Posted: Friday, June 23, 2017. 8:50 a.m. CST.
By Giselle E. O’Brien: Once upon a time, when time was time
Monkey chew tobacco, and spit out white lime…
There were once two families of mice. The father of the first family, Mr. Charlie Price, had long curling whiskers. He owned the biggest cheese factory in the country. The father of the second family went by the name of House Mouse. He was brown, with short whiskers, and he was a loyal worker in the factory of the Mr. Charlie Price.
Mr. Charlie Price sold cheese to all the mouse families in the town, and he was a very, very wealthy mouse. His children went to the best schools, ate the best cheese and threw the biggest birthday parties. But when he paid his workers, he paid them just enough to afford the poorest school, and eat the stalest cheese three times a week.
It so happened that Mr. House Mouse had a tiny baby mouse who became very, very sick. His wife advised him to seek help from Mr. Charlie Price so baby mouse could get the medication she needed. And so, Mr. House Mouse swallowed his pride and asked Mr. Charlie Price for a loan.
Mr. Price was a shrewd mouse, but maybe the Big Mouse in the Sky had touched his heart, because on that day, he said to Mr. House Mouse:
“I won’t give you a loan. You can have the money you need, as my gift to you!”
Mr. House Mouse was so grateful for this wonderful gift! He bowed his head humbly expressing many thanks for the monies that would help his baby mouse get well. He told all his co-workers of the generosity and kindness of the boss, Mr. Charlie Price!
Soon after, Mr. Price announced that the price of cheese needed to go up, to cover his rising expenses getting in milk and flavors for the cheese. But he did not increase the pay of his workers. And so it happened that Mr. House Mouse could no longer afford to eat the stalest cheese three times a week, but only twice a week. His children began to get hungrier and became malnourished, and eventually, Baby Mouse got sick again. And so Mr. House Mouse went to his boss, again, asking for a loan.
This time, Mr. Charlie Price was skeptical. He informed Mr. House Mouse that many of his co-workers had been asking him for so many loans, that soon he would not be able to afford to give any. However, Mr. House Mouse was his loyal employee, so he decided to give him the money. But it was a gift, because he knew Mr. House Mouse would not be able to repay it.
With tears in his eyes, Mr. House Mouse thanked Mr. Charlie Price. How could one mouse be so generous? He sang his praises from mouse hole to mouse hole, singing of the generosity of Mr. Charlie Price.
Soon after, Mr. Charlie Price announced that the price of cheese had to increase once again, to help him cover the expenses of his generosity. The price of cheese increased and Mr. House Mouse and his family could no longer afford an education for their children.
Baby Mouse never went to school, and when she got old enough to work, she could not find a job. Mr. House Mouse was now an old man, and he could no longer work the machines in the cheese factory. So he went to Mr. Charlie Price and asked him to allow Baby Mouse to work in his place. Mr. Charlie Price looked at Mr. House Mouse sadly and informed him that Baby Mouse did not have the education necessary to work in the factory. But he wanted to help the House Mouse family, so he would allow Baby Mouse to be a cleaner there, at the pay her education deserved.
And so, Baby Mouse became a cleaner, earning less than her father and just enough for the House Mouse family to eat once a week.
When her father died, Baby Mouse could not afford a funeral, so she approached Mr. Charlie Price with tears in her eyes, asking for a loan to bury her father. Mr. Charlie Price told her of the good times he had share with Mr. House Mouse, of the gifts he had given him, and of their friendship. And he gave her just enough money to bury her father in a humble ceremony. She was entirely grateful to him, and she sang of his family’s generosity to all her children, her neighbors and her friends.
One day, when Baby Mouse was an old grandmother, she was telling her grandchildren of the generosity of Mr. Charlie Price and his family. Mr. Charlie Price had been long dead, but his son and his grandson had carried on his legacy of good cheese, wealth and generosity. Her youngest grandchild, a mouse of five, asked her:
“Did you get a raise, grandmamma Mouse?”
“No, child” she replied
“Did the price of cheese go up again, grandmamma Mouse?”
“Yes, child” she replied
“Will we eat tonight, grandmamma Mouse?”
“No, child” she said sadly
“Should we go ask Mr. Price for scraps tonight, grandmamma Mouse?”
If the pin neva bend….
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