Whitefoot: Wendell Berry Tells the Story of a Mouse


“Her name was Peromyscus leucopus, but she did not know it. I think it had been a long time since the mice around Port William spoke English, let alone Latin. Her language was a dialect of Mouse, a tongue for which we humans have never developed a vocabulary or a grammar. Because I dont know her name in Mouse, I will call her Whitefoot. The name fits because her four small feet and all the underside of her were a pure, clean white. Her coat, above, was a reddish brindly tan. She had a graceful tail, a set of long elegant whiskers, perfect ever-listening ears, a fastidious nose, and black profound eyes shining with sight.” In this richly detailed piece, Wendell Berry opens our eyes to the drama, valor and resilience that plays itself out each day side-by-side with our human stories.

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