Casavant's Dad

Horns honked and brakes squealed as he dodged the strange covered paws of human creatures racing in every direction. Those were the big city noises and smells that he remembered so well from his days as a young mouseling. He looked around carefully, then scurried onto College Street from under the fruit stand. "Clang! Clang!" A streetcar screeched toward him. He tried to avoid the track . . . There was a squish and the streetcar continued on its route as if nothing had happened. There was a fresh red stain on its front wheel.

Farther north on Spadina, our whole mousey family, except father, crowded together in the sanctuary. We were listening silently to our human friends, who were spending the night in prayer. Mother was excited and had trouble squeaking. "My dear mouselings, look at those human creatures praying to God. Their God is so strong and so mighty--yet He is willing to make Himself small enough to live in the hearts of human creatures! Just listen to the music of their prayers."

I noticed that the street door was open a little, so I decided to go out alone and think about what Mother had said. I scurried to the door and squeezed myself outside.

Back on College Street, the travelling mouse wiped juice from his face. He'd been squirted by the tomato when the streetcar ran over it. Thank goodness he wasn't where the tomato was. He examined the country cheese he was clutching in his paw and smiled. He scurried northward.

Outside, the moon struggled to peek through the clouds and the air was cool. On the sidewalk, I could see something heading towards the church. It moved like a wind-blown leaf, but as it got closer, I recognized that it was a mousey visitor. He continued to scurry forward, but when he saw me, he stopped. We looked at each other--eyes bulging and noses twitching. Before I could squeak, I saw something that took the squeak right out of me. One of his whiskers was bent at a strange angle and pointed upward, just like mine! "Your whisker," I squeaked. "Are you . . . are you . . . my father--my Papa Mouse?" “Yes, I am, my son,” papa sighed as he tweaked my crooked whisker with his paw and there was a special twinkle in his moist, bulging eyes.

Together we scurried inside to meet the rest of our family. I could see signs of stress and age. Dad was tinged with grey and his coat was slightly matted. But how handsome and muscular he looked! When they saw us standing side by side, they immediately knew who he was. They all squeaked and squeaked and jumped up and down as if they had eaten Mexican jumping beans. Impulsively, mother scurried toward Papa as fast as he scurried toward her--together at last in a tender embrace. They looked into each other's bulging, damp eyes.

Father began to squeak--his squeaks were full of emotion. "My dear mouselings, how I love you. I have missed you and I am sorry that I was away so long. This is all I bring you." He extended his paw with the piece of country cheese that he had carried over the miles. It was mushy and grimy by now, but we all shared the tiny piece--his offering. Nothing ever tasted so great.

"Too long ago, I left here to find a quiet country church where we could live in peace under clear skies of blue. Even the country is not what it used to be--they are making a city out there too. It's losing its coat of green and turning grey and black. Still, I scurried from place to place trying to sniff out that perfect church. Soon I realized that even if I found the snuggliest, cat-free, country church--next to the cosiest haystack--nothing could replace being back with you. Love is what turns a simple nest into a home." He paused, whiskers quivering, and looked at each of us-Mother, Melody, Bear and me- in turn. There was such joy in his misty, bulging eyes. "When you love someone, you cannot always do just what you want. I knew that I must scurry back home where I belonged. You know, my dearest mouselings, the cheese is not always tastier on the other side of the expressway." 

I stood excitedly on all fours looking at Father's whisker. It was exactly like mine! How I loved it and how I loved Papa! Our mouseling hearts were jumping with such joy! As we scurried away to leave Mother and Father alone, I overheard a human creature praying, "Thank you Jesus . . . You loved us so much that You came all the way to earth to die for us." Those words filled my little mousey-heart with joy. Loving someone really does cost a great deal!

What an exciting day! At last, our family was really together, at peace, here in the House of the Lord. I had so many stories to tell Papa . . . tomorrow!