The body is mortal, the soul eternal. Born into another mortal shell, the wisened one shall come again.
“The wisened one shall come again…” He muttered, “MAYBE CLARIFY THAT WHOLE ‘MORTAL SHELL’ BIT NEXT TIME?” He yelled skyward. Well, cheeped skyward…
This had never happened before, not in all his 32,892 years. He’d stopped counting lifetimes after a hundred. Mostly his soul found the nearest brain-dead human body and entered that. Occasionally he was born again, male or female, but always human. Never as a mouse.
Inconvenient did not begin to describe the situation.