Algernon’s Army

You guys have no idea what is going on around here.

I cannot even tell you how much love you have sent me. All of you…in so many ways. Every comment, every email, every tweet, every message, every photo…

But there is also this:

give Algernons

Meet Algernon’s Army: Minnie the Island Mouse, Baggins, Reginald, Demetrius, and Algernon Too.

Every single person who sent me a mouse (thank you so much, Kim, Mir, Thien-Kim, Ann (aka my sister), and the sender of the last guy who came without a note—updated to add: it was Joeymom! Thank you!) told me, “I know Algernon can’t be replaced, but maybe this guy can help.”

Seriously. How awesome? And this doesn’t even include all the others of you who emailed me to tell me that you wanted to send me a mouse—and those offers mean just as much as an in-the-flesh mouse.

I could never have gone out and bought a new Algernon, but getting them from you guys? It feels good. It feels right. And, holy hell, it made my kids so ridiculously happy that I can’t even tell you how grateful I am for you. The munchkins are reluctant to refer to one of these critters as anything other than Algernon, so Algernon Too might have to be the mouse who heads out on adventures first. Trust me though, the rest of them are going to hang out in a place of honor on my desk, because they are not made of stuffing. They are made of love.

Look how cute they are! (And so clean! Damn, Algernon was grubbier than I thought he was.)

Oh, and there is another little guy who will be coming later. Sunday got me a mouse too, but he is currently being needed to cheer up her son Sam, who had a tough doctor visit today.

Algernon and (Sunday's) Sam

Sunday’s kiddo, getting support. Algernon and his army are good that way. Shared with permission.

I cannot even tell you how much I loved seeing this photo on Facebook this morning. ALGERNON HELPS PEOPLE, YOU GUYS. Or rather, Scout, as this mouse is named, because this mouse? Well this mouse is literary, y’all.

Oh, and just in case things were getting too uniform for you all, Quinn’s occupational therapist worked with Quinn in a session to make a new mousy friend for us, getting his opinion on choices of eyes (NO BUTTONS! NO BUTTONS!) and enlisting his sewing expertise.

Black, white & red giraffe-print homemade mouse

I love him so much. I will be calling him Giraffey. For obvious reasons.

But, you guys, it’s not even my new mousy friends that cheered me up. There was the story one of you told me about losing your own stuffed mouse and finding her under your mom’s porch ten years later. There are, as I think I mentioned, those of you who shared awesome stories of losing your own things, some of which I probably shouldn’t detail here. (You know who you are.) There is the friend who sent a gift card for caffeine, which was much appreciated. There is my sister-in-law, who was going to give me a winter hat for Christmas, but told me she’ll be moving up that gift hat to replace the one lost and to keep my head warm. There were all of your nice words—and trust me when I say that every one of those words mattered.

There is also the knowledge that Algernon will live on in memory, say whenever one wonderful person goes to her London grocery store past Algernon Road:

Algernon Road - London

Algernon had international influence, see.

None of this, however, can replace Algernon, which you all know, no matter how you responded to his loss. Many of you suggested that Algernon might have a wonderful second life with a new friend.

Some of you worked very hard (and successfully) to make me laugh, like one of my very best friends, whom I’ve known since college, who suggested that maybe Algernon’s new life would be a faster one, posed at scenes of his crimes with his new friend, the thief.

Maybe, she suggested, Algernon broke bad.

In fact, she claims that he’s already been involved in some jewelry store heists.

Algernon wearing gaudy jewelry

He gots some bling, baby. Whereabouts unknown.

You guys, I don’t think Algernon is coming back. He’s got a new adventure ahead of him. This whole episode has really sucked, but I learned something really important. I learned that I have a tremendous number of people who really, really care about me. I learned that love comes in many forms and that I got to experience many of them this past week.

I learned that my car thief may have my stuff, but his life is probably not very awesome. I would choose all of you over my stuff any day of the week. That thief brought a black cloud with him, but you all made up a silver lining so thick that it’s hard to even see the storm anymore. Thank you for that.

And thank you for my new mice. You made my kids so happy by sending them, which means so much to me. You made me so happy by sending them. I can’t wait to see what adventures my new mouse friends have.

Thank you for Algernon’s Army. Thank YOU for BEING Algernon’s army.

31 thoughts on “Algernon’s Army

  1. How are ALL these people finding stuffed mice. I mean REALLY. I’ve looked EVERYWHERE. I must not be looking in the right places.

    I still love you to pieces and I really need to step up my mouse game here.

  2. You are such a special person AND a fantastic writer. What a wonderful post. The outpouring of support and love makes you a wealthy person in many respects that are far more valuable than money. <3 Algernon lives! <3

  3. Ha! I was thinking the same thing about not knowing where to find JUST.THE.RIGHT.MOUSE! I will instead, find another way to honor dear Algernon. When you least expect it. :-) xoxo

  4. Oh my goodness!! I love Algernon’s Army! They look amazing…and I wonder if they are anything like Dumbledore’s Army–all badass and such.

    I saw a mouse just like these at my grocery store..and almost bought it. But I wasn’t sure where to send it! Glad others did.

    This post restores my faith in humanity. Soooo happy you found your silver lining!

  5. So sorry about Algernon the Lost :-( and SO happy about Algernon’s Too Army :-)

    For every criminal, we always have twice as many good people. That’s why evil can never win.

  6. Isn’t the plural of mouse…”meese”?!?!? ;)

    I was more than a little dumbfounded (stop right there) when I saw all the faux Algernon’s. WhereTH did people find them!?! Folkmanis eh? Ahhhh-sooo my little grasshopper.

    I salute Algernon’s Army!!!

  7. If you really want a grubby one, I might be able to help. Maybe. If I dig in a bin or look under the couch or bed.

    But the real problem is that as soon as I sent it to you, Q would ask me where her mouse finger puppet is. She has an uncanny sense of when things disappear. She may not have played with something for months and months and months. But as soon as I get it out of the house, that is the toy she wants.

    Anyway, yay Mouse Army!

    ps. Did someone get a little freaked out by the Other Mother in Coraline?

    • They DO know, don’t they. Please don’t do that to your Q. :)

      I hadn’t seen Coraline, but I just Googled her and oh lord, she is terrifying. I think Quinn doesn’t like the buttons because they look like “x” eyes, which everyone knows means that you’re dead. Terrifying.

  8. This is just fantastic!

    I didn’t realise that, like Tribbles, one Algernon can lead to so many. Better watch out for a mouse avalanche next time you open a kitchen cupboard…

    (I’ve been making secret Tribbles for our sci-fi guys for Christmas stocking fillers, as you do, so I’ve got them on the brain just now.)

  9. Quinn’s mouse is awesome.
    And Algernon breaking bad with his new friend, the thief? I see great potential for a children’s book there.

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