“Big Mouse and Little Hare” is a very short story from a collection out of Germany in the early 1980s. Janosch (that’s a pen name) was an influential author in Germany, mainly for his prolific contribution to school journals. (Sometimes the ‘big name’ authors aren’t actually the most widely read. That was certainly the case in 1980s New Zealand when I was growing up.)

The point I’d like to make here is that even micro fiction follows the seven steps of story.

big-mouse-and-little-hare janosch

 

STORY STRUCTURE OF BIG MOUSE, LITTLE HARE

WEAKNESS/NEED

The hare is so weak and thin that he can’t attract a same-species mate.

DESIRE

He wants to get married.

OPPONENT

The illustration shows us that the opponent is the big fat mouse.

BATTLE

‘he caught’

Off the page we have the scene where the small hare overcomes the big mouse.

SELF-REVELATION

The reader realises something along the lines of ‘Every Jack Has His Jill’ even if you have to think outside the box in your choice of mate.

NEW EQUILIBRIUM

‘neither of them regretted their marriage in the least’