A Wee Mousie

A black blob dashed along the baseboard as i came down the stairs. Eeek! Was it a giant spider? As i shuddered I realized, no, it was a mouse. Good grief. Now what will i do? I can’t kill a fly but i can’t leave it to make a nest in my family room sofa.
“What’s the matter, Nana?”
“I just saw a mouse.”
“Ewww. I’m afraid of mice too!”
Oh no, have i created a phobia in my granddaughter with my overreaction?
“It just started me, sweetie. There is no danger. But i have to catch it so it doesn’t make a mess or chew up my sofa.”
“I know. Let’s go get Marley (her cat). He knows how to catch mice.”
“But do you know what he will do with it?”
“yes, kill it.”
“I don’t want that.”
Gingerly I crept down the stairs. There it was first frozen in fear in the middle of the room, then a scattered response, dashing around searching for cover.
“Ahhh,” I said as i leapt into the air and ran as erratically as the mouse.
Safely on the landing, the mouse hidden, I wondered. Why are we afraid of such tiny creatures. An instinctive, primordial response?
Then I was overwhelmed with pity for the poor little thing. Desperate phone calls to friends and relatives looking for a live trap were met with laughter and the same suggestion. Get a cat. Useless.
There it was again, scrambling up the stairs, dangling by its toes on the carpet and then hoisting itself with tiny hands to the next level, the little acrobat. I stood stalk still to inspect it from behind the safety of a glass door.
“Look how cute it is. Isn’t it sweet. It is so tiny.”
“Oh yes, It is a mini mouse.”
She had a name. Minny Mouse.
Try as we might, two giant humans could not outwit that little rodent. She zig-zagged away evading the bowls and boxes we tossed trying to trap her.
Just before bed, i put out a couple of kernels of dry dog food and a bowl of water.
First thing next morning, I looked through the door. No mouse. I crept down the stairs. There she was burrowed into the corner of a carpeted step, her little face hidden in the corner, not moving a muscle, hoping not to be seen.
“Awww.” She looked exhausted and so forlorn.
Anthropomorphosizing? I think not. Fear is fear, hopelessness is pitiable in any species.
“Okay mousie,” I whispered. I’m going to help you.
I got a large plastic jar. I edged towards her. She still had her face hidden. I gently pushed it up to her and nudged her over the edge. She went without hesitation. She was exhausted, hopeless, had succumbed to her fate.
I lifted the jar and she dropped to the bottom, blinking and panting.
I snapped on the lid and carried her to the back of my yard and dropped her over the fence into the neighbours yard. Stunned she sat on a leaf gazing around and then hope returned. She dashed through the foliage…. safe, free at last.
Ringgg.
“I got her. I caught her in a jar and set her free! She scampered away happily.”
“Good for you, Nana. I’m proud of you!”