Thursday, July 28, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Little Gray Mouse Goes Sailing

In which I share vague recollections of books I read long ago that have stuck with me.

My dirty, well-loved copy of the book.
This is a bit of a different TBT because I still own my copy of Little Gray Mouse Goes Sailing, an easy reader published in 1965 that I read many times during my early childhood in the 70s. I even took a few minutes to reread it before writing this post. This story never gets old for me.

Little Gray Mouse lives in a house with a family. One day he is lured outside by the tempting aroma of hot dogs on a grill, feeling very confused about why the family is eating outside. He meets Brownie, an outside mouse who explains the concept of barbecuing in the summer. In my favorite scene, they eat a giant (compared to them) hot dog and drink a giant (compared to them) bottle of soda. Little Gray Mouse is all "I like being outside!" Then, in an ominous scene of foreshadowing, Brownie warns Gray Mouse not to ever go near the swimming pool. They continue to play and frolic all summer, until one day Brownie accidentally falls into the pool and Gray Mouse hops aboard a toy boat to save him. This was the most traumatic part of the story and the part that I never, ever forgot. Gray Mouse saves Brownie, who decides to move to a yard down the street where there are hot dogs but no swimming pool. Gray Mouse, though, he now yearns to return to the sea. So late at night when the family is in bed, he dons an adorable sailor suit and sails around the pool.

Interestingly, I remember part of this story a little differently. To me, the moral of the story was that if you go near the swimming pool you will drown, so please stay far far away from anything that is remotely dangerous. I had forgotten Gray Mouse's return to the boat and sailing, so I'm glad I re-read the book. In my memory it was more of a stern warning than a happy adventure.

I still have copies of a few more childhood favorites hanging around, so I'll write about some of those on future Throwback Thursdays!

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