Scuttle the stowaway mouse
Scuttle the Stowaway Mouse Amazon

We all have one book that is dear to our hearts - but what if you couldn't even remember its title?

That is what happened to Reddit user starstar74 who attempted to track down a storybook that was read to him at bedtime as a child.

The man, now 35 years old, attempted to track it down following the death of his mother some months earlier. The book, he said, was a token of how much his mother loved him and the cherished memories they had together - despite his initial aversion to it.

"That night she tucked me in and read me that book. I f*****g hated the story. I f*****g hated the mouse that starred in it. I f*****g hated the colors when she showed me the pictures. I f*****g hated that book, period.

"At the end, my mom kissed me and smiled as she smoothed back my hair. Looking back so many decades later I understand now that her love for me was dancing in her eyes as if to say, 'be mad all you want, little man of mine. I can never stop loving you. You are my world'."

Finding the book became an all consuming endeavour, he said.

"I wanted it. I wanted more than anything else in my life to find it. To see the mouse in it again, to hold the cover, to bring that small part, that tiny memory of her, back into my life."

According to his post he spent hours searching online - but simply could not track it down.

"Weeks on Google. All I could remember were hazy faded images of a mouse. I searched 'mouse story' on Google. 2.8 million hits. It wasn't in the first 20 pages of 100 hits-per-page results. I kept trying till one night I furiously slammed my fist on my desk and gave up."

It occurred to him that he should try a "mom and pop" store while driving past one day. Despite the fact he did not know its name, the author or even its publication date - the kind lady who ran the store spent an hour helping him find the book that clearly meant so much to him.

He wrote: "The owner, a nice lady in her 50's, spent an hour helping me. She suddenly turned into a combination of "Monk" and "Sherlock". How old was I now, how old when I read it? Was the book wider than it was tall? What colors in it did I remember? Any other characters that I could remember? Most of the answers to her questions were, "I can't remember. One hour.

"She found it. 'Scuttle the Stowaway Mouse' by Jean Soule. It had been out of print for decades, but she found a pristine copy of it online, ordered it for me and it got to me 48 hours later. $32 she made on that sale. Not even enough to pay to keep the lights turned on in their shop for a day I bet."

"I was unashamedly weeping bittersweet tears by the first page. Each word was like a kiss on a mad little 3 y.o. boy's forehead."

He concluded: "I miss my mother with my whole heart. Thank you, bookstore lady. Thank you beyond words."

Commenters described how moved they were and praised the bookstore owner for her kind and generous effort to track the book down.