In The Field
Chirp chirp chirp,
The birds sang outside, as they overlooked a long green field. The blades of grass grew tall, the sunlight bounced against the leaves, warming the petals of the wildflowers. Big oaks lined the edges of the field, dandelions blew in the wind, frogs croaked, trees creaked, and branches reached the clouds. A blue lake sat happily in the corner, fish jumped around the weeds and blew little bubbles to the surface.
It was the perfect field for a little mouse to live.
She was small, with a coat of white fur, twelve fine whiskers, and handsome black eyes. Her tail flicked and swished as she ran through the grass, or as she lay on top of a mushroom to warm her fur. Her white coat became glossy when she swam, and puffed out as she let the summer breeze air-dry her mane.
She was not the only little mouse in this field, however. She knew another one, a gray mouse who lived in a tree trunk, just like her, but on the opposite side of the field. Only he did not come out to play in the sun, he did not like the day time, and she did not like the night.
Everyday at sunset, when the sky was painted pink with streaks of gold, the little white mouse would go pick a pretty new leaf from her tree to use as her blanket for the night. Every night, as she found her green leaf, she would see the gray mouse waking up. He would only wake up to play at night.
She loved these little sights she caught of him, and he loved them too. Every morning at sunrise, and every night at sunset, the two mice would peep around the grass and long to catch a glimpse of the other. They wished to meet, but never did. Their glances were only under the dim light of the changing day.
Weeks and months passed by in this fashion, when the little gray mouse began to feel lonely in his tree trunk. He thought with longing of the beautiful white mouse who loved the day, the one who would bask in the sunshine. He wondered if she knew of him, or if she knew how lovely her white fur would glow in the moonlight. But he was shy and bashful, and never told her.
The sun had risen high one morning, and the little white mouse rose to start her day. She ran through the tall grass to find some breakfast, when suddenly-- Bump! She ran into the gray mouse that lived just across the field. She twitched her whiskers happily, and curiously asked him why he was out in the sun. He doesn’t like the sun, she thought.
He replied that he had so admired watching her at sunset from across the field, and he wanted to know who she was. Show me what day is like, he asked. I want to know.
The little white mouse smiled and told him to follow her. They ran through the fields, enjoying all the glory of a summer day. They floated on lily pads in the lake, and played with the frogs on the shore. They ate blackberries on a mushroom as dragonflies buzzed about their heads. The little gray mouse had never felt so warm, so welcome, so free. Daytime is my home, the white mouse said. I can see why, the gray mouse replied. What beauty the day held after all, thank you for sharing this with me.
And so the sun began to set, and the gray mouse was about to make his way back across the field. Wait, the white mouse said. Will you show me what nighttime is like? I want to know your world. The gray mouse smiled with delight.
As the sun disappeared behind the trees and the moon began to rise, the two mice enjoyed the sweetness of a summer evening. The chirp of the crickets serenaded their moonlit dance, they marveled at the shimmering stars high above their heads, and the cool breeze soothed their fur from daytime’s sun. What a beautiful time night is, the white mouse thought, as she smiled at her gray friend. The night time is my home, just as the day is yours, explained the little gray mouse. The white mouse replied, I love it here.
And so when the sun rose, they did not want to say goodbye. I love the evening now, even more than the day, the white mouse said. I love the day, the gray mouse replied, even more than the evening. Both homes are so beautiful in their own ways. How will we ever choose which to enjoy?
The little white mouse smiled and said, I suppose we will just have to enjoy both homes together as much as we can.
And with that, they both scurried back to their opposite sides of the field to get some sleep.
But it was not the gentle breeze or the bright sun that woke the mice up the next morning. It was the growling, groaning, crashing of something big. A hundred giant machines and a hundred tall men were plowing over their field. They had come to build something here-- the little mice snuck back into their tree trunks for safety.
Weeks passed like this, and the little white mouse could no longer see her friend over the construction. She longed for him daily, and missed him so. She no longer enjoyed her home, the day-- she stayed up at night, and heard the crickets chirp, and watched the moon glow.
And across the way, the little gray mouse suffered the same heartache. Missing his companion, he was no longer captivated by the charms of his home, of the moon and stars. He sat up during the day, watching the sun and feeling the warmth, as his friend had taught him to do.
A long time passed, and the men began to disappear, taking their large machines with them. It was no longer noisy, and now there stood a beautiful home in the middle of the field that housed a little family. The mother kept one small tree right in the front of their house. The little kids played in the yard, blew dandelions, and ate blackberries.
When all was safe, the two mice ventured out at sunset with the hopes of meeting one another along the way. Before long, the two crossed paths among the tall blades of grass.
I was worried I’d never see you again, the gray mouse sighed in relief, as the white mouse smiled joyfully. I’ve been enjoying the days and thinking of you.
And I’ve been up at night, watching the moon, just like you taught me, the white mouse replied. But how will we see each other now? It is too dangerous to cross during the day when the kids are out, and too dangerous at night because of their pet dog. What time will we be able to enjoy? We both love our homes, the day and the night.
They stood thinking for a minute, until the little gray mouse said: But what about sunset? He pointed towards the sky. I think sunset is the perfect time. Just like how we used to see each other across the field. It is the most beautiful mix of day and night. A mix of both our homes. We’ll meet in the middle tree in front of the house, and watch as the sky is painted a new color every night. Maybe sunset is the home we were supposed to share all along in this sweet field.
The little white mouse smiled with joy.
And with that they ran along, climbing the tree and finding the perfect branch with the best view. They settled down and enjoyed themselves in their new home, watching as the sun set on the horizon and the moon rose high above their heads. They smiled happily, knowing they would always be together in the beautiful light of their new home, and would never be alone again.