"'Twas the night before Christmas, When all through the house Not a creature was stirring, Not even a mouse." Everyone knows these lines from Clement Clarke Moore's classic poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" or "The Night Before Christmas." But how many know why all those mice were already in bed, or what they were up to before that? Here at last is a companion poem to reveal all: The holiday hustle and bustle in the mouse house since early that morning. The evening party for all the mouse friends and relations, with presents, feasting, and dancing. And to top it all off, a visit from Santa Mouse himself! Never before told, this mice-eye story is sure to find a place in your heart beside the original classic. ///////////////////////////////////////////// Anne L. Watson is the author/illustrator of "Katie Mouse and the Perfect Wedding," "Katie Mouse and the Christmas Door," "The Secret of Gingerbread Village," and other children's books, as well as the author of numerous craft books and novels for adults. She lives in Bellingham, Washington, with her husband and fellow author, Aaron Shepard. Wendy Edelson is the award-winning illustrator of "The Baker's Dozen," "Quackling," "Christmas Truce," "Which Shoes Do You Choose?", and many more children's books. She has applied her talent to a wide range of illustration projects, including picture books, pet portraits, posters, and puzzles. Among her clients have been Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo, the Seattle Aquarium, Pacific Northwest Ballet, the U.S. Postal Service, Cricket Magazine, McGraw-Hill Education, and the American Library Association. ///////////////////////////////////////////// 'Twas the day before Christmas, and all through their house, The mice were preparing. There wasn't a mouse Who didn't join in for the holiday flurry. From top floor to bottom, they'd bustle and scurry. Their party was planned for that evening at eight, With so much to finish before it got late! So, they scrambled and scampered -- no task was neglected -- To deck out the halls for the guests they expected. * * * Excitement kept building -- while patience did not -- Till the clock in the hallway reached eight on the dot. As the chimes started sounding, the door was thrown wide, And the guests in their finery crowded inside. Good wishes and greetings turned into a din Of merriments traded again and again. "Merry Christmas to you!" "And to all in your nest!" "I hope that the New Year will bring you the best!" They chatted and drank steaming cider from mugs That often got spilled in affectionate hugs. * * * They were dancing in lines, they were dancing in pairs. They waltzed down the hallways, they polkaed up stairs. They spilled out the doorway in time with the tune And danced with the snow mice beneath the full moon. And as they were dancing, what sight caught their eyes? A colorful, fast-moving blur in the skies! Then clearly they saw it: a brilliant red sleigh. And lo and behold, it was headed their way!