I invite you to travel with me, into the land of the little mice.
Mice are marvellous animals. Although they are mostly considered as nothing more than a plague, they face life with curiosity and courage. They just go their own way, ignoring what terrible things might happen to them around the next corner. They are brave and cheerful and are always looking for the fun and good in life.
In many ways, just like children do.
Let us remember the “old” values as family, friendship, compassion and respect. Compare them with the “modern” values as money, possession, fame and power, which seem to be in first place nowadays. Although these values seem to be in contradiction to each other, they do not have to exclude another. Do we really want to live in a world, where charity begins at home?
My little mouse tales only want to show, how little is needed to be helpful and friendly. How completely opposite animals, which actually should be strangers or even enemies, can prove that through helping one another, oneself can also be rewarded.
My fables - Readings for schools
I offer readings to all interested schools, primary schools and all classes up to 7th grade. Fables have always had a special function; they are able to get children to think about the values in life and apply them to their own lives. Fables can reach children in a special way; to make them conscious of problems and conflicts of the “human” world, through the eyes of animals, and offer solutions. My readings are held according to the class grade and have the message of friendship, courage and compassion.
Values help children understand themselves.
Read along, think along, feel along with my stories
The stories are suitable for children starting from basic school age up to puberty. The children identify themselves with the mice and parents can learn about the thoughts and/or similar experience of the children. For smaller children, parents should read the stories themselves and tell the child the story in simpler words. I hope to be able to bring out a coloured picture book with Little Mouse Tales for the younger ones.
Dear moms, dads, grandmas and grandpas; seize the opportunity! Before you turn around, your lovely little children/grandchildren are teenagers! Use these wonderful moments, in which the children listen to you and want to learn from you. Take the time, cuddle up before bedtime and discuss together if the little mouse did the right thing. At the end each story, the little mouse needs the child to give it a name, that way, each mouse becomes the child’s own little friend. The pictures in the book can also be coloured out.
I also recommend my book to adults, who were able to stay a child inside
I once read that a person can be compared to an iceberg. We believe to be the part which stands out of the water; however, deep under the water surface is the much larger piece - our childhood. Everything which we experience as a child is the roots we stand on. What made us sad, angry, happy or afraid, all our disappointments and successes, all the people that touch our small, delicate lives; is part of who we are today. It is good to remember this child we still are; deep down inside.
The pictures were drawn by Fanny Cihlar/Rinne.
Fanny also masters her life with much courage and strength and still remains a considerate and friendly person. She was a legit superstar in the field hockey world and captain of the German team. She participated in four Olympic games, winning a gold medal in Athens in 2004. She has always loved fables as a child and was proud to draw the pictures to each story. As said, success and friendliness must not be contrasts.
I must admit that my stories aren’t the newest trend. They are neither comical nor are they magical. They are just touching and want to arouse the old values in the hearts of the children. I wish you much pleasure and joy with my little mice and hope their stories can evoke a memory in a certain situation and bring a bit more friendliness into our busy world.
I hope to meet you in my little mouse world.
With warm regards,
Adelheid (Heidi) Cihlar, nee’ Freier, was born 1956 in Montreal, Canada. She attended High School near San Francisco, California. Today, she lives with her family close to Heidelberg in Germany.
The realization that children often need more guidelines in our fast paced society, led her to write down animal fables, where children are shown values such as family, friendship, compassion and respect for others.
Hoping to bring people back to thinking, feeling and caring about each other, she brings it to a point:
“Mice are sometimes only just plain human”.
(C) Adelheid Cihlar.
All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction, in whole or in part, in any form.
A newborn little mouse lies all alone in a nest. The mommy mouse had been eaten from a cat and all its sisters and brothers were picked out of the nest from birds. This last little mouse was saved by a dog, but how should it stay alive without its mother? Maybe the girl, Sarah, can think of a way to help this little orphan.
The Orphan - Reading sample - Page 7 - 9
Suddenly, the mommy mouse jumped up. She heard something moving in the bushes and sniffed into the air. Right away, she knew there was danger nearby – a cat! She feared for her children and knew only one way out. She had to divert the cat in another direction to save her children from being eaten. The mommy mouse jumped out of the nest and ran directly towards the cat. The cat stopped in its tracks, surprised that a mouse would come so boldly towards it! But as the mouse ran on, the cat leaped after it and a wild pursuit began. The mommy mouse was fast… but not fast enough and the cat won the race of life and death. Well, that it what a cat does. It is one of the reasons the humans have cats - to catch mice. In this case, however, there were five baby mice left completely unprotected and alone in their nest. When they got hungry, they began to squeak just like tiny little pigs. This attracted the birds of prey and one after the other; they picked the small mice out of their nest. But the little squeaks were also heard by someone else. The dog, Senta, who lived in the garden where the bushes grew, also heard the cries of the little mice. She was an old hunting dog, a beautiful Irish setter with a gleaming red coat of fur and her sense of smell was exceptional. She sniffed her way to the nest and found only one little mouse left. The birds were still circling the nest and they wanted that last little mouse. Senta barked wildly at them until they all flew away. She peeked into the nest and sniffed at the little mouse with her moist nose. The little mouse was now completely quiet; although it was blind it sensed the danger. Senta knew that she couldn’t leave the mouse back alone in the nest. She picked it up with her mouth and carried it carefully, without biting her teeth together, out of the bushes und hurried to the back door of the house. She scratched on the door with her paws until she was heard. The girl she belonged to opened the door. The girl’s name was Sarah. She was 8 years old and loved animals more than anything else.
“What’s wrong, Senta? What do you have?” she asked. She noticed that the dog twisted its mouth strangely. She kneeled down beside her and carefully pushed a finger between the large teeth of the dog. Senta opened her jaws and out fell the little mouse! Sarah was startled because she did not know what this soft, slippery thing was. She examined it carefully and realized that it was a newborn mouse.
“Oh, Senta! Where did you find it? Where is its mommy?”
Just at that moment, Willie, the house cat came around the corner. He lay comfortably down in the sun and started licking his paws. Sarah looked sharply at Willie and said in an angry voice:
“Willie! Did you just catch and eat a mommy mouse?” The cat looked at her as if he wanted to say; “How should I know? A mouse is a mouse!” Suddenly, Senta ran towards Willie, barking loudly. Actually, they were good friends and even slept together at night in the doghouse, but Willie sensed that Senta was serious and ran up the next tree. Well, Senta could think; a cat is just a cat. Sarah got a box, put some dried grass in it, laid the little mouse carefully in and went to her mother.
“Mom, look what Senta brought! I think Willie ate its mother!” Sarah’s mother looked into the box and stroked the small, naked creature gently. “Such a poor baby. It’s so tiny.” She looked sadly up to Sarah. “I’m sorry, Sarah, but I don’t think there is a way we can help it. It’s too young. I don’t think it can drink anything else but milk from its mother. There is no way it can survive.”
2. The Stranger
A little mouse looks different than all the other mice children. That is why they don’t want to let it play with them and just laugh at it. But a small frog offers the little mouse its friendship and together they become heroes, by saving the mouse village from hungry foxes.
The Stranger - Reading sample - Page 20 - 23
The little mouse was so happy to be able to play with other mice. It saw the playground right away, filled with other scampering mouse children, and ran right to them. When they saw the little mouse, they all stopped playing and stared at it.
“Hello! Can I join in playing?” it asked merrily.
The other mice kept staring at it. After a long silence, one mouse finally spoke.
“You look strange.”
“Me?” answered the little mouse, surprised. ”What do you mean?”
“Your legs…they look funny…they’re so long”. All the little mice started to giggle.
“Yeah, they look strange!” they all called out. “They are different than our legs!”
The little mouse looked down on itself. Its legs were really a lot longer than those of the other mice. The mice children laughed even louder. ”Look at him! He looks so strange!”
The little mouse turned and ran away. “Look at him run!” they called after him. ”He even runs real strange! Not at all like we do!”
The little mouse ran as fast as it could from the village. When it came to the edge of the forest, it sat down on a rock and tears fell from its eyes. It was so sad that all the other mice had laughed at it and realized that it would never find friends that would accept it.
It was different. A stranger.
After awhile, the little mouse slowly went back to its mother. Mommy mouse had been waiting for her little son. She had expected something like that to happen.
“Why didn’t you tell me that I’m different?” asked the little mouse sadly.
“I hadn’t thought about it that much, we’ve always been alone. Well, and…” the mommy mouse spoke in a whisper. “I like how you look. You remind me so of your father.”
The little mouse looked up, surprised. “My father had looked the same?”
“Yes. He was also different than the other mice. He was a jerboa, a jumping mouse from the desert. In this corner of the world there are no such mice; he came from a pet shop. The child that had bought him no longer wanted to take care of him and released him in the field. He was laughed at by the other mice too, but it didn’t bother him. I loved him exactly as he was.” The mommy mouse looked at her son tenderly. “Just as I love you.”
The little mouse straightened up and felt much better.
“If it didn’t bother my father, then it won’t bother me either. If they don’t want to play with me, I don’t care! I don’t need them; I’ll get along fine without them!”
“Good!” said mommy mouse. “Now, go and look for something for our next meal. Fresh herbs or maybe some nuts or grains. Don’t do too far and remember the path you go.”
The little mouse was glad to have something to do and skipped off into the forest. It thought about its father; how he might have been and what he had looked like. It noticed with each step how good it was to have such long legs. It not only could walk and run, but was able to jump! The little mouse jumped over each rock and log lying in its way.
Suddenly, it heard a croaking voice: “Hey, you can almost jump as good as me!”
The little mouse looked in all directions and saw a small frog, sitting on a log.
“Do you mean me?” it asked the frog.
“Sure I do! I’ve been watching you jump. You are pretty good, but so am I!” The small frog jumped high in the air and landed beside the little mouse. “Good, huh?” The frog looked at the mouse intently and its head bobbed from side to side. “What are you? A little squirrel?”
“No, I’m a mouse,” came the timid answer.
“Really? Hmmm. Mice usually have such short, stubby legs. But yours are nice and long, like mine.”
“I’m a jumping mouse,” it answered even more quietly.
“Really? Maybe we are related! I’m a jumping frog!”
The little mouse had to laugh. “I don’t think so, but maybe we could be friends.”
“Sure we’re friends! Come on! Let’s jump a bit together!”
3. The Weakling
A weak, little mouse lives with its family in a subway station and with each day becomes weaker and closer to death. The big brother finds a way up into the city to look for the healing herbs that his brother needs to get well. He encounters danger and adventure, saves the rat Rufus from being caught and, with his help, finds a way to help the little weakling.
The Weakling - Reading sample - Page 37 - 39
As soon as the big brother saw that he was up in the city, he let go of the coat, flew through the air and smashed into a wall. He was so dizzy from the impact and the sun, that he had never seen, glared so brightly in his eyes that he couldn’t see at all. He just lay there, dazed, unable to move. However, the people walking through the streets noticed him right away. A woman, holding a child, screamed loud as she saw the little mouse. “Help! A mouse! Get it away!” A man stopped beside her. “No fear, young lady, I’ll take care of it,” he said self-assured.
All of a sudden, an enormous shoe smashed down with full force right beside the big brother. This human wanted to crush him to death! He came to himself quickly, scurried through the legs of the man and kept on running as fast as he could. He turned into an alley and hid behind a garbage can. His little heart thumped wildly in his furry chest and he suddenly wasn’t so brave anymore. He noticed that he was all alone, in a strange and dangerous surrounding. The big brother stayed in the alley until it was dark. Only then, did he trust to go further.
Here, it looked completely different than in the station. As he looked up, he did not see what he was used to, a concrete ceiling with pipes, but gigantic buildings, reaching up into the sky. It was a clear night and the sky was full of sparkling stars. The little mouse just sat there, with an open mouth and all he could say was: “Ohhhh……”
Suddenly, he heard a voice next to him. “Hey, who are you?”
The big brother was startled. There was a strange mouse sitting near him.
“Oh, hello. I…I’ve never been in the city,” he stammered shyly. “I’ve come from the subway station.”
The city mouse looked at him from all sides. “So, so…from the subway. And what do you want here?”
“Nothing…well, something…well, not here…” He was still a bit confused.
The city mouse took another long look. “Why don’t you come along with me? You seem to need some help.” The city mouse turned around. “Are you hungry? I can show you where there’s something to eat.” The big brother followed the city mouse. Something to eat? Maybe this mouse had the herbs he needed for his brother.
He followed the city mouse down another dark alley and they came to a group of mice, which all were crouched around a pile of waste.
“Hey, who have you brought along?” they called out as the two mice approached.
“Found him in an alley. He’s from the subway.”
The other mice sized him up. “Hey, you look real strong, you can join our gang! Are you good at fighting?”
“Fighting? Why?” The big brother was confused.
The alley mice were quiet for a minute, and then they laughed aloud. “Why?! To survive! Against rats and cats and other gangs! Don’t you have that in the subway?”
The big brother only shook his head. “What’s that you have to eat there?” he asked, and glanced at the pile they hovered around.
“That’s everything we find. What the humans throw away.”
He looked at the pile of waste they were eating from. It was the same as in the subway station.
“Does anyone know where to find herbs?” he asked the alley mice.
They all were puzzled. “What’s that supposed to be?”
“Well, such green stuff. It grows in the meadows, between grass, and is very healthy.”
The mice looked even more puzzled. “There is no grass here, just concrete. What do you want to know that for?”
“My little brother is sick and my mom says that herbs from a meadow could heal him.”
The alley mice laughed aloud. “Well, look at him! He wants to help! Look, if your brother is a weakling, then he just has to die. That is the way it is. The weak die and the strong survive. That is the law of nature; it’s always been that way!”
4. The Soul of the Other
A little mouse only wants to be together with the cat, Salome. For this, the other mice think it has the soul of a cat and want nothing to do with it. But this special friendship saves the life of a kitten and helps the little mouse find a home where it can live comfortable and safe the rest of its life.
5. The Lost Son An angry little mouse runs away from home. It finds itself, after being chased by a badger, caught in the middle of the freeway. Here, there was no way out. As a buzzard, hit and injured by a car, lands there also, a peculiar friendship develops, that save both of them their lives.
6. The Long Journey
Two little girls take their pet mice with them on a far away vacation. One of the little mice gets lost during the trip. How can it find its way back to the family in these strange surroundings? Luckily for the little mouse, it comes across other animals, which are willing to help it find its way
7. The Eternal Child
In a city park lives a little mouse, which always loves to watch the human children play. It wants to stay a child itself forever and never wants to grow up. But the mommy mouse tells the mouse child, that it must find the sense of life. The little mouse goes out to find its reason for living. In a zoo, it asks the lion and the gorilla. Do these mighty animals know the answer?