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Algernon the Theatre Mouse

by Sophia Johnson, aged 7

Algernon The Theatre Mouse

Read by Chris Pavlo from the BBC Radio Drama Company

In a theatre in London under the red velvet seats lived a mouse. This mouse lived on a delicious diet of ice cream smears, toffees and lost popcorn. He knew all the shows off by heart and loved to be amongst the toes of the children as they watched the shows with excitement and happiness. Sometimes the children would see him and, when their parents weren't looking, accidentally on purpose drop a treat just for him. It was a blissful time until one awful day when the theatre employed a new cleaner, a big woman with fat pink fingers like raw sausages. She hated dust and mess and mice and went into battle with her duster, polish and disinfectant. She went through the theatre like a whirlwind leaving everything gleaming and horribly clean, removing every tasty mouse morsel in the process.

The theatre animals became sad and hungry with no dinners on offer until one day they decided to call a meeting. The mice and the spiders, the beetles and the bats from the roof met in the space under the stage.

"Well, what is to be done? If we stay here we will waste away" said the bat
"Our options are to remove the new cleaner or to relocate" said the clever mouse
A vote was taken and it was decided that the cleaner was too big to be removed so the creatures would move to a new home. When it was dark they ventured out onto the streets and there amongst the legs of the crowds they began their adventure.

After a long time walking it seemed to them that their quest was in vain. They would never find a new home, nowhere was suitable, modern glass buildings or damp cold warehouses with everything else in between. But then appeared before them a theatre as they hoped they might find. It was shabby with peeling paint and some of the outside lights not working. Inside it was much the same with a dusty, musty elegance that the creatures found charming. In the auditorium it was just as they had hoped with a feast of treats scattered around the floor and seats. It was perfect.

The little mouse was never hungry again and lived happily gorging himself on chocolates, popcorn of all flavours, sour chewy sweets that stuck to his whiskers and made him wince and melted ice cream that sugared his nose.

The cleaner in the other theatre found that she had a lot more work to do without any little helpers to clear the popcorn from hard to reach places.

But the little mouse had never been happier. He grew old and fat and continued learning all the lines to the shows in the theatre and watching the joy of the audience for the rest of his mousey days.

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