Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Mouse Story

Yesterday I was pulling weeds in the garden when I suddenly saw what looked like the dirt moving! I jumped a little expecting a big yucky spider or some other bug, but then I looked and it was this cute little tiny mouse! I had my gloves on so I didn’t hesitate to just pick it up and show Elle! She ran into the house to tell Pete, and when he didn’t come running out to see it, I thought he must not have understood her so I brought it in to show him. All he had to say was that it’s vermin and it shouldn’t be in the house. Ok, well, I agree it shouldn’t be in the house, but it’s not like was going to let it go in the house.

We brought it back outside and put it in a little tub that was handy. I told Elle to put some grass in with it so she ran over to the pile of grass clippings and grabbed a big handful for it to burrow in.

I went back to the garden, and there was another one running around. It couldn’t get out of the grow box so it was easy to catch, and it put it in with its brother. Now I was really careful with the shovel, not knowing how many more would be in there, and sure enough, I found the little nest of grass buried under the dirt. I took that out and there were two more mice in there to add to our tub.

Elle had so much fun taking care of the mice while I worked on the garden. She put a snail shell, a snail, a couple worms, some dirt, a carrot and more grass in there with them. She kept saying, “I hope they like it.” It was cute. She even picked the mice up a couple times, which made me a little nervous just because of if they bit her and she got rabies or whatever, but she was really careful with them, and I got her to leave them alone after a little while.

Of course, when Ethan and Mindy got home, Ethan and Elle go out there and start picking them up while I’m not there, and 2 of them jumped out of their hands and escaped. So, now we were down to 2. The kids really wanted to keep them, and I couldn't make up my mind about what to do so I kept them in the tub in the garage over night. They are so cute! And don’t worry, I had the kids wash their hands really well after being around them.

Today Elle said, “I want to go see my mice.” so we took the camera out with us. The poor things at least survived the night.

Here's one.

Here's the other one. We gave them some carrots to eat, but they didn't appear to have touched them.

Elle's holding mouse #2 so you can see how small it is! It was all shaky and scared, though. Poor thing. I was worried about whether it would live.

I looked up what wild mice eat and if it’s a good idea to keep them online. Some people said it would be better to keep them because they might just die if you let them go, but other people said they would be fine because of instincts. Someone said that they have something that if they get to stressed out they get sick and die and this is likely to happen in captivity, and someone said that it’s not fair to take the mice away from their family because mice have feelings and that would just be sad. Most of this is from forums so who knows what’s what, and I didn’t know what to think.

I wasn’t quite sure how old these little mice were. They did seem small to me, but they also seemed like they could run around and dig so well that they might be old enough to take care of themselves. Watching them today, though, I just felt bad for them because they pretty much just huddled together and didn’t seem to eat, and I just kept thinking that they would probably die if we kept them.

I decided we should just let them go so we went back behind the garden, close to where we found them and where one of them ran off yesterday. I put them into the tall weeds, and they just sat there shivering. I didn’t know what to do, I was having second thoughts about letting them go on their own like that so I just stood there watching them for a little while. It didn’t help that Ethan was crying his head off, not wanting them to go, saying he’ll miss them and all that.

While I was standing there, suddenly 2 adult mice appeared, and I just said, “Here’s the mother!” The kids came running over to see, and, of course, scared them off. So then I got the idea to put the babies where the “mother” had been. It seemed like she knew they were there and she was looking for them. So I put the babies where she had been, and one of them immediately dug into the weeds, but the other one just kind of stood there. A minute later, the “mother” came back and just, quick as a flash, picked the one baby up and ran off with it! I just couldn’t believe it! So, I got the other one out of where it had buried itself, and put it where the other one had been. This time we had to wait a little longer. I was starting to get worried that this one would be left all alone, but after a few minutes, she came back and grabbed the second one!

I felt so much relief when I saw that, it almost made me want to cry! The mother had found her babies! It seemed like something out of a fairy tail. I keep thinking of The Secret of Nymh and Mouse House. I know I was the evil human in this story, but I feel better thinking the mother might have her babies back. And in the end, Ethan said, "Actually I want them to go."

Let’s just hope that really was the mother or at least a mouse that’s going to take care of those sweet little things. I wish I could have followed her to see where she took them, but it’s probably best to just say goodbye.

1 comment:

  1. What a sweet story! :) Thanks for sharing! :)