"The Nutcracker" is full of adventure, excitement, romance and the unethical treatment of rodents. At least, that's how 7-year-old Annabel Averett of Omaha, Nebraska felt when she saw the Mouse King defeated by the ballet's star, Clara, and the toy soldiers under the Christmas tree. The budding ballerina, who is playing a mouse in a production of the Nutcracker at Creighton University, wouldn't stand for it.
"Playing the part of the mouse made her see 'The Nutcracker' storyline in a completely different way," Erin W. Averett, Annabel's mother, told The Huffington Post. "She realized that people -- in the audience, but also the other characters -- were scared or hated the mice and the Mouse King."
Not cool, people. Those mice don't deserve your hatred. Annabel started the Mouse Freedom Front to combat the prejudice against rodents in Tchaikovsky ballets and around the world.
This little IRL Hermione drew up a manifesto for the group, passed out pamphlets, composed a Mouse Freedom Front anthem (that we desperately want to hear) and recruited members. Girl's organized. And she makes a strong case for the ethical treatment of fictional (and real) mice.
1. We find out how to destroy mouse traps
2. If people join the club we give them free cheese
3. We set up a mouse castle and make up laws for mouse freedom.
4. We set up a school for mice and make sure everyone in our kingdom has a job.
5. We come up with a name for our kingdom.
6. Find out how to get the signs up so people can join.
7. Make sure everyone knows about it.
8. Protect the mouse jewel in the queen's vault.
9. We make sure everyone knows the mouse national anthem
11. We make sure all mice have homes and everybody has enough cheese for the winter.
12. Make sure nobody starts a war with Clara and the party kids against us and make sure we all have mouse names.
13. Make sure nobody fights or offends or takes over the queen's place.
I don't know about this mouse jewel business, but I'm in if there's free cheese at meetings. Excellent recruitment strategy, Annabel.
As for the fate of the Tchaik's poor Mouse King? Annabel would like to see that amended.
"Instead of Clara knocking out our Mouse King with her shoe," she told her mother, "I would write the Mouse King as winning the battle and becoming friends with the Nutcracker. The soldiers would then be scared of the mice and just march away. Eventually they would solve all their problems by becoming friends and living happily together."
See, this girl knows what's up. Mice, soldiers, people - we're all the same. Can't we all just get along?