A parable to consider

Once upon a time, there was a little country field mouse who lived in a farmer’s cottage. The mouse lived there in relevant comfort in an environment that offered plenty.  The mouse interacted with his fellow farm animals and kept out of the way of the farmer and his wife.

One day, the farmer and his wife received a package, as they often did, and the mouse looked through the crack in the wall to watch the farmer and his wife open the  package to see what food might it may contain.

The mouse was devastated to discover it was not food, but a mousetrap!

In fear of the change to his environment and his way of life, the mouse retreated to the farmyard, and began proclaiming the warning of environmental impact, “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”

The chicken, who was first to hear his words, clucked and scratched, raised her head and said,

“Mr Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it does not affect me or my lifestyle, so it is of no consequence to me. Please stop bothering me with this declaration of doom.”

The mouse, while perturbed, continued on his campaign, turned to the pig and told him, “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”

The pig was more sympathetic than the chicken, but was equally unconcerned, stating that while he was sorry for the mouse’s situation, there was nothing one pig could do. However, the pig promised to pray that things would improve.

The mouse, getting desperate that his message was not being heard, turned to the cow and proclaimed, “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”

The cow looked down on the tiny mouse and said,”Wow, Mr. Mouse. I’m sorry to hear that, but while that is a huge impact on you, it barely scrapes the skin off my nose. Please do not bother me with such trifles.”

So, the mouse, head down and dejected, returned to the house to face the danger of the mousetrap alone.

That very night, a sound like the cracking of a thunderclap was heard echoing across the farmyard as the mousetrap was triggered and caught its prey.

The farmer’s wife rushed out to see the catch and glee at its demise. In the darkness, she did not see that it was not a mouse, but a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake, angry at it’s predicament, turned and struck the farmer’s wife.

The farmer heard her scream of fright and her subsequent collapse and rushed her to the hospital. The doctors did what they could but sent her home to recover with a fever.

As everyone knows, the best thing for a fever is fresh chicken soup. So, the farmer, without delay, took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup’s main Ingredient.

Unfortunately, his wife’s sickness continued. The farm was falling into disrepair, so friends and neighbours came to sit with her around the clock to allow the farmer to work his land. However, he could not let the kind hearted souls leave without so much as a warm meal, so to feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.

Alas, the farmer’s wife did not get well and she died.

Being a woman who was greatly loved,  many people came for her funeral. The farmer could not hope to have so many well wishers left hungry at his doorstep, so he had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.

With the farmer’s wife dead, the farmer no longer cared for his land, and as the fields remained unworked, and all of the stock was depleted, the farm was no longer profitable. The farmer had to sell the land, but the state of the farm had become such as to be unusable by his neighbours.Eventually, the farmer himself died, amongst the ruins of his farmhouse.

Through all of this, the mouse looked upon the changes that had torn through the farm in such a short time with great sadness, through his crack in the wall and wondered if could all have been averted.

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