About Bernard.

There was this book by Margery Sharp. Which Disney totally ruined.

There was this book by Margery Sharp. Which Disney totally ruined.

It was called The Rescuers, published in 1959. Charming illustrations and story. Three mice — I can’t remember how — are conscripted to rescue an imprisoned Norwegian poet. Don’t know how Disney wrecked the plot because I never saw saw it, but I’m going here on my memory of the book.

There was Miss Bianca, a pampered white mouse with a silver necklace (gold on Sunday’s if I remember rightly — it’s only been 56 years), Nils the Norwegian seafaring mouse with the stripey stocking cap, and the unassuming, incredibly loyal Bernard.

The prison has a cat to guard against mice. Nils has a stripey hat.

The prison has a cat to guard against mice. Nils has a stripey hat.

Nils is the swashbuckler, Miss Bianca is the femme fatale, something Zsa Zsa about her, and Bernard is just the guy who keeps plugging along wondering why anyone needs him except that he knows he has a personal duty to protect Miss Bianca from her silly, ill-considered decisions. Which happens a lot.

Bernard gets himself into some serious fixes looking after Miss Bianca.

Bernard gets himself into some serious fixes looking after Miss Bianca.

At times it gets really really bad. Dank places, lots of small spaces to squirm through, and always the cat.

You wouldn't want to look up and see that.

You wouldn’t want to look up and see that.

What the hell are you telling me this for, you’re probably saying. We live in the country, and in the country in the winter the mice try to move in. It’s Elliott’s job to hunt them down and kill them. Which he does in his, you know, free time. Thing is, he doesn’t spend much time in the garage, which he regards as a mere passageway to the out of doors, where he goes every night to reassert his Fight Club championship. Meaning, there’s a mouse who is clever enough to dodge Elliott and eat a hole in the 30 pound dog food bag that sustains two sighthounds, a Scotty, and a pug.

He’s a bold little bastard. He clearly knows about dinner time because when I enter the garage about 6 pm I almost always see his little ass and tail escaping outside. I mean, he waits that long before he makes his move. I admire his nerve.

And there’s the problem. I’ve come to think of him as Bernard. He’s a nuisance, even an annoyance, but now he has a name. Killing him would now be murder. Part of me wants him to keep getting away with it and find his true love.

What's one lovelorn mouse in the scheme of things?

What’s one lovelorn mouse in the scheme of things?

On the other hand, I want Elliott to get off his ass and nail the little bastard.

See the dilemma?

Run, Bernard, run! I promise you don’t want to meet Elliott.

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