and Paddy were really upset. They knew that they were in for some
serious trouble. Their minds were racing, thinking all different
types of thoughts in rapid succession. Michayla was thinking that
it would be best to avoid the coming trouble by just running away
as fast as she could run. Then she thought about what had happened
to Paden when he ran away and how he had come so close to leaving
the physical world forever as a result of whatever happened to him
after he ran away. Then she tried to imagine just how awful it was
going to be as she would be on display in front of all the mice
from the homeground. To make matters worse, she was going to be
revealed as a liar and then judged by the elders with every other
mouse looking on. She imagined how some mice, like the hateful one
named Manuel Mouse would laugh at her misfortune and make fun of
her for the rest of her life for what she would have to endure.
All of these thoughts were making her feel sick to her stomach.
was just as anxious and wondered what he was going to do. In addition
to the types of thoughts that Michayla was having, Paddy knew that
Papa O'Malley was going to punish him severely. As he thought about
all of these events, his eyes began to water and tears began rolling
down his cheeks.
both Michayla and Paddy were startled by a loud banging sound right
behind them. As they turned around with their eyes bulging out of
their heads, they saw Tanasi standing by the sacred turtle shell
collection of the great mouse elder named Swift Warrior.
Warrior was an old mouse, known as an ancient, that had been around
for a very long time. In his advancing age he had decided to live
alone secretly somewhere out near Laurel Lake and no mouse in the
homeground had seen him in about seven years. He had made it clear
when he left there to go and be one with Mother Nature that he was
never to be summoned except in the most extreme circumstance. Tanasi,
having taken the sacred fighting club of Swift Warrior and struck
his sacred turtle shell collection that had remained there next
to the sacred spot where loved ones were sent on their journey to
the spirit world, was assurance to the little mice that this situation
was even more serious than they had at first imagined.
and Blaze were not too far away and they heard the eerie sound of
the striking of the sacred turtle shells, followed immediately by
three sharp and very loud whistles. They did not know exactly what
it meant, but they thought that it must be something very serious,
so they immediately flew to a nearby oak tree to watch what was
they landed in the tree they heard many more whistles from other
adult male mice. This was their assembly signal and all knew, after
the striking of the sacred turtle shells that they were to stop
whatever they were doing and go at once to the sacred assembly mound.
sacred assembly mound was a large mound of dirt that was very old
and the ancients had created it for a sacred place to pass judgment
on the most serious violations of the social code of moral conduct.
At the top of the mound was the single rock where the ruling ancient
would sit to judge these serious violations. In this case the only
surviving ancient was Swift Warrior.
the right of the ruling ancient rock were four other rocks that
were set up on top some larger rocks for those mice that had been
accused of the serious violations. These were called the rocks of
judgment and any mouse who ever had stood (mice were not allowed
to sit on these "rocks only" stand) upon them would never
forget the horrible feeling that happened as they sat there humiliated
and on display in front all the other mice.
to the left of the ruling ancient rock were seven other impressive
looking rocks that resembled big chairs. These were the rocks for
the ruling elders and were called the rocks of justice. From the
rocks of justice the ruling elders would hear the case to be presented
against the mice that had violated serious social laws. One elder,
or a medicine mouse would make the presentation of the evidence
of the violations to the ruling elders who would then look to the
ruling ancient for approval of action, change of action, or rejection
of action. It was a complicated process, but it helped ensure that
the homeground would remain a safe and honorable community.
Pat and Penny and Papa O'Malley and Virginia O'Malley heard the
alarm they were puzzled, but didn't think much about it since there
hadn't been this type of assembly in many years. Pat whistled his
assembly call for Michayla and he knew that they would have to leave
Paden alone for awhile. Papa O'Malley sounded his assembly call
for all of his little ones as they waited to head out for the sacred
mice waited and waited and waited but Michayla and Paddy did not
join them. This was troubling and they wondered what could be wrong.
Pat and Papa O'Malley sounded the assembly call one more time and
the result was the same. The could hear all the mice gathering in
the distance and decided that they better go so as not to get into
trouble for being late.
they approached the sacred assembly mound they heard mice shouting
mean things to whoever was about to be tried. They head voices saying
things like, "Banish those nasty mice from the homeground forever!"
They also heard, "Let us punish those dirty little rodents!" It
was really upsetting, because they knew that the mice yelling these
things wouldn't even know what had happened yet. It seemed like
they were just trouble makers.
they got closer they could hear loud crying coming from the sacred
assembly mound and they all thought about the mice who were crying,
knowing that they were about to tried in front of every mice in
the homeground. It seemed frightening to them. Then as they got
closer their hearts started pounding. They looked up on the rocks
of judgment and saw something that they could never have prepared
themselves for. There stood Michayla and Paddy in front of all their
friends, relatives and neighbors.
was stunning and Penny fell down and passed out of consciousness.
Virginia O'Malley screamed out and fell into the arms of Papa O'Malley
and started crying hysterically. Pat Pilgrim and Papa O'Malley looked
at each other with anger and frustration on their faces. They shook
their heads back and forth in a manner that showed their displeasure.
they heard a dreaded sound. They heard the beating of the drums
of justice and the chanting of a medicine mouse seeking approval
from the Great Creator for the trial that was about to take place.
It was too late to find anything out about what Michayla and Paddy
had done. The ceremony had begun. It was a fearful moment beyond
looked around, crying uncontrollably. She was trying to find a friendly
face that might smile at her and reassure her that everything was
going to be alright. All she saw were angry mice making hateful
gestures at her and screaming mean words. Then suddenly her eyes
caught the stare of her beloved uncle, Pat Pilgrim. She saw how
angry he was and she cried even more. She screamed out, "Please!
Please! Help Me! Help Me!"
came immediately to Pat's eyes as he knew that there was nothing
that he could do to help her at this point. It was completely out
of his control. The worst thing for Pat was that he didn't even
know what Michayla could have possibly done to be in such a mess.
It broke his heart, and he wept openly.
was doing the same thing. He was crying, but hoping so much that
he might see just one friendly face in that huge crowd. There was
none. Then, he finally saw his daddy, Papa O'Malley and noticed
the angry, disgusted look on his face. It also made him cry harder
and Blaze looked at each other and shook their heads. They weren't
sure exactly what was going on, but it was obviously very, very
bad. Then they detected movement to their left and their heads whirled
quickly in that direction. There, coming down the path from Laurel
Lake was Swift Warrior. He was moving quickly for such an old mouse
and as he came into view of the gathering of mice a loud cheer went
up to celebrate his arrival.
and Paddy looked at each other and cried. They knew that there was
no escape now. This was the final moment and the trial was about
to begin. They both wondered what would become of them and it was
a very scary thought. They knew that they would find out soon enough!
2003 Geoff Hampton
Hampton is an internationally known author, speaker, motivator and
business consultant. Hampton is the Executive Director for St. Mary's
Health & Fitness Center in Powell, TN and is also a regular
columnist for the wellness/fitness Website www.fitcommerce.com
as well as Canku Ota. He can be reached by E-mail at GEOFFLHAMPTON@aol.com
His national anti-obesity/diabetes campaign, The Wellness Wakeup
Challenge can be reviewed at www.fitcommerce.com/wellness