I’m kind of a big deal.
Oh, not with people. People still couldn’t really care less about me as a whole.
Animals however? Animals love me.
By “love,” I mean “stalk” and “torment,” of course. I’m being menaced by a mouse.
It was bound to happen. We got rid of the bats and nature does abhor a vacuum.
I saved the cutest brown mouse stuck in a bucket from certain death outside last week. He was inside the bucket, huddled along the edge, barely out of a puddle of murky ice water. Who knows how long it had been in that bucket cold, scared and hungry?
I did what any decent human being would do. I gingerly carried the bucket far from the house, tipped it gently on its side, and apologized profusely when that little puddle of water turned into a waterslide and swept the little mouse clean out of the bucket. Still, he seemed happy to embrace sweet freedom.
The entire time, I lectured the mouse. I made clear that I had done him a solid and would appreciate some consideration. I didn’t want to wake up the next day and find him prancing around the pantry like an invited guest. I was very firm on this point.
I think I gave that mouse a good talking to for at least a solid minute. Sure, that doesn’t sound like long, but keep in mind I was talking to a mouse. They don’t have the attention spans of, say, your hamster and guinea pig.
(Honestly, when I launched into my lecture I imagine the mouse thinking “please, just kill me already lady.”)
I promptly forgot all about him. Ours was but the briefest of flings.
Then, very early this morning, the bathroom door opened.
I protested because, well, it was closed for a reason. A second later, I realized there was a mouse racing across the bathroom floor with the cat hot on his tail (hence the panicked resolve of said mouse to run straight up my body if necessary. I, for the record, was against this).
I swear that mouse made eye contact with me. Sizing me up as the wimp I was, he knew he had a better chance taking on me than he would ever have with the cat.
I did what any sane woman who was easily 10,000 times larger than a scared and itty bitty, little mouse would do: I screamed like a banshee and leapt into the tub because, oh my gosh, the MOUSE MIGHT GET ME!
I screamed so loud, long, and hard that our cat, generally a top-notch mouser, froze in confusion then promptly turned and fled the room. The cat spent the rest of the morning stalking around in a huff. Clearly he cannot work under these conditions. The mouse, for the record, got away.
This is how a member of the mouse nation repays my kindness to one of his flock? A sneak attack on me when I am most vulnerable?
All I know is that if the woolly bear and the spider I recently rescued show up in the house next week, I’ll know that nature is populated by ingrates and not to be trusted.
I’ll also know that any trapped and wayward snakes are clearly on their own.