A tale of a mouse … a story for Men’s Health Month

Angela Jenkins, one of the founders of Prostate Cancer International, posted this tale on The “New” Prostate Cancer Social Network early this morning …


One day a mouse looked through a crack in a farmhouse wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package.

“What food might this contain?” the mouse wondered.

He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.

Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed this warning: ‘”There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, “Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it.”

The mouse turned to the pig and told him, “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”

The pig sympathized, but said, “I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers.”

The mouse turned to the cow and said, “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”

The cow said, “Wow, Mr. Mouse. I’m sorry for you, but it’s no skin off my nose.”

So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer’s mousetrap … Alone ….

That very night a sound was heard throughout the house — the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught.

In the darkness, she did not see so well. A venomous snake had caught its tail in the trap. The snake bit the farmer’s wife.

The farmer rushed her to the hospital. When she returned home she still had a fever.

Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup. So the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup’s main ingredient.

But his wife’s sickness continued. Friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.

But, alas, the farmer’s wife did not get well …. She died.

So many people came for her funeral that the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for for the funeral luncheon.

And the mouse looked upon it all from the crack in the wall with great sadness.

As Angela read this story she says, “I immediately thought of our mission and the men of America and around the world. Those of us who have been personally affected by prostate cancer want to tell everyone we know, ‘Get tested. Know your PSA number. Take control of your health. Don’t wait until it’s too late!’ ”

She continued: “But like the farmyard animals, too often, men do not think it will affect them.” When questioned about their PSA test, men’s responses vary include things like:

  • “Oh, I had the test and my doctor said it was fine,” but they don’t know what their actual number is.
  • “Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been diagnosed. I’ll pray for you, but I’m not really at risk.”
  • “Thank you for your concern, but I’m too young to get prostate cancer”.
  • And the classic, “Thanks, but if I do have prostate cancer I’d just rather not know. It’s slow growing and no real threat.”

Angela says, “As advocates for prostate cancer education and awareness, we must keep ‘beating the drum.’ It’s not about fear, it’s about knowledge. If our advocacy can save just one man, it’s worth it. So, the next time you hear these responses from someone who thinks it doesn’t affect them, remember — all men are at risk. Life may take them by surprise, as it has so many of us. We are all involved in this journey called life!”

One Response

  1. Angela:

    Your message is clear and sincere.

    What is not so clear is how to balance the cost versus benefits of screening and treatment once a man has become aware of all the relevant facts and medical science presently known. When faced with the question of how many men is it reasonable to treat (and suffer the devastating side effects) in order to save one life, the right answer to this question becomes much less clear and the interests of some of the parties involved in the decision are possibly less sincere. This lack of clarity exists even before consideration of the psychological and emotional toll of screening and treatment for which a cost cannot be easily assigned.

    Best we men and our friends and family can hope for at this point is that the powers that be do not drag their feet any longer than necessary in approving a better screening test and a better identification method of which cancers actually need to be treated.



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