In this Chuck Jones directed Warner Bros. theatrical animated short, Sniffles the mouse makes his second appearance on the big screen. Sniffles is ahead in the mouse community’s scavenger hunt. As the short begins, Sniffles has just gotten a cat’s whisker. The only remaining object to be found is an owl’s egg. Sniffles quickly rises to the challenge.
The task, however, proofs to be difficult. Sniffles slips out into the night to find an owl’s egg. Upon finding an egg, Sniffles quietly picks it up and heads out of the barn. The Parent Owl is quick to not let this happen. Sniffles returns the egg back to its nest. But, the unexpected happens, the egg hatches.
Sniffles does what he can to get the baby owl back into the egg shell. When he finally does, Sniffles ties a piece of string around the cracked egg shell and sets out to return to the party. But, the baby owl slips out before Sniffles knows it. Sniffles is ready to walk away from it all, when it notices the cat!
The cat sets is yellow eyes on the baby owl. Sniffles has to make a split-second decision, will he continue to walk away or will he help the newly hatched owl? Sniffles decides to help the little owl. He runs and grabs the owl. They are chased by the cat, but Sniffles is able to keep the baby owl safe. The Parent Owl soon sweeps in and carries the cat away. In gratefulness to Sniffles for rescuing the baby owl, Parent Owl gives him the egg shell.
Paul writes in Philippians 2:4:
Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others. (Common English Bible)
Sniffles contemplates this in that split-second he has to decide if he will do what is best for himself or for the baby owl. Paul continues in Philippians 2 with what has become known as the “Christ Hymn.” Paul quotes an ancient hymn, possibly one of the first that the Christian community used, to articulate who Jesus is: “he emptied himself by taking the form of a slave” (2:7).
Sniffles’ act is one in which we as Christians are encouraged (even called) to do as well. Paul says that we are to “adopt the attitude that was in Christ Jesus” (2:5). If Jesus emptied himself to become a slave, or servant, than we are to have that same attitude as well. In other words,everything from our actions to our decisions have an affect on others. What a difference would we make in our lives, in our communities, in the world, if we followed Philippians 2 to “watch out for what is better for others”? Sniffles provides for us a model for watching out for the good of others.