Mavi Fare – The Blue Mouse

By: Stuart Baum


Text from Mavi Fare – The Blue Mouse

Listen mouse children and you will hear, in his own words, the tale of how Mavi Fare escaped from the Imperial Mosque of Sultan Ahmet I (Sultan Ahmet Camii) of Istanbul, Turkey – known as the Blue Mosque – and from within the figurative jaws of the mosque keepers and the literal jaws of the thousands of cats patrolling outside. Settle down, little mice, and you will hear the tale, which Mavi Fare wove as delicately and intricately as the One Great Man wove his carpets. Are you settled? Are you ready to listen with your big ears wide open? Good, then I shall read from the sacred scrolls, written with Mavi Fare’s own paws, the story of his escape from the Blue Mosque, the same mosque that inspired his holy name. I begin…

The Blue Mosque in Istanbul is one of the most well-known and holy houses of worship in the world. It is not really blue. It is white. It looks blue when viewed from across the sea or across the river, which is why it is called the Blue Mosque.

I live in the Blue Mosque. I am a mouse. Like the Blue Mosque, I am really white. Also like the Blue Mosque, I look blue. This is because so many of the stained glass windows and so much of the mosaic in the mosque is blue. The light comes in the blue windows and bounces off the blue walls and makes me, a little white mouse, look blue.

“Eeek!” screams a lady with a shawl covering her head. “The blue mouse! There is that blue mouse again! Someone should kill it!” She doesn’t scream in English. She screams in Turkish. “Eek! Mavi Fare!” was what she really screamed. But if I wrote this whole story in Turkish, only a few people would be able to understand.

The men in the mosque understand her Turkish, of course, and they come after me with brooms. I manage to scurry under the door and hide there. The men think I went outside, but I do not dare go outside since Istanbul is full of cats. So many cats! So many hungry cats!

“Mavi Fare!” the cats taunt. “Maaa-veeee Faah-reee! When will you come outside and play with us? We do not want to harm you, only to ask you a few questions.” Their voices are soft and sweet and they purr so invitingly, but I know better than to believe them. They are cats. They do not want to talk to me. They want me to be their meal!

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