66 klaipeda/lithuania THE HUNT FOR THE MOUSE Being as little as he is, finding Stebuklingas Peliukas in Klaipeda requires a little hunting. If you hope to have him grant your wish, set out from the port and make your way to Klaipeda’s Old Town and look for the Jazz club, Kurpai. “The Magical Mouse” stands atop a small dome on the corner of a large, concrete planter. If you see a bronze cat, know that you’re not far from the mouse. And, if you’d prefer to cut to the chase, so to speak, here are the exact coordinates: 55°42’30” North, 21°7’56” East Explore Klaipeda on these luxurious voyages across Northern Europe. The Black Ghost Few sculptures in Klaipeda arrest your attention as quickly as Juodasis Vaiduoklis. “The Black Ghost,” as it’s translated in English, o¢ers an echo of a centuries-old legend. In 1595, it’s said that a guard of Klaipeda Castle was patrolling the grounds when an apparition appeared. The ghost inquired about the su¬ciency of the castle’s stores of timber and grain, to which the guard replied as being plentiful for their needs. Before disappearing, the phantom responded by warning the guard that their supplies would run low. Some believe this ghost saved Klaipeda from famine in the time that followed. Today, “The Black Ghost” continues to be a sage reminder, for both residents and visitors alike, of the need to be grateful in times of prosperity and to prepare for times of leanness. The Magical Mouse Elsewhere in town, if you know where to look, there lives a di¢erent kind of sculpture. Instead of harkening to the past, this unique, bronze creation looks to the future. Standing only a 17 cm tall, Stebuklingas Peliukas (“The Magical Mouse”), patiently awaits, ears agape, to hear what you have to say. Inscribed around the little fellow is a phrase: “MINTIS PAVERSK ZODŽIAIS — ZODZIAI TAPS STEBUKLAIS” And, for those of you who only speak English: “CONVERT YOUR IDEAS INTO WORDS — WORDS BECOME MIRACLES” Svanjunas Jurkus and Sergejus Plotnikovas, the creators of this adorable, little character, have suggested that if you whisper your wish to the mouse, he will grant you that wish. So, the next time you’re in Klaipeda, take the time to enjoy some of the artistic works that live throughout the city. Feel the history that goes back hundreds of years and allow a ghost to remind you of whatever goodness you have to be grateful for today. Then, find a new little friend and quietly tell him what you hope for tomorrow. Who knows? Maybe world peace is just a whisper away. Daniel Morris is the Senior Copywriter at Regent Seven Seas Cruises® and Editor of EXPLORE Magazine. He has a deep love of travel and the opportunities it brings to learn and share the stories of the world’s people and cultures.