15 June 2009

Speaking of Mice

We WERE speaking of mice, weren’t we? Which, by the way, gives me the opportunity to tell you that we never did find that mouse. I hope it went back outside the same way it came in. At this moment, I really don’t want to think about the other possibilities.

But I have another, unrelated mouse story to share with you, and I think the cuteness factor will simply overwhelm you. If, that is, you aren’t grossed out by mice, which many people are. Oh well, consider yourself warned.

A couple of weeks ago, while staying the night at a friend’s house, our 16-year-old daughter found a baby mouse. Correction: a baby mouse found her.

The house in question has a high ceiling with open rafters. The story goes that the baby mouse dropped from the rafters onto the head of the resident friend. After the friend totally freaked out (understandably, if you ask me) the mouse was caught and my animal-loving daughter adopted it as her own. For the night, that is.

When I say animal-loving, understand that this is a young girl who really can “talk to the animals.” She’s been that way since she was a toddler; wild animals were never afraid of her. Birds, squirrels, mice, you name it. By the time she was about five-years-old, we joked that we should have named her Snow White. Now, at age 16, I can just picture her going into the forest, where deer, raccoons, birds, and other woodland creatures surround her and become her lifelong friends. If she shacks up with seven little men, however, her very protective father will be sure to intervene.

Either way, call me romantic, strange, or freaky – this kid has a gift and I’ve seen it more than a few times.

Back to the baby mouse. She held the tiny baby in her hand until it calmed down, and it didn’t take long for it to completely trust her. She held it for most of the night, and then just before dawn, took it outside and put it in the woodpile, where other mice have made their home.

I couldn’t believe she held the mouse all night – even while lying in bed. I kept picturing Lenny in Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. Thankfully, my little Snow White has a solid head on her shoulders, unlike the half-witted Lenny, and she didn’t smother the mouse. It lived to see another day and Snow White, though sad to let her mouse go, knows she did the right thing.

I have so many other stories about this girl and her wild animals, but for now, suffice it to say, it is VERY nice to have someone in the family who calmly handles the creatures which invariably get into our house. She's especially helpful with spiders... but that's a story for another day.

Copyright © 2009 - Paulla Estes

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