2/10 amos

Editor’s note: Amos is a church mouse, who types by hopping on the computer keyboard, but he can’t operate the capital shift keys, and he shuns punctuation marks – except dashes and hyphens.

the search for st valentine

boss i realize that it will
soon be valentine s day
and the other day i wanted
to find out more about that
weird holiday and why people
do such strange things
in such peculiar ways

i ran across a couple of
old discarded encyclopedias
but they only confused me

most people believe that
valentine s day was
connected to a saint by
that same name
but boss history records
only two saints by that
name and both had their
heads chopped off
to me that sounds like an
awful sad love story – and
has almost nothing to do
with valentine cards red
hearts wild roses or
chocolate-covered cherries

so boss i decided to hunt
up willifred the white rat -
you remember willifred boss –
he was a mad scientist s
experimental mouse before
his conversion – anyway he
invented a miniature time
machine for the church pew
underworld – he calls it the
tiny time traveler and it
fits into any regular model
motorized matchbox such as
my 57 cheeserolet

at any rate boss i jumped into
willifred s tiny time traveler
and went searching through time
for that shadowy st valentine

i landed somewhere in the late
200s smack dab in the catacombs
under the city of rome

it wasn t long before i found
some other mousy christians
like me except they were
wearing cheesecloth togas boss

hey have you guys seen
st valentine says me

keep it down you clown
yelled a burly roman rat with
the face of an ungodly bat
i tell you boss he didn t look
much like a christian to me
so i decided to rephrase my
question a little more delicately

i d like to meet that
wonderful saint of god who s
called valentine says me can you
direct me to his vicinity

sure says he you can find
him in that sanctuary and he
pointed to a little grotto
transformed into a chapel
he s conducting one of a dozen
wedding ceremonies says
he to me secretly

why are you whispering says me

because his joy is the
emperor s misery says he

why – what do you mean
says me

the emperor claudius the cat
says single mice and rats
make the best army cadets
so nobody can marry says he
that s my decree

but dear valentine that priest
so kind disobeys the emperor s
demand and marries
sweethearts throughout the
land – so love doth grow
in the catacombs below

boss remembering that
valentine was beheaded for
his bravery calls to mind that
verse that says -
no greater love is there than
this that one lay down his
life for his friends
amos