Many many thanks for your help in advance oh Holy Whizzkids
Thanks for the response -- the answer is yes, there is:
whytehand.mouseEnabled = false;
whytehand.x = stage.mouseX;
whytehand.y = stage.mouseY;
First, try removing that first line and see if it helps.
Second, if it doesn't help, after that line do the same for whatever object you have in the layer you want to sit above the cursor... it'll need to be objects that you can target with code.
What addChild() does is it takes the object being targeted and places at the top of the display list. So that first line is essentially uprooting whytehand from the timeline and placing it above all other content planted in the timeline. So either you don't use it, or you also use it to place the other content above the cursor.
Thanks a boat load brother -- gave the layer an instance name and did the whole addchild thing to stage... worked a charm!!
...obviously a rudimentary problem for the likes of you, but I'm still learning this stuff; seems simple now, but I didn't know what a 'stage' or an 'instance' were until a few minutes ago.