I had a mouse in my house. He was a field mouse.He came in late Fall and left in Spring.
At Hallowe'en mice scutter about outside looking for a warm place for winter, under cover of dry leaves skirling and whispering in the wind.
No-one else knew he was in the house. He came out late at night after everyone had gone to bed.
I knew because I stayed up long after everyone else .
Often I crept into bed just before daylight so no-one knew I'd been up all night. It was the only time I had to read, my obsession at the time. I enjoyed massive tooms best and they took lots of concentration which required complete submersion. I would sit on the couch,under a reading light
with my feet curled up beside me and enjoy.
The kids were small. My five Canadian offspring were born within seven years. People use to say to me." Seven kids ...I would have gone mad"
I would think; "Maybe I went mad and I'm the only one who doesn't realise it"
It must be said, the house was not always tidy. It wasn't even often tidy.Now,at this distance I can't even swear to it, the house was ever tidy.
Had I spent time tidying,there would have been no time to read. While I was curled up with a book under a light,the kitchen floor had a banquet of crumbs from the day, enough to feed a mouse.
He would not appear until the house was absolutely still and quiet. I could see him from where I was though I never saw where he came from.
He grazed awhile and then undertook his nocturnal journey.
The sitting room window had three sliding panels .Each had or should have had metal knobs on the
inside and outside panels. They were never in place. They were easily unscrewed. Every time they were replaced, small fingers went to work to remove them again. In the depth of winter,moist,warm air from the house met sub-zero temperatures and ice would form in the small round holes vacated by the knobs.
Horace the mouse ,would leave the kitchen, scutter to the wall against which the couch was
placed... where I sat with feet up...made his way along the wall to the window wall and I watched the curtain move as he climbed up inside to the approximate location of the absent knobs where he would transfer to the window sill and stay awhile.Then he would climb back down the curtain and return to his lair.
He was dark brown, a little larger than a domestic mouse and with his penchant for fresh air, that's how I knew he was field mouse.
We shared our adventure a couple of winters. He was never in the house during the summer.
Then he didn't come back.
Years later the refrigerator had to be replaced. I discovered where Horace had been living.
The workings of the frig were enclosed in a dome shape underneath. Traces of a mouse's lengthy
stays were evident.
I told the story of my house guest to very few.
I never told his name.
I may have been thought mad.