The Story of Jumping Mouse
Retold and Illustrated by John Steptoe
A young mouse hears tales of the far-off land and yearns to see it. A magic frog endows him with a new name, Jumping Mouse, with new abilities to match. As Jumping Mouse journeys toward the far-off land, his compassionate encounters with others deplete him. He reaches his goal finding his joy mixed with despair – until Magic Frog’s final gift brings a triumphant twist to Jumping Mouse’s sojourn.
The interactions Jumping Mouse has with the fat mouse, the bison, and the wolf are shining examples of generosity and compassion. His meditation upon waking up in the far-off land can also be a reminder to be present: “I am here. I feel the earth… I hear the wind… The sun warms my bones.”
I note that throughout the story, the most important thing for Jumping Mouse to avoid are the “shadows in the sky”. What an interesting twist, then, is the ending!