Minichì
Blues Ale Publishing
September 2023

Paperback
ISBN 979-12-81450-05-9
Pages 318
Target Price: 15


E-book Kindle
ISBN 979-12-81450-07-3
E-book: $ 3


Erminio, the Little Mouse
In the dark cellar of an ancient house on the edge of the Wood of Plane, just where the mold emanated a good taste of dirt, where the broom and the mop could never get, there was the lair of a community of mice.
For many generations families had been living in the depths of the house learning to defend themselves from cats living upstairs. Their den had such a tiny entrance that it formed a solid barrier. Only sometimes the cunning and the eternal stakeouts had brought mournful effects.
The community was run by the eldest. It was he who decided the right time to get food. He healed differences and conflicts, brought peace between the contenders, sometimes even instilled fear. Everyone was afraid of him. It was said that in a fight he even put away a cat by biting him in one leg. No one ever dared disobey him.
When Erminio, his first grandson, was born, everyone congratulated him. He would grow up by his side, becoming as strong and cunning as he was. He would eventually take his place.
The little Erminio trotted at his side, treasuring the words and attitudes of his grandfather even when, coming out of the lair, he looked around to communicate the green light to others.
All the mice respected little Erminio, they looked at him with a certain awe, in the future he would be their leader.
So, life passed slowly and smoothly in the dark cellar until one night when suddenly a violent storm struck. Lightning, thunder and a strong Wind followed one another until the morning making the windows of the house beat.
When the community woke up, something had changed in the dark cellar—something unusual was born in the middle of the dark floor. All the mice noticed it, but they didn’t dare approach. Only the grandfather and immediately behind Erminio, slowly approached and stopped at a certain distance, carefully examining that strange phenomenon. It looked like an object stabbed sideways, a long sword that, starting from the window at the top of the wall, slid into the floor.
Erminio had never seen anything like that, he looked with wonder and fear. Grandpa shook his head, turning around the strange phenomenon for a long time. As they returned to the den, the other mice met, asking for the reason.
“For a long, long time I had not seen such a phenomenon”, Grandpa explained, shaking his head. “The last time was many years ago, when I was still following my father.”
The mice were scared, looking at each other, wondering what it was about.
“It’s light, a ray of the Sun!” exclaimed his grandfather, slowly chanting the words. “Light is a disease, no one can approach without being hurt. There was a time when the cellar was full of these spears and many of us were infected with them. Once they were hit, they put their paws on their eyes, and they swerved for a long time, bumping into every object around them. They wandered around the cellar staggering, until the cats arrived to catch them and took them away.”
The mice looked at each other terrified.
“It’s light, among the greatest diseases, one cannot approach without remaining affected.”
The silence enveloped the cellar and all the mice aware of the gravity of the situation. The borders were drawn and a formal prohibition was established. If anyone got contaminated, he’d be banished forever. It was a terrible punishment to be driven away forever through the great stone in the wall. Guarded by an ever-armed sentry, it was access to the unknown world. In memory of mouse no one had ever been exiled and the big stone had never been moved.

                                    * * *

The days followed each other slowly. A barrier was created to the light and while the grandfather was strictly watching from afar, no one dared approach. Erminio, always at his side, checked in turn, often asking questions about the nature of that sword and the reason it came among them.
“It’s our destiny, my dear grandson”, said Grandfather. “Sometimes situations happen specifically to test us, to see how strong we are in resisting. It’s the cats who send these words of light in order to be infected and then come to capture us.”
His grandfather looked harshly at Erminio, reminding him he too might face similar situations in the future. “Cats want to take possession of the cellar. They are there behind the door ready to take away anyone who approaches.”
Time passed. Erminio thought a lot about the light. He was afraid but he was also fascinated by that sword stuck in the floor. During the work, when the mice all went out together, the sword seemed to light up further. Small particles of dust entered and danced, then slowly fell to the ground.
Erminio observed that strange game with curiosity and wonder. Sometimes, when everyone slept, he put out his snout from the den. He crawled slowly, clinging to the entrance with his gaze directed toward the light. Strange desires ran through his mind, but he could not confide them to anyone. He thought how beautiful it would be if the sword had become bigger, who knows how many other light games could have happened inside.
One day from the window hole entered a strange shadow, it turned long between the sword of light. It was a small animal with wings—a frightened butterfly. She remained attached, as if from it came to life. It rotated a long spiral.
Erminio observed her in all her movements, he saw her light up entering the cone of light. It was not like the grains of dust all gray. She had so many colors, all different from each other. She wanted to stop her, ask her where she came from, but he didn’t have the time. As she had arrived, so she disappeared by slipping into the same hole of the window.
Erminio thought for a long time about those shining colors, it was the light that made them live. How much he would have liked to have once more observed that strange animal with wings. He waited a long time, but did not return to the cellar.
Erminio was disconsolate, he had seen something beautiful and now he had to give up. Perhaps it was the cone of light that created the colors, perhaps if he himself had entered, would have become colored like that strange being. But it was forbidden, he could not transgress orders, he had responsibilities in this regard. One day he would have been the one to prevent such actions—to prevent the other mice from contracting that nasty infection, then they were captured and taken away by the cats.
Time passed and the sword of light always remained in place. Erminio could not stop thinking about the strange being colored, it had become an obsession.
One day he slowly began to approach; near, closer and closer, beyond the barriers, almost to touch it. He looked around, there was no one to spy on him. Nothing particular could have happened if he had dared to place a paw inside—just a paw.
He slowly slipped it into the light to check the change. But he was disappointed, there were no beautiful colors of that small animal with wings, his paw remained sadly gray. Perhaps one paw was not enough, so the other one slipped too, then the tail and finally entered completely looking towards the window. He was dazzled—unable to see anything. He started shaking, bumping into the walls, causing noise, until he woke the other mice. They all came out of the den and picked up little Erminio.
He had to wait a long time before returning to see—to discover in front his grandfather’s face and his frown. “You disobeyed! You, my nephew, the one who was to replace me one day, you dared to break the established directives!”
He was not forgiven and the next day he was accompanied before the big stone. Grandfather, out of shame, did not even go to greet him. Erminio wanted to die but had no choice. He didn’t even have time to look back because he was pushed out and immediately the big stone was closed.

                                      * * *

She walked a narrow tunnel slowly as his eyes gradually became accustomed to the light. One step at a time, he hesitated with long pauses as he seemed to already feel that illness inside him begin to corrode him. He got up and walked again until nothing remained to obstruct the view—not the cellar, not even the walls. There was nothing left.
“What strange place is this?” he whispered with great fright.
Where was the ceiling and the walls to support it? He had never seen a room so large whose walls were so far apart that he could not see them. It stood there without any support. He saw only the blue and so many small white balls moving slowly.
After looking down at him for the discomfort caused by the light, he thought that perhaps the disease had now begun to consume him without remedy. In fear, he entered that huge room without limits and ran for a long time, first leaning against the wall of the house from where he had gone, then far away, trying to leave behind the impression of being soon captured.
He ran until he found a big tree full of many branches and leaves moving. He knew, they were colorful, but he didn’t have the courage to look at them, he had to keep his eyes bent down to the ground.
In the big tree he found a small hole and went inside. His heart was beating fast as he was wondering how long it would be before the disease could take over his body. For a long time, he was locked in the hole trembling with fear with his eyes covered by his paws, reflecting on the sad fate of being in an unknown world, full of strange diseases.
There was another sword of fire out there, hanging from the invisible ceiling. It was the one who produced that powerful light, so bright that it illuminated the immense room. It was moving slowly, revealing his intention to illuminate everything underneath—even the most hidden corners. Soon he would come to his hiding place, and there would be no escape for him. He waited with resignation for the end.
When the light struck him, as opposed to supposed excruciating pains throughout the body, unexpectedly, he began to feel an unusual and pleasant feeling of warmth. He stood still, clinging to the wall, while the feeling instead of diminishing, was increasing. It was really strange how death because of that strange disease was foretold by a soft, sweet feeling of well-being.
He was uncertain about what to do, he felt no pain. He took a few steps to understand. It was very pleasant. If it were his destiny to reach the end of life, he might as well warm not only his back, but also his chest and muzzle.
He turned away. As the heat of light enveloped his chest and belly, his ears lowered with pleasure. He did not feel sick, on the contrary, he had never felt so well.
He took his paws out of his eyes and slowly approached the threshold. “Oh …” he exclaimed with wonder. “But where am I? What strange world is this?”
The countryside around, as far as he could see, was full of many colors, hardly found one similar to the other. There was the lawn, the big trees, the animals walking and flying. Everyone lived under the light, without getting sick. That only stagnant smell of mold in the cellar had disappeared, so many were the scents and moved specifically to be smelled. The Wind carried them from one side of the immense room to the other.
He put his nose out of the den and gave a deep breath. His ears again lowered with pleasure.
He saw the cats, leaning against another tree, lying down to enjoy the light, far enough away not to be a problem. If they approached, he would have escaped back into the hole.
All were exposed to the light without getting sick; so, also the little Erminio sat down, leaning at the base of the tree.
“But it’s all wrong!” he exclaimed, laughing in his moustache. “It’s fine out here, there’s no disease. It’s much better than the darkness of the cellar. They must know, so they will come out to enjoy the light. It’s not a disease.”
He slowly approached the hole in the wall where the sword of light was still entering. He took a large leaf and wrote a message to his people: “There is no disease, there is a world full of light, of colors of scents out here. You can go out too, you must not be afraid.”
The message swung around for a long time in the dark cellar and landed right in front of the entrance to the community lair. He rushed to the big rock where he came out. He waited a long time until it opened, but only saw the same leaf come out with a new message addressed to him, before closing again.
“We can’t understand why you push us to go out to contaminate us, maybe it’s revenge for having kicked you out? Disobedience must always be punished! But perhaps we are wrong, the strange euphoria is the effect of the contagion that happened.
“We cannot do anything. Your destiny will be fulfilled pierced by the sword of light. We hope it can happen without too much suffering.
“But maybe, if you wish and still have affection for us, you can help us against the disease that has crept through the window. Close the hole from which the sword enters, so as to stop the contagion. We can thus continue our life without any danger.”
Erminio, the little mouse, read it several times. He could not understand why they did not believe his words. Had he not lived among them for so long? Should he not one day become their leader?
Too much distance was now separating him from his people. Perhaps he could have insisted by sending another message to convince them. But he was sure they would respond in the same way. It could have opened a wider gap to the cellar and let in more light, so they could understand. But they would have died of fright, even before they realized beauty.
He lowered his ears, took a small wood nearby, approached the hole and plugged it. The sword of light stopped entering the cellar. Erminio returned to his hole, sat on the threshold of the new den looking out, emitting a long sigh.
“When evening falls, I have seen you play, rise high in the sky and confuse you with the stars. I saw you talking to the Moon, dreaming of distant worlds to call Home. I have shared your sorrows, your victories, I have listened to your fairy tales. When you look at this Earth with sadness, it will be the same for me too. When you leave for the new world, I will follow you.”
1. Carolina, the Ant
 
2. Erminio, the Little Mouse
 
3. Solitary Locust Tree
 
4. Minichì the Little Ghost
 
5. Creaky the Red Squirrel
 
6. Gino, the Little Fish of the Ditch
 
7. Hyacinth the Cricket
 
8. Hamilcar the Sycamore
 
9. Arthur the Earthworm
 
10. Camil the Caterpillar
 
11. Lauretta the Child of the Wood
 
12. Benjamin the Lizard
 
13. Molly the Little Small Cloud
 
14. The Choice
 
15. Slice the Beaver
 
16. Seraphine the Small Pinecone
 
17. Rita the Drop of Water
 
18. Gigi and Damerina the Butterfly
 
19. Ranolina the Little Tadpole
 
20. Billy the Canary
 
21. Rudolph and Emma
 
22. Ioannina the Turtle
 
23. Samira the Locust
 
24. Bliss the Water Snake
 
25. Amazing
 
26. Laura and David, first Fairy Tale
 
25. The Children
Following the Great Division, an ancient world was shattered and the souls of its inhabitants were hurled far away. Many of them, unaware of their origin, live alongside us.
The second book of the saga is set in the Wood of Plane, where the souls of the ancient inhabitants of that disappeared world, despite themselves, were imprisoned in the living beings of the small forest.
But there is a path to gain knowledge and return to the initial condition. Whoever, after completing it, everybody becomes an inhabitant of Wood of Plane in an environment as secret as invisible, where fantasy reigns supreme and everyone has the opportunity to refine their skills in anticipation of the departure for the new world.
The fables in the book describe the inhabitants' moods, conflicts, defeats, victories and adventures in the difficult task of learning to live together.
They are stories suitable for any age, especially for those who seek in the imagination their own answers.
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Fairy Tales - Wood of Plane