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Wednesday, December 8, 2021
Home Publisher From The Publisher

From The Publisher

(Pub. NOTE: I beg your kind indulgence, dear readers, to submit as my column for this weekend the reproduction of a column I originally published in the Friday, March 21, 1980 issue of this newspaper.)

This is Tuesday morning and Mousie was shot and killed last night, and in a way it’s my fault and Belize’s fault and the world’s fault.

Mouse (official name Frank Ellis, age 17) came from hard times and was always small for his size.

When I met him in 1975, he used to hang out with Diggydap and Popeye, but mostly Diggydap. Mouse and Diggydap used to come out to S.J.C. field where I was managing the Charger football team.

Both kids were Plaza “riders” and admired Harry Cadle and Noel Ferguson from the Charger team. But they were White Label fans because most of the Plaza heroes (Dingo, Ripper, Cadiroy, Buddha, Nine, Gas, Willmo, Baby, etc.) were on the Label squad.

The following year, when some of the Label players joined Charger, Mouse and Diggydap came over to my side. But in the middle of that season, I quit football managing, and after a while I lost touch with these young brothers.

Both of them were becoming young men (in the ghetto, 14, 15 is a man) and in need of money to maintain their presence wherever the action was.

Diggydap started to get into trouble with the law, and Mouse was sent to Hostel, and then Listowel, I think.

As they say, my spirit took to both of these kids, Mouse maybe because he was so small.

In January of this year, I met him near All Saints Church in King’s Park. He was still slim, but had become reasonably tall, wearing long pants and all this, and his whole future was ahead of him.

He said, “I need a job bad”. I said, “little brother, January is bad with business. Can you mind goal?” He said yes. I said, “I need a good goalie to help me beat a team named Frontiers at the horse track.”

Mouse showed up that evening and played midfield mostly, and well too, but I could see his heart was no longer that much in football. He was the age where girls were on his mind, and for that you need bank. After the workout, he said, “I need a job, man. If I don’t get one I will get in trouble.”

This morning they told me Mouse was shot and killed, the guy along with him shot and hospitalized. Unofficially, a police officer told me it appeared the two may have attempted to mug two Mexicans, or Spanish men.

Mouse was mischievous rather than evil. He wouldn’t know how to mug anybody. If he tried to mug anybody, it would have been sheer desperation, total desperation. There are people who say he was a thief, but mugging (as opposed to stealing) requires physical confrontation, and Mouse was small, like a mouse.

The thing is that nobody who believes in the development of his society can condone stealing and mugging. These are detrimental actions, and should be punished severely. No doubt many citizens will nod their heads and say it is time a mugger got what was coming to him. But I can’t do that, because in this case the mugger was Mouse, and Mouse was my friend.

Sometimes I feel I know too much about this society and the way it operates for my own peace of mind.

The thing is, a real experienced mugger, a hardened criminal, would not have been killed, because he would have taken precautions. But this is the paradox of life, that the dead mugger is just a little baby.

God Almighty Father, please may the soul of Mouse rest in peace and please help us who survive to better the conditions so that other youth like Mouse don’t become muggers and murdered.

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