(Or the 13th Basket)
Once upon a time, no, really and truly, once upon a time, this is a story from many, many, many, many long mouse years ago; James and Ruth and their 15 mice-lets were very hungry; it had been a long hot summer and their usual food had shrivelled up in the hot sunshine, everything including the little stream had totally dried up—to be a country-mouse was so-not-good.
Ruth and James were very worried. They said their prayers many times a day, and the mice-lets just got thinner and thinner, and Ruth thought James’ whiskers would fall out with worry. They moved to a new home.
They moved as close as they could to the seashore and made a home in an old basket that the fishermen had thrown away, and keeping themselves as quiet as they could, crept out while the fishermen were eating their dinner and, creeping very, very close stole crumbs. (A very dangerous thing to do, because you know little church-people-persons- big people-persons don’t like mice.)
Then one morning, they heard the sound of feet, thousands of feet, plodding, plopping, plodding, plopping, some running very fast- no time to plod and plop. And there was excited shouting, lots of happy talking and even singing. And then they heard a big voice shouting for everyone to shut-up and listen, and then the mouse family heard something very wonderful. They heard a big voice, but a gentle voice and a man began to tell stories about the Kingdom of God.
Never, never had little country mice heard such lovely stories and ….
they forgot they were hungry – they just wanted to listen and listen. So, they did another very brave thing and all 17 crept under their basket home and quietly, secretly moved it closer and closer, to the front of the crowd and the pair of feet that belonged to Jesus, so that hiding beneath and lifting it ever so slightly they could hear every word.
They were there a long time, 17 Mice persons and thousand of People Persons. There were lots and lots of little people-persons all being very good and quiet, some sucked their thumbs, but everyone was very good and quiet. No one wanted to miss a word Jesus had to say.
The Sun was getting ready to go to bed, and the friends of Jesus were worried. The Mice-lets heard them whisper to Jesus about their worry.
“Look it’s getting late it will dark soon. Everyone is getting hungry. Please send them away, so they can go and buy something to eat.”
Ruth, James and Mice-lets heard their own tummy rumbles then. They had quite forgotten they were hungry. Oh No! it didn’t seem there would be any food for them today!
Somewhere far above their heads they heard Jesus say, “You give them something to eat?”
That made his friends very worried, there were not enough pennies to buy bread to feed all this great crowd of people- persons.
Jesus said, “How many loaves do you have? Go look!”
And when they came back, they said, “Five and two fish.”
Jesus said everyone was to sit down on the green grass. And everyone did, flop, flop, flop, flop all the bottoms sat down with a flop. The Mouse Family, quaked, and shivered all over with fright would someone sit on their basket-house? But a kindly hand reached down and moved their basket-house with them in it- safely out of the way, and They knew it was Jesus.
They did not see Jesus break the loaves and the fishes to share them up, but they did hear His lovely voice as He said thank you to Our Father in Heaven …. And they knew, just knew that there would be plenty for the 5000 men and their wives and little children to eat and plenty for little mice.
It was a very good picnic, the biggest picnic the Mouse Family ever knew and when all the people-persons were full-up of bread and fish, Jesus friends collected up 12 baskets of left overs, but, don’t tell, little people-person friends there was another basket besides, the 13th Basket was the Mouse Basket-House and it had lots of tiny pieces of bread tucked safely underneath – Ruth and James said, and Mouse-folk every where still remember and talk about it to this very day- and they all say it was the hand of Jesus, His very own hand that put them there.
Story based, very loosely, on the feeding of the 5000 in the Gospel of Mark 6; 32-44) and retold by Rosy Mouse for Yvonne, the Churchwarden-her biggest fan.
Rosy Mouse and husband Fred are Wood Mice, their children an descendants are numerous and coming from an extremely long-line of Mice 🐁 with many tales to tell of illustrious forebears. Rosy will sometimes produce a story for our Church Magazine, – quite a feat for such a small creature – typing them up on the Compiling Editor’s old iPad and emailing them just in-time for photocopy day. Rosy and Fred live, quite happily, at the bottom of the Churchyard, close to the ‘Celtic Cross’ ✝️ and enjoy cake and other crumbs 🧁 left behind after coffee which always follows Sunday Services. If visiting St Giles Church please take care not to step on our mice!
We plough the fields, and scatter~
The good seed on the land,
But it is fed and watered
By God’s almighty hand:
He sends the snow in winter,
The warmth to swell the grain,
The breezes and the sunshine,
And soft refreshing rain.
All good gifts around us
Are sent from heaven above;
Then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord,
For all his love.
(M Claudius. Tr. Jane M Campbell)
Harvest Service: This coming Sunday 6th October at 10:15am.
All very welcome…