The Backyard Marriage

"Once, a beautiful mouse was born. As he grew older, everyone in his family admired his good looks and his parents often asked themselves, 'Where will we ever find a wife who is worthy of such a son?'

"When the time came for the mouse to be wed, the parents decided that only God would know of a suitable lady mouse worthy of their son's good looks and charm. So, according to the custom, the oldest members of the mouse family went to see God. They knocked on God's door and waited.

"After God had invited them in, they stated their business. 'We represent the family of the beautiful mouse,' they said, 'a creature of such astounding beauty that you most surely have heard of him. We have decided that only you would know where we could find a wife worthy of his charms.'

" 'Ah,' God said. 'It is true that this fellow must have the proper wife, but I am afraid you have come to the wrong place. You should consult with the family of the Wind, for the Wind is mightier than I.'

" 'How can the Wind be mightier than God?' they asked.

"God answered, 'When the Wind blows, he covers the earth — which I have created — with dust.'

"After this, the family members consulted and decided that surely someone from the family of the Wind was worthy to marry the mouse. 'Where is the house of the Wind?' they asked.

"God directed them, and as soon as they arrived and knocked on the door of the Wind's house, the Wind welcomed them inside. 'We have come to seek a wife for the finest mouse in the world,' the family members told the Wind. 'So we have come to ask for a daughter from your family.'

"The Wind listened, but answered, 'What a wonderful idea! But I am afraid there is one more powerful than I. That is the Mountain. For you see, no matter how hard I blow, I cannot move the Mountain.'

" 'Where can we find the house of the Mountain?' they asked.

"The Wind directed the way, and as soon as they knocked on the door of the house of the Mountain, the Mountain welcomed them inside. They again explained why they had come.

" 'A wonderful idea!' the Mountain exclaimed. 'But I am afraid there is one more powerful than I. He digs at my foundation day and night and makes holes in me. There is nothing I can do to keep him from wearing me down.'

" 'A most powerful creature,' the messengers said. 'Where can we find him?'

"The Mountain directed the family to a tiny house in the valley. The house was the home of a mouse. When the messengers knocked on the door and were welcomed inside, they explained why they had come. When the mouse family heard the offer they said, 'This is wonderful. What a joy it is that our two families should be united by the marriage of our children.'

. . .

"This humorous tale, of course, has nothing to do with mice, but everything to do with human attitudes and prejudices — particularly with regard to family class and the vanities that can accompany marriage. What parents don't believe that their son or daughter is the greatest catch in the world?

"In cultures where marriages are arranged, this story demonstrates through humor that one should never regard a son or daughter so highly that a match will be impossible to find. What parent wouldn't, after all, like to find a match arranged directly by God, a match made in heaven? But since such matches are rare, it is best to look for other alternatives.

"At its heart, this delightful story is a reminder that true happiness and harmony can be found in our own backyards, and we don't have to go far to find true love!"