The Archer Mice of Middle-earth

by Varda


The Legend of the Golden Whisker


Gilmouse son of Glóinmouse then stood forth and bowed low to Queen Galadrimouse, who inclined her head with a regal gesture of her paw and a gratified twitch of her whiskers. She said;

‘Long has it been since any of the race of Elf-mice set paw in Mouselórien, Gilmouse. Fair were the many-pillared underfloor spaces of Khazad-mouse in elder days before the fall of mighty rodents in Dublin Four….’

Gilmouse gazed starry-eyed at Galadrimouse when he heard his ancient homeland so praised. Boromouse whispered to Aramouse behind his paw
‘I think our dwarfmouse has just taken the cheddar and the trap is sprung….’
Just then Gilmouse replied, with a low sweeping bow and a flourish of his tail;
‘Yet more fair is the living realm of Mouselórien, and the Lady Galadrimouse is above all jewels that get lost on Haddington Road…..’

The Galadrimice were delighted with this exchange of high rodent courtesy but not Celemouse the Wise. His whiskers thrumming with jealousy he broke in;
‘I say, isn’t it time for dinner, Galadrimouse old girl? They might start without us…’
‘Shut up, Celemouse ‘snapped Galadrimouse in irritation. ‘They won’t start without me, I’m the Queen….’

‘I think Celemouse might soon be Galadrimouse’s ex-consort’ whispered Aramouse to Boromouse
‘…Celemouse the Stupid..’ replied Gondormouse.

‘Ask of me what you will’ said Galadrimouse, falling victim to Gilmouse’s suave Dwarfrodent charms. A gasp went up from the assembled Galadrimice. Celemouse squeaked in rage. Haldirmouse looked secretly happy at Celemouse’s discomfiture..
‘..and it will be granted….’ Added the Rodent Queen, in a regal manner.

‘Well’ said Gilmouse ‘since you ask, just a golden whisker from your beauteous snout…’
‘this is unsufferable!’ screamed Celemouse.
'I think it is wonderful!' cried Legomouse, clasping his paws in ecstasy. 'Legendary, mythic....almost good enough for Hello!...'

With a faintly musical twang and a slight grimace of pain, Galadrimouse tweaked a long golden whisker from her resplendant facial growth. She graciously held it out to Gilmouse, who took it and bowed again.

'This Golden Whisker' he announced grandly 'will ever stand as a symbol of the harmony between Pembroke Road and Upper Baggot Street, between the Elfmice and the Dwarfmice....I will set it in imperishable crystal, if time and Uruk-cats spare me...'

The Galadrimice applauded politely. The Halfrodents tore themselves away from the strawberries and cream to cheer as well. Celemouse jogged Haldirmouse's elbow.
'Psst, Haldirmouse!'
'Oh what now, Celemouse?' said Haldirmouse, craning to see the ceremony.
'Look what I got...'
'what is it?' asked Haldirmouse, as Celemouse unstoppered a tiny medecine bottle. A rank whiff of tomcats issued forth...
'Phew!' exclaimed Haldirmouse, wrinkling his nose and twitching his whiskers 'what is that?'
Celemouse smiled a sly smile.
'With this elixir I will anoint the Archer Mice before they go out into peril again.'
'But what is it?' Haldirmouse asked again.

'Cat attractant....' said Celemouse with a grim smile....