‘Are you a man or a mouse?’
said the man to the mouse.
‘Knowing what I know of men,
I’m glad to say I’m a mouse,’
said the tiny brown rodent.
He turned unhurriedly to his hole
Then the man doubted himself
in the face of such assurance.
He lay down and tried to get into the hole.
Though his logic told him, if you can’t get in,
you can’t be a mouse, he was not convinced:
he felt there must be other criteria he was missing.
For instance, when a cat appeared,
The man shrank back against the wall
shaking, making himself as small as possible.
Even so, he felt relieved:
I must be a mouse, he thought.
But then his wife called him down for his dinner
and mentioned that afterwards,
it would still be light enough to cut the grass.