The Archer Mice of Middle-earth

by Varda

One Ring to Rule All Mice

‘Row, Sam, row!’ squeaked Frodent, as the water poured into the McDonald’s burger carton and threatened to swamp them.

Sammouse laid down the plastic spoon he had been using as an oar and seizing an empty milk portion pot he began to bale frantically.
‘Trust you to choose a leaky carton!’ snapped Frodent. ‘and there wasn’t even a bit of cheese or lettuce still in it…’
‘Actually, master..’ retorted Sammouse ‘it was you who chose this carton!’
‘No it wasn’t’
‘Yes it was’
'No it wasn't
'Yes...look out, we’re sinking!’

And with a bubble and a plop the carton sank beneath the waves of the Granduin Canal. But it had done its task,for the shore was only a mouse-leap away, and both Frodent and his loyal mouseservant Sammouse were able to scramble to dry land. They lay on the grass for some time, getting their breath back.

‘Come on, Sam…’ said Frodent at last. ‘We better get going; it is only a matter of time before the orcats come after us….’

The two halfmice got to their paws and wrung out their wet clothes. After the manner of Dublin Four halfmice they wore homely linen shirts (made from napkins of Irish linen stolen from the dining sideboards of Rathmines) with breeches of plain homespun (fliched from drawers in Ranelagh) and waistcoats (sewn from material gnawed from tablecloths in Mount Merrion). Moths were blamed for the holes…..

While Frodent dried out his shirt, Sammouse for the first time saw The Ring. This was a tiny little-finger ring stolen from the Museum of Dublin castle. It was said that it once belonged to the fine-boned Lady of a Lord Lieutenant Of Ireland, who being much pestered with mice had a Bean an tSí, (fairy woman) make a ring that would rule all Mice. There was even a rhyme;

One Ring to rule all Mice
One Ring to find them
One Ring to bring all Mice
And in the darkness bind them
In Mordorat where the cheddar lies..

Whoever owned this Ring could wield absolute power over all Mice. So it was sought by all, Saurat, Sarumouse, Rentokill. But as Wizardmouse had said to Frodent when he first took on the fateful and dangerous task of returning it to the Museum;
‘They must never find it, Frodent!’

And Frodent the Brave had said;
‘What mouse I do?….sorry, I mean what must I do?’

Frodent sighed as he remembered his vow to take the ring. He put his damp clothes back on and looked up at the sky.
‘We’d best be getting on, Sam. It is nearly rush hour, and you know how hard it is to cross Haddington Road, they all drive like maniacs in Dublin….’

As the two rodents shouldered their tiny packs and set off, a ripple cut through the dark waters of the Granduin Canal. Unseen by Sammouse and Frodent, two greenish, luminescent eyes were reflected in the water. An empty Coke bottle bobbed on the still expanse of canal. Clinging to it was a curious, starved, bald, wide-eyed creature, that looked as if it had once been a mouse….

‘Losst the precioussss, we have!’ it whined to itself. ‘Nassty halfmices took it, yess they did….but we’ll get it back, we will…..’

This was Gollumouse. Long had he dwelt in the caverns under Dublin Castle, in thrall to the power of the Ring. Now he sought to regain his precious by tracking down Sammouse and Frodent…..

‘Nassty halfmicesss, they stole it, they did! We hates nasssty halfmicess! We wants to see them……..dead!’

As they climbed the bank of the canal Frodent stopped and looked back at the dark water and said to Sammouse;

'We're not alone....'