"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Monday 23 May 2016


A few years ago...no, it was many years...wait a minute...it was longer than that.

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. 


Anonymous said...

What a lovely story.

And he did help tidy up, just a bit.

Anonymous said...

Pets have always been great floor cleaners.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. i love that story. Once, in a back and forth, someone guessed that Horace [ whom you had never named ] was a wee gay mouse who loved your home and did not want to start a family like all the rest of mousekind.

Anonymous said...

I've never seen a mouse in my house, I've always had a cat that would take care of that. But those spiders that come out at night creep me out.

Anonymous said...

Almost touches on discrimination, nice one.

Anonymous said...

Fields mice a cute, house mice not so much. I always fear when I find one that there are far more en route.