Charli Mills at https://carrotranch.com issued her weekly challenge. “Write a story in 99 words involving a mouse.” This is what the prompt brought to mind, though this is considerably more than 99 words. I posted an abbreviated version at Carrot Ranch, but I’ll give the longer version here, to fill in some of the gaps in the story.

I hope you enjoy this little look at a parental failing.

 

Silent as a Mouse

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

 

We northerners stared open-mouthed at exotic blooms spelling the words, “Welcome to the Magic Kingdom.” Tears glistened in my eyes. As a “World of Disney” fan, I’d dreamed of bringing the kids here before I even had children. However, life didn’t deal me a strong financial hand or a head for business acumen, so hope of stepping foot in this Happiest Place on Earth was out of reach.

Except it wasn’t.

My daughter, Bear, endured much, and our pediatrician recommended her to Make-a-Wish’s attention.

Make-a Wish sent a charming young lady to interview Bear. Unprompted, my little girl exclaimed that she wanted to be a princess. Her consultant clapped. “There’s no better place to be a princess than Walt Disney World!” She made arrangements for us to stay at their charming Give Kids the World Village and visit all of the WDW parks.

However, there was a fly in the ointment. Costumed characters terrified Bear. I read the promotional materials and discovered what I hoped would calm her. I pointed to a page. “Look, they don’t talk.”

“Are you sure?” She wondered.

I triumphantly bumped the travel book with the back of my hand. “Absolutely. Says so right here in the official visitors’ guide.”

So, in the balmy south, just outside the tunnel to Main Street USA, we waited to meet the ambassadors of Mr. Disney’s amazing vision, Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

Consoled by the “no talking” discovery, Bear reluctantly approached her favorite cartoon, Minnie Mouse.

Minnie moved.

Bear screamed.

We turned to flee when the dear costumed actress forgot her training and reassured, “It’s okay, honey!” Minnie covered her perpetually smiling mouth with over-large white mittens, but the damage was done.

I wondered if little Bear would ever trust me again.

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Luckily, somehow, she does.