The Mystery Mouse

My little friend poses for a picture before he becomes a Creature of the Wild.

My little friend poses for a picture before he becomes a Creature of the Wild.

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.



  1. This reminds me of a time a friend came over and was standing just inside the door. Before she shut it, a sparrow flew in and perched on her shoulder as if it was the most normal thing in the world. It took awhile to get it to leave. Strange!

    1. Strange indeed! I hope the sparrow proved to be a good omen for your friend, although I don’t know what (if anything) the mouse presages. At least it doesn’t seem to have come back, or if it has, it’s suddenly learned to be much sneakier. I hope all is well with you; please let me know how you’re doing if you get a chance! > Date: Mon, 3 Jun 2013 02:43:49 +0000 > To: >

  2. I had a mouse who lived in my car for a couple of weeks. I’m still mystified by how he got in there, but he is now living freely in the woods behind my house instead of shredding Andes mints’ wrappers on my floorboard.

    1. Strange little creatures, those rodents…I hope yours got a few scraps of mint wrapper so he could tastefully decorate his new nest. I’m pleased to report that there’s still no sign of Mystery Mouse, so either he took the hint and became a Creature of the Wild indeed or (more likely) he sat serenely until something ate him. I prefer to imagine the former scenario. I hope your end-of-the-school-year is going as smoothly as a time period that inherently chaotic can go! > Date: Tue, 4 Jun 2013 19:54:13 +0000 > To: >

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