There is a novel by John Steinbeck entitled Of Mice and Men which I sometimes came across; anyway, its supposed to be a depressing story of two struggling guys who almost but ultimately did not succeed in their endeavor. Thanks to the Internet, it was so easy to find out the origin of the title. Many famous books have titles that came from classic English literature such as Hemmingway's For Whom The Bell Tolls which was from a poetry by John Donne. Anyway, I recently was bothered by rats in the shop and decided to set a cage trap that managed to catch a rat which I sentenced to the rays of the sun. In a way, I was sorry for this rat but such then is the realities of the world in which rats are the enemy of man; this unlucky rodent was caught up in its fate and men too are sometimes caught up in fates which they have no inklings of despite their best efforts to succeed. Therefore, Steinbeck coined his now famous phrase-Of Mice and Men... But actually, that phrase was taken from a poem entitled-To A Mouse by Robert Burns.
To A Mouse.
On turning her up in her nest with the plough, November 1785.
Robert Burns was a poet, but that was not what earned him his living. As with most artists of his time he had to have some means of earning his keep. In Burns' case he earned most of his money, sparse though this was, from farming. This is why he is also known as the "Ploughman Bard". It was while he was ploughing one of his fields that he disturbed a mouse's nest. It was his thoughts on what he had done that led to his poem, "To A Mouse", which contains one of his most often quoted lines from the poem. I am sure that you will recognize it, probably not from the Scottish words, but from the translation, lines 4 and 5 from verse 7.