Thursday, June 30, 2005

Dead Mouse

We found a dead mouse in our backyard recently, no doubt the work of the fierce hunter Sparkles. He'll leave these for us from time to time: birds, mice, baby gophers. We used to have a real problem with something tunneling under our side yard next to the woods, but since we got a cat, that problem is all but gone.

So he left us a gift in the grass outside, and I had the duty at lunchtime today of disposing of the body. This usually involves scooping up whatever is left with a shovel and flinging it over the fence into the woods.

Heaven only knows how many little bird and mice bodies lie in the woods just beyond the fence. If future archaeologists happen upon a higher concentration of small animal bodies there, they might conclude that a small, fierce animal lived here at one time. Which would be untrue. It's just a fat, merciless killer . . . named Sparkles.

[oo wee oo wee oo]


When I came downstairs to do the deed, the boys were on the computer. When I asked them if they wanted to come along and see the mouse, they all shouted, "Sure!" Out we went, a little parade, morbid and joyful.

After making sure that Jonah didn't pick the mouse up, I flipped it over so they boys could see both sides. Various Ooh's, Aah's, and Eew's ensued. The mouse was remarkably intact, which is why we think it was a gift to the family from Sparkles. He usually mangles pretty badly the ones he eats.

When the time came to properly remove the remains (i.e., fling the dead mouse into the woods), the boy's reactions were telling.

Timothy hollered, "Awesome!"

Stephen looked at me with big eyes and said, "That's the saddest thing I've ever seen."

Jonah, apparently mimicking the mouse's flight, yelled, "Whee! What a great ride! Oh no!"


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