The Story of the Little Mole who knew it was None of his Business is a very popular picture book originally published in German. You can tell if a story is popular when you see the plush toy version of the hero!
Although The Little Mole Who Knew It Was None of His Business is all about pooh, this avoids being a typical ‘gross out’ story because of an overriding gentility in the language. The onomatopoeia has retained a foreignness about it — perhaps retained partly from the original German? — and because this is a picture book rather than a chapter book (as many gross-out books are), the language can be a little more sophisticated due to the fact that adults are likely to be reading this aloud to their children. The goat poo, for instance, is compared to ‘toffee’, which the little mole finds ‘almost appealing’.
So, does this narrative have all the basic components of a complete narrative, as described by John Truby in his book Anatomy of Story? According to this theory, even the shortest of works has at least the seven basic steps. Let’s continue our investigation…
STORY STRUCTURE OF THE LITTLE MOLE WHO KNEW IT WAS NONE OF HIS BUSINESS
WEAKNESS/NEED/PROBLEM OF THE LITTLE MOLE WHO KNEW IT WAS NONE OF HIS BUSINESS
The little mole can’t be at peace until he finds out who dropped a turd on his head.
He is vengeful.
DESIRE IN THE LITTLE MOLE WHO KNEW IT WAS NONE OF HIS BUSINESS
To find out who committed the crime of dropping a turd on his head. (This is basically a mystery story. In fact, an alternative title is:The Story of the Little Mole Who Went in Search of Whodunit.)
OPPONENT OF THE LITTLE MOLE WHO KNEW IT WAS NONE OF HIS BUSINESS
The dog. (Oops — spoiler alert!)
(There are two allies — the flies — they are experts in poo and are able to solve his mystery for him by landing on his head.)
PLAN OF THE LITTLE MOLE WHO KNEW IT WAS NONE OF HIS BUSINESS
The little mole will question every animal in the vicinity until he finds the culprit. He will examine the turds to find a match for the one on his head.
There is no single great battle in this story, in which the mole must endure encounters with a number of animals. But the encounters do escalate — each pooh is worse than the last one, with the cow pancake being the worst of the lot. He does get spattered in poo, which can be likened to wounds in a battle.
SELF-REVELATION OF THE LITTLE MOLE WHO KNEW IT WAS NONE OF HIS BUSINESS
He finds out who dropped the turd on his head.
None. He remains a vengeful little bastard.
“Satisfied at last, the little mole disappeared happily into his hole underground.” (And presumably continued on with his mole doings uninterrupted.)