"The Mouse" by Fredric Brown: An Appreciation by Gary Alan Wassner
This story could have been written yesterday. We haven't come any closer today to understanding what form an extraterrestrial might take than we were in 1949 when Fredric Brown wrote this. But that's what so marvelous about this kind of writing. The imagination has to govern the way a story is shaped, not facts. And where do we get the food for these thoughts? We tap into what mystifies us all; how small we are. Writing about aliens reminds us of just how little we do know and it humbles us. Presidents and scientists, Prime Ministers and Generals, ordinary people, all blend into one another, lose their independence, their distinguishing characteristics, when juxtaposed against the unknown, the limitlessness of what we don't know. Stories like this one, simple, well told, personal stories just like this, serve as the great equalizers, the most effective means of leveling the playing field, egalitarian in all respects. In the face of the unknown, we are merely human. In the face of the unknown, we are tiny, tiny creatures, struggling to make sense out of a limitless universe that we can never truly embrace with our minds. In the face of the unknown we can only dance and sing . . . and write fantastic fiction.
Link to story.
Gary Alan Wassner