THE MOUSE CHOIR
By: Katya Szewczuk
There once was a young church mouse named Eunice who dreamt about singing in the choir. She was a small mouse with brown-orange fur, a white tummy and long whiskers. She lived in a church attic with her father and twelve sisters.
Eunice’s father was in charge of the church mice. He was plump with gray fur, crooked whiskers and mean eyes. He expected his daughters to grow up well when they left the nest so they could go off and start a family of their own.
Eunice’s sisters were proud to follow in their father’s footsteps, but unlike them, Eunice was not. While they would be scavenging for food, Eunice would crawl through cubbyholes and crannies, lie down in a pile of hay and listen to the church choir singing and praising the heavens. Though, she was frightened.
What would her father think if she joined the choir?
One chilly, winter’s night, Eunice slept in her cubbyhole and heard a strange ‘humming’ sound. She made her way down the archways of the church and sniffed the grounds. Her whiskers twitched. The sounds grew louder.
“Hello?” Eunice called, “Anyone there?”
Hopping on the pews of the church, Eunice saw a mouse staring at the pictures of angels and the Lord. He was attentive. Though, when Eunice approached him, he yelped.
“Good gracious,” he mumbled, “You startled me, young lady.”
“How do you do?”
“Very well actually.”
Eunice stared at the mouse. He was tall with white fur and had handsome eyes. His small paws were rickety and his nose was pink as a peach. Suddenly, she recognized him.
“You’re Father Timothy!” Eunice exclaimed.
Father Timothy smiled.
“A pleasure to make your acquaintance.”
Father Timothy gasped.
Eunice shook her head and sadly said:
“My mother passed away a year ago.”
“May she rest in peace,” Father Timothy said, “You look just like her.”
Eunice smiled. She looked up at the stain-glassed windows and felt a cold draft brushing against her fur.
“My father wishes for me to be just like Mother.”
“And you do not?”
Eunice shook her head.
“I want to sing in the church choir and give thanks to the Lord.”
Father Timothy laughed.
“As Philippians 4:6 says, Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God,” he said.
“But my father!”
“Families are God’s gift to us. But whether you chose to follow in your mother’s footsteps or fulfill your own dreams, God will love and accept you, for he is a good and loving God.”
“If only Father understood that.”
“He will, my dear.”
Eunice nodded and wished Father Timothy a good night.
* * *
The next morning she woke up with excited spirits. She hopped out of bed, fixed her whiskers and rushed to her father’s bedroom.
“Father! Father!” she shouted, “I must tell you something Father!”
“What is it, Eunice?”
“I spoke with Father Timothy last night——”
“——Do not worry. Father Timothy is a very kind man.”
“Have you forgotten about your curfew, young lady?”
“No Father. Please listen.”
“Father Timothy said our God is a good and loving God. I wish to show my love to him by singing with the choir.”
Jethro’s face twisted and turned ugly.
“You’re much too busy with work!”
“Please, this is all I wish to do.”
“Nothing is more important than work, Eunice.”
“God has provided us with food and water, shelter and love. I wish to show my thanks.”
Jethro shook his head.
“Why can’t you be more like your sisters?”
Eunice started to cry. She shouted and ran away from Jethro. She hurried to her hidden cubbyhole and stayed there for many hours until the clock struck five o’clock.
People began filling the church, praying and praising the Lord. Eunice dried her tears and saw a few mice gathered round the pews. When the choir began to sing, they joined in and filled the church with beautiful songs.
Eunice heard her sisters calling her for dinner, but she ignored them and crawled down the arches. She scampered through the sea of people and joined Father Timothy and the rest of the mouse choir.
“Welcome Eunice,” said Father Timothy.
The mouse choir smiled at Eunice and welcomed her with kind eyes. Then they sang:
“In shady, green pastures, so rich and so sweet,
God leads His dear children along…”
Eunice had never felt so alive. She sang with the choir until she saw her sisters spying on her from her secret hiding place. Though she was afraid, she hadn’t stopped praying.
She saw her father hurrying down the archways and held her breath. He looked as angry as a bull that saw red. Though to Eunice’s surprise he joined her.
“Away from the mire, and away from the clay,
God leads His dear children along…”
After the people left the church, Eunice approached her father saying:
“Thank you, Father.”
“You’re just like your mother. Stubborn.”
Eunice hugged her father and thanked Father Timothy for allowing her to join the choir. After that day Jethro learned how to give thanks to the Lord all because Eunice was brave enough to do what was right.