Of Mice and Children

When I was six I lived a couple of blocks from St. Mary’s church. Both grand and inviting this beautiful circular structure was created by aboriginal architect Douglas Cardinal. My sister, friends and I loved to play hide and seek among the confessionals and pews. But we especially liked the mice that lived in the fields around the church.

One crisp October evening we got it into our heads that it was too cold for the mice to sleep safely outside. So we gathered up a dozen of them with the idea of providing warmer beds within the church.

I don’t know where we got the idea that mice couldn’t survive outside, but I have a feeling it had a lot to do with the stories we read as kids. From “The Night Before Christmas” to “The Country Mouse and the City Mouse” these critters seemed to be a lot like us humans. Thankfully, the kind priest helped us understand why mice must live outside.

Even though I no longer view mice through the humanizing eyes of a child I still love the children’s stories that do. I guess that’s why –even though Miss Emily Goes to Bat is the story about a cat –you’ll find mice on every page.

You can have a look at this amazing church at http://stmarysparish.shawwebspace.ca/photos/view/our_church/. The field is gone and the rose garden is new, but the building remains a work of art.