This mindfulness story is (also) dedicated to our adult readers.
A little mouse lived in a tiny house, which she lovingly furnished with little things. Usually, her alarm clock went off early in the morning because she had a lot of things to do.
But she hoped that this day would be different.
The little mouse hopped out of her little bed, slipped into her robe and scurried to the big window.
“Oh, how beautiful!” she thought. “The sun is shining and there isn’t a cloud in the sky. I’m going to use this day to finally do something really nice for myself.”
She opened the window, took in a breath of summer air, and thought about what she could do with her day.
“I’d like to spend the day by the lake doing the things I really enjoy. That would be great!” she thought.
Just then, she was jolted from her thoughts by the hustle and bustle in her neighbor’s garden. She recognized Ulrich the Badger who looked like he was preparing for a garden party.
“Good morning, little mouse,” called Ullrich when he saw her. “Judging by your confusion, we must have forgotten to let you know that we’re having a big party today. There’s going to be a lot going on. We’d love it if you came, too, of course! Maybe you could bring your delicious apple pie that we all love so much?”
The little mouse smiled and nodded. She looked at her watch and thought, “Well, it’s still early so I’ll have time to make it to the lake later.”
She hurried to eat her breakfast and wash her face so she could go to the market for the fresh apples and other ingredients she needed for the pie.
Once she had gotten the eggs, milk and apples, and placed them in the basket of her bicycle, she went home and set about preparing everything for the pie.
But as she did so, she remembered that she had lent her pie pan to the squirrel family.
“Oh dear, now I have to go out again!” she thought, annoyed.
In a flash, she jumped back on her bike and went to pick up the pan. Relieved that the squirrels were home, she turned to leave with her pan when one of the little squirrels called out to her.
“Can we show you our new swing?” said the young squirrel.
The mother squirrel looked at the little mouse expectantly and proudly. A few seconds later, the little mouse stood in the midst of the dray of squirrels and patiently allowed herself to be shown how their new swing worked and how to do the best somersaults.
“Again, again!” the children squealed. Then, before heading home, the little mouse read a story to each of the children.
“They are having so much fun,” the little mouse told herself, looking at the clock. It was getting late. With a heavy heart and a guilty conscience, she finally said goodbye to the family and hurried back to her cottage.
She set about kneading the pie dough, peeling the apples and firing up the oven. Then she realized that there was not enough wood left for the stove, so she went out into the garden to look for branches and twigs and chop some smaller pieces of wood.
The badger saw the mouse and said, “Oh good! We’re going to have a bonfire at the party. Could we have some of your wood? I won’t have time to gather any today.”
The little mouse didn’t hesitate and handed her neighbor the wood she had just chopped.
“I’ll just gather some more for myself then,” she thought.
When the stove was heated and the pie was finally in the oven, she calculated that she could at least spend the afternoon at the lake. But first, all the dishes had to be washed.
“I really can’t leave the house like this,” she thought. So she set to work washing the bowls, spoons, plates and cups. Then the doorbell rang.
“Who could that be?” thought the little mouse, looking at the clock. “Oh dear, it’s already three o’clock in the afternoon!”
Marie the Shrew was standing outside her door, carrying a picnic bag. “I’m just on my way to the lake and thought you might like to come along,” she said.
The little mouse looked into the kitchen and saw the sink full of soapy dishes and the timer on the stove.
“I wish I could but I have a pie in the oven so I can’t leave right now,” the little mouse said.
“Oh, too bad. I have to go now because the others are already there waiting for me. Maybe next time!”
The little mouse made her way back to the kitchen, thinking about what to wear to the party. Along the way, she took the delicious smelling pie out of the oven.
She found a colorful summer dress in her closet but it was very wrinkled. So she took out the ironing board and iron.
When everything was finally ready, the mouse looked out of the window. The sun was already setting and the garden next door was getting louder.
“I guess my plans didn’t work out today,” the mouse thought sadly, dreaming about her planned day at the lake.