The Archer Mice of Middle-earth
The Mouselorien Lawn Tennis Tournament
‘Well’ said Haldirmouse looking down haughtily at the Archer Mice.
‘You have chosen a bad time to visit Mouselórien.
Today is Queen Galadriemouse’s annual Garden Party and Lawn Tennis Tournament. She will not be interested in seeing a crowd of
riff raff rodents like you.’
‘I beg your pardon!’ said Aramouse drawing himself up to his full mouse height. ‘I am Aramouse son of Arathouse…’
‘Shut up, Aramouse!’ hissed Boromouse. ‘Let me handle this…’
Gondormouse sauntered up to Haldirmouse and said;
‘Garden Party, eh?’
‘Can we have strawberries and cream?’ piped up Pipsqueak and Merimouse.
‘No!’ said Haldirmouse. Boromouse raised an eyebrow and said;.
‘Anyone for tennis?’ Haldirmouse looked at him suspiciously.
‘What do you mean?’
‘We, the heroic Archer Mice will play you at tennis for the privilege of entering Mouselórien and meeting your fair mousette…er
I mean Queen Galadriemouse.’
Haldirmouse stared at Boromouse then a with a sly grin said;
‘Done! But it will be doubles. You and Aramouse against me and Celemouse The Wise.’
‘Done!’ said Boromouse.
‘I warn you’ drawled Haldirmouse. ‘we have never been beaten….’
As Haldirmouse went off to change out of his red tights and fetch his tennis balls Aramouse said to Boromouse.
‘Is this the day that we draw racquets together, Gondormouse?’
‘For tennis and glory!’ cried Boromouse.
‘For Dublin four and glory!’ corrected Aramouse…
At last all was ready. Merry and Pipsqueak and Frodent and Sammouse got a front seat, as guests of the players. Wizardmouse was
umpire, after some discussion about impartiality. Haldirmouse came out dressed in crisp tennis whites, with matching headband and
wristbands. Celemouse The Wise wore a mithril-studded sun visor.
‘If only I had my Nike tennis shoes!’ sobbed Legomouse.
After tossing a coin, which took some time as it required three mice to throw it in the air, Haldirmouse began serving for Mouselórien.
Thock! The ball sailed over the chestnuts into Pembroke Road.
‘Out!’ cried Wizardmouse.
‘Sorry, chaps!’ cried Haldirmouse. ‘Nerves!’
‘Cissies!’ muttered Boromouse, then served, Celemouse replied, and Aramouse missed the volley.
‘Wake up, Aramouse!’ snapped Boromouse. Aramouse shrugged and said;
‘It’s this chain mail, Bor, it’s too hot. I will have to take it off….’
And Aramouse pulled off his tiny hauberk of steel
wool, revealing a well-muscled mouse torso. A scream went up from the female Galadrimice watching the tournament, and some fainted.
‘Put it back on’ snapped Boromouse.
‘No fear!’ said Aramouse, smirking. At the other end of the court Celemouse said;
‘Hey, none of that! I’m the celebrity here!’
‘Get on with it!’ said Wizardmouse.
Back and forward the balls went, mouse heads turning to and fro in time. Straw hats were worn against the tepid Irish sun, lemon
barley served. At last a ball bounced on the line.
‘Out!’ shouted Wizardmouse.
‘You cannot be serious!’ screamed Celemouse the Wise, flinging his racquet to the ground. ‘Do you need glasses, Wizardmouse?’
‘No’ said Wizardmouse icily. ‘and it is out’.
Boromouse smirked to Aramouse.
‘We nearly have them, Aramouse.’
‘Really?’ Replied Aramouse, blowing a kiss to the crowd. Just then Celemouse slammed the ball over the net. It rolled to the
paws of Frodent and Sammouse….and vanished. A hunt began, but no ball was found.
‘Advantage the Archer Mice’ shouted Wizardmouse, triumphantly. Celemouse threw his racquet to the ground again.
‘I don’t believe this! You cannot be serious….’
‘I believe we win…’ announced Boromouse to the cheers of the crowd.
‘Strawberries and cream for the halfrodents!’
Merimouse and Pipsqueak squealed with delight.
‘Frodent, dear Master….’ Said Sammouse hesitantly.
‘Yes, Sam’ said Frodent calmly.
‘What happened to the ball?'
‘I made it disappear’ said Frodent.
‘You…you cheated!’ said Sammouse in a shocked whisper.
‘Sammouse’ replied Frodent. ‘Friend of friends, halfrodent of halfrodents…’