The Herman Nootks Book

We’re well underway on our first book about Herman Nootks ( her·me·neu·tics /ˌhərməˈn(y)o͞odiks/ ). Of course, Herman is a cathedral mouse who is also a superhero of the faith. He fights spiritual battles for the good of those around him.

Below is a synopsis of where we are with this project.

Chapter 1: The Day the Music Stopped

The reader is introduced to Chucktown, a city inside the walls of every Catholic church and building around the world. In this chapter, Papa, the community’s chief mouse, visits Herman in his apartment. They discuss God, the avatars, and other mice, revealing the legend of the Holy Highway.

According to legend, there is a Holy Highway that has always connected the mice of Chucktown all over the world instantly. It gave a special oneness to the mice. But one day more than a hundred years ago, an evil emoji with powerful magic locked the Holy Highway preventing mice from connecting. Ever since, the mice longed for a superhero who would be able to unlock the Holy Highway.

After Papa leaves, Herman ponders the mysteries of Chucktown before preparing for bed.

Chapter 2: The Gouda Trap

Herman is drawn out of his apartment, through Bishop Bob’s study, into the cathedral kitchen by the delicious aroma of gouda cheese. Monsignor has set a trap for Herman, and the little, orange mouse cannot resist it.

Snap! Herman is captured. His tail is broken and permanently crooked. Bishop Bob gets up to check what the commotion was and sees Herman in the trap. At first, he is intrigued by the bright orange color of this unique mouse. But Herman’s gratitude after the bishop frees him deeply impresses him. This being the 200th anniversary year of Bishop Bob’s diocese, he recalls the early years when every bishop seemed to have a cathedral mouse. He anoints Herman with canola oil and blesses him, thereby commissioning the little mouse as the cathedral mouse.

Chapter 3: A Hispanic Guardian Angel

After returning to his apartment in Chucktown, Herman goes to bed. Just as he is falling asleep, he becomes aware that he is not alone. He hears a voice talking to him and realizes there’s an angel in the room with him. The angel, who has a spanish accent, reveals to Herman that he is his guardian angel. It turns out that one of the benefits of being commissioned as a cathedral mouse is the heavenly gift of a guardian angel.

Gomez, the guardian angel, reveals to Herman that, not only is he now a cathedral mouse, but God has chosen him to be a superhero of the faith. He tells Herman about spiritual warfare and informs him that God has a special plan and purpose to use the little mouse in spiritual warfare for the benefit of Chucktown and the cathedral. He tells Herman that God wants him to unlock the Holy Highway for the mice so they can be one with all the other mice of Chucktown all around the world.

Herman agrees to accept the assignment from heaven. Gomez gives him a prayer shawl to help strengthen his prayer life. He reminds Herman of the many things that Jesus has given His Church to help win the battle. Not only did they include the sacraments, but also the saints and angels in heaven who will join Herman in the battle.

Chapter 4: And The Music Played

Bishop Bob takes Herman to the Book and Media Center where they meet Sister Charlie. Sister Charlie tells them that long ago, the building they were in now was a music store.

After a tour of the building, they go to the tea room next to the Secret Garden. As Herman looks at the garden, he realizes that it cannot be seen from the street. At the same time, he also hears the media nuns’ music playing over the PA system and realizes that he has found the location of the evil lock.

Chapter 5: The Plan Unfolds

Gomez introduces Herman to Saint Rita of Cascia. Herman learns a lot about the Communion of Saints because she seems to be such an unlikely patron to help him with the evil lock caper.

Saint Rita suggests that Herman start his battle plan by meeting with “Fat Puppy” at St. Anne’s parish in Sumter.

Chapter 6: Witches, Warlocks, and Warnings

Bishop Bob arranges for Karen, one of the faithful women of the cathedral and a friend of Sister Charlie’s, to take Herman to St. Anne’s in Sumter. They are to meet Fat Puppy, a local historian and a social media evangelist. Fat Puppy reveals a little known historical event that almost certainly is behind the witchcraft that locked the Holy Highway,

According to Fat Puppy, four women were convicted of being witches at the Winnsboro Witch Trials around 1790. One woman was hanged but did not die. She was later released from prison and moved to the Lowcountry where she spread her witchcraft.

One of her students was a man known as Theo. He learned the witchcraft and sold his soul to Satan in exchange for great powers. He was the one who locked the Holy Highway in the middle of the 19th century.

Fat Puppy tells Herman and Karen that God has already reclaimed this property for the Kingdom of God but the evil lock has to be unlocked before the building can truly become holy ground.

Karen and Herman return to the cathedral.