Now that the business is done, let’s get back to my musings about one of my favorite Christmas stories. I must admit that I am unabashedly smitten with all of Beatrix Potter’s stories and drawings. But the little mice sewing tiny, tiny, tiny little stitches to finish the Governor’s coat for the poor, sick tailor in time for the Governor’s Christmas wedding holds a special place in my heart. I’m not sure why I love those little mice so. Perhaps it is their unconditional giving. They work joyfully to help someone who has never asked for help or for anything in return for his favors. The tailor does rescue the little mice from under the teacups in which Simpkin, the tailor’s naughty cat, had trapped them. Maybe they have noticed that the good far-sighted tailor lives so poorly without griping or complaining? Or perhaps the mice appreciate the scraps of silk and satin that the tailor leaves for them. I’m not sure why they choose to joyfully help the tailor. But the mystery of the exquisitely finished Christmas wedding coat where only cut pieces of cloth previously stood continues from that day forth. The tailor chose to help the little mice out of their teacup predicament even though he knew that Simpkin would be cross. And, yes, that naughty cat spitefully hides the last bit of silk twist that the tailor needs to finish the Governor's coat. The poor, sick tailor goes to bed knowing that he won't be able to finish his work. What is he going to do? But those sweet little mice work by candlelight during the nights cheerfully sewing and singing. Ever after, the tailor designs beautiful articles of clothing, cuts out the pieces, and, tired from a day’s work, lays the pieces on his work table only to find them worked into intricate garments. The tailor’s “work” becomes sought after and he no longer has any monetary troubles. Oh, those sweet little mice! Even Simpkin, the tailor’s naughty cat, feels ashamed of his behavior in comparison to those giving little mice and returns the necessary bit of twist when the tailor is well and thinks all is lost because it's Christmas day and he did not finish the Governor's coat.
But the tailor goes to his shop and is surprised to find the coat finished and worked with the most beautiful and intricate embroidery. I’m not sure the tailor ever knows to whom he owes his gratitude for these wonderful mysteries. But he is none-the-less grateful. Perhaps that is why I love this story so. There are ever so many mysteries for us to be grateful for. And there are ever so many ways we may be like the little mice.
We may feel that we are “too small” to do anything of importance. But, indeed, just like the tailor’s mice, it has always been the little things that are done “stitch by stitch” that ever really make a difference for us, others, and the world. May we all be grateful for the little stitches that make up the fabric of our lives.
Be sure to go to the “H’artfelt Christmas Blog Party” site so that you can visit all of the other partiers. It’s always fun to read them all! And remember to leave a comment in order to be entered into my Christmas Indulgence Giveaway.