There I was with some of my friends listening to the cheery music and watching all the customers walk by. I had just been plucked out of the box and was finally able to see what was going on and it was wonderful! From my place on the display rack I could see all kinds of other toys and I was in between two of my favorites, Unicorn and Lion. There were lights and decorations and everyone seemed happy. As the time passed Unicorn and Lion and Owl, Seal, Rabbit and Puppy and Kitty and even Shark were taken from their places to go home with people, and then others just like them took their spots. This happened many times throughout that first day. No one, however, did more than just glance my way.
You see, I’m a mouse, a mouse puppet, that is, and although I am quite cute in my own way, I’m also rather large for a mouse, so I am often mistaken for a rat, even though my label states quite clearly that I am a mouse. Sadly, some people find a puppet mouse that looks like a rat off putting.
That night when the music had stopped and all the lights were off and all the other toys were sleeping, I was thinking…
“What’s the world outside of the shop and beyond the mall like?”
“Would someone pick me?” “What would it be like to live with someone who wasn’t          furry?”
My thoughts carried me into a dream. In my dream, someone had bought me and I was looking up into laughing faces. The next day I met Mona and my life changed forever.
Just after the store opened, she came bouncing in with a smile that filled her whole face; she looked like a kid wearing a grown-up suit. She came right over to the where my friends and I were on display. Her eyes passed over them and beamed on to me. She gently lifted me up and slipped me onto her hand. Energy zipped through my body; my hands and mouth were moving. I heard a squeaking sound, and realized I was talking! I’d never done anything like that before! Wow! I was alive!!!
“He fits perfectly!” I heard her exclaim to the friend she called Jo.
“Look at him move.” She was right, I was moving. “Oh, he’s perfect! I’ve got to get him       and bring him home!”
“Home! I was going home!” I wasn’t sure what home was, but it sounded great!!!
And it was. Later that day, she put me on the soft, comfy couch and began sharing her thoughts. She started talking about something called 9/11 and Christmas. When she spoke about the numbers, her face got dark and her voice sounded sad. But, when she spoke about Christmas, her face got all shiny and her eyes twinkled and her voice sounded like the music I had heard at the store. Suddenly, she stopped talking and looked into my eyes. After a few moments, she started speaking, but this time it was very softly.
“I have your assignment, Mouse.”
“Assignment? What’s an assignment?” I wondered, eager to know more.
“December is the time to reflect on what the holidays are really about: a reminder  that love and kindness and caring is what make life sweet!
I didn’t really know what holidays and December were, but Mona was very happy when she mentioned them and that made me feel warm and tickly inside. Her voice was growing louder now and sounded like music again.
“And you, my little mouse friend, are going to help remind me and other people about  just that!”
“Me, she said me!”
Energy surged through my furry body, and that was without Mona’s hand being anywhere near me. I was going to be a part of whatever it was that was making Mona so excited. Yippee! Yippee!! Yippee!!!
She put me on her hand, and I began squeaking with joy and clapping my tiny paws. And then using her hands to make my paws move, we picked up a piece of wrapped chocolate.
“So, Furry One, from now own your name is Jubilee The Mouse and your job is to give out candy during all the month of December. A cute little mouse with a small sweet gift is a great way to celebration the season of Light. What do you think, Jubilee; are we partners?”
I squeaked out an elated “yes!” That was sixteen years ago and we’ve been partners ever since.

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