I will call it malevolent, the grin with which my father greeted me at the family supper table when I came back with a cup and a piece of cardboard to capture the wasp that had landed by the cherry pie. Dad knew I intended take the creature outside and let it go. He waited till the last second before I clapped the cup down to swat the wasp with a rolled-up newspaper.
Fast forward some thirty years to yesterday afternoon, with me sitting at supper in another country, in my own house, with the afternoon shadows growing long across the floor, when a mouse sallied forth. I was acquainted with the dashing of Mr. Mousy. He has grown rather brave of late and has been doing his dashing whether I am in the room or not. I had been accommodating him and occasionally even leaving treats of sunflower seeds but one of my guests objected to the little calling cards he leaves on the kitchen counter. "It's gross! You could get a disease!" So I had ordered and received a trap, one that would catch but not kill. With a sigh then I got up and baited the trap with peanut butter. Before my last mouthful, I heard the snap of the trap door springing closed. Far quicker than I had expected, Mr. Mousy was caught.
I then faced the dilemma of what to do with him. I hadn't thought too much about that, only that anything caught in this manner was to be released outdoors with no killing. So I read the trap instructions to see if there were further suggestions that would enable me to accomplish the release safely and successfully. Lo and behold, not only was I to do it several miles away, but in a wooded area with a running creek and abandoned buildings nearby. And I was to wait until night, because mice are nocturnal creatures, and I was to wait until I had at least two mice! So the first mouse wouldn't be lonely in the sudden welcome of the great outdoors. Well, okay, I waited till this morning but my second trap hadn't caught anything, so I took Mr. Mousy for a ride anyway. I didn't want to wait for night. Imagine being in that little tiny cage a whole day after a whole night. His little calling cards were all cooped up with him already, and I was sure he was thirsty. So off we went.
I couldn't find any vacant buildings either. The best I could do was a running creek. Mr. Mousy seemed fine with that, and hopped and skittered away in fine dashing form as soon as I opened the cage, to disappear under a rock.
So that was that. I'm back now, but there is still a question in my mind. Further reading told me that if the mouse had been a wild mouse before it came in to my house, it would be fine returning to the wild. But if it was a house mouse to begin with, it would certainly perish. And I can't tell them apart. So was it compassion or foolishness?
A fine adventure anyway for a retired old fool on a bright and chilly Monday morning in May.
May all sentient beings down to the smallest worm be free of suffering and return to samsara no more.
Category:Lifestyle and Recreation
Keywords:and, and, black, chair, floor, long, monochrome, shadows, stool, well-worn, white, wooden