This instalment of the Dalek Game is for John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men.
When I was growing up, there were mouse plagues in our part of the world. Much of the population devoted its spare time to inventing better mousetraps, cats ceased to acknowledge the existence of mice, and whenever I went into the shed or looked into a drum there would be a scurrying flurry into the corners. I remember the smell and the chewed books.
But I also grew up on Beatrix Potter’s perfectly drawn Bad Mice, and although the plague mice were terrible pests who would send cars off the road and eat through saddles and Tupperware, they had just such beautiful bright eyes and perfect ears.
We had a decayed piano which was removed onto the veranda. Sometimes, if I sat very quietly on the steps of the house, I could hear faint twanging as the mice slid up and down the strings.