Word and Image

Posts tagged “Mice

Plural of mouse

The plural of mouse is mice. And so, the book reads, “T’was the night before Christmas and not a creature was stirring not even a mouse.”

Jules got me. She was about four or five. The illustration is of two mice. Aha! Plural mouses! She asked, “Which is the mouse? Which is the mice?” Of course the mices have names – Mouse and Mice! Every night she stopped me at this spot and asked her questions. I was stumped. One mouse, two mouse, but which are the mice? Which? Is the word “which” singular or plural? We never did clear it up. I remember to this day. And I am still at a loss for explanation. Some books – mercifully!!! – only illustrate one “mice” in the picture. It makes things eminently easier!


Circle Game

It’s a completely foreign sight to see your grown children reading to theirs.

…We can’t return, we can only look
Behind, from where we came
And go round and round and round, in the circle game… – Joni Mitchell

Mice or mouse? Twas’ the Night Before Christmas – “…not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…” The concept of mice or mouse, or, are they their names, plural vs singular, ah, that is the question?? Did it matter? Every night I read to “my” kids, and, Jules would stop me right here, without fail! “Which is the mouse? Which is the mice?” Without fail, we would pause. I gave my explanation. Jules expressed her doubt and confusion. We could never quite communicate our thought. It persists even now. Mice or mouse? It tugs at my heart to see my kids all grown up. A new dress? – universally beloved by little girls.