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Sadly she past February 13th, 2015

I was a sickly child and bed bound a lot of the time with bad Asthma, I would not have made it through the attacks if it has not her storytelling that helped me to calm my breathing. She is a wonderful storyteller and a wonderful woman whom I am proud to call my mother. Today she is bed bound but will still challenge you on a crossword puzzle.

I wish I could have been with you on your day dear Mama, may the Gods give me the wings I need to come and see you soon, I do not want you leaving this earth without us sharing the past joys one more time and me holding you in my arms once more telling you how much I love respect and miss you.

H 0 R A T I 0 M 0 U S E                                      

This wonderful story was written by my Mama Joanne North who is now 94 almost 95 and it has been read around the world. Share it with your children and bring out the inner child within you. We never know what we can achieve until we embrace our possibilities and dreams. 

Narrated by Jan Berney of BC Canada

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The Mouse that would be king… By• Joanna North

He sniffed the air. The smells of the spices made him daydream about the land that they had come from. A land Horatio felt strangely drawn to, as if it was sending out a message to him. Often Horatio dreamt about going to this place. Somehow, he felt that he was destined to journey there and that big things awaited him; what sort of big things he did not know, but he felt sure that it was his fate to live in this far away country. Horatio, I must tell you, was a mouse; but not just an ordinary mouse, Horatio was an extraordinary mouse. You see, Horatio could speak and understand the human language. It was this fact that gave Horatio the conviction that he was fated to be great. How; he did not know, but great all the same, one day. The sun licked around Horatio’s face and made him close his eyes. It was exhausting watching those men work so hard. He fell fast asleep. Suddenly Horatio was wide awake – the bell had sounded for lunch. Lunch meant crumbs for Horatio, or at least it would mean lunch, if any of the sailors were tempted to come and sit and eat their sandwiches on the waterfront. Anxiously Horatio watched as two were coming his way. Horatio washed his whiskers, straightened his jacket and waited. The sailors wandered over near to where Horatio sat and settled themselves down on some large upturned baked bean tins. Soon they were eating away and talking happily in the sun. Horatio crept nearer. He hid under some grass and waited. His mouth watered – cheese – lovely; all he had to do was be patient.He was just about to doze off again, when he heard one of the men say something about the ship alongside them. “Yes mate, I know this place well. Went there once – deep and dark it is. They do say that the jungle is ‘haunted. I ‘eard tell about a race of golden monkeys, lost race or something, been hunted for years. There’s talk about a lost king too. Imagine that. Yes this, ‘ere particular country is very strange. Wouldn’t go again, not if you paid me, funny country it is”.On and on he talked, but Horatio didn’t listen anymore. He lay back under the clump of grass and daydreamed. He did not hear the lunch time bell ring again for the men to return to work and he forgot to sniff for crumbs, all afternoon he lay there dreaming. Later, when the sun was beginning to lower over the horizon, the ship was readying to sail. Its siren sounded. Horatio awoke with a start. With a sudden realisation, Horatio now knew why he could speak the human language. He knew why fate had picked him out. He, yes he and he alone, was the chosen one – he was destined to be this king. He was so excited at his idea that he hadn’t realised that the ship was about to leave. Horatio shouted at the top of his voice: “Don’t go, I’m coming, don’t go.” So, quickly gathering up all the crumbs left by the two men, he put them in his big red handkerchief and ran across the wharf to the ship. Whilst everyone was busy and looking the other way Horatio crept into a sack of grain. With a swoosh he was suddenly lifted into the air. Gulping with fright, Horatio found himself being lowered into a dark cavern. It was the hold. He jumped out of the grain sack just before it landed and hid behind some boxes of fruit. Up above him he heard voices calling out that all was ready to lower the hatches, and Horatio found himself shut in for the journey. It was a bit dark, but a chink of sunlight came through the top and helped him see. Hungry now, he found grain spilt from a torn sack and collected water that trickled down a pipe that leaked into a tin left behind by some seaman. Life was good for Horatio. He settled down to enjoy the journey and to dream of the kingdom waiting there for him at the end of the voyage. The weeks went by and although Horatio was fairly happy, it is to be confessed that he did have a twinge or two of regret – also, alas, a twinge or two of sea sickness. Our hero lay on his comfortable bed of sacks and groaned a lot as the sea heaved beneath him and wondered whether he had made a mistake. He was impatient to get to the new land. He wanted to see what his new kingdom looked like. Finally the ship arrived at its destination and it was decidedly warmer in the hold. The hatches were opened and men swarmed into them to start the unloading. Horatio gathered together his bits and pieces and tied them up in his big red handkerchief, tidied his hair and brushed down his jacket. Then pushing his shoulders back with determination he climbed out of the hold. The men were rushing hither and thither, carrying crates up out of the hold and putting them on the deck ready to be hoisted by cranes and swung over the side onto the dockside. Horatio was sunning himself, out of sight of the men, when it struck him that he could not understand one word these sailors and dockers were saying. He was surprised. It had not occurred to him that there was any other language than English. He was pondering what to do when a cry went up – and here Horatio’s heart gave a lurch, he did not know the language but he knew what the men were calling – it was ‘MICE, MICE’. He was clever enough to know that only mice produce that tone of voice in men and anyway he decided that he would not bother to find out if he was right or wrong, but that he would get off the ship as quickly as he could. Horatio watched the gangplank and as soon as he saw that it was clear of men, he raced down it and kept running until he was many miles inland.In fact he ran for about four hours and by then it was nightfall. He saw that he was in the jungle, so he found a broken tree, curled up in a hole and fell fast asleep. His last thought before closing his eyes was ‘I must… yawn, explore’.

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