As I dig into my childhood, scrounging for things to share with my tiny human, I’ve come to realize that rodent-themed stories were the cornerstone of my young entertainment suite.
Between Redwall, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, The Secret of Nimh, American Tail, The Rescuers, and Watership Down, my younger years involved a dizzying array of anthropomorphic critters pantomiming real-world issues of misogony ( Watership Down) and the vicious realities of national and political struggles for power ( Redwall).
I realize, only with the birth of tiny human and the gift of reflecting upon my earlier enjoyments, that I was reading material whose deeper meanings had flown right over my head. Chewing through each fantastic tale was an exercise in finding the nougat of adventure buried between the covers. I never took the time to appreciate the true artistic nuance and hard work put into each dish I devoured: I just horked each story down as fast as I could.
I have been given a second chance at fully appreciating the texts I still hold dear, because tiny human is approaching the age where I had my first brush with the wonderful world of Rodentia epics. Those books and movies about mice and their daring-do, seen through a fresh pair of eyes, have become new again.
And boy howdy have all of those stories stood the test of time!
My greatest haul from such nostalgic dredging’s has been my son’s abiding love for If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Those books were my everything upon discovering they existed, and I read and re-read them with zealous intensity. And lo, to my wonder and delight, Amazon started a cartoon series based upon those books in 2015. The same year, might I add, that tiny human graced my wife and I with his presence. Two wonderful things born in the same year.
It’s a great cartoon, too. They’ve maintained the artistic vision as presented by Felicia Bond, a savvy decision which played no small part in me choosing to click play upon spying the show during the Saturday morning scroll. (Saturday being tiny human’s free cartoon day, of course)
He is enraptured by the antics of Dog, the wondrous joy of Mouse, the inquisitive and hard-working demeanor of Cat, and the quirky-but-lovable Moose. All of my favorite characters have been brought to life with care, and my tiny human’s enjoyment of the show and the characters provides me the perfect cover to watch the cartoon I’d probably (definitely) watch without him without suffering the stings of playful ribbing from my wife.
Being tiny human’s dad has given me a lot of opportunities to relieve my own youth, and finding out that I can pass even a fraction of my old joys to my son makes all the huffing, sulky four-year-old growing pains worth it.
The Unsheathed Quill
Teller of tales. Horrible liar. Fair hand at video games and card games.
Originally published at http://theunsheathedquill.com on June 29, 2019.