I remained on my hands and knees for a while – quite a while. My thoughts were, “Could this be what it seems?” “No,” was the answer from my logical self, “It can’t be.” I thought about it for a few days, and then decided that – as crazy as it sounded – Mr. Mouse was expressing gratitude. He found this bright thing, decided it was nice, and gave it to me. The idea was really nuts – pun intended – but it seemed plausible. I read on the internet about crows that sometimes do this for human friends.
Things went on with the cashews for a while, I’m not sure how long, but after a short while I bought some chlorox and cleaned the area around the hole in the baseboard. You see, as smart as Mr. Mouse seemed to be, his “normal” hygenics were significantly different than mine. He would eat a cashew, and then get rid of the previous cashew, right on the spot. This was not so pleasant for me, just thinking about how they live this way. I guess it doesn’t bother them. So, the stuff was scattered about an area perhaps filling two feet of semicircle. I took a hand to a towel and cleaner, and I made it spiffy clean, but didn’t know if Mr. Mouse woud find the residue from the chlorine to his liking. I laid out some nuts, and went to bed. In the morning, I went to see if the little guy had made the grocery trip in the wee hours, or not.
Once again, I found myself staring at the hole in the baseboard, but more intensely at a small area a foot or so removed from the baseboard hole – the agreed food and gift exchange area. All of the “stuff” from the previous night’s cashew eating was clumped together in a tidy little bit of mess taking only an inch or two of area – and there was nothing scattered anywhere else. I know this sounds pretty hard to believe, and I wouldn’t blame a person for calling this a fabrication. But – a fabrication it is not. Sure, this could explained other ways than with the explanation that first popped into my head, but I don’t know what that is.
At some point my wife discovered the presence of Mr. Mouse. Perhaps she is not quite the nature lover that I am, since she was less than thrilled with our relationship. So, even though I didn’t want to give Mr. Mouse the boot, we bought a live trap. Mr. Mouse didn’t trust me enough to get closer than a few feet, although I caught him sleeping under by bed a time or two. I think I was still a scary giant to him, but he kinda liked me anyway.
So, we followed the instructions on the live trap, and put a cashew on the bait plate. I felt so damned guilty about baitng that trap. One morning we heard the clanging and banging of a little guy whose muscles once pushed a towering metal can of nuts for a long distance in the realm of mouse measures. He was decidely not in tune with the arrangement. I bent down to look at the little guy. He was sitting at the back of the cage, on his rump, like a dog. His head markings (always thought they were extremely unique) – made it seem he had a top hat on his head. He looked remarkably intelligent in that moment. He stared at me with those big black eyes, and I felt more guilty than before. “Well, some friend you turn out to be,” seemed to be something I could imagine he’d say if he could talk.
My wife walked past, and I followed her into the kitchen. She was pleased with the circumstance. After coffee, we walked back to the cage. It was time for Mr. Mouse to change apartments, but the VIP of the move was not to be found. The cage was empty. We looked at the cage to see how the little escape artist had managed his feat. At first we couldn’t see any way for it to happen. Houdini the mouse had once again astonished me with his magic.
To be continued …