Agamya Agate studies in Year 3 at an international school in Geneva.

Photo of Agamya AgateAgamya writes a small story from the point of view of a mouse, who is planning to build a house and the difficulties he has to face in realising that dream. The story sensitizes us about the importance of the ecosystem and mother nature.’. The story ends on a hopeful note that, someday, humans will realise their mistake and allow the little mouse to build its home.

If I were a mouse, I would have lived in a big burrow, with several rooms to accommodate all my guests and toys. I would have preferred an open house, not only in the physical, but also in the literal sense.

My guests – big and small – will be invited. There will be no hurry for vacating the rooms. They will be allowed to eat, drink, sleep as long as they want. They will be allowed to roam around, check out other guests, and its surroundings, paint the walls of their rooms with colours of their choice. There will be no limitation, whatsoever, except that, all guests must respect each other, be courteous at all times, and take care of the house as given by mother nature. I am sorry to say this, but I have often noticed a tendency in most of the living creatures I have met, to believe that they own everything. Now, that is strictly not allowed. The idea is to enjoy the place, without owning it.

In all its entirety, the house belongs to me, as a gift from mother nature, and it must continue to remain so. No takeovers please.

My house will have a big bedroom, large enough for my size. I will prepare it with one of the most elegant and soft cotton ever found anywhere. There will be jasmine flowers for a good fragrance, I would also keep some cheese, just in case, if I am hungry. Well, you might think that mice and their cheese can never be kept apart. But don’t mistake me for a common mouse!
Now, my bedroom will have unique structure, built through the assistance of mother nature. Unlike all other mice, I believe in the power of mother nature. She is so unique and helpful. I must tell you my plan: I want to use the roots of one of the trees in my neighbourhood to deal with emergency situations. The roots of neighbouring trees, going deep into the earth could be used as cover from the cat, if she is in a foul mood. I can also use them to climb up and come to the open ground if my burrow is suddenly filled up with water. I love mother nature for her unique assistance. Thanks to her, she has enabled even a small mouse like me to live and feel important in this world.

A curious little mouse like me has always wondered about mother nature and the surrounding world. It is so full of wisdom. In my brief experience and examination, I have found out that mother nature is the best protector and teacher. Sometimes, when my perennial enemy, the cat, get too fussy, I give up. And you know, mother nature always comes to my assistance in one way or the other. One day, I was nibbling on a piece of cheese that I found near my house. The cat came along and I had to leave the piece in a hurry to save myself. I was extremely hungry and with the piece of cheese gone there was nothing left to eat. Suddenly, guess what happened! A pair of nuts fell down from above the tree, right where I was standing. I thanked mother nature and took them for a meal. It is one of my firm beliefs that nature has always protected me. Sometimes I wonder whether little creatures such as the ants and bugs could have really lived for all these years had it not been mother nature.

As a little mouse, I had been fortunate enough to roam around freely without being spotted easily. I have been to the deep jungles, the farm lands, the river banks and even to the nearby mountains. And I have understood that there is a sort of balance in nature that supports all life, including mine. Mother nature protects us, and continues to do so, only if we also nourish her and take care of her well being. If we miss on our responsibility to conserve mother nature, she punishes us with catastrophic forest fires, volcanoes, tornadoes and heat. And, at the centre of this “balance” is trust. Mother nature trusts us and we trust in her. You don’t need a true wisdom to know that my house will not be safe if I don’t take care of its surroundings. Had there not been enough trees or flowers, or plants, I could not have lived happily.

Once, I went to a coastal region and saw that people were working in groups. Then I went to the hilly place, there also I saw people helping each other. This led me to think that working together is a must for survival. It led me to learn about the importance of community. For somebody rightly said, “Happiness can only be found in company”. That is why even a little mouse like me, who is not very inclined towards family or relatives, is keen on having friends. But being an uncommon mouse, my sense of community is not confined only to the mouse world, It includes all living things such as bees, butterflies, ants and so on.

I can see that you are interested in my thoughts, listening to me patiently. This motivates me to tell you something more, and disclose the secret of life and what is happening now. After all these travels, I have discovered that something is not right. Mother nature is not happy and the mouse world, including the world of all living creatures is in danger of extinction. I have not yet completely understood the reasons for mother nature’s unhappiness, but I know that she is extremely unhappy with us all.

While I was in the mountain region, I heard people talk about the sweltering heat. The ice has melted and there may not be any snow fall this season. I took it to be a mere gossip and moved on. When I reached the plains, the land was flooded with water, the farms were destroyed, all creatures were severely upset. Then I went to the coastal region. There I heard the fisherman saying that the river water is extremely polluted and there is no fish. Now when I string all these thoughts together, I am inclined to believe that something is not right with mother nature. Why so much heat, flooding and poisoned waters? Is she punishing us for a mistake? The answer is yet to be found.

However, as naughty little mouse, I think that living beings, including those from the mouse world may not have treated mother nature with respect. They might have upset the “balance” that I talked about with certain actions.

I don’t mean to unwelcome you to my yet-to-be-made burrow house; but you know, the place where I live used to be cool and cosy in winters. Now, it has become hot, humid and uninhabitable. I am forced to spend my nights outside these days. During summers, the temperature was soothing, but now it feels as if the whole earth is on fire. Under these conditions, I think it is very difficult to build a new house. The other day, somebody told me – which is just a rumor and you may disbelieve me – that it is the humans who are to be blamed for this mess. They have tinkered with nature so much that the “trust” now stands broken.

While, I have not yet given up my dream of building a big burrow house. I believe, the humans will realise their mistake and correct them.