Sunday, December 05, 2010

The mourning mouse

Friday morning as I lay there thinking about getting out of bed I thought I heard the faint sounds of a gnawing mouse. Later on I saw one bounce across the kitchen floor and scoot behind the piano. So, I knew it was time to get the mouse traps out and baited. I soon found five working old-style traps (I actually thought I baited six, but could only remember five later), and after cleaning them up, I smeared some Jiffy peanut butter on the lure mechanism of each one. I placed one in our bedroom, one in the living room, one in the laundry room, one by the piano, and one under the kitchen sink.

Saturday morning when I got up, sure enough, I saw a dead mouse snared in the trap under the sink. I went ahead and had breakfast and got ready for work, then just before heading out the door I decided I had better empty the trap lest it start to wreak. So I opened the cupboard door, and was a bit surprised when I moved the waste basket out of the way. Not only was there a dead mouse in the trap, but just beside it, perched on the wrapping off a slice of cheese that had eluded the waste basket, was another little mouse all curled up in a ball. It didn't move at all when I moved the basket, and at first I thought maybe it had eaten some poison or something and was dead too. But we don't have any poison out. So I got a paint brush from the garage and kind of poked at it. It got up and turned in a circle just like a dog trying to get comfy for a nap, and curled back up on the cheese wrapper. It was the weirdest thing. I don't know if it was sleepy, or if it was just there to comfort and mourn the passing of its friend in the trap.

I took the brush and scooted it into a cup and put it in the garbage can outside. It made a slight squeak when I did so, and it was just the saddest thing. That's always been one of my weaknesses... I feel terrible sympathy for the weakest and least; even if it's a mouse. But it was a mouse, and it did need to go. Anyway, it seemed a nice mouse, to sacrifice itself for the sake of a friend. Or, maybe mice aren't like that. In any event, that's how it seemed to me, and I was sad.

Peace out; and in.