From Mickey to Jerry, Rizzo to Pinky, mice have played an important role in our childhood tales. Often a heroic figure in culture and fiction—mice are the iconic symbol of Disney and Earth’s intellectually superior race in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy—they are also considered one of the human race’s greatest adversaries, responsible for disease and plague. Presenting a natural and cultural history of the mouse, this book explores the large role this diminutive animal plays in both the animal kingdom and human imagination.
Examining the evolution, species, habitats, and behaviors of mice, Georgie Carroll reveals that they are accomplished survivors, having colonized six of the world’s continents and even traveled into space. As one of the earth’s smallest prey, the mouse, she shows, represents courage, perseverance, and adaptability. She surveys the depiction of mice in art, myth, literature, and folklore, considering how they are held in divine regard in the Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Carroll also delves into the integral place mice hold within the modern scientific endeavor—that of the laboratory animal. Telling the story of this beguiling creature in rich detail, Mouse is an intriguing look at an animal we have worshipped, tested, slaughtered, loved, and loathed.