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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

entry arrow3:17 AM | The Mouse Crawling Between the Walls

I've been thinking of children's stories for the past few days, and this is directly because the first LitCritters Originals I'm doing with the Dumaguete group is exactly that: stories for children. (And also because I'm currently doing research for a paper I have to deliver during the Tamaraw Workshop in Iloilo later this summer.)

That said, I'm trying to write a children's story now, and as usual, I'm going through my protracted ritual of putting down a piece of fiction by scanning my favorite stories, this time from Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree to Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are.

But all that sticks to my head is this children's story included in John Irving's novel A Widow for a Year (the first part of which was filmed as The Door in the Floor, which is the title of a children's book written by one of the main characters).

It's titled "The Mouse Crawling Between the Walls," and it sticks to me because it scares me and seduces me at the same time. It goes...

Tom woke up, but Tim did not.

And Tom woke up his father... and asked him, “Did you hear that sound?”

“There’s the sound again,” Tom whispered to his Father.

“It’s a monster!” he cried.

“It’s just a mouse... crawling between the walls,” his father said, and thumped the wall hard with his hand.

And the mouse... scurried away.

"It’s just a mouse. That’s all,” Tom said.

And he quickly fell asleep.

But Tim, he stayed awake all night long.

And every time that thing crawling between the walls came crawling back, he’d hit the wall, and he’d listen to the monster... scurry away, dragging his thick, wet fur, and no arms and no legs with it.

Heavy, huh? And so much is going on in less than 120 words! By the way, the children's story "The Door in the Floor" is available here, with illustrations by the actor Jeff Bridges.


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