Today I have a story for you.
Once upon an era two mice were put in the most wonderful cage either could imagine.
The cage was so vast they could hardly see past all the various plants and toys to the metal bars at the far end. There were tiny fruits growing on the plants, balls to play with, a ferris wheel to run around on when tearing from one end of the cage wasn’t enough, and even a maze to learn for extra treats. They were both smart mice with great imaginations and learned the maze fast.
The trickiest play was the button push for water. It poured out into a little stream when you pressed your paw on the right one. That took many whisker twitches to figure out. But they got it.
Someone they called god came every other day to clean up after them, which was best of all. God put them here, didn’t he?
They built a nest in the best place beneath their favorite fruit tree near the water stream (there were so many fine places) and birthed six little mice. Oh, joy, six more mice running around and playing. It wasn’t long before six little mice became thirty mice and even more fun was had. Except when those mice turned into thirty mice and god came and not only cleaned, but removed some of the mice. They were missed, at first, but more mice were born to replace them.
Time passed, and one day god did not arrive to clean their mess.
Two darks later, and he didn’t arrive. Four darks later and their shit piled up, creating an interest to flies and other small critters the mice did not care for. There were no treats from the maze, either, no matter how often one ran it.
Also, it was getting a bit crowded in paradise.
One young mouse named Seed said, “Maybe we should do something.”
Another mouse said, “God will provide.”
So they did nothing.
The shit piled up and more mice were born, and many of them were hungry.
Seed tried. “Remember who did best in the maze?” she said. “What will happen if we don’t clean up this mess ourselves?”
But they did nothing.
One mouse named Wiley, bigger than the others, got his friends and stood guard over the water button. “Bring me your females or you get no water, clean space, or places to play.”
Soon mice were fighting over whose females went for water and who got the cleaner spaces. Dead mice as well as mouse shit lay everywhere, and paradise began to stink and attract ever more undesirable creatures.
By now Seed had little mice of her own and friends who were trying to clean up spaces by tossing shit and dead mice out of their cage, but they couldn’t keep up as so many other mice were shitting and killing others to get clean space, water, and food.
Their plants no longer provided and hungry mice killed one another for food.
They were so crowded and filthy many became ill and spread disease. Those who were once healthy became weak. Flies dove everywhere, feasting.
By now Seed was a great grandmother, and watched her grandchildren and great grandchildren fade with disease before her eyes, the once beautiful plants shrivel among the stinking piles of shit.
What became of paradise?