Monday, January 10, 2011

"Fate rarely calls upon us at a moment of our choosing"

Ha. I'm betting that quote caught your eye. It was one of my favorite from Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen. But I thought it made a pretty good title for today's NaNoWriMo sharing (:

And as my oldest sighed and headed to his room, my youngest said, “Momma, my room IS clean! Can I have another story?”

“Sure, honey. What would you like me to tell you a story about?”

To which he replied, “A mouse in a spaceship!”

“Once upon a time that has not yet happened, for it is some where in the future, the people of earth knew that the planet they had forever called home would soon reach the point that she could no longer sustain them. And so they looked to the stars.

But man has always been cautious about practicing his science on people—it’s much easier to test it on animals first, for if it goes horribly wrong, well, there’s far less outcry over a rat than there is over a child!

And so the day came when they built on the moon, what they hoped was a station that could support life indefinitely.

They sent many creatures up there to try it out for months at a time. Among them was a small grey mouse, hardly noticeable at all save for the small white dot on his left haunch.

(“Momma, what’s a haunch?” asked my youngest. “Well, honey…. It’s the mouse’s butt I guess you could say.” Which led to a round of much giggling.)

So anyway, this small gray mouse with the small white dot was named Al. And given his druthers he’d have never ended up in space! But it wasn’t his choice. He’d been born in a lab and his entire life had been decided by the giants: Run the maze. Push the buttons. Eat this. Don’t eat that…. Well, you get the idea. He was in a space station on the moon, and it was NOT by his choice!

There wasn’t much gravity, which made trying to run in his wheel a little difficult until he realized he could do it upside down! And –that- was pretty cool. And the food was pretty good as well. He got to eat his favorite cheese at least once a week.

And then one day, there were a LOT more people in the station. It buzzed with excitement and sound and activity in a way it never had before! And it wasn’t long after that that Al was brought in and sized for a teeny tiny space suit.

“Now why on earth would a little mouse need a space suit?” You might ask—and the answer is simple: The station was a success and people had begun moving to the moon, but the moon would not be enough for all the people of the world, and so mankind would need to look to our neighboring planets.

What did any of that have to do with, Al? Well, he would be going in the first spaceship headed to Mars to live in yet another bio-dome to test it out for human occupation. Now the people who were using him…well…as a lab rat… weren’t completely evil people, and they wanted to make sure he’d have plenty of oxygen, just in case, so that right there is why he needed his very own space suit!

And he had to admit, he did look dashing in it!

So he was loaded up into the spaceship with a great variety of other animals, all of them headed to Mars. But on the way something terrible and unforeseen happened! The people who were flying the ship got dreadfully ill! Their fevers soared and they were not able to do their jobs.

Al saw all this and knew that something had to be done! So he slipped from his cage (for a mouse that can run through mazes, a simple cage latch is pinkie’s play! (And in case you’re wondering, a ‘pinkie’ is a baby mouse.)) and headed for the control room.

He could not read the language, but he could understand the words, and the computer was crying that they were off course and needed to engage autopilot—which happened to be a button on the dash that was flashing green…. And he was a MASTER button pusher!

All his life, he had trained for this moment! He navigated across the room and up the paneling—an easy maze with limited obstacles! He clambered over the edge and onto the surface, the noise of the alarm spurring him on! And then he pushed the button! The alarm immediately ceased. The spacecraft auto corrected on the way to Mars. And in a matter of days, the people’s fevers passed.

None of them could remember putting the ship into autopilot, and that was surely the only reason that anyone was still alive! So they decided to watch the security tapes and were –amazed- at what they saw! All of them owed their lives to a little gray mouse with a small white spot!

They dashed into the lab and over to the mouse cage—but Al had passed away in the days while they were recovering. For you see, the life of a mouse is shorter than the life of a human, and he was old before he left the moon. And though he had not chosen the path his life had been set on, when the moment came for him to make a choice, Al chose to do the right thing. He had not planned to be a hero, but in the end he was. And so on Mars is a statue of a little mouse, with these words carved on the plaque beneath, “Without his bravery, mankind would never have reached past the moon.”

And now my children, it’s time to brush your teeth and get ready for bed, for tomorrow is another school day!

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