Shortly after the death of pet white mouse Lucy, Rick sees a strangely marked baby mouse running past his window. Concluding that it's Lucy's offspring, he sets out to rescue it from the elements--and is soon joined by spoiled younger cousin Hattie Lou, who wants to start a mouse circus. On Christmas morning, they nearly succeed in capturing the mouse; but when they see the joy it takes in its liberty, they both understand that it must remain free: a mutual insight that brings them a degree of reconciliation. Murphy, a prolific author of fantasy, shifts her point of view from mouse to Rick to Hattie Lou to serve her themes, coming up with a tender fable about the special epiphanies of childhood. With swift, sure strokes, Rick and Hattie Lou are believably drawn--as is the mouse, who is, nevertheless, still a mouse. A quiet, lovely story.