ONCE, long ago in a land far away, there lived four little characters who ran through a maze1 looking for cheese to nourish2 them and make them happy.
Two were mice, named "Sniff 3" and "Scurry4" and two were littlepeople-beings5 who were as small as mice but who looked and acted a lot like people today. Their names were "Hem6" and "Haw7."
Due to their small size, it would be easy not to notice what the four of them were doing. But if you looked closely enough, you could discover the most amazing things!
Every day the mice and the little people spent time in the maze looking for their own special cheese. The mice, Sniff and Scurry, possessing8 only simple rodent9 brains, but good instincts10, searched for the hard nibbling11 cheese they liked, as mice often do.
The two littlepeople, Hem and Haw, used their brains, filled with many beliefs and emotions12, to search for a very different kind of Cheese—with a capital 13 C—which they believed would make them feel happy and successful.
As different as the mice and littlepeople were, they shared something in common: every morning, they each put on their jogging14 suits and running shoes, left their little homes, and raced out into the maze looking for their favorite cheese.
The maze was a labyrinth15 of corridors16 and chambers17, some containing delicious cheese. But there were also dark corners and blind alleys18 leading nowhere. It was an easy place for anyone to get lost.
However, for those who found their way, the maze held secrets that let them enjoy a better life.
The mice, Sniff and Scurry, used the simple, but inefficient19, trial-and-error20 method of finding cheese. They ran down one corridor and if it proved empty, they turned and ran down another.
Sniff would smell out the general direction of the cheese, using his great nose, and Scurry would race ahead. They got lost, as you might expect, went off 21 in the wrong direction and often bumped 22 into walls.
However, the two littlepeople, Hem and Haw, used a different method that relied on23 their ability to think and learn from their past experiences, although, they would sometimes get confused24 by their beliefs and emotions.
Eventually25 in their own way, they all discovered what they were looking for —they each found their own kind of cheese one day at the end of one of the corridors in Cheese Station C.
Every morning after that, the mice and the littlepeople dressed in their running gear26 and headed27 over to Cheese Station C. It wasn't long before they each established their own routine.
Sniff and Scurry continued to wake early every day and race through the maze, always following the same route.
When they arrived at their destination, the mice took off their running shoes, tied them together and hung them around their necks—so they could get to them quickly whenever they needed them again. Then they enjoyed the cheese.
In the beginning Hem and Haw also raced toward Cheese Station C every morning to enjoy the tasty new morsels28 that awaited them.
But after a while, a different routine set in29 for the littlepeople.
Hem and Haw awoke each day a little later, dressed a little slower, and walked to Cheese Station C. After all, they knew where the Cheese was now and how to get there.
They had no idea where the Cheese came from, or who put it there. They just assumed 30 it would be there.
As soon as Hem and Haw arrived at Cheese Station C each morning, they settled in31 and made themselves at home. They hung up32 their jogging suits, put away33 their running shoes and put on their slippers34. They were becoming very comfortable now that they had found the Cheese.
"This is great," Hem said. "There's enough Cheese here to last us forever." The littlepeople felt happy and successful, and thought they were now secure.
It wasn't long before Hem and Haw regarded the Cheese they found at Cheese Station C as their cheese. It was such a large store of Cheese that they eventually moved their homes to be closer to it, and built a social life around it.
To make themselves feel more at home, Hem and Haw decorated35 the walls with sayings and even drew pictures of Cheese around them which made them smile. One read:
Having Cheese Makes You Happy.
Sometimes Hem and Haw would take their friends by to see their pile of Cheese at Cheese Station C, and point to it with pride, saying, "Pretty nice Cheese, huh?" Sometimes they shared it with their friends and sometimes they didn't.
"We deserve this Cheese," Hem said. "We certainly had to work long and hard enough to find it." He picked up a nice fresh piece and ate it.
Afterwards, Hem fell asleep, as he often did.
Every night the littlepeople would waddle36 home, full of Cheese, and every morning they would confidently return for more.
This went on for quite some time.
After a while Hem's and Haw's confidence grew into arrogance37. Soon they became so comfortable they didn't even notice what was happening.
As time went on, Sniff and Scurry continued their routine. They arrived early each morning and sniffed and scratched 38 and scurried 39 around Cheese Station C, inspecting40 the area to see if there had been any changes from the day before. Then they would sit down to nibble on the cheese.