Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Loyal Mouse

Robert Burns reportedely saw a field mouse nest destroyed by plowing and wrote the famous ode to a mouse which starts:
Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim'rous beastie,
O, what panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi' bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murd'ring pattle!

Until today I was sure he was correct. But the plowing is going on all around us of course as the season closes.This has driven field mice to try to enter the house for the winter. We set some traps and this morning my wife went into the utility room to wash clothes and saw a strange sight. A mouse had been caught by its paw in one of the traps, and another mouse spent the whole night gnawing the trap to free his friend or mate. The free mouse was so loyal and so brave that even when I moved the chair the trap was behind he refused to flee, looking me in the eye as if to say "do your worst, I will not abandon my friend!". My heart was touched so I contrived to catch them both in a plasic box and put them gently outside to run free again.
of course they will be back inside as soon as wink, but I couldna kill the poor wee things as Robbie may have said.