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This morning I cleaned out the bird boxes, because birds are unlikely to nest in them, apparently, if somebody else's old nest from last year is still in them. The first one had nuts and sticks in it, and plastic. When I opened the second, it had nuts and sticks in it too--I started cleaning out the sticks (my tool was a larger stick), when suddenly, who should pop his head out of the entry hole, about a foot from my face, but a little mouse? There I was, staring into his little bright, beady black eyes. I could see the lie of the fur on his face, his little crinkled ears, his whiskers, everything! He was clearly indignant: what in the world was I doing to his nest?

I went to see if I could show the healing angel (who still hadn't left for school), but by the time he came out, the mouse had gone. I finished cleaning out the bird box because my neighbor said that once when a mouse made his winter home in hers, the poor thing ended up freezing--so it's not really the best location. He had lined the inner part of his nest with lint--looked very soft and cosy. Hope he has time to make another nest somewhere. I wonder if he'll try to reclaim this one? I guess I'll check.

Coming face to face with the mouse reminded me of a scene in a children's picture book I loved as a kid--the book was called Mousekin's Golden House and it was about a mouse that makes a home in a discarded jack o'lantern. There's a picture of the mouse sticking his head out of one of the eyes of the jack o'lantern that was just like what my mouse did. That book had lovely watercolor pictures... here, from a secondhand bookseller, is a picture of the cover. The book is selling for $150!! Amazing...


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 1st, 2006 12:10 pm (UTC)
I think I might have screamed and thrown the little house with mouse across the yard!!!
Dec. 1st, 2006 06:22 pm (UTC)
Well, I've never had to put up w/mice as real pests, so I was more amused and charmed than horrified--I might have felt differently if I'd had the sorts of problems my sister or in-laws have had. I don't like it when the outdoors critters take up residence in my space and leave their little droppings and half-finished meals about. But ouside, I'm okay with them.
Dec. 1st, 2006 01:14 pm (UTC)
One night my husband made a stir fry but didn't clean up before going to bed. The next morning, I go to open the fridge door, and get this...SENSE I was being watched. Saw something out of the corner of my eye. Turn my head to the left, and there, sitting on the cold stove, right in the middle of our wok (which was now puddled with congealed cold stir fry bits), having his breakfast.

We stopped to stare at each other a few moments, too. :)

Miraculously, he stayed put while I gingerly picked up the wok and carried it outside, where mousy hopped off and went on his mousy way, with a belly full of breakfast.

I know lots of people would be horrified by that experience, but for some reason, I smiled all day long over that....
Dec. 1st, 2006 01:15 pm (UTC)
"Turn my head to the left, and there, sitting on the cold stove, right in the middle of our wok (which was now puddled with congealed cold stir fry bits), [WAS A MOUSE] having his breakfast."
Dec. 1st, 2006 06:19 pm (UTC)
Re: woops
:-) I guessed that's what you meant. Cute story! I was laughing too, after my encounter.
Dec. 2nd, 2006 05:30 am (UTC)
Re: woops
You know, I read the mouse into the text. I think this is something our brains do. In fact, I think it's been studied.

On the other hand, I don't feel kindly about mice. Not that they have infested anywhere I lived, but in Marseille, France, one of them certainly WANTED to. I do think about the diseases they may be carrying...a holdover from my childhood, no doubt.
Dec. 2nd, 2006 03:29 pm (UTC)
You are so kind. There are people (my mom) who would have had a decidedly different reaction!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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