As he moved closer, however, he realized that the mouse was not real; Sesshu had painted it on the floor with his tears. At this realization, the master understood Sesshu's true calling, and allowed him to pursue his painting freely.
The temple has since been associated with mice and, as a result, the Zen masters who have resided there have traditionally painted them.
from Enso: Zen Circles of Enlightenment by Audrey Yoshiko Seo
for my beautiful Alexandra, who understands what it means to be between a rock and hard place....