A Mouse, an Igloo, and Ice Goblins

Seventeen minutes ago, on a blustery mid-winter day in Brookline, Massachusetts, a single snowflake touched down on the tip of the nose of a single mouse and melted. The nose sniffed the air and breathed in the smell of danger. 

Before we get into all the details of this perilous tale, you need to know some things about this mouse. First of all, he is pretty awesome and doesn’t take no for an answer. Okay, that’s about all you need to know for now.

A second snowflake hit the ground, this time with a little more vigor. Upon observing that this one didn’t melt, its comrades were encouraged to join the invasion, and soon enough, seven million snowflakes had landed on pretty much every outdoor object in Brookline. 

So the problem with seven million snowflakes, as opposed to a more reasonable number such as thirty-five thousand, is that the ice goblins get their feathers rustled. (Not that they have actual feathers, since their skin is covered by green bulbous warts, not feathers, but you get the idea.) So all these two-foot behemoths with little-man syndrome all shake their shaggy heads loose from the snow and start waddling and stomping and snorting around, really only trying to intimidate anything intimidate-worthy to boost their self-esteem, such as pigeons, small dogs, snails, and mice, which ties back to the main thing I have been trying to tell you about. 

The interesting thing about this story is that there is some dramatic irony. If you’re not familiar with the term, basically, you know about the goblins that are ravaging the streets of Brookline, but this mouse doesn’t. In his blissful ignorance, the mouse began to address his less severe problem of the incoming blizzard that was up to his chin in snow. The mouse had picked up a few civil engineering tidbits at MIT thirty-four minutes ago and proceeded to apply his knowledge to the construction of an igloo. He had this thing up in thirteen minutes, which is about three minutes ago, depending on how fast of a reader you are. But Gaussian statistics have gotten me in the ballpark here, so don’t get too caught up with it. If your math involved the number thirty-four, it was wrong from the start because the number thirty-four was not relevant to the equation. 

So, about three minutes ago, or maybe two (see the above discussion), a parade of goblins pomped-and-circumstanced right by this mouse’s igloo. This particular species of goblin usually takes pleasure in any form of destruction, but upon a single glance at the beautifully constructed translucent igloo with its hemi-spherical dome and parabolic threshold, they were transfixed and assumed a state of hibernation.