We have all been sent those inspirational emails. While well intended, they are generally a nuisance. They clog inboxes and usually distract from business at hand, but sometimes, there is a gem of a message contained in them. My friend Barbara sent me one such gem.
A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package.
“What food might this contain?” The mouse wondered – he was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.
Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning.
“There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”
The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, “Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it.”
The mouse turned to the pig and told him, “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”
The pig sympathized, but said, “I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers.”
The mouse turned to the cow and said, “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”
The cow said, “Wow, Mr. Mouse. I’m sorry for you, but it’s no skin off my nose.”
So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer’s mousetrap– alone.
That very night a sound was heard throughout the house — like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey.
The farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught.
The snake bit the farmer’s wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital and she returned home with a fever. Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup’s main ingredient.
But his wife’s sickness continued, so friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig. The farmer’s wife did not get well; she died. So many people came for her funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.
The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.
So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn’t concern you, remember — when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk.
I think that this applies very well to the message libertarians are sending. We are like the mouse running around warning others that there is danger in our midst. The others may be Republicans, Democrats, Independents or the politically homeless. We warn everyday that there is a trap set for us and we get blow off “not my problem” sorts of responses.
We call for the end of the War on Drugs. We work toward preserving privacy, the fruits of our labors and freedom. We work toward peace by calling for non-interventionist foreign policy. We work toward minimal government. We know that an affront to the fundamental right of self-ownership is our mousetrap. For our efforts, we are (mis)labeled as druggies, wimps and nut jobs. I have seen comments from fellow libertarians that would indicate hope is nearly lost. They have heard the excuses from those warned and think we are better off buying gold, canned goods and ammo before we head to the hills. I hope it never comes to that, but if it does, libertarians will at least see it coming and be ready to fight it. And, like the little mouse in the story, we will live free of the trap.
When a building is about to fall down all the mice desert it. Pliny the Elder