The Mouse represents the controversial new 13th sign of the Chinese Zodiac. This has some Tigers worried, but Dragons don’t seem to care.

All your life you thought you were born the Chinese Year of the Tiger — suggesting you’re charming, well liked, not seeking money or power, and craving approval from your family. But if you were born between March 29 and April 1, 1974, you were actually born during the year of the Mouse.

The discovery of the 13th animal, the Mouse, has been suspected for a long time. But last week, astronomers challenged the 5,000 year old Chinese zodiac, saying that the years and the dates of the signs are all wrong. “We see the droppings everywhere,” said astronomer Kark Punkle.

Controversial — the Year of the Mouse is running all over the place. Worldwide, fans of the Chinese Zodiac are freaking out that they may not be a Rat, a Dragon or a Cock

“Its not really a year,” said Punkle, who made the discovery. “It’s more like four days, at least in 1974. But still, there is a Mouse out there, and he influences you.” If you’re a born a Mouse, he says, you’re more likely to go scavenging, you’ll want to avoid traps, and you generally come out only at night. You will dislike Rats and cats, and you avoid owls.

“The Mouse was revered by the ancient Chinese. Now, astrology is finally buggered,” Punkle said.

The Chinese zodiac is based on the 12 animals who visited Buddha when he was sitting under a tree, or something. However, with all the fuss and chatter, nobody noticed that there was a 13th animal flitting around, a Mouse. Based on this discovery, astronomers have rewritten the dates of the Chinese zodiac. In a letter to Chinese President Hu Jintao, astronomers wrote, “We regret to inform you that the Chinese zodiac is not accurate. We have discovered a factor of which you need to be aware. We trust that you will put this in China Google so that everyone finds out.”

The Year of the Mouse includes:

Dec. 31, 1934-Jan. 1, 1935
May 14-17, 1944, in the garage
March 4-9, 1957
September 14-16, 1961
Aug. 7, 1962 from 3:31 pm to 3:45 pm
July 25-26, 1964, in the wood shed
March 29-April 1, 1974
June 21, 2001, in the kitchen
and Today

Astronomers note that the Mouse is not applicable everywhere all the time. Sometimes it’s only in the garage, and other times in the kitchen. Other times it seems like the closet, but you cannot quite tell.

Predictably, followers of the Chinese Zodiac had mixed reactions.

“I like being a Cock,” said Jeremy Wallace of Tulsa. “Nobody is gonna tell me I’m a Mouse. That’s an insult.” He said he refuses to have his Chinese zodiac sign tattoo removed.

“This is distressing,” said Marjorie Franklin, who usually reads astrology websites from midnight till she falls asleep at about 3:30 am each night. “You cannot just tell me I’m not a Rabbit any more. I don’t know who I am. Where am I?”

But others responded more favorably. “I never really felt like much of an Ox,” said Milton Molonsky, who was born during a brief 14 minute Year of the Mouse in 1962. “I definitely feel like more of a Mouse.”

His wife, Mrs. Molonsky, agreed. “Yes, he’s pretty Mousy most of the time,” she said.

Not Worried — Sandra Bullock says no matter what she is still a Dragon. Can you tell?

“I don’t really care,” said actress Sandra Bullock, who was born during a Year of the Pink Mouse that took place during 1964, the Year of the Green Dragon. “Dragons don’t really exist. And I’m not scared of mice.”

Bob Bobson, proprietor of Bob’s Printing in Bayone, NJ, said he was excited to reprint several million Chinese zodiac placemats that would have to be replaced. “I always loved astronomers,” he said.

Prof. Chong Chee Wi of Brown University’s Department of Comparative Chinese Things said that there is no evidence in the ancient literature that Buddha was visited by a Mouse. “This is speculative. Those damned astronomers always have it in for China,” he said.

But Wikipedia scholar Sam Spade dug out the fact that the Year of the Rat is sometimes “referred to as Year of the Mouse” because the word may be translated to “rat,” “mouse,” or more broadly, “rodent.”

“This is nothing new. It’s a 5,000 year old secret,” Spade said.

Punkle and other scientists also believe that with the Mouse there is a new element in Chinese philosophy — string. “This is the basis of String Theory,” he said, speaking from his observatory at the Minneapolis Ladies’ Astronomical Reading Society last night, trying to figure out where the scratching in the wall was coming from.

Punkle said that he and his colleagues were also close to announcing the discovery of an 81st Tarot card, The Housekeeper, as well as a seventh chess piece, the Squire.

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