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A little story about my dad

There are several stories that have made their way into our family folklore and the tale of the three white mice is one of them.
The fact that there were three is not certain but it creates more impact poetically I think.
My father and his brothers had several pets over the years… The budgie who made a suicidal bid for freedom, the home sick doves and the three white mice are the ones I remember best.
The budgie and the doves don’t have such a nice an ending as the mice however.
The Mackenzie boys had been keeping mice for a while and when the Tallach boys were introduced to the new additions to Crown Drive they longed to have mice of their own in the F.P. manse in Stornoway.
Dad graciously agreed to send some as soon as the breeding figures had increased. So in a matter of weeks, numbers having grown somewhat substantially, young William Mackenzie esq. remembered his promise to the Tallachs.
On the day that he was due to leave with his mother to spend his holidays on the family farm he took some straw, a few pieces of apple, and a cereal box and dispatched the mice by post to Stornoway.
Putting his name, home address and other necessary details on the back as every conscientious parcel sender should he dropped it off at the Inverness post office before leaving for his holidays.
His father, who shared the same name as him, remained at home to finish off some work. That day, as he sat down to eat his lunch, he received a distressed phone call from a member of staff at the Inverness post office headquarters.
“Would that be Mr William Mackenzie,” a breathless voice called out from the other end of the phone, “the same Mr Mackenzie who dropped a parcel off with the post office this morning,”
“the parcel with the mice in it bound for the manse in Stornoway?”
My grandfather had probably twigged by now that it was William Mackenzie jnr they were looking for and not him.
The rather annoyed post office attendant continued to explain how the mice had succeeded in gnawing their way through the cereal box and had escaped into the office; shutting it down for several hours.
‘We’ve dealt with the situation Mr. Mackenzie, you’ll be glad to know. We caught the wee blighters, taped them back inside the box and they’re on their way to Lewis as we speak.’
The problem no longer belonged to the post office nor my grandfather… But it did belong to the island ferry, its passengers and crew. The mice escaped three times en route, once on the bus, twice as they crossed the Minch. Each time they were re-parcelled in the same cereal box and sent on their way.
The ending that I referred to earlier on in the story was that the Lewis branch of this particular mice family were extremely successful and it is rumoured that if you see a white mouse on the Long Island today it is almost certain to be a direct descendant of the original three white mice who hailed from Inverness.


About hurrah4books

I'm a writer and children's book editor based in Scotland.

One response »

  1. And the picture book of the Three White Mice will be released when?


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