Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Wisdom of a Baby Mouse

We had just come outside on a glorious morning in Paradise Garden. The early sunshine slanted through the growth. Due to wonderful rains, it’s like a jungle now. Dozens of things are in bloom. The vegetation seems almost aggressive, like Mrs. Venable’s savage, primordial garden in SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER!
Tomás and I sat on the front steps enjoying. He was about to leave on some errand when his keen sight caught a tiny form on a railroad tie at the edge of the flowerbed. Just below the galactic mass of star jasmine vines on the side of the house, he’d spotted a baby mouse lying on its side, perfectly still.
He looked closer. “It’s alive,” Tomás said. “It’s breathing, but what’s wrong with it? I wonder if it fell from a nest in the jasmine? Maybe a raccoon got the nest…”
“Don’t know,” I said. “Only I know what to do.”

Three days later, Mik was alive and gaining strength. He had his own nest of soft cloth in a protected box in the garage (in the house he would not be safe from our little tiger Willy) with jar lids of food, goat milk and water. I fed him with an eyedropper at first, but he came to resist that somewhat and then clearly Mik was eating solid food. Thank goodness!

This precious baby (his body tail not included) was about twice the length of a quarter, or more so according to a great website, he could be around 17 or 18 days of age. Yet to be honest, each morning I prepared myself for the worst, as baby animals seem as fragile as they are adorable. I’d been through this with baby birds and all kinds of critters numerous times as a kid! Still, tiny Mik has some kind of true grit.
The whole thing reminded me of the famous “Schrödinger’s Cat” thought experiment in quantum physics which tells us that observer and observation are One—that we create the outcome of any experiment by our participation. It’s ALL co-creation!
At any rate, I decided that Mik was lively, alert and healthy enough to wing it on his own. Reluctantly, as an adoring parent by now, I decided he also needed the stimulus of his natural environs, being a wild field mouse by nature. Animals are truly wise because they are always present and mindful.

On a warm morning we released him. He scampered off near the Ravine Bench and we’ll never know exactly what became of Mik. Do I want to know? Not really. I’m a bleeding heart about animals.
Except I do know that however short or long his life for a wild mouse, we helped.
            He's free.

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