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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Mousetrap

Photo Credit: DuBoix from
You know, I’m always a sucker for great friend stories, so I wanted to share this one with you from my buddy over at Mikey’s Funnies:

A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package.  "What food might this contain?" the mouse wondered.  He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.

Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed this warning: "There is a mousetrap in the house!  There is a mousetrap in the house!"  The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me.  I cannot be bothered by it."

The mouse turned to the pig and told him, "There is a mousetrap in the house!  There is a mousetrap in the house!"  The pig sympathized, but said, "I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray.  Be assured you are in my prayers."

The mouse turned to the cow and said, "There is a mousetrap in the house!  There is a mousetrap in the house!"  The cow said, "Wow, Mr. Mouse.  I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose."

So, the mouse returned to the house, head down, and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap…alone.  That very night, a sound was heard throughout the house - the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey.

The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught.  In the darkness, she did not see it - a venomous snake whose tail was caught in the trap.  The snake bit the farmer's wife.  The farmer rushed her to the hospital, but when she returned home, she still had a fever.  Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup.

So the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient.  But his wife's sickness continued.  Friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock.  To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.

But, alas, the farmer's wife continued to get worse and passed away.  So many people came for her funeral that the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them for the funeral luncheon.

And the mouse looked upon it all, from his crack in the wall, with great sadness.

So, the next time we hear someone is facing a problem, and we think it doesn't concern us, remember…when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk.  We are all involved in this journey called life.  We are in this together.  We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to support and encourage one another.

Each of us is a vital patch in another person's quilt.  Our lives are delicately quilted together for a reason.  One of the best things to hold onto in this world is a friend. 

Plus, you just never know when you’ll need a friend.  In order to protect the innocent, I won’t tell you the name of this particular pal, BUT just the other day, she was stuck in a bathroom stall at a church festival…without toilet paper.  Short of drip-drying for half an hour, she texted her husband from the stall and begged him to find a friend to rescue her.  I got there as fast as I could and threw a big wad of toilet paper her way.  Case in point…you truly NEVER know when you’ll need a friend.  Be extra kind and BE the friend you want to have.

I love to laugh.  I truly do.  I love the rush of joy that pulses through my body when I’m laughing.  I also enjoy making others laugh.  Did you know there was a saint who loved to laugh too?  Yep, I just found out about him the other day and his name is Saint Philip Neri.  Some people credit him with saying, “A sad saint is no saint at all!”  I like him already, don’t you? 

Upon further research, it was said that many people of his day thought there was no way for his jovial personality to be combined with an intense spirituality.  But, his very life melted that narrow view of holiness.  His prayerful life was always accompanied by a good laugh.  He also wanted others to become not less, but more human, through their striving for holiness.

Our priest, Father Bentil, is always encouraging us by saying that we are all “saints in the making” or “saints in training.”  So, if that’s the case, I think I’ll strive to be a laughing one.  I guess I can start my journey today by sharing this little giggle from Mikey:

It was a minister’s first Sunday in a new parish and he was presenting the children's message.  The sanctuary of the church had some magnificent stained glass windows, so his message centered on how each of us are called to help make up the whole picture of life (the family of God).  Like the images in the windows, it takes many little panels of glass to make the whole picture.

And then he said, "You see…each one of you is a little pane."

And then pointing to each and every child, he said, "You're a little pane.  And you're a little pane.  And you're a little pane.  And..."

It took a few moments before he realized why everyone was laughing so ridiculously hard.

Humor is a gift from God.  I thank Him for that gift daily.  Most of the time, we take ourselves far too seriously.  We should ask the Lord to help us add humor to our perspective.

Let’s sprinkle in some laughter, starting today.  And, if a friend wants to share with us about a problem, a worry, a joy, a need, or…a mousetrap, I will certainly remember to listen a bit more closely after reading the story above.  Won’t you?

Here’s to becoming more attentive, more compassionate, and less me-centered.  Won’t you join me?

Have a wonderful week, Sunshines!

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