New Friends


As we tear down walls both figuratively and literally, new friends appear.  This morning I entered my favorite stall in the girl’s bathroom and saw a wee little mouse.  I immediately ran and fetched Jess.  He was captured.  To clarify the mouse was caught not Jess.  There was no David and Goliath show down here.  Instead of an instant death, little mousy was set up in a fancy blue Rubbermaid container to show the girls.

Somehow, there was a rapid turn of sentiment from GET THAT MOUSE (that was me), to HE IS SO CUTE (that was everybody else).  Before the bus arrived for school, mousy had been named Alfred, he was being fed yogurt and graham crackers, and a make shift house had been constructed from an environmentally friendly take out container for his comfort.  All involved, aside from me,  thought it best that Alfred should be our new pet.  What is wrong with these people that I live with?  I was firm that Alfred must go by the end of the day.

We all know what would happen if Alfred was allowed to stay with us?  How could my family be so gullible?  Aren’t they from the city?  Alfred would act all tiny and helpless during the day in his Rubbermaid condo.  At night, when we were all asleep, he would crawl out, put on his smoking jacket, light a cigar, and swagger down the hall (obviously on his hind legs, they all walk like that when humans aren’t looking).  He would open the back door nice and wide and invite all his rodent buddies inside.  He is not as innocent as he looks.  Go back to the photo.  He is so giving me the eyeball.  Those upright, respected rodents of the field would not be invited.  He would summon the girls with the short tight skirts and their pimping friends.  Soon enough, they would multiply and I’d have to start charging them rent.  They would hand me their employment insurance cheques that they’ve scammed from the government.  Reluctantly, I’d accept them because I’d feel terrible for their innocent children.  I didn’t move to the country for this!  I moved so I could be at one with nature, run with the wind and hide from the ugliness of the world.

When the girls got home from school, I insisted that Alfred should be set free.  The first attempt was aborted because a snake was spotted and was sure to eat our little friend.  The next scheduled release was successful as far as I knew.  Before dinner, my eldest reported back to me that my middle child had stuffed Alfred in her sock to insure he was warm enough.  Gosh darn it, why are children so gross?

In the end, Alfred was set free.  He was last seen scaling our walls, and hasn’t been sighted since.  Maybe he was reunited with his parents, maybe the snake ate him or maybe he is hanging out in the girl’s bathroom in your house waiting for the keys to his new condo.

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