Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Genre Character of the Week: Mitkey Mouse

The hero of exactly two short stories (Star Mouse (1942), Mitkey Rides Again (1950), respectively), and one children’s book (Mitkey Astromouse (1973), Frederic Brown’s Mitkey Mouse begins his life as a simple lab mouse (pictured left) and eventually ends his journey as this week’s genre character (er…genre mouse).

Named for the famous mouse by a German doctor working in the States, Mitkey went on a journey to the moon in his first story (1942), and while there he was granted a massively increased intelligence by the beings who lived there and was sent home. Upon his return and speaking heavily accented English (the only kind of English he had ever heard), Mitkey attempts to find a new place on Earth for his kind, a place humans may give up to mice and together the two sentient races could work towards building a grand civilization (Mitkey plans to rename the new mouse homeland Moustralia).

Without spoiling the first story, Mitkey returns in a second story eight years later where he finds that not all hyper-intelligent mice are as kind as he had hoped…

What I like best about Mitkey is his sort of everymouse appeal, trying to work best to better his life, and that of all mousekind, Mitkey is truly a hero of small proportions.

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