The Decidedly Unmouselike Dormouse
The Dormouse, another slightly less ubiquitous character in the Tale of Alice and her Wonderland is another character I find fascinating—if not as colorful as the others. He spent much of his time in the story sleeping between the March Hare and The Hatter who used him as a cushion. To which he barely pays any mind at all.
The Dormouse is always falling asleep during the scene, waking up every so often, for example to say: `You might just as well say,’ added the Dormouse, who seemed to be talking in his sleep, `that “I breathe when I sleep” is the same thing as “I sleep when I breathe”!’ Pretty deep for a mouse.
All in all he’s not a terrible notable character…except that he is. As with the majority of characters in this truly timeless tome, the Dormouse has come to convey a creature who is sleepy and cranky and none too pleased to deal with fools. Not bad for a guy who’s as small as a minute.
Dormice are small for rodents, with a body length of between 6 and 19 cm (2.4 and 7.5 in), and weighing between 15 and 200 g (0.53 and 7.1 oz). They are generally mouse-like in appearance, but with furred, rather than scaly tails. Most species are nocturnal. Dormice have an excellent sense of hearing, and signal each other with a variety of vocalizations.
I won’t go into too much detail about the fact that the Romans found the small and adorable—if sleepy—dormouse a tasty snack. Yikes. And yuck. And stop that!
Teachers of English, grammar, and writing, challenge your students to explore this enigmatic little character. There is apparently more to dormice than meets the eye.
Go to www.grammarpunk.com to find more ideas to make teaching grammar fun.