Mouse Was Mad. . . How About You?

Linda Urban wrote a wonderful book, Mouse Was Mad, illustrated by Henry Cole. This is a great book for discussion on what to do when you are mad. . . can be helpful at the beginning of the school year to discuss other feelings while building a community for your classroom.

This took me back to  age fifteen or sixteen, and a lesson that helped me overcome my anger. I was furious at my dad. . . more than I had ever been  But now– I can’t remember why.

Mom and Dad left a meeting and would be gone for a couple of hours.  I watched their car go down the road while I was pacing, smoke coming out of my ears.  I went over to his desk, pulled out the top right drawer and SLAMMED it shut–I know– a strange and random action.  OOPS! The front of the drawer fell off!

OH WOW! This was a problem!  What to do? What to do?  I carefully took everything out and put it in piles. . . visually memorizing the order so I could replace exactly.  Then I pulled the drawer out. Got the Elmer’s glue and prayed it was as fast drying and strong as a was advertised.  I applied the glue, put the front on, and stood the drawer up.  Then I got three or four Encyclopedia Britannica books and put on top to hold it tight and in place.  I raced upstairs to get my fan placed it next to the drawer  to get  the air going. . . hoping to help it dry faster.  Then I waited. I waited! It was the longest two hours! I paced. I kept looking out the window.

Finally, I saw the car coming on the next road.  I carefully took the books off and placed the drawer in the desk.  Meticulously, I filled it in the correct order. I ran upstairs with the fan, and raced back down to put the encyclopedias away. I jumped on the couch with a book. I may have looked like I was reading, but I was praying that Dad didn’t need in that drawer until the next day.  He came in, went to the bedroom, changed into his work clothes, and went outside.  He didn’t say a word to me. I didn’t take my eyes of my book.  But I breathed when I heard the door shut.  Fifty years later, the glue was still holding strong.

Now the lesson I learned that afternoon was that nothing, NOTHING, was worth damaging someone else’s property or making my heart ache!  I have used this lesson often over the years to talk about anger management to may students, and what can you do when you are faced with ANGER. Students had great answers. . . bouncing basketballs or shooting hoops, pounding pillows, jumping rope, hammering nails, running, listening to music, swinging, or just breathing.What is your advice?


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