The mouse and the books

In 1967,When I was interned in Dr. Eiras Mental Institution (yes, I was considered to be a lunatic), I began to have panic crises.
One day, I decided to consult the psychiatrist in charge of my case:

“Doctor, I am overcome by fear; it takes from me the joy of living”.

“Here in my office there is a mouse that eats my books”, said the doctor.
“If I get desperate about this mouse, he will hide from me and I will do nothing else in life but hunt him.
“Therefore, I put the most important books in a safe place and let him gnaw some others.

“In this way, he is still a mouse and does not become a monster.

“Be afraid of some things and concentrate all your fear on them – so that you have courage in the rest.”


  1. ishita says:

    what i think is that we should only fear the wrong doing and nothing else. also, we call it fear or respect be at prime for our gods.

  2. fernanda says:

    Yo tengo un ratón en mi psiquis está casi siempre tratando de roer lo que realmente me empuja a luchar para salir de tantos miedos internos, también será que lo dejo roer parte de éstos?…….

  3. Ammar says:

    If we only fear God and the day of judgement we will find courage for rest of the things

    1. Filipinas says:

      nice. :)

  4. Anne says:

    I enjoyed this story. However, sometimes panic attacks can be due to low oxygen (asthma, iron deficiency) and diabetes. It’s always useful to make sure your panic attacks don’t have an underlying physical cause. Even though, as we understand things, our thoughts do control our lives to a greater extent.

  5. Jana says:

    Wonderful! …great idea… :)

  6. Sara says:

    I have a mouse in my room and I do this thing too!!!T_T

  7. Ivy Josephine Gomez Hoh says:

    That mouse will always be there gnawing away at any and everything! What we do around that tiny creature is what makes him remain tiny. Acknowledge him but don’t paint him too big. Its the same with those who try to bully us!!! or do all kinds of things to distract us from living our lives!!!!

  8. Justine says:

    I have seen to many fear to much and it is scary, but what that story states is true.You always have to indulge in every emotion you feel to get up and move on

  9. ranu khare says:

    Real Panic is like a stab in the heart and you have the chill feeling of dying….I felt it twice in my life. Once when I thought a beloved had lost his mind when his manuscript was rejected. Second, when my son lost the control over his leg muscles and could not stand. Luckily, both lasted for less than a week. The story of the mouse is more relevant to give in a little to a small loss to avoid losing a bigger stake.

  10. Lorena says:

    NECESITO MATAR AL MIEDO.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. toota says:

    what if my fear is concentrated on my relationships?????

    1. Daniel says:

      Talk about them. Shining light in dark places tends to reveal the truth.

      With love, Daniel

    2. ranu khare says:

      Aah! you got a point there. ha ha ha

  12. Karishma says:


  13. no doubt Paulo fear can actually haunt you to death sometimes, death of your “inner struggle”. Its important to shut it down as early as possible! :-)

  14. harleen says:

    I just finished reading your biography by Fernando Morais and it has been the most enjoyable, intriguing time for me. What you have been through, your self discovery, courage and yes fear as you are talking about today- your time with Dr Eiras, reminds me so much of where I am in my life.
    I have been afraid of accepting what has gone wrong and especially because it was not my fault and getting the courage to move ahead. I found this book by chance at a supermarket’s new branch and it was as if it had been waiting for me….I am speechless at your achievements with lots more to!

  15. Christo says:

    Fear and control are two sides of the same coin. Putting some kind of balance to it makes both important companions to life. In finding balance between value(ables) and destruction generates energy to learn new skills and gain important experience to find lives secret