“And, Mrs. Frisby,” said the owl, moving again toward the entrance to the hollow, “please understand: I was an admirer of your late husband, though I never met him in person. I wish you well. I hope your son’s life can be saved. You see, I can understand your particular problem, for I face a similar problem.”
“You?” said Mrs. Frisby. “But you have no Moving Day.”
“I have lived in this tree, in this same hollow,” the owl said, “for more years than anyone can remember. But now, when the wind blows hard in winter and rocks the forest, I sit here in the dark, and from deep down in the bole, down near the roots, I hear a new sound. It is the sound of strands of wood cracking in the cold and snapping one by one. The limbs are falling; the tree is old, and it is dying. Yet I cannot bring myself, after so many years, to leave, to find a new home and move into it, perhaps to fight for it. I, too, have grown old. One of these days, one of these years, the tree will fall, and when it does, if I am still alive, I will fall with it.”
Robert C. O’Brien, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (1971) 58.
Seth Barrett Tillman, Fears for Today’s American Republic, New Reform Club (July 1, 2019, 11:21 AM), <https://reformclub.blogspot.com/2019/07/fears-for-todays-american-republic.html>.