The Steeple Trap vs. Mulan

“The Steeple Trap” contains four sections, each denoting the chronological order of events that occurs to this family and friends. First, the group tries to catch a squirrel, and the second section is about this group catching the squirrel, but subsequently losing it. The third section is about the group catching the squirrel, letting it loose in the wild, and trying to think of a clever way to mark it so that the group knows what squirrel they had caught. They dye the squirrel. The final section is really about the imagination of children, and how simple things like fire can supplement and build upon a child’s dreams.

This text reminds me of the animated movie, Mulan. Both stories have a central theme of persistence because of a desire to achieve something. For Rollo and James, more so than Jonas, they want to see the squirrel up close. They want to capture it and claim it. For Mulan, dressing up like a man and training harder than she previously thought possible are both necessary in order to prevent her weak father from joining the army. And both stories end up in a resolution that really has nothing to do with the original plot line: In The Steeple Trap, the boys lose the squirrel. However, the group has a beautiful bonfire and role play savages and indians. In Mulan, Mulan is sent home because she is found out to be faking her gender. However, the happy ending is that she marries her captain.

Both stories end their respective tales after incredible amounts of persistence and effort doing what they did. It’s just that the way they did it doesn’t coherently follow the original storyline.


Abbott, Jacob. “The Steeple Trap.” Rollo At Play. Boston: Phillips, Sampson, 1855. 35-65. Print.