Of course, I will name him, but he will only die like the others.
This story begins within the walls of a castle, with the birth of a mouse. A small mouse. The last mouse born to his parents and the only one of his litter to be born alive.
I thought about summing up the events of the chapter, but the author conveniently provided a summary herself!
The mother mouse is French and a tad vain, but it’s still completely understandable that she’d be so distraught after giving birth to a whole litter with only one survivor.
“I will name him. Yes. I will name this mouse Despereaux, for all the sadness, for the many despairs of this place.“
[…] The April sun, weak but determined, shone through a castle window and from there squeezed itself through a small hole in the wall and placed one golden finger on the little mouse.
I love the way light is used in this book!
“His ears are too big,” said his sister Merlot. “Those are the biggest ears I’ve ever seen.“
“Look,” said a brother named Furlough, “his eyes are open. They shouldn’t be open.”
It is true. Despereaux’s eyes should not have been open. But they were. He was staring at the sun reflecting off his mother’s mirror. The light was shining onto the ceiling in an oval of brilliance, and he was smiling up at the sight.
“There’s something wrong with him,” said the father. “Leave him alone.”
His big ears and wide eyes are indicative of his attention to the world around him, perhaps the way that he experiences the world differently.
But his mother announces that she won’t have any more babies.
“The last one,” said the father. “And he’ll be dead soon. He can’t live. Not with his eyes open like that.”
But, reader, he did live.
This is his story.
Until next time…