John The Time Freezing Mouse

Welcome to Story Quest, a weekly podcast where we bring your stories to life!

In this episode we bring Zack’s story – John The Time Freezing Mouse – to life.

If you have a story idea, you could be like Isabella and have it turned into a Story Quest. All you have to do is send us your story idea here. We know you have the best imaginations and together we can create the most brilliant stories!

That’s just what Zack did. You can watch the story she suggested come to life below, plus she tells us all about the inspiration behind the story at the end.

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Read along to John The Time Freezing Mouse!

You can read along to the story while you listen. Just follow the text below. Don’t worry if you find a word tricky – you can pause the video whenever to give yourself more time.

The Time Freezing Mouse

The scientists at the Photon Pivoter Power Plant were very clever indeed… but they didn’t actually know EVERYTHING – even if some of them thought that they did.  They didn’t know, for example that they had MICE under the floorboards, mice who lived quite peacefully, enjoying the warmth generated by the plutonium particle pulveriser which ran all day and all night over their heads.

Now mice generally get along with each other but in our story we will find out that this isn’t always the case.  And our story starts with a mouse called John.  What?  You didn’t know mice had names of their own?  WE might call them silly things like Mr Nibbles or Beady or Scampers but the mice themselves had far more normal names.  So let’s find out about John.

John liked cheese and was a little more clever than your average mouse because he’d come across a very crafty way to get cheese from the kitchen.

The kitchens at the Photon Pivoter Power Plant were very well stocked.  After all it was hungry work messing about with nano particles and beggaring around with space and time.  John and the other mice would carefully scamper into the kitchens to steal bread and forage for crumbs.  The fridges were locked tight and the mice could only dream of the riches within, but you see I said John was clever and he’d got a plan.  He had noticed that the cook came down to unlock the fridge to get food out for meals at specific times of the day.  He couldn’t tell the time but he would look at the clock on the wall and remember the pattern of the hands.  This gave him the perfect opportunity to sneak in and grab something – and that something was CHEESE!

The cheese in question was a fat waxy Edam – the sort of cheese that has holes in it.  Mice absolutely LOVE Edam – who doesn’t?  And so John was overjoyed at his discovery and carefully carried as much as he could back to his nest.  He did this when everything was quiet and the other mice were all out foraging so that no one would see.  After all, the cheese wouldn’t last very long if THEY got wind of it.  But word got around that John had a stash of cheese and soon enough he found that his supplies were dwindling.  Every time he went to sleep one of the others would sneak into his nest and nibble some away.  Rotten thieves he thought, forgetting that he had TECHNICALLY stolen the cheese in the first place.

Now the scientists at the power plant were quantum physicists. That’s quite a mouthful isn’t it?  It’s kind of hard to explain what that is – it’s sort of messing about with time and space – working out ways to slow time down, speed it up – travel at light speeds or go back into the past.  Their greatest discovery of all was the Time Stopper – a quantum field, inside which time would FREEZE. The chief scientists was called Professor Anomoly and he was NOT a happy soul.  He’s the one who had invented the Time Stopper but more recently had been trying to work out a way for a space rocket to get from one side of the galaxy to the other before everyone on board had died of old age but try as he might none of  his experiments worked.  This made him very frustrated, not least because it meant he had to work late every night.  

Now John the mouse hadn’t known what the Time Stopper was but – he could hear the scientists talking about it.  Crucially he’d watched them activate it, and turn it off – carefully noting which buttons they pressed and an idea occurred to him.  A very clever idea. I said he was a very clever mouse. This was his idea.  He could tuck his cheese into the Time Stopper every night before he went to bed and the other mice couldn’t touch it!  Unless they wanted to be frozen in time too!  It was brilliant!

The Time Stopper Capsule was the size of a tennis court and so no one was going to notice a few bits of cheese and so that’s what he did – and do you know what he even got away with it!  Every night he hid his stash in the capsule, activated the time freeze and happily went to sleep knowing it would be safe til morning.  The other mice were FURIOUS about this but there was nothing they could do, they just weren’t as clever!

They didn’t know how to activate the capsule and had to just watch the cheese frozen in time through the window portals.  And of course, because it was frozen in time it was just as fresh when it came out as when it went in – it was the perfect plan!

The other mice got together to discuss what to do.  They wanted John’s plan to be found out and so decided to make the squeakiest racket they could to get the scientists to look inside the capsule.  They waited until Professor Anomoly was walking past and began a chorus of squeaks – they kept out of view – but it did the job and Professor Anomoly, puzzled walked inside the room.  Squeak!  Squeak – Squeeeeeeak!!!

The noise…the squeaking – it was coming from the Time Stopper Capsule – or somewhere close.  The squeaking got louder and he hurried to investigate – it would never do to have MICE in the experiment – who knows what havoc they would wreak!

Professor Anomoly looked through the portal into the chamber of the Time Stopper.    The squeaking was nearby – but there was nothing in the capsule.  Except what was that?  It looked like… CHEESE?

He quickly deactivated the capsule and went inside – yes it was cheese – holey cheese!  Now how on earth had that got in there?  His question was quickly answered when he heard a scuttle and who should be sitting guiltily on the control desk but John who’d heard the squeaking too and had come to find out what was happening.  The other squeaking had stopped and the crowd of mice disappeared – happy to have foiled John’s plan.

John felt sad – the game was up!  Those rotten mice had dropped him right in it!  

But to his surprise Professor Anomoly just looked thoughtful.  He was staring and STARING and STARING at the holey cheese!  So much so that John wondered if he was a tiny bit bonkers.  

“Well you must be one very clever mouse to have learned to activate the capsule…” he murmured… “And you’ve given me an idea. Not just any idea – and AMAZING FABULOUS BRILLIANT idea!”

John was thoroughly confused now.  He wasn’t sure what some cheese had to get a quantum physicist excited but here we are.  And he was about to find out.

“It’s HOLES! HOLES!  Of course!  I should have realised!”  he laughed and slapped his hand against his head.

John the mouse must have looked puzzled and Professor Anomoly explained – “WORM HOLES! That’s how we can get across the galaxy – it was the obvious answer but I only realised looking at this HOLEY cheese – full of holes!  Just like the universe!  Space worm holes!”

And he ran off in glee, chuckling in delight, leaving John’s cheese for John to retrieve.

So the other mice’s plan to get John’s cheese backfired – Professor Anomoly was so happy to have solved his problem that he didn’t seem to care if more lumps of cheese occasionally appeared in the Time Stopper.  And he was grateful to John for giving him the idea about worm holes – even if John hadn’t actually DONE anything.

And do you know what?  John actually felt a bit bad for hoarding all the cheese and so relented and showed the others where the stash was hidden in the kitchen.  It was selfish not to share – and actually more fun to work together – after all, when we work together we can come up with all sorts of great ideas – and they don’t have to be about space worm holes!  Although it would be pretty cool to discover one of those wouldn’t it – better than finding some cheese if you ask me!

And that’s the story of the Time Freezing Mouse – I hope you liked it.

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