Thursday, 17 November 2011

The Man and The Mouse

He laughed at the brazen mouse, poking his head above the parapet of the platform.  The other people stood waiting for the High Barnet-bound train turned their judgemental eyes towards him and looked not at all at the mouse.

The mouse sniffed, looked about him and disappeared. The Edgware train roared into the platform and paused, for breath.  He hoped the mouse was not caught beneath its wheels.

The mouse shook.  The ache and grind of the the monster's wheels never ceased to scare him.  He was a sham of an underground mouse. Hardy, fearless, thumbing his nose at the Big People - the mouse had never been that mouse.  He revelled in the "art of the tube" posters, he gorged on the 1930s prints of London attractions gone by. If he'd have known what it meant, he would have described himself as an Arts mouse, an aesthetic mouse, a mouse destined to appreciate greater things.

The man on the platform shuddered slightly as he watched the mouse scuttle across the tracks, fearless and brazen;  the people on the platform entirely disregarded by the mouse.  Suddenly the mouse poked his small, inquisitive nose above the platform edge.  The man jumped back and involuntarily emitted a scared squeak of his own.   Ashamed, he glanced about him.  His fellow platform dwellers feigned disinterest. What, he wondered, is worse? Disparagement or studied indifference?

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