Anatole is a mouse living in France, with a family. He provides for his family by “working” at a cheese factory. He samples the cheeses! The humans who work at the factory are dismayed that once again, mice have nibbled at the cheese and want to get rid of them. Imagine his surprise when he discovers that the humans do not like mice! Devastated, he goes home and is woeful until an idea hits him. He feverishly types away on his typewriter and bicycles to work that evening with a renewed vigor. As he goes about his “work” (which is sampling the cheese), he leaves little notes on each cheese he has sampled, and even provides helpful hints on to improve the cheese! The humans were amazed at the secret tester’s ability to hone in on what the cheese needed to be the best.
Anatole was able to take a negative, an unwanted mouse and create a position of importance, VP of Quality!
I loved this story because it truly illustrated how to make lemonade out of lemons. Anatole was in danger of losing his job (by death even!) and turned it around into becoming a valued member of the company. He created value where others saw none. Powerful lesson here!