The eldest mouse raised his paw to summon the mice to the Mouse Council.
The mice swarmed to the center of the attic of the little house on the outskirts of Saint Louis Missouri.
"Let us begin," Elder Mouse intoned. "Scout mouse, report on your basement expedition. Is it habitable, or is is still the realm of death where so many of our ancestors were slaughtered? Thirty-one mice dead. Only two survived. Our population was decimated."
All the mouse bowed their heads to honor the dead, except one silky mouse, who softly squeaked, "Decimate means to reduce by one tenth."
"Whatever," Elder mouse said, "My question is, can we live in the basement or are we stuck in this attic?"
Scout Mouse replied, "No, the basement is too dangerous. I found a strange artifact. A rectangle filled with glue!"
Elder Mouse asked, "What is it?"
"It's a trap!" Scout Mouse squeaked shrilly.
The attic filled with squeaks. Elder mouse again lifted his wee paw. "Silence. The Great Ones will hear us. Well, that's a mystery. Why does the basement contain these hazards? We will have to limit ourselves to the clouds of insulation in the attic."
A young mouse added, "And the walls. I've been racing around the walls all night long."
A cry from the crowd. "Tell us about the walls!"
Young Mouse hadn't prepared a formal report, but after he thought a moment, he said, "I have found that if I scratch for an hour on the walls behind the headboard the Great Male will scream and pound on the wall. Obviously, he is trying to communicate. With every interaction his screams get more and more high-pitched. Perhaps someday he will learn our language. I think ... I think one day we could speak to the Giants. Perhaps in your lifetime, Elder Mouse."
Elder Mouse bowed his head in assent, but a flicker of doubt crossed his whiskers. Were the Great Ones as kind as the Young Mouse thought?
And, bold as they are, would these young mice survive?