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The story Jumping Mouse is a Native American tale that is told with many central themes in mind. The story was most likely told to a wide ranged age group. So with the multiple themes it most likely was design to touch home with all ages in some form or another. One of the more central themes however was the importance of the situations and animals that help Jumping Mouse on his journey. The animals that he meets are much the same as people and situations we have met or well meet in our lifetime.
The story begins with a for the most part regular mouse. Like most mice he is “Busy with Mice things”. However just shortly into the story you find that he is anything but normal when he begins to hear a “Roaring” in his ears. Others however ignore this saying “Are you foolish in your head? What sound?”. He tries to convince the other mice, but they are too closed minded to listen to him. These mice, to me represent my peers that are unwilling to take the time to look at the bigger picture around them. I myself am happy and content with my own little world. The story made me think about what I’m missing out on in life by being confined to my little box of thinking, that is my so-called life.
Later he decides that he is going to go and find out what the noise is. He talks to his Brother the Raccoon, who tells him that what he is hearing is the river. He declares that he will go and find it so he can tell the others. After witch he begins to doubt himself, as he gets closer to the river. He almost turns back multiple times because he is so scared. This goes along with thinking outside of the box. He now begins to come out of he’s comfort zone, which causes he to almost makes him turn back. This is like so many things in my life, for I have an extreme prejudices and distaste for leaving my comfort zone. After Jumping Mouse gets to the river he sees his reflection in the river. He describes the image as a “Frightened Mouse”. This again shows that he truly is stepping far outside his comfort zone.
Soon Brother Raccoon leaves him with Brother Frog.
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Soon after, Jumping Mouse returns to the other mice to tell them of the Great River. As before the other mice do not pay attention to him. Instead they fabricate stories to discredit Jumping Mouse and convince them selves that he is crazy. Many people freely discourage others from dreams and hopes. Yet another thing seen in our society, people being told they cannot do things because of any number of things.
At this point he realizes that it is something he must do alone because no one else believes him. He then sets out on his way to the “Sacred Mountains”. Along the way he meets and older mouse that lives on the prairie, but still has protection from the Eagles. Jumping Mouse quickly becomes impressed by the older mouse’s home. Then the older mouse hears of Jumping Mouse’s quest for the Scared Mountains. The old wise mouse tries to persuade Jumping Mouse that the Scared Mountains is only a myth. Jumping Mouse replies “The Medicine of the Sacred Mountains is Nothing One can Forget.” Once again are hero the Jumping Mouse avoid temptation, by avoiding the wise mouse’s wonderful home and continuing on for that witch he has seen and seeks.
Soon after Jumping Mouse meets a sick and dying buffalo on his journey threw the prairie. He finds the only way to cure the buffalo is to give him one of his eyes. He does so after some though, but does so without though of reward. Jumping Mouse does so because he says, “I am a Mouse, And you, my Brother, are a Great Being. I cannot Let you Die. I have Two Eyes, so you may have One of them.” Truly a great example indeed. The Jumping Mouse freely gave his eye for nothing in return. However the favor is return when the Buffalo helps the Jumping Mouse cross the prairie, giving him protection from the eagles above.
Soon the buffalo cannot take Jumping Mouse any further and he takes off alone. Shortly after this Jumping Mouse meets a wolf who has lost his memory. As with the buffalo the only way to heal the sick animal is for Jumping Mouse to give the wolf his last eye. This time Jumping Mouse gives up his eye with less hesitation than the first time. As it turns out the wolf is the guide into the Scared Mountains. If it had not been for Jumping Mouse's generosity toward the wolf, he never would have remembered enough to lead Jumping Mouse into the Sacred Mountains. Proving once again that giving without reward is a valuable virtue.
Alone and blind Jumping Mouse waits, but he doesn’t wait long before he felt the shadow of an eagle on his back. Knowing that it is useless to run he waites and braces for the shock. After the eagle grabs him he falls asleep. When he awakes he hears a voice. “…Crouch down as Low as you Can, and jump as High as you Can.” After witch Jumping Mouse sees who is talking to him, it is Brother Frog. Brother Frog says “Hang on to the Wind and Trust!” Then Jumping Mouse starts to go higher and higher into the air. Then Brother Frog yells, “You have a New Name, You are Eagle!”
Now that he has over come he’s fear and anger to see the Scared Mountain. Then fought his way out of his comfort zone, facing fear. Then sacrificing all he had freely with no thought of reward, to get him the best eyes. He now sees everything from a broader perspective and is though of in high regard by all the animals.