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Jackie Mead Mar 2020
If you are reading chapter 9 you will be familiar with the characters of mine.

There is Mouse, of course, he has a house on the River Louse, his Wife Hilda and 11 Sons and a Daughter.

Frog and Bee, they live on a log in the middle of a bog, happy and free.

The Fly with one eye and his friend dear, that is, of course, the Elf with one Ear.

The Horse and his Master, from the town of Cry.

A Dolly called Molly and her dear friends Ferret the Cat, and a Dog named Mouse, who all live nearby.

In the nearby town of Cry there live a Mayor and Mayoress, a pair of beautiful, graceful Swans.

Mr Mayor has such an air of authority, when he talked people listened, what he was saying took priority.

The Mayoress walked around with such a hypnotising grace, people would stare at her, stuck , unable to move, paralysed in one place.

Together they held people’s attention, lest the Mayor or Mayoress would think to give them a mention.

One day,  it was a warm sunny day on the River Louse and the Mouse with a house on the River Louse was sunning himself in his pretty garden, whilst Bee was buzzing closely by.

The mouse with a house on the River Louse would soon need to go indoors and get ready, he was expecting to see not only Frog and Bee but also his other friends; the Elf with one ear and the Fly with one eye.

They saw each other most days especially now the sun was in the sky and it was warm outside.

They were free to wander wherever they chose; sometimes swimming in the river, sometimes lazing on the bank, closing their eyes, having a doze.

The days passed swiftly when they were all together, no need for advice on social distancing or where to travel or indeed no need for a bellwether.

One fateful day this would all change the dear friends were soon to become estranged.

The Mouse with a house on the River Louse noticed it first; he had seen it on the news, he didn’t believe it affected him, surely he would not be affected by something started in Wan-hu.

That day the Mayor and Mayoress were visiting house to house when they came upon the house that was home to the Mouse with a house on the River Louse.

“Come in, come in” the mouse began to say but the Mayor interrupted him “I have something important to say!”

“Today we have been advised by the Prime Minister that we are no longer to have parties in the sun, a measure called social distancing has begun”

The Mayor continued to say “there is to be no more socialising with your friends until I announce these measures have come to an end”

“Most importantly he continued to say “ “you must wash your hands regularly each day with soap and hot water, pass that on to anyone within your home, your Wife your Sons and Daughter”

“now I must hasten on my way and wish you and your family a good day”

Mouse was beside himself, for once he did not know what to say, he wouldn’t see his friends anymore and the Mayor had implored him to stay indoors.

What was he now to do; who would he pass the time with if not his friends, his whole world was coming to an end.

Hilda his Wife was not so downhearted

“There are tasks indoors you could complete if you don’t want to spend the time downbeat.”

“First there is painting to be done, starting in the boys' bedrooms I was thinking wheatsheaf yellow, you know the colour of the Sun!”

“Next I am sure your Daughter would like you to take her for a ride on her new bike,  around the living room, I think the size of that room is the best.”
“by the time restrictions are lifted she will be ready for her cycle proficiency test”

“We could play a game of chess, monopoly or trivial pursuit, drink grapefruit juice or a glass of wine made from arrowroot.

“There are TV shows that have got the boys excited; like Marvel revisited and Iron Man and Hulk reunited”.

“as for you and me, we can put the children to bed, have a romantic meal, soup of carrot and a main meal of chickpea”

“Does any of this sound appealing to you?”

“Have a think and let us know what you want to do”

The Mouse didn’t have to think or take up with an alcoholic drink, he knew what he wanted to say.

“My dear wife, Hilda, you are quite right, we have each other and that’s alright”  
“if when restrictions come to an end, I will, of course, love to see all my friends, they seem like family too at times”

“For now, though I just need you, my sons and daughters and plenty of soap to wash my feet together with hot water!”

His wife and children began to laugh, they had thought the world had come to an end when Mouse was told not to see his friends.

Instead, now life had just begun, a different life to one he had once known but that was alright because he had his health, children, and wife and that meant he was not alone.

A pandemic had caused the social distancing now in place, travel had been stopped to places far and wide.  

It seemed Humans were the worse affected, but the illness had transcended from animals in the first place, the restrictions, therefore, were needed to protect all animals nationwide.

Restrictions would be in place for the foreseeable time but when lifted the whole village would celebrate with a posh ball and dance to the music of Five in a Pen.  

A posh ball so big, it would include mouse, frog and bee, molly the dolly, elf with one ear, fly with one eye , butterfly and Mayor and Mayoress, ducks of all names, squirrels and snakes, badgers and moles and all manner of creatures would attend this very posh ball.

Creatures would come from far and wide and mouse would have his children and wife by his side and would puff out his chest showing his pride.

As long as his family and friends made it out of restrictions without illness then the plan the Mayor had put in place would seem flawless.

The Mouse with a house on the River Louse knew that times were changing, the after-effects of the pandemic would be long-ranging.

That was a choice he was willing to make for his wife and his children’s sake.
If you are in isolation then my thoughts are with you and I hope you get well soon.
I wrote this to go alongside my other Poems of the Mouse with a house on the River Louse and his friends>
You are the first to read it, I hope you enjoy it and take it for what it is a light relief at this time.
Please I have not mistyped WU-Han, it is an intended difference.

— The End —