Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim'rous beastie

Last night we chased and almost caught a juvenile mouse that was endearingly bumbling around our front room. It was confused, and small, and obviously was feeling the effects of our recent campaign to push out a sizable mouse infestation that'd we'd experienced this fall. We'd eliminated just about every food source that the mice had found so enticing (our pantry is at least temporarily empty and a forgotten bag of dry dog food amongst some boxes in my office is now removed). We'd also already caught eight other adult and juvenile mice so most signs of the mice were already gone. Just this little mouse who, if you stood still, would stand in the middle of the carpet cleaning itself or walking around the furniture and only dart away if you made a sudden move. It even walked past my immobile feet a couple of times as if I were simply another piece of furniture to use as cover.

We laughed and were excited as we almost tricked it into walking into a sandcastle bucket from the toy box so I could transport it outside so it'd have a chance at a life likely no less dangerous, but at least not in danger from us. It's impossible for us, as humans, to not begin to love that which we become used to, and we were rapidly becoming used to this little mouse's bumbling antics.

I never caught it. Twice I almost coaxed it into the bucket and from there to the outdoors. To an unseen fate that I could pretend wasn't likely to be tragic and that I wouldn't have to feel responsible for. Even in it's bumbling way it eluded me, though, and eventually it went under a large, non-movable piece of furniture and we went to bed.

This morning, I found what was almost certainly the same mouse dead in a trap. I lied to my son and told him I thought it was a different mouse. I'm not openly weeping for the death of the little mouse, but I am feeling more than a little heart-broken.