The Fifth-Column Mouse
In this parable for the failure of appeasement before World War Two, house mice are targeted by a hungry cat, who intrudes upon their idyllic life. When all but one of the mice successfully take refuge in a wall hole, the cat promises to the one mouse who didn’t manage to escape, that he won’t hurt anyone, provided he’s placated with pampering by every mouse in the pack. Acting as the cat’s quisling, the mouse speaks to his rodent brothers, telling them to appease the cat, to give the cat all the comforts he wants, and in turn the cat will live in peace with them. The mice are wary of the cat but agree to his terms. Not surprisingly, the cat’s appetite isn’t assuaged, and he soon craves a mouse dinner. He chases the mice back into their hole, and the mice reject appeasement and decide to fight against the cat. They go through military prep and manufacture an ultimate weapon, a wooden dog with mechanical gears and biting teeth, to combat the cat.