Santa’s Pocket Mouse

Every Christmas, Santa had millions of mince pies to eat – a million glasses of sherry and a million turkey dinners to heat. No wonder he wobbled as he walked down the street ! A million supper parties is quite a fete. He had so many invitations, all of which in different nations, that he advertised in the Santaland gazette, for a helper. The caption read – “Wanted – mince pie eater … with room to let”. On the centre pages, a photograph featuring Santa and the grotto elves was displayed, clearly showing the number of tasty morsels on the kitchen shelves, that Mrs. Christmas had made. But when no – one applied for the job, Santa was dismayed. “Please come and help give Santa a hand”, wrote the Christmas fairy – because no more mince pies disappeared when she waved her magic wand. So as many of the world’s children, Santa could meet, he added that cleaning skills would be handy, to keep the grotto tidy and neat (but of course, it would have to be someone (or something), who didn’t object to rain, snow and sleet !). Santa did consider a parrot to sit on his shoulder, but there weren’t many living in Santaland, where the weather was getting colder. There was a parrot for sale in the pet shop by the bus – stop, but Santa was too late. By the time he’d arrived, the pet shop owner had sold her – but he said a mouse would be equally as great. Finally after about a week, there was one reply to the Santaland gazette advert … with an “eek !”.
Santa hadn’t considered a furry creature – he was rather more interested in a cleaner, when he telephoned the gazette for a feature. Perhaps a maid, was what Santa sought – but the candidate would do well, if properly taught ! (especially since a half – nibbled lump of cheese, it brought !). At the mouse’s interview – the first thing he did was sneeze – a cloud of dust and crumbs, almost blew him over in the icy breeze. Santa only hoped that some assistance would be brought, not the flu would be caught ! but anyway, someone who liked crumbs a lot, would make the situation much less fraught ! Mrs. Christmas was shocked when a mouse introduced himself – at first, she chased it with a feather duster all the way along the bookshelf, before making a bed for him beside the elf. The mouse’s instructions were quite simple that he was to come in and out via the hole in the door – and to clean up all the crumbs that had fallen all over the floor. Despite the poor wages, the mouse had never had this much fun in ages. He got started munching straight away – crunching a hole in the cushion in less than a day ! Soon, of course, the mouse had bellyache – but it probably was because he’d eaten more than his share of the Christmas bake ! (with as many mince tarts as he could take !). The mouse poured on some cream from Mrs. Christmas’s jug – then started again, nibbling the tassles on the fireside rug !
Mrs. Christmas wasn’t happy at all – the mouse had accidentally eaten all the mail that fell through the letterbox in the hall ! She complained to Gerome the gnome, who suggested that a mousehole would be a better home. It was always such a dash for tea – so Santa checked in a book on haberdashery. In the index under “Homes for mice” – Santa read that soft cushioning was rather nice. Somewhere cosy and warm would be essential – somewhere the mouse could hibernate …. in close proximity to the mince pie plate would be even better to get them eaten at the necessary rate !
Meanwhile, Santa wandered outside for a smoke – when he spluttered, the mouse awoke. An icy wind blew from the South, as Santa put his pipe into his mouth. The weather was so cold, his pipe was difficult to hold. He felt a sneeze coming and reached for a handkerchief to unfold. That’s when an idea shot into Santa’s head like a rocket … the mouse could come and live inside his pocket !

Santa couldn’t decide on a suitable name for the mouse, who came to live inside Santa’s blouse. Instead of a title that could be written, Santa called the mouse something that was bitten : “Cheese”. He called his new friend with whistles … at the smell of fresh creamy cheese, the cheesy mouse rustled his bristles. After that, whenever the mouse got one of his “twitches”, Santa had almost certainly finished one of his Christmas sandwiches ! Often the mouse thought that it was one of his fleas that caused so many itches, it seemed – but the truth was as Santa put his hand in his coat pocket stitches were becoming unseamed ! By Christmas Eve, Santa’s coat had lost a sleeve. When Santa went to look, a bite of his collar had been took. There were only four fingers left on each woolly glove, (of course, it was Cheese the Mouse, who everyone in the grotto had started to love).

Mouse About Th’House

* Teacher’s note – draw a range of different sized squares and rectangles (representing pockets) on the board, then give, say three of four measurements – diameters, ares of one proportion, sides sizes, angles, weights etc and ask the students from what they know already, to calculate the missing dimension. On each pocket – mark a hole where the mouse appears. This can be used as a key marker. Example – How far high in the pocket is the mouse ?



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