The story is written by Spencer Johnson. It begins with several friends at a dinner who are in a discussion. The topic moves to the subject of ‘change.’ The change is the change in career, relationships, and also family matters. One of them reveals that change does not faze him anymore. He shares a story that he claims changed his perspective.
In the fable, we are introduced to four characters. Two are mice, Scurry, and Sniff, and the others are little people: Hem and Haw. They stumble on a big slice of cheese, and life seems good. Haw and Hem move their home closer to the cheese as it is essential for their lives. They do not realize that the cheese keeps reducing each passing day, and one day, there is no cheese left.
Scurry and Snuff are ready for the loss of cheese and seek out another piece in the maze. Hem and Ham, on the other hand, still lament their loss and see it as theft. They go hungry with the mice spending their time out seeking a new source of food. They stay hoping their cheese would return, but their situation remains as is. They proceed to dig behind the walls around assuming the cheese is hidden there.
Haw smartens up and seeks out a new source of food, leaving Hem who was still adamant. The fable seeks to provide a new view to change, for example, when one loses their relationship or job and feels that their world is crumbled. Such a mentality is risky since it makes one fear the future. The change needs to be seen as the start of a new chapter instead of an ending. Haw puts writings on the wall, saying that ‘If you cannot change, you will become extinct.’