My mother gave me my first (real) mice when I was 6. I forget their names now, but there was one girl and one boy. We knew because, to my delight, they had babies! Shortly thereafter, they ate their babies in a bloodbath not fit for a kindergartener’s eyes. This is why I don’t like real mice. The next mice she gave me were thankfully not real…
They stood two inches tall and were covered in real rabbit fur. (Side note – I do not enjoy nor advocate the use of real fur! These figurines are vintage art pieces and I love them, so I let it slide). Each one in a complete ensemble with little black beads for eyes and a shiny red ball for the nose. My favorite was the bride, dressed in a tulle gown and carrying flowers. Accompanying the bride was her groom in a tiny tuxedo. His head was shiny and bald where a top hat used to be (I’ve since constructed a new top hat for him made of construction paper). A matador completed the miniature collection, a strange addition to the wedding party to say the least
My grandfather was the first to fall in love with the mice. He discovered them on a trip to Germany and bought them for my mother. I liked their history, that my mother had spent years loving these mice and now they were mine and they were the strangest and cutest things I had ever seen.
My mice lived in their homes beside my bed – little clear plastic boxes that kept them safe from my curious cat. It was tempting to play with them, to stomp them around as I did my Barbies and Beanie Babies (resale value be damned!), but I never did. I wanted to keep them as perfect as possible, even if the bride was missing her veil and the groom his top hat after years of playing by my mom’s hands.
My collection grew from there. I stumbled upon these mice in small and specialty toy stores. My next additions were a police officer and a bridesmaid (for the bride and groom, of course!) The police officer might seem an odd choice, but with his tiny gun and holster, I couldn’t resist.
I collected more over the years with the power of eBay and thrifting. When I started a food truck, I added a tiny chef to my collection. I took up crochet and found a mouse with yarn and a hook. And now I am the proud owner of a clown, a queen, a maid, a ballerina, and a southern belle.
My fur mice love is met with a lot of side-eyeing. Understandably so, not everyone sees the appeal of anthropomorphic real fur mouse figurines. It amazes me now to see how much these mice have influenced my life and interests. I spend my days making little creatures, albeit they are crocheted and include NO fur (thank you very much!). They showed me things don’t have to have a purpose to be special. They showed me that whimsical and weird is a good thing, no matter your age.
Mainly, my fur mice help me see that happiness and inspiration can be tucked away in the smallest packages. These mice have brought me joy every day since they came into my life. All because someone somewhere had the urge to make tiny mice, dress them in real clothes, and release them out into the world. So make the things you want to make, no matter how weird, impractical, or unpopular because you never know who will cherish them forever.