A tiny mouse, Magellan, was a born explorer. Before he opened his eyes, he wiggled away from the warmth and comfort of his nest. He didn’t get far before his mother missed him and carried him back, but she named him Magellan after the explorer. Her intuition told her he was different from her other children and she watched him closely as he grew.

Unlike his siblings, Magellan left the attic and explored the house and the back yard. Frightened by the cat and a storm that pelted him with water, Magellan returned to the attic, declaring that there was no place like home. He settled into attic life. Late at night, he told stories to the other mice about things they had never experienced— the spicy scent of garden flowers, the delightful crunch of a string bean still on the vine, how terrifying a cat’s claws appeared. Though he was happy, every now and then Magellan looked from the attic window and yearned for something more.

One night he peered out the window and saw silvery light flickering on the lake. It made a path that twinkled and beckoned, as though all the stars had fallen from the sky and shimmered under the water. Magellan watched for a long time. As the sky lightened, it disappeared.

The next night, Magellan rushed to the window to see if the path reappeared on the water. Once again, a silver path glistened from one end of the lake to the other. Magellan knew he had to see where it led.

He slipped from the house, carefully avoiding the cat and ran toward the lake. It was further than it looked from the attic window. By the time he reached it, the sun was rising and the path had disappeared. No matter. Magellan needed to make a plan. He squeezed into a rock wall to take a nap and think.

When he awoke, he peeked from between the rocks and saw a few ducks. “Hmm,” he thought. “Ducks swim across the lake. Maybe one will take me.”

Magellan approached the largest duck and politely asked if the duck might take him across the lake that night, following the silver path.

The duck quaked, “Do I look like a taxi?”

Magellan understood that as ‘No.’ He had the same response from the geese. “I shall have to build a boat,” he thought and began to look for building materials by foraging in the trash. A plastic cracker tray was water tight and floated.

Twigs and some plastic film made a sail. Magellan stored a few peanuts and a stale oatmeal cookie in the hold in case he got hungry. He was ready.

As the sky darkened the moon appeared and so did the glimmering path. Magellan climbed into his boat, set the sail and started across the shimmering water.

Above, the stars winked. All around him, gentle waves caught the moonlight and sparkled. Soon, Magellan lost sight of the shore as his tiny boat bobbed in the water. He leaned back and enjoyed the magic of moonlight on water and the boat’s gentle sway.

A breeze swept across the water, almost tipping the boat. The twig Magellan used as a mast fell. The plastic wrap sail flew away. Magellan’s make shift boat drifted in the water in the middle of the lake with no way to get it back to shore.

“I might have thought to have oars with me,” Magellan said to himself, but he hadn’t and there was no use wishing for them now. He wondered whether the boat might drift to shore by itself in a few hours and was happy for the peanuts and cookie he had the good sense to bring.

“Need a lift?” a friendly voice asked.

Magellan looked around and saw a large turtle. His shell was like an island, big enough to safely carry him. “Yes, please.”

Magellan reached the shore with the turtle’s help just as the sun rose. He yawned as he snuck back into the attic. Another adventure, more stories to tell the other mice!

Comments are not available on this story.