"In a busy little town, not very far away, there is a church...and in the church there once lived a mouse whose name was Arthur..."
(and a few other characters with a capital "C")
THE CHURCH MOUSE by Graham Oakley is the story or Arthur who enjoys all the amenities and safety of the church and his sidekick Sampson the church cat who "had listened to so many sermons about the meek being blessed and everybody really being brothers that he had grown frighteningly meek and treated Arthur just like a brother." But Arthur was lonely for the companionship of other mice, so, with the blessing of the parson, he implemented a plan to make the church the home of the many mice who were living in frightful conditions all around town. Poor, meek Sampson became the baby-sitter of all the young ones while all the adult mice did various tasks in the church to earn their cheese. After a bad Saturday night of babysitting, Sampson drifted off during the sermon and dreamt he was back in the days before he was reformed. But, it wasn't a dream! He was chasing mice all over the church and caused such a ruckus the whole congregation left in a huff vowing to not return til the vermin were gone. Sampson repented but it was too late. "It was all working out so nicely," the parson went on sadly, "but you'll have to go in the morning. A church is no good without a congregation, is it?" Well that's not the end of the story but I'll just say there was an interesting turn of events that and Sampson and Arthur rallied the mice to save the day and establish themselves as permanent residents of the church. The text and illustrations are fitly joined together to create a hilarious and wonderful little story with an excellent ending.
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