Small Conquerors
by Geoffrey A. Landis

Who saw the menace? mice were just so cute
riding with sharpened lance to challenge cats
when first they forged a mouse-made armor suit
and rode with painted banners on armored rats.

When mice discovered guns we worried more
soon rodent Einsteins found the atom bomb
and rodent armies learned the arts of war
to start upon their human-race pogrom.

Mouse armies swarm, an angry furry tide
we thought ourselves, once, nature's best and last
from hordes of mice, there's just no place to hide
now we flee creatures small and smart and fast.

So here's the lesson: we may be on top
but evolution doesn't stop.

mouse armor (by Jeff de Boer)
15th Century Maximilian Rat, Jeff de Boer, 1993

first published in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction, April-May 2009


picture of Iron Angels cover
Iron Angels

Page by Geoffrey A. Landis