The North Korean mouse was so giddy for two reasons. One, it was cooking up its favorite rice meal, and two, it was entertaining a guest, a long lost acquaintance, the city mouse. Its tail twitched gleefully as it ladled up the rice.
The city mouse waited at the rotting make shift table. It was a wooden spool that wobbled this way and that. He looked around uncomfortably, not used to this sort of poverty. The North Korean mouse placed two steaming bowls filled with white and yellow. “Deeg een, I made enough for seconds!”
The North Korean mouse leaned forward in anticipation, getting all up in the city mouse’s face, hoping for approval. The city mouse took a spoonful and as he chewed, there was crunching, and a strange expression overtook his face. He politely spit it out. “This is the worst thing I’ve ever put in my mouth, friend, and I’ve been around the block a few times.”
The North Korean mouse was confused. “But, but, thees ees the finest rice pudding that I know of. Eet ees the same rice pudding my own mother taught me how to make.”
The city mouse laughed while wiping his monocle clean, “Rice pudding? Let me tell you honestly, this is gruel. Pack your things and come with me to the city, and I will treat you to the best rice pudding. One with cinnamon, nutmeg, and maybe a touch of butter.”
The North Korean mouse’s confusion grew, its whole face furrowing, “Ceenna… ceenna? Butter? Are you even speaking our nateeve language anymore?” The city mouse picked up his bag. “Come, come, let us hurry to the city and I will show you.” He could not wait to leave this horrible squalor of a country. The thick rancid stench of rotting meat and undercooked rice was unbearable, and he could only hold his breath for so long.
The two mice made their way to the border, only to be stopped by North Korean soldiers. The city mouse pulled out his passport, and was allowed to pass. The city mouse quickened his pace and got out of North Korea as fast as possible.
Had the city mouse turned around, he would understand why his friend was not at his side. The North Korean mouse was being interrogated by the border patrol. One soldier said, “Your eegnorance overwhelms us. You need a passport to leave.” He proceeded to punch the North Korean mouse in the gut.
The North Korean mouse took the blow as well as expected for one as malnourished as it was. The thud was accompanied by the crack of a rib. The other soldier laughed as the North Korean mouse fell to the ground due to losing consciousness. The two soldiers kicked the fallen mouse for the sport of it.
MORAL: Don’t live in North Korea.