The True Story of a Mouse who Never Asked for It
“In this gloriously unruly feminist fable,The True Story of a Mouse Who Never Asked for It explores the power of art-making, the tedium of the domestic, and the dangers of heteronormativity, all within beautiful pictures and tender words. I was enchanted by the pairing of graphic illustration and tight prose on every page. It is luminous and evocative from start to finish.” —Alisson Woods, author ofBeing Lolita
The story begins with a mouse, very neat and hard-working, who makes herself a home. In disbelief that she has a house but isn’t a wife, suitors show up uninvited, each asking for her hand. She turns everyone down… until a pack of tiny kittens arrive, and she agrees to marry the smallest and most defenseless of the bunch. But it does every mouse well to remember that a kitten always grows up to be a cat.
Today, the most commonly told version of this popular folktale serves as a warning, scaring girls to choose good men to marry by reminding them that the cat will always devour the mouse. But this story is rooted in the non-normative, non-performative original version, before it became a cautionary tale.
Here, by contrast, the story tells of the pain and harm that come from falling prey to situations beyond one’s control. It is also a powerful story of reclaiming one’s selfhood.