Monday, October 17, 2005

I just caught a mouse in my room.

We all know that this building has mice -- we hear them scampering across our floors at night, and occasionally we even see one. They have a reputation for being audacious; I've heard a number of stories about students facing down mice who were clearly unafraid and unwilling to be intimidated. I've caught glimpses of my own mouse a few times, and I've certainly heard it running around at night -- some nights I try to bargain with it, "do whatever you want, just don't be so noisy." But tonight it was just sitting there on the floor under my chair, looking at me.

I clapped at it, whipped my blanket in its direction. It twitched, but it didn't run away. Now that, I thought, is a ballsy mouse.

I stood up and it went under the desk. I sat back down, and a few minutes later it appeared again. So I stood up and took a step towards it, but this time it didn't budge. Hmmmm. I could see it shaking, I could see it breathing hard, it was clearly terrified, but not running. I took a closer look and it turned around to face me squarely, and kinda fell over in the process -- this one had something wrong with it.

I'm a softy, okay? I used to lament the pigeons in Leicester Square, filthy, lice-ridden vermin, but the scraggly ones with the deformed feet were just too tragic not to toss french fries and bits of bread to. They get so little compassion in this life, I can't resist making one gesture of kindness, even if they do have brains the size of lentils and couldn't possibly understand or even care much either way. But it's not their fault they're dirty and diseased; they're as much living, feeling creatures as I am. I understand natural selection and all that, but I'm also easily moved by suffering. So seeing the poor little half-crippled mouse tore at my heart. Poor thing.

Still, we can't have vermin in the room, and I'm not in the market for a pet.

So I got a Tupperware container down from a shelf and carefully scooped the mouse up. I carried it outside to the side of the building -- to a nice place with a rock wall and some shrubs, lots of shelter -- and let it go. It ran a couple of feet, falling over now and then, and disappeared between two big chunks of slate.

Good luck, little mouse.
11:25 PM ::
Amy :: permalink