The Mouse Bride: A Mayan Folk Tale
This good telling of the familiar tale starts with the mouse parents who dote on their perfect daughter. One night they make a plan to find her a perfect husband. They ask the moon who is most powerful. The Sun. They wrap their daughter in a fern and go to the Sun and ask him to marry her. Why should I? Told that she is perfect and he is the most powerful in the universe, he disagrees with the latter statement. Cloud blocks my light; Cloud is most powerful. Cloud laughs until teardrops run down his cheeks. The Wind can chase him away; Wind is the most powerful. The Wind shows by blowing against a stone wall that Wall is stronger than he. But Wall says I crumble when a mouse burrows through me. A mouse is the most powerful. the mouse parents smile -- and find a fine mouse groom waiting for them when they return home. Perhaps the wedding picture at the end is the most charming in the book. The mouse bride wears a veil, and individual mice dance by holding another's paw or tail. The illustrations include lovely touches of Mayan temple art. This is not the first time that I have encountered a world-famous story touted as the product of a particular culture. I wonder which culture can claim to have originated this tale.
Alfred A. Knopf