think about."
Mathilde nodded vehemently; then, she covered her snout with her paw as if awakened. After all, rats had unbelievably good ears!
And while she was looking around, half  hopefully and half fearfully, a little afraid of her own courage, she whispered, "You DID come back! Are... you still here?"

Hoping that her exclaimed "discovery" of the deception would not be heard by invisible ears, the little mouse purposefully began to form a little clump of clay which she had procured from the aforementioned little clay pit.

It became a heart with wings.


She was hanging it as a gift on the wondrous winged mirror when she thought she was watched. However, when she looked around... no one was to be seen.
Oh, and at the same time, she wished with all her heart that she could encounter the Comte faced-to-face - in order to, at least, right a little wrong. But of course, she was also afraid of it. Because what if the wonderful mirror was actually magical? Her wish would come true?


However, as soon as the mousesse had climbed down from the fireplace, white feathers blew in from the outside.
"This is happening again... Like a reward", marveled the mouse and tied the feathers to herself with the others which already seemed to be connected to her fur. Now, she already had a complete dress of feathers!
"Gee! I'm getting feathers", she rejoiced. "Well, I will need them here."
Smiling to herself about the thought of whether she would get wings as well, she snuggled down blissfully in her mouse nest.

She did not dare to handle the tassels for the pulling and gathering of the heavy stage curtains - now, it was still warm anyway; it was not necessary.


Not yet. However, winter would come...

Still exhausted from the long journey of the day before, Mathilde fell into a deep sleep.
It transcended into a dream in which she could fly and had white feathers. But, ...
"Geeet lost, mouseeeeee", it penetrated her dream. "Go back to your clan where you belong; otherwise, I will sink my teeth into you just like I did with all the others."




The mousesse awoke full of panic. In addition, she thought to have seen something small, white scurry away; however, nothing was to be seen in the dark anymore or  rather to be smelled!

Mathilde's breath went intermittently. Had she really just dreamed? She still had the whisper in her ear so clearly.
"Wwwa... Was this you?" she asked into the silence of the theatre.

In case she had not dreamed the mean words, that Mathilde knew, then it counted now. She gathered all her strength. "I-I-I know, I am disturbing you and am... so grateful to you, that I am allowed to be here, that you tolerate me, after all that has happened... here... the betrayal... However, I ask you, show yourself! Only mice should live like that -aaa-and just the d-dumb ones. I mean ... in case you ... in the soil. I'm also not going to bother you - that I swear. You, however, are a proud rat which had been given a raw deal; don't hole up. I, I'm not special, but I'm different.
And I don't have a clan anymore because I... went away from them. Because I came... to y-you... E-even if you have tt-two heads. But a ghost - you are... not."

The silence following her words seemed to grow and became enormous.
Nothing. Not a sound.


Mathilde waited, trembling all over her whole little body, and soon she was delighted, almost disappointed, that no two-headed one appeared. It turned up to have been a dream after all? No one seemed to be here. Except for her.
Since sleep was out of the question now, Mathilde finally left at dawn to find food. Having returned, she was breathless with fear once again. She found her nest destroyed.
After all, the warning had not been a dream.

"Oh dear... what am I to do??!" Mathilde exclaimed. "And the warm days are over, and the nights will be bitterly cold!!! Holy mouse snout!"
But then, she became angry.
"Pah, but I WON'T go back - I would suffocate!! You of all creatures should understand! Ha? Do you hear me?! You of all creatures! No, then I would rather freeze to death!"
And the mouse, she became angrier still - a trait she had despite her delicate appearance - and she could never hold back:
"COWARD, that you are, come out!!! Go ahead!!! Tell me to my face! Tell me that you will betray the important! The truth about the otherness which you embody because you dare! And a friendship which I wanted to offer you! Even as a ghost, which you are not! With all your tricks, hahaaaa!"


Then, she hurtled off. But she did not do so out of fear even though she was trembling at the knees like the last crab apples on a branch in the autumn wind.
No, rather was she looking for beautiful berries and laid them next to the hole in the floor of the theater.
Unfortunately, she did not find a worm, which she would have found appropriate.



But her just so great courage disappeared with the silence which enveloped her once more.
She had to leave the theatre.
Mathilde shivered. No cricket was chirping anymore. Fall was coming...


In the evening, the mousesse finally built her nest in front of the wide stone stairs of the theatre when the night was already sneaking up heavily and viciously. It would do this earlier and earlier now.

Mathilde was, from nest on, a little "frostbite" - she suffered terribly from the cold. And now, she suffered from being openly visible and not lying in the shelter of the large, high room of the theater anymore. But exactly that, so she hoped, would provoke the rat to act - if the Comte was that for which she took him to be. Again, however, she felt strangely watched...


But there, after some time, Mathilde sensed something!
This time, there was no doubt - not even the slightest. There really was something present; she now did not imagine that anymore!
Almost silently, something was approaching--or... someone.
Mathilde's blood froze in her veins. This was something big. Very big...

Trembling, she peeked through a hole in the mouse nest... and wished she had not done so!
Suppressing an outcry, she tried to recover her breath somewhat.
There, out of the floor of the theatre, something climbed up through the large hole!
And this, which so impressively tall and mighty apparently emerged from the ground, had... two heads!!!


Panic erupted in Mathilde, but it was too late. The two-headed one had landed directly in front of her nest with a powerful leap - she was trapped.
Now, all courage had gone-too horrible was this sight.

A growl... but then a quiet laugh. "The flea in my pelt, ah? So you're not running back to your clan? Wellllll? Ahhh, come out, I heard your words well - I'll let you go."
"Nnnno, I-I-I wouldn't th-think of it!" the mouse squeaked  there quite pitifully, but still - her anger returned and helped her. "And in the middle of the night? B-but principally, so I'll become like them? Then, you arrre indeed... cruu-el..."
The two-headed one just stood there for a long time. He seemed to be stunned. Finally, there was a snort.
"Then, at least come in; it's much too cold here for a mouse. But kindly refrain building your nest over my exit again; otherwise, I will destroy it again."
"Oh, that's why you destro...Pah, as if you hadn't arranged for a second exit! How dumb do you think I am?", came from the nest even more courageously now.
"Mice", it grumbled, but there was a certain appreciation in his voice. "Why do I keep falling for you again and again?"
"Because there are exceptions", a little voice, which Mathilde could not pin down, piped up slightly hurt. "Just like you are one of them of your clan of rats, n'est-ce pas???"
"That's right, and I was the one who was supposed to fall for it, right?", it occurred to Mathilde. "With all of the patina that you had simulated. And the spiderwebs which aren't any."
"Oho, well, well. Now, it helped with all the others. Hope yet again? You can indeed think, mouse. But I have already realized this anyway when you strange being did this with the splintershards."
"Your splintershards..."
"Exactly, mine - and if you had wanted to repair the chandelier like many others did, I would have bitten off your head", the Comte grumbled. "Then, I would have three...
And now: Come out, you mouse!"


The curtain falls to rise again - here the story continues


Come out, you mouse!



When Mathilde crawled out of her mouse nest in her feather dress, the Comte stared at her out of the twilight - his eyes sparkled as if he liked what he saw. "Feathers..."


He was an imposing appearance, who was at once impressive - a black frock-coat made of squirrel fur strengthened this impression even more.



The mousesse, however, she had to laugh. Her fear had shattered even though something in the back of her head wanted to warn her that in a feather dress, she would possibly be an especially appealing prey.
But it was strange - all the tension had now dropped away from her. Since initially, a further shudder of fear had gone through her little limbs; while she was crawling out, one of the two heads of the Comte fell down - now, Mathilde realized what the second head had been in reality.
It was a little white Etruscan mouse which had been sitting on the shoulder of the big one.

The Comte therefore definitively only had one head, and this head, well, Mathilde liked enormously.
"Yessssss, the two-headed one, haaa?" the rat man huffed in the dark twilight of the night. Then, he let out an amused sound. "The little one here - he has been spying on you since you came scampering here. There's nothing going on here otherwise. He was beside himself. Especially, when you put so many delicious things next to the hole in the floor. He's getting quite chubby. And he also tied feathers to himself; would you believe that?"

Mathilde had turned red - however, under her mouse fur, this could not be seen. With her supposed gift for the Comte, she had obviously fed an Etruscan mouse!



The mousesse nodded. "I saw him scampering... Does he live here too?"
The wolf rat nodded and grimaced. "Back then, they wanted to eat him - even then I paid my blood toll for you mice",he snapped at Mathilde unexpectedly.
"W-what do you mean?", she replied, but stumbled backwards a bit with fear. By a mouse hair, she would almost have fallen backwards into her nest, which would have annoyed her greatly.
"They tortured me horribly", it came indignantly from the little Etruscan mouse.

"My tribe... Again and again", snarled the Comte. "They made fun of his suffering instead of just eating him. They had become so... oh, unbearable for me. They did that again and again! It became worse and worse - they enjoyed torturing. They used their sharp minds which let us be so outstanding for SOMETHING LIKE THAT! There were to be only rats, they decided.
All the food only for us even though there was enough there for all! Ah, then it would have been better
they had stayed DUMB!"
The Comte breathed heavily. "I wanted to change something about our existence - but no one listened. NO one! No, they wanted to have their "fun", grab anything possible for themselves, and exterminate everything else! Scorn against nature. And so I tried to end it. When they attacked me, I killed the leader - that's why I was banished, forever expelled from the world of the rats. So much about the two-headed one."
Mathilde swallowed hard. "You can be proud... ", she whispered with concern.
The Comte nodded slowly. "Come... into the warmth of the walls", he said quietly. "I will close the hatches and the front wall."
"They can be closed?" Mathilde asked with amazement.


Then, she looked doubtingly at the Etruscan mouse.
He grinned. "He won't eat you, Mathilde - he hasn't eaten me in all this time."
The big one snorted disdainfully. "Because there is nothingggggggg on you, Rousseau!"

"You don't scare me, my dear!", it came back friendly from the pipsqueak who had quickly crawled up the theater curtains onto the Comte's shoulder - it seemed to be his favorite place.


A grumpy growl answered him while they entered the high room of the theater which now lay almost in the dark.
Mathilde did not know what to feel; she was still too confused. She was endlessly relieved to find her most fervent hope fulfilled - and yet, she was afraid that she was now trapped. The darkness worried her greatly.
This rat was big, downright huge, so much faster and stronger than her. The Comte had defeated a squirrel... And mice like her had turned against him!


A little fire lit up and started glowing the fireplace, and the mousesse was flabbergasted. The embers were reflected in the rat's eyes. "Mathilde, ah?"


"YES, Sir."
"Sir... did you hear that, my little friend and philosopher? scoffed the Comte. "And a little heart with wings on the mirror, can you believe that? Romantic nonsense... We have to guard against that... Mademoiselle, I'm not a Comte - I'm an ordinary rat. I'm not a Sir."
"I prefer that too", established the mousesse.


"Ah. So. You prefer that...", it grumbled back, and a previously concealed rope winch was operated.









The theatre closed before Mathilde's marveling eyes.



The wolf rat stood quite close now; Mathilde could smell him. The Comte smelled extremely appealing, which was somewhat surprising to her after all.

"From now on, call me by my name", it came in a dark voice. "My name is Rufus - and... never tell anyone even a single word about all that here..."

"THAT You don't have to tell ME", the mousesse bristled.
Rufus raised his eyebrows. "So you want to stay here."
"Yes", the answer came back unintentionally sheepishly, and at the same time, Mathilde was annoyed at her pitiful squeak. "I would like that very much. Here is such a special place - this place which stands for so much. You have opened a door to another world - you see it with different eyes, and you have given all your strength for it. That... is what I want too... So much..."

"Ah. I see. And would you then also like to play theater here?", it came softly, but his eyes betrayed Rufus. There was an ominous glow in them. The Etruscan mouse gasped for air and disappeared quickly into the hole. The silence in the room was tangible.
"No", Mathilde replied with a now finally firmer voice. "I don't want that. Because I'm not one who puts on an act. You see, I'm real."
"And mingy", it came back softly - and this time it had been really soft
.
A blissful shiver ran down her back, which she now straightened noticeably. 
"Rufus, Monsieur le Comte - mingy, not at all! You know... I would even have taken on a ghost, only so it's more just in the world - even though my deeds may be small, I'm so much stronger than you, you see?!"
And Rufus began to laugh. It sounded like barking; he somehow did not seem to be used to it, but for Mathilde, it was just simply incredible. Yes, she was able to give; that she knew now. She reached this being and would possibly be able to give him strength!
"Ohhhh, I believe THAT in an instant, you strange mouse! With you, I will still experience quite a bit, you little louse in my pelt. No, you won't betray me. And yes, you ARE strong. But you surely overestimate me. How can I still be strong - I carry this fur because one of my enemies almost pulled mine off my bones in a fight! And half bald, I now limp and hobble through life..."
"But the enormous leap with which you had jumped in front of my nest earlier wasn't half bad - my mouse heart almost stopped!"
The expression on Rufus' face changed, but the mousesse could not really see that in the twilight.
"The shards, Rufus...", she said quietly. "Sometimes, something even more unique can be made out of something which broke apart terribly... Something that otherwise would never have happened - never
been born."
The fire flared up; the face of the rat became soft. Then, the big animal nodded.
Mathilde's heart jumped up and down with joy. "Then... we could... create together... and be here together?"
Rufus looked at her as if she had hit him right in the face. He did not say anything for a long time. Finally, he nodded slowly. "If you think that... would work... ", it came back doubtingly.
"It's all a question of wanting - if it fits, and I think it fits excellently. Look, the feathers which the magical peacock gave me; maybe, I can make wings! At least on hearts", said the mousesse and grinned. "You made some too... on the mirror. You know I can possibly make bigger ones. Yeah, yeah, I want to make a big white swan - as a symbol of the strength and beauty of that which happens when one opens the door to the other world together! That which we can both do together. What do you say?"
Rufus snorted. But it was not overbearing anymore. Instead, it had been a restrained laugh. "A    swan, well..."  He looked around. And he took a look at the shards in the spiderwebs; then, he stared at the  winged heart which hung on the fireplace. "It fits together, everything in its own way", he said quietly. "Maybe, you are the one who's different. After all this time..."
"My dear friend, that would be wonderful", it came approvingly and very carefully from Rousseau, who had emerged from of the hole again. 
Mathilde looked at him gratefully, which he acknowledged with a grin and a wagging of his tail of feathers.
Rufus straightened himself. "Hm, Mathilde, but the peacock, it's just a statue..."
"B-but it has saved you..."
"Hahahaha, yes, haha. Word of THAT got around of course!", exclaimed Rufus. "Ahhh, my clever, clever friend, Rousseau, what do you think? A magical peacock statue, well? My bad influence on you which made you do tricks?" 

The Etruscan mouse laughed. "Yes, THAT was something! Mathilde, but seriously", explained the pipsqueak, "back then, I threw the feathers which I had liked to gather. Totally senselessly actually, but I had hoped that the mouse gang would think that the peacock would come alive. I'm but so small and didn't know what else to do... and... and Rufus was lying on the ground! It was awful! He didn't defend himself when they sunk their teeth into him, and... they all saw the feathers, and then, Rufus also finally thought of me again, not to leave me all alone, and then, he made..."

A cry of a peacock penetrated the whole room.
Because of the acoustics of the theater, it seemed to come from everywhere, followed by the resounding laugh of the rat. "Ahhh, they ran away like mice, n'est-ce pas? 
I may not be as beautiful as a peacock, but  I know how to imitate this unnerving sound well, ahh? And how great that I planted the mouse eater on the roof as if I had anticipated all that... Had I, ha?" With sparkling eyes, he looked triumphantly at both mice.
Mathilde's mouse jar dropped with astonishment. So gruesome, what had happened here; this wild rat was an ingenious imposter! How then must his pieces have been? How then the staging!
"My goodness", she breathed. "So THAT´s how it was! The trickster par excellence - cunning... and yet more trustworthy than all the others."
"You think?" Rufus asked. He was flattered, but the look in his eyes became searching. "But tell me, Mathilde, why do you now trust me of all creatures? Why shouldn't I interpret this as endless naivety?


However, Mathilde nodded approvingly. "Yes. I do understand. You mean because I found out your secret and blurted everything out right away to construct my own doom? And because I naively believed that the peacock... Well, but maybe these are magical feathers after all; watch this!" Then, she shook her head and said calmly, "No, I know I can trust you. I understood that from the beginning. You didn't destroy her name - there, on the poster. You couldn't do it." Surprised, Rufus exhaled, " My heavens!"



















The Etruscan mouse was amused. "Marvelous, she reads you like a book, my big friend! You didn't consider that... We have a detective among us, how nice!"

Rufus, however, became mad as a rat: "Whhh... ? AAAh, should've torn it apart! Shredded it, scratched it up - but it was much too unimportant to me, well???", he gasped. "What... what do I still care? That would, however, have truly been beneath me! That's why I simply left it - I... had forgotten about it completely... That's right... That's why I hadn't considered it!"
Furious, he stared at both mice. But they just shook their heads. The big guy could not make them believe that anymore.
Rufus hung his head as if defeated - a strange sight which was not like him at all. "Yes... It... is really true. I could never have hurt her - not even her name... Even though she was guilty because of what she did to me - what she did is after all somewhat understandable for... a mouse."

Sympathetically, the mice looked at him. The fire was crackling in the fireplace, and the warmth spread slowly and soothingly.
A painful expression crept into Rufus´ face. He swallowed hard.
"I would never have expected more than that which connected us - it would have been more than enough for me. But I am just simply a rat, and her affection was not... strong enough. Maybe it was even only real in the beginning. She was too overwhelmed; we were too different... " He gave Mathilde, who was now almost melting with emotion, a questioning look.
The mousesse could not contain herself any longer, not with all the will in the world, even though despite of it all, she had been well aware of the big guy's eyes lighting up. A light in his eyes because of the realization of what was the best way one could wrap a Mathilde around a rat's paw. Well, in this way, she would like to be wrapped around a little, she noticed delightedly and exclaimed,
"Rufus, but you know... I mean, I'm more similar to you than you think! I'm not so well-behaved
either!"

And when one feather of her dress turned black, they all laughed.





Story of the splintered cullets by Méa Strauß


I wish you magic to all you do, so you can open the door to the other world as often you only can,

Méa

A big
THANK-YOU to my sister Christl,
she made this happen, as she translated the story!
So we hope, you liked it!


(Das Theatre ist nicht mehr erhältlich,
le théâtre n´est plus disponible,
the theatre is no longer available)

Bonus-Material:

"But tell me, Rufus, the mouse eater on the rooftop... Did you chisel it yourself?"
"Nope."
"No?"
"Mathilde - I don´t want to adorn myself with borrowed plumes."
"Of course not - you´re not in need of doing that." Smirking, Mathilde "ignored" the teasing remark. She liked Rufus and his little quips a lot.
And well, he liked that she liked them.
"Hm... You know, little mouse, it was strange, and until now, I haven´t been able to make head or tale of this. The peacock was left here by a strange human being."
"WHAT? A human being?"
"It believed I would know what to do with it - I would need it.
And then in an instant the huge creature was already gone, before I even came up with the idea to bite it..."








Cast:
Rufus, "Le Comte"
Mathilde Audace
Majestro Doré asRousseau
Production:
Méas World
Author,Director,Camera, Costume Designer:
Méa Strauß
Therapist of nervous members of the staff:
The King
Technical Adviser:
Nathanael Strauß
Stage Set:
Méa Strauß & the König
Image Editing:
Méas World
Scriptgirl & Supplier of ideas
as well as devoted listener and assistant director, props and nuts:
Faye Strauß



Please be kind:


All designs - including those of my sculptures, pictures, lyrics, stories and graphic designs are my property an under my copyright.
They are not to be copied or used in any other form without my permission!
If used on pinterest, please use my correct blog adress –
so many just pin my pictures under wrong names or even without mentioning me,
which really is NOT fair.
This here,
believe me, is hard work, and should be treated as what I think it is –
 a little gift for you.

Kommentare:

  1. Oh Méa the magic in your fairytale will linger in my heart forever. Thank you sister Christl. I will return to reread and write a longer comment but just so you know you truly create magic in your Kingdom.
    Sending love,
    Vera

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    1. Vera, oh, how very nice from you! So I will look foreward :)))
      Huggies from me until then

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  2. Einfach zauberhaft! Ich liebe diese Geschichte. Gehört verfilmt!!! Aber das hab ich dir eh schon gesagt

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    1. Jou, das wäre ein netter kleiner Film, vor allem, wie sich die beiden nacheinander durchschauen und schön entlarven, und dabei gerade immer mehr mögen, hat mir gefallen - ich schreib´s ja nur auf, was die machen...
      ALles Liebe, Danke für´s Vorbeigucken, Deine Méa

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  3. Liebste Mea,
    du und die ganze tolle Crew der Königsfamilie,
    öffnen Türen in die Welt der magischen Träume. Es ist immer wieder ein Erlebnis für mich, die Abenteuer "Der Mäusin" zu erleben.
    Es lebe die Fantasie! Von dieser besitzt du eine Schatzkiste voll. Danke dass du sie nie verschließt.
    Einen zauberhaften Sonntag,
    deine Manuela

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    1. Ach Manuela, vielen Dank :) Ja, dieses Türen öffnen, wir können´s nicht lassen. Hat man erst mal davon gekostet... oiiiii...
      Hab es zauberhaft, ich drück Dich, Deine Méa

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  4. Dearest Méa, this was sensational! It reminded me so much of what I used to do with my theatre. Your mice and scenery is extraordinary and beautifully done! Your lighting and everything involved such as the little props and outdoor scenery is SUPER!!!!! Good to see you; I've been away from blogging, only visiting some blogs in the early morning when I can before I go to school. I sure miss the artistic life!

    Big hugs, Méa!

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    1. Anita, here you are - no wonder, it reminds you - of course here lies the source as I then saw as well these mice theatres of Miss Clara and Dore from Burlap Luxe - and I was smitten forever, lost and addicted, hahaha
      You and the others have NO IDEA, what you did to me here ;))
      Biiiig Huuuugs back, my dear Anita, have a magical time, your friend Méa

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  5. Magical. The story. The art. The photography. All of it. Thank you, Méa, for such an amazing production. BRAVO!!!
    Hugs,
    Lin

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    1. Oh, Lin, and you added to my fairytale. Magical waves to you, have a gooooood time, your friend Méa

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  6. Thank you dear Mea, for the work of translating this beautiful story into English! Your story is amazing, as are the
    creations and photographs. Bravo!!!!!! truly a delight!!!!!!! What talent and imagination you have, and what a gift you
    have shared dear heart!!!!!

    ~ Violet

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    1. Oh, Violet - and you came to visit me too! I am so happy - as we all share the same spirit.
      Oh, I wished, you all would be here now, seing me placing onehundred books into a mouse-library!
      We all could ... that would be sooo much fun :)
      Next post I will show it :)
      Hugs to you, have sweet mice by your side, maybe they jump out of a pumkin-carriage??? Your friend Meá

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  7. Méa I'm back to finish my comment. I sat down, snuggled under my faux throw with a glass of wine and read every single word of your amazing fairytale. I thank you for lighting the darkness of the photos so every bewitching detail of the theatre could be appreciated. As I was reading I imagined Tim Burton directing your characters as Mathilde narrated telling her story of curiousity that lead to discovery and awakening in the forest to become heroic and brave.
    How she took the shards of the chandelier and attached them to the cob webs in the corner, how cold and frightened she was and created her feather dress. Meeting Le Comte Rufus, not two heads but the little mouse on his shoulder.... Loved the leaving of fruits for the calming of the two headed monster that only lived in her fear. The adorable little mouse growing chubby by sneaking through the hole to eat. A love story woven through a magical fairytale as her one feather turned black. Oh Méa you truly have created magic in this theatre and told a beautiful fairytale that will linger in my mind. Thank you my friend,
    Sending love,
    Vera

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    1. Vera, ohhhh, this is sooo wonderful, my dear poet. It is like having a celebration here. Thinking of how it all started to become the royal (as this is my little kingdom) mouse-maker. Oh, the next post Vera, you will like it :))
      Please visit again, I am so happy about your visit, huggggiiiiiies and kissies from Méa

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  8. Dear Mea,
    I came by yesterday to read part of this magical story, as it is hard on my eyes for any length of time... I just finished, and I must say that this was truly enjoyable! Thank you so much for sharing, and thanks to your sister for translating to English.
    Your mice are so adorable! Bravo my friend.
    Thank you so much for traveling to Nowhere with Bebe....
    blessings,
    Penny

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    1. Oh Penny, so you will come again, this is so wonderful. Bring Bebe with you to the little kingdom here in Somewhere, I have cooookiiiies here :)
      Oh, blessings to you too, Penny, your friend Méa

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  9. Oh liebe Méa, einfach FABELhaft ! Du hast den Sonntag verzaubert,und dabei ist in der Geschichte so viel Wahrheit.
    Einen guten Wochenbeginn.
    Liebe Grüsse Bauke

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    1. Baukelein, da biste, wie schön :)) Freuiii ich mich. Hab es zauberhaft und adventsfein, Du Liebe, Deine Méa

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  10. A Beautiful Story with Enchanting Visuals! Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

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    1. Oh, Dawn, thank you. I have been to Arizona once, alllll the way through the desert to phoenix to a lovely family. I liked it there.
      Thank you so much for visiting me :))) Hugs from me :)

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  11. Lovely Mea, I was very busy, but now your fairytale is what i need ..... amazing !!!!! Magical character's settled in my heart ....I will stay in your fairytale for a while :))
    And I want to thank your sister, she did a tremendous job !!! Thank you very much!
    I am sending you a sunny huuuuuug, dear Mea, beeeeecause winter is still not here for me :)) Your friend, Neringa

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    1. Yei, Neringa, and now you can read it :) Winter is not here as well, I think Lord November did not want to leave, because he likes it here, we are having a goood time, hahaha
      Neringa, I wish you magical moments with Rufus and Mathilde, huggggiiiiiies from your friend Méa

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  12. Dear Mea.....l so enjoyed reading your lovely story. Thanks so much to you and your sister for the translation to English...l just know Mathilda and Rufus will live happily ever after:-) l adored your theatre and mice creations....what an amazing talent you are.

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    1. Bron, oh, this is so nice to write me here :)) Thank your kind words :)))
      Have magical days full of laughter :)
      Hugs from Méa

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  13. Oh, Mea,mahatma treat this was this morning, to read your wonderful story with a cup of hot tea on a rainy morning. Autumn is my favourite season and I am already looking forward to chilly days and long nights! This story and its atmospheric pictures really made me get into the spirit of it.
    Congratulations again, it was terrific!
    Hugs
    Si
    Ps I worked out how to leave a comment! I don't know what button I pressed the last time! Me and modern technology don't mix!

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    1. Oh, Simon, but you are the chief technologist in the worlds you create (security cameras!)
      Thank you so much for succeeding in commenting, I am happy to see you here :))
      I am glad, you enjoyed, huggies!!

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  14. Oh Mea, I can not take any credit for your imagination, I am happy, pleased that you found me years now ago that inspired you to create from your own perfect imagination.
    As a therapist I am most certain the many fears of a weary soul you have comforted to brave the world in their own imagination. They do say that a creative soul lives on, it's the creating that becomes healing, mind, body, spirit.
    It is where I find the deepest comfort, and a peaceful spirit in my own imagination. As for your broken glass. Could this have been anymore realistic to the haunting beauty you create, just like stumbling across an old abandoned wooded theatre, to see that this derlick draw to a underground vandalised place of performance would be riddled with the take over of field mice and their families to only put on a magical entertaining theatrical performance entertaining all and the spirits before.

    I am so moved with emotions as to your creative world, I only hope I move ones as much as you move me and all who visit here with you.
    I created my production, my new mouse I am introducing to the world and the lights that set the stage. I did not tell of a story, more of how a theatre can inspire ones in a magical way of creating. I am so taken with worry these days with little time on my hands, and my dear aunt with the dianoises of Cancer, we are fighting for her to keep her spirits up, and my help to her in so many ways possiable.

    I want to thank you my deep thinker as to all you inspire here post after postings.
    Your imagination plays out in your life and home and how you live life in your kingdom. I too see the things around me and what I salvage that draws me in to take a closer look and let the piece tell me what it wants to become in an artful way.

    Bravo bravo, brava!!
    Xx
    Bisous

    Doré

    Please do stop by on the December 18th to see my new mouse and her old performance gown of song and dance.
    See you soon.

    Xx
    Many dreams of universal wonderments your way.

    Your U.S state of California where drama begins.


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    1. Doré, once again your words are making my heart jump in joy :))) OF COURSE I will be with you, as I definetly never miss a post of yours!!!
      Can´t wait ´till tomorrow :))
      As our journey moves on here towards new horizons, we take the old, that was "it", with us. Only a few will make it into the next step, but I see the contiuum of my work now.
      Doré, to have you "by my side", means so much to me.
      So yeaaaah, I WILL be there to,orrow :)
      I HUG you from a far, yet so close by heart, your friend Méa

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