Last week I had a bit of a surprise. I picked up a “bag of bags” – reusable grocery bags neatly stowed together – and started to toss them in the back of my car. The bags moved and shifted in my hand. Even in my lightly-caffeinated state, I knew that wasn’t right. I looked down and saw a small brown mouse peeking up at me. With a shriek, I tossed the collection of bags away from me. (It’s amazing how far you can throw something when adrenaline kicks in…)
The bags landed in the grass. There was a rustle in the leaves. I waited. I poked the bags with an ice scraper from my car. Then I carefully kicked the bags, then picked up the bags by the bottom and shook them out all over the lawn. No mouse. However, a little collection of birdseed fell out of the bottom of one bag.
I guess I forcibly vacated a mouse from his/her desired winter housing. The bag, being filthy with, um, additional “mouse evidence” got tossed in the trash.
I have prided myself on keeping our re-usable bags neat. I wash them and hang them to dry. I use only specific ones for meat and produce (ones that I can clean with bleach.) I don’t take bags from the grocery to the department stores or bookstore.
But this… Well it made me shiver.
On the plus side, it made me remember a poem from my childhood…
Has Anyone Seen My Mouse?
by A.A. Milne
I opened his box for half a minute,
Just to make sure he was really in it,
And while I was looking, he jumped outside!
I tried to catch him, I tried, I tried….
I think he’s somewhere about the house.
Has anyone seen my mouse?
Uncle John, have you seen my mouse?
Just a small sort of mouse, a dear little brown one,
He came from the country, he wasn’t a town one,
So he’ll feel all lonely in a London street;
Why, what could he possibly find to eat?
He must be somewhere. I’ll ask Aunt Rose:
Have you seen a mouse with a woffelly nose?
He’s just got out…
Hasn’t anybody seen my mouse?