An odd and unexpected snuffling sound is generally disconcerting, especially when one’s backside is poking out of the closet as one tries to gather stray laundry from the floor. At least, that’s been my experience…
Disconcerted indeed, I swiveled as quickly as my awkward position would allow and was met by a sight as odd as the sound: My puppy Chaussette was sniffing in a bemused and curious way at a fat mouse in the middle of my bedroom floor. It sat nonchalantly on its haunches, idly grooming its face, apparently accustomed to giant black fellow mammals prodding it with their snouts. I found its total lack of alarm to be slightly alarming. It was behaving like a pet, but unless my husband had a clandestine rodent secreted away in his man cave, it couldn’t be a pet from OUR house. (Given how unenthusiastic he’d been about getting a dog, I found this theory highly implausible.)
And yet the mouse was so sleek, so plump, so entirely at ease in my bedroom, something MUST have been wrong. Was it poisoned/plague-bearing/rabid? Would it suddenly bite my dog and turn her into must-be-shot-at-end-of-movie Old Yeller? It was adorable, but it had to go.
I shooed the complacent little creature into a garbage can and summoned my son. It was almost time for the school van to arrive, so we proceeded, can in hand, to a nearby brushy area to release the mysterious rodent into the wild.
It was a good plan in theory, but the mouse clearly wasn’t THAT into being released. It wandered leisurely out of the garbage can, plumped itself down, and resumed its grooming. It clearly had no desire to be a creature of the wild, especially not in a wild that was getting increasingly soggy thanks to a newly begun rain shower. It posed patiently while I took a picture from above, and it didn’t even flinch when I stuck the camera practically into its tiny rodent face to get a close-up.
Our strangely intimate encounter was finally interrupted by the van’s arrival. I buckled my son in and waved as the van pulled away. I then bid Godspeed to the serenely undisturbed little mouse and scuttled back into the house to get out of the rain.
O, Mysterious Friend, Messenger from the Universe, what Great Lesson were you attempting to impart? Was it a message of peaceful co-existence with one’s fellow creatures? Was it a reminder that life is full of surprises? Was it a demonstration that nature is always present no matter how carefully we humans try to isolate ourselves within walls?
All I can say is, I REALLY hope the message was one of the above and not an indication that we need to buy a bunch of mouse traps.