It's the story of a place called Mouseland. Mouseland was a place where
all the little mice lived and played, were born and died. And they lived
much the same as you and I do. They even had a Parliament. And every
four years they had an election. Used to walk to the polls and cast their
ballots. Some of them even got a ride to the polls. And got a ride for
the next four years afterwards. Just like you and me. And every time on
election day all the little mice used to go to the ballot box and they used
to elect a government. A government made up of big, fat, black cats.
Now if you think it strange that mice should elect a government made up
of cats you just look at the history of Canada for the last 90 years and
maybe you'll see that they weren't any stupider than we are.
Now I'm not saying anything against cats. They were nice fellows. They
conducted their government with dignity. They passed good laws - that is,
laws that were good for cats. But the laws that were good for cats weren't
very good for mice. One of the laws said that the mouseholes had to be
big enough so a cat could get his paw in. Another said that mice could only
travel at certain speeds - so a cat could get his breakfast without too
All the laws were good laws. For cats. But, oh they were hard on the
mice. And life was getting harder and harder. And when the mice couldn't
put up with it any more, they decided something had to be done about it.
So they went en masse to the polls. They voted the black cats out. They
put in white cats.
Now the white cats had put up a terrific campaign. They said: "All that
Mouseland needs is more vision." They said: "The trouble with Mouseland
is those round mouseholes we got. If you put us in we'll establish square
mouseholes." And they did. And the square mouseholes were twice as big
as the round mouseholes, and now the cat could get both his paws in. And
life was tougher than ever.
And when they couldn't take that anymore, they voted the white cats out
and put the black ones in again. Then they went back to the white cats.
And they called that coalition. They even got a government made up of cats
with spots on them: They were cats that tried to make noise like a mouse,
but ate like a cat.
You see, my friends, the trouble wasn't with the colour of the cat. The
trouble was they were cats. And because they were cats, they naturally
looked after cats instead of mice.
Presently there came along one little mouse who had an idea. My friends,
watch out for the little fellow with an idea. And he said to the other mice,
"Look fellows, why do we keep on electing a government made up of cats? Why
don't we elect a government made up of mice?" "Oh," they said, "he's a
Bolshevik. Lock him up!" So they put him in jail.
But I want to remind you: that you can lock up a mouse or a man but
you can't lock up an idea.