The Tale of Two Bad Mice

by Vicky on November 30, 2010

Our Page Presents show featured Beatrix Potter’s story, The Tale of Two Bad Mice, on November 19.

I modified my backdrop, which had first been a church, then a library, and now a doll house.  The story begins when the two residents of the doll house, Lucinda and Jane, go out for a ride in their carriage. 

Tom Thumb and his wife, Hunca Munca, venture out from their hole and find that the door of the doll house is open.

They go inside, and, in my version of the story, Tom Thumb invites Hunca Munca for a dance before dinner.  (I added the dancing because Matt had been wanting to teach the kids how to polka.  Which he did!)

Tom Thumb and Hunca Munca dance to the opening section of “The Pizzicato Polka,” then decide to sample the delicious dinner laid out in the dining room.

They soon discover that the food is inedible and impossible to slice.  It is doll house food, made from plaster.  In the original story, the mice have a wonderful time smashing the dishes, but, alas, I had no doll house dishes to smash.

So, in my version the two mice just get really angry and decide to go upstairs and trash the house.

The pillow fight is beautifully messy!  I have to be careful that my hastily constructed mouse puppets don’t get too carried away with the pillow fight, as they weren’t designed for much roughhousing!

In Beatrix Potter’s story, the mice then proceed to steal some of the doll furniture for their own home, but I cut this section.  Lucinda and Jane return from their carriage ride and find their house in complete chaos.  But, in the end, Tom Thumb and Hunca Munca contrive to pay for the damage they have caused.  Tom Thumb finds a sixpence under the hearth rug and puts it into the dolls’ Christmas stocking.  And Hunca Munca visits the doll house every morning before anyone is awake to dust and sweep it clean.

After the story, everyone made Mouse masks!  These were inspired by the much more elegant design by Corinne Okada for florentine style rat masks (for a children’s theater production of The Pied Piper of Hamelin).

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