The King's Mouse

by Randall Allen Dunn and Nicole Dunn

Eleanor, a little mouse, watched as the king’s servants posted a sign that read: “Every animal must go to the palace. King Rattimus wants a new pet.”

What should I do? Eleanor thought. My uncle says I must not tell anyone I’m a mouse. But since my robe covers my long tail, I guess everyone will think I’m a hamster.

Hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs and even chinchillas came to the palace. While they waited, Eleanor entertained everyone by juggling peanuts and grapes. The king liked Eleanor right away. After his servants told him how kindly she treated everyone, the king said, “Eleanor is my new pet.”

He gave Eleanor her own room and lots of yummy food. Eleanor loved being the king’s pet. They had hilarious pillow fights, and Eleanor taught him how to juggle and tap dance. What they loved most was playing checkers while eating cheesecake.

One day, Eleanor’s Uncle Mortimer Mouse heard palace guards planning to attack the king! When Eleanor told the king, he arrested the guards.

The king told his friend Horace to dress up the brave Mortimer in a royal robe and lead him through town on a royal horse, telling everyone, “Honor the king’s greatest servant!” Horace agreed, though he secretly hated Mortimer.

Then Horace lied to the king. “The mice hate you,” he said. “Order mouse catchers to take them all away!”

When the mice heard about Horace’s evil plan, they sat in the streets and cried. No one played any games or ate any cheese.

“Why are you crying, Uncle Mortimer?” Eleanor asked.

“The king ordered mouse catchers to take us away! he said. “Ask the king to let us stay!”

Eleanor shook. “But I can’t go to the king unless he calls me!”

“If you don’t, we’ll all be caught!” Mortimer cried.

Eleanor agreed to try.

Outside the throne room, Eleanor thought, If I go inside, the king might send me away, too. But for Uncle Mortimer and all the mice, she walked in.

King Rattimus smiled. “Eleanor! What can I do for you?”

“I’m making a special dinner for you and Horace.”

“Yum!” the king said. “We’ll be there.”

That evening, they ate a tasty dinner of cheeseburgers with cream cheese pudding for dessert. But Eleanor never smiled.

“Eleanor, what’s wrong? the king said.

“Please, King,” Eleanor said, “I want to live here, with my family and friends! You see, I’m really a mouse, and the mice don’t hate you.”

Shocked, the King looked at Horace and saw that he had lied. The king arrested Horace and said the mice could defend themselves.

When the mouse catchers came, they were hit with . . . CHEESE! The mice shot arrows of flaming cheese and fired smelly Limburger cheese until the mouse catchers ran away.

Then the mice played games, sang songs and tap danced all night, eating lots and lots of cheese.

The king and Eleanor played checkers while eating cheesecake.

And Eleanor won.

The Brave Queen

This story is based on the story of Esther in the Bible. Esther was chosen in a beauty contest to be the wife of a powerful king. She bravely risked her life to save her people, the Jews. Read the story in the book of Esther.

This article originally appeared in the October 2009 issue of Focus on the Family Clubhouse Jr. magazine. Copyright © 2009 Randall Allen Dunn and Nicole Dunn. Used by permission. Illustration © Jon Goodell.