Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Mouse

Spider Art, 2008

I saw a mouse today. It was a small grey furry little thing just going about its business beside a curb, downtown, in the middle of rush hour. I don't know if he was blind, deaf, very old, or just a city mouse comfortable with the chaos of morning pedestrian traffic. I was in the middle of the street when I spotted him. I halted and cringed. A mouse! But he didn't seem nervous at all, so I felt a little silly, and I calmed down too. I watched him nibble on whatever little crumbs he had found down there. He was kind of sweet. I wonder when I learned to fear the little mouse and the spider and love the puppy and the kitten. It's odd.


  1. See, look! You took a picture that had spiders in it! You're embracing the spider. Maybe not, but it sure is a lovely photo.

    I was walking through Sausalito once, on a very busy Saturday night, lots of people on the street, and saw two raccoons lounging on their backs in the gutter. Just watching' the people going by and hanging out. I've had an irrational fear of raccoons since one charged me years ago, but I started like them again that day.

  2. there's a children's story in there somewhere...

  3. i agree - definitely a story in there.


  4. I ran into a young mouse going up the stairs at home. I backed up against the wall and, yes, shrieked, and then called for reinforcements so that we could safely transport the little guy outside.

    I wish I'd gotten his number. I wonder how things worked out for him.


  5. mosey, I got pretty comfortable with spiders while living in Point Reyes. I learned to appreciate bees too. Maybe mice are next. Whenever I think of raccoons I think of the two we saw standing on their hind legs one night. It was the funniest scene!

    Christine & Char, I see what you mean.

    Maria, I wonder how the little guy is doing. Did he move to a smaller house, a larger house, perhaps a nice park...

  6. Little mouse, little mouse. Oh.

    I have loved mice all my years it feels, and as a small child I kept them as pets. They are such incredible creatures and there paws so tiny. Watching them scamper and climb and nibble and chew, why, I could do so for hours.

    So beautifully told, your observation... and such a delight to read late this Friday morn.

  7. gracia, It seems you were wise from the very beginning. The little guy I studied today was quite charming. You would have liked him. I'm not sure why I'm assuming he was a boy mouse...

  8. So very odd.
    But I have always loved mice, and used to rescue the ones my cats brought into the house. We would bring them to the animal rescue shelter... even though they gave us weird looks :)

  9. Tumbleweed Woman, Ha! That is a great story. Love it.

  10. I often ponder that myself. Despite being a farmer's daughter and growing up in the country, I am positively TERRIFIED of mice. My boyfriend thinks they're cute and furry, but they freak me out to no end.

    Though I do appreciate your eloquent ode to the little field mouse.

  11. Aww, what a lovely and sweet story.
    I love that pic too...especially the perfectly circular spider web just off to the side.

  12. spider art is a marvel of a photo---love the lacy quiet

    mice don't freak me out---but I did see one of their larger creepier cousins in my backyard by the alley yesterday---true EEEK

  13. I can totally picture the guy sitting on one of my New York corners as traffic zooms by. Unfortunately, I have yet to see a mouse here. Only the HUGE rats that roam the subways.

  14. we lived in a mouse infested apt. for awhile so i spot mice in my sleep. :)

    i don't mind pet mice, but the ones on the street just always seem dirty. but i'd way rather run into a mouse than rat... those just make me go eeewww :]

  15. oh, i know. i like to admire little creatures outside the walls of my home. :)
    -finding mouse droppings in my bread drawer is not cute.. but admiring one on the street is sweet.

    i do love the way you write...

    happy weekend, denise!

  16. Interesting thought - trying to recall when exactly I developed my totally irrational fear of spiders..... As for the 'city' mouse, reading your post I imagined him happily living his life in the chaos of the city (albeit a bit more slowly perhaps now as he's getting older). I wonder does he ever take trips outta town....or have friends to visit....?

  17. we're on the exact same page, i think :)

  18. We had a little mouse this week. He ran in through the front door at night. Couldn't have been two-inches long. When we woke up in the morning, he was in the kitchen sink looking up at us. We fed him a little peanut butter and talked about whether we could keep him. He had the sweetest, tiniest pink mouse feet. In the end, we got out the "havahart" trap and set him free in the open space. I kinda miss him.

  19. Joanna, It was easy to be kind, watching him do his thing beside the curb. I don't know if I'd feel the same if I spotted him at the foot of my bed.

    Indie.Tea, We could not believe the amount of webs we saw that day. It seemed outrageous, but I learned that it is typical for February in West Marin.

    nancy, I think I have to say EEK to that too. EEK.

    Apples and Butter, And I imagine the huge rats roaming the subway system are not as charming...

    lisa, I know what you mean. I must admit that the little city mouse I saw was pretty filthy, cute, but filthy. I wouldn't invite him over for tea. I am absolutely sure that I would not be so tolerant of an infestation. Yikes. And rats...there's just something about those tails that really give me the heebie jeebies.

    Leslie, Oh, I agree. The bread drawer is out of the question.

    Annie, Yes, does he summer on Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket?

    tara, It seems so.

    Shae, Your comment reads like a short story. I love it!