If you visit Prague, you too will come across him. A small toy-animal with black fur, a sweet face, a clown’s nose sticking out and huge eyes. On my tours I am often asked who he is and whether he is a cat or a bear and why he is sold just about everywhere.
Surprisingly, he is an animal people commonly don’t see and don’t even think about unless one of his kind is destroying their carefully planted cabbage. He is The Mole, one of the few animals Walt Disney showed no interest in and therefore there was no competition for a small mole in a big cartoon world.
Another ingenious decision of The Mole’s creator, illustrator and cartoonist Zdeněk Miler, was that The Mole would not speak but only make sounds. No language barriers, sweet little stories and happy adventures of The Mole and his friends have made the little hero, since his first appearence in 1956, a cartoon character loved by children all over the world.
Frankly, even as adults, Czechs often have sentimental feelings for The Mole. I am definitely one of them. I still remember his stories how he had trousers with big pockets made or how he drove a car. In Prague the omnipresent Mole makes Hollywood green with envy. Had it been created there it would be much more famous and would earn much more money.