The Archer Mice of Middle-earth
The Heroic Archer Mice Prepare for Battle
On the eve of the Great Mouse Muster, (or Mouster in Old English Mice) Eowynmouse,
allowed to go to the muster as she was of the Great Royal Mouse, kitted out Merimouse for war.
The great Shieldmousen herself chose a silver thimble, stolen long ago from the sewing
workbasket of a keen-eyed seamstress called Sarahstitcher (she was out at the time) as his helm.
His fine coat of mail was knitted from Grade 0000 steel wool and his sword was a flattened
out grapefruit knife, stolen from the table after breakfast in a large house in Shrewsbury Road,
where the inhabitants spent too long with the port bottle to count the silver in the morning.
From the same careless household was taken Merimouse’s lance, a silver letter-opener
sharpened to a point to daunt even the fiercest Uruk-kat or Orcat.
Then Eowynmouse handed to Merimouse a small dirk, made of the top half of a nail file,
stolen from the dressing table of an actress preparing for a tv play in the RTE studios in Donnybrook.
She searched high and low and finally said;
‘There!‘ said Eowynmouse. ‘A true esquimouse of Rohan!‘ and she slapped the helmet tighter
on Merimouse’s skull, making him see stars.
‘But my sword is not sharp! Whined the little rodent. ‘I can‘t hurt a fly, far less an Orcat!’
‘Well, then…’ said Eowynmouse heartily, giving the tiny mouse a slap on the back that sent
him flying out the door of the tent (made from an Irish linen table napkin stolen from a house in
Serpentine Avenue, just after dinner when the guests were sampling the brandy)
‘Go and sharpen it, dumb-mouse!’
As Merimouse scampered off to find the mousesmith, Eomermouse and Gamlimouse looked up
from their dinner of Irish cheddar (low fat, stolen from a shopping trolley in Baggot Street) and
sniggered. Eomermouse said sneeringly to his sister;
‘You should not encourage him’
Eowynmouse looked scornfully at her mousebrother and said haughtily; ‘You should not doubt him’
‘I don’t doubt his mousefulness’ replied Eomermouse ‘I just doubt his stature, even for a mouse….‘
Gamlimouse sniggered again, and washed his face with his paw, preening his whiskers. Eowynmouse asked in annoyance;
‘Why should he be left behind in the mousehole? Why should he not fight for the mice he loves?‘
‘Because….‘ said Eomermouse portently, getting to his paws. ‘….once he is in battle, and hears
the miaows of the orcats, and the purrs of victorious Uruk-kats, and the dreadful jangling of the
collar bells of the balmogs, he will shake and run like a field-mouse….’
Eomermouse drew himself up to his full three inches and looked down at his sister-mouse.
‘…and he would be right to do so. Battle is no place for half-mice, nor for ladymice. War is the province of Real Mice…‘
Eowymnouse said nothing, merely thinking to herself;