By Vita Forest
One fine, balmy morning (was there really any other kind?) Christabel La Mouse peered out from The Good Ship Possession, through the far distant headlands of The Doorway and into The Kitchen. There was strange metallic box therein to which she was often alerted by the rumbling and humming it made. She believed it was called The Refrigerator.
The Refrigerator was a cheerful thing that kept up a steady stream of conversation. Unfortunately, the language was quite unknown to Christabel, so she had to make do with sending a cheery wave its way and the occasional call of “Yoo Hoo!” It was unclear whether The Refrigerator was aware of such communications, but it seemed happy enough as it gurgled and hummed and droned and whirred.
And happy it should be, for it seemed to be the home of much of the food in The Kitchen, and in particular, The Cheese. Many was the time that Christabel would be distracted from her lookout post by the flash of light that signalled the opening of The Refrigerator and the accompanying waft of cheddar or parmesan.
But on this particular fine and balmy morning, Christabel was aware of a cloud of white that was buzzing over the pewter grey surface of The Refrigerator. It shimmered as if alive. Whatever could it be?
Her curiosity was piqued, necessitating this myopic mouse to withdraw her spyglass from its case and place it up to her right eye. She twisted its segmented body this way and that, until the shimmering cloud sharpened into focus and to her astonishment turned into a cloud of words! A cloud of words! Whoever had heard of such a thing! (It was true that her own vessel was formed from the pages of a novel but a cloud of words? Was there really weather systems created by language? Storms of similes? Gentle patterings of adjectives? A sudden flash of metaphor??)
As she watched, one of The Humans stood in front of The Refrigerator and peeled small rectangles from inside the cloud and arranged them in lines floating above it.
Was it a message? She waited patiently until a number of words were thus arranged (and also for the large head to move out of the way so she could see).
What did it say? Christabel swung the spyglass from right to left and read:
shadow ship soar over a smooth lazy lake
How lovely! Then
watch above though
stop the spray heave & rip & blow
Wise advice indeed. Then
live sweet summer honey music
It only needed an exclamation mark…
And there it ended.
How wonderful it was to discover new delights to monitor from her ship on the ceiling! The world was certainly full of wonder.