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Sunday, November 18, 2012


When I got out the jalapeño/cheddar bread and cutting board, I noticed two small chunks missing from the top. Neither my husband or son confessed to picking off some of the baked cheddar, so it could only mean one thing: mice! Ugh. I detest mice. I have no idea how they get in the house and clean furiously after we find evidence of them (and capture them). Peanut butter does the trick within minutes of turning out the lights at night.

Lois Ehlert's artwork in Rose Fyleman's book Mice is so crafty that I know she has experienced mice in her home. The craftily constructed mice with their crimped tails and string appendages hang in plants, stand on things like paint tubes and glue bottles, use tools to make their own cut-paper art, groom themselves, "run about the house at night", and, of course, nibble things (like the incredibly real-looking saltine crackers and look-alike Cheerios). When they nibble cupcakes, the textured paper of their pointy noses is white with frosting and confetti sprinkles!

The jacket flap provides this information about the poet:

"Rose Fyleman's (1877-1957) was a prolific English writer of fiction, poetry, and plays for children, as well as a singer, singing instructor, and schoolteacher. She began writing in earnest when she was unable to find enough engaging new poems to share with her students, and she was first published in 1917 after a fellow teacher encouraged her to submit her work to PUNCH, a prominent English magazine."

She must have known mice well, too. And cats, perhaps. The last line, interpreted by Ms. Ehlert, features a smiling cat: "But I think mice are nice."

1 comment:

  1. I remember my first grade teacher reading this poem to our class (long before Lois Ehlert's book). That last line sticks in my memory. The lasting power of poetry. I am going to look it up online right now. (It has been many years since I've had mice in my upstairs apartment, and for that I am thankful!).