Monday, February 01, 2016

The mouse

I arrived at work – late – to find a cardboard box over the phone on my desk and three workmates standing round it. Apparently there was a mouse under my phone. They'd trapped it but didn't know what to do with it. One wanted to kill it. I took over the situation* and suggested placing a bin just under the edge of my desk, moving the box with the phone and the mouse and letting them both fall into the bin, holding the phone before it fell into the bin and squashed the mouse. We slid the box slowly towards the bin, grabbed the phone before it fell into the bin, and watched as the mouse shot across the room.

But we must have injured it, for there was blood by my phone – just a small amount, someone said, a 'flesh wound', and I quipped* that for a human to spill the equivalent amount of blood would equate to gallons. Anyway, there was nothing else to do. I sterilised my desk and phone and got on with my work.

After lunch I came back to the desk and looked for something in my bag – and there was the mouse, snuggled into one of the pockets, not moving. Everyone gathered round (except the girls – seriously, I'm not being sexist or stereotypical – but they are all absolutely petrified of mice) and peered in. It was alive – frightened and wounded, but alive. A colleague and I took the mouse outside, unsure of where to put it. We put it by a bush in the courtyard. My colleague went back upstairs. I stayed to watch it. Poor thing, it hobbled around, then started limping into the middle of the courtyard, where people are always walking. Someone did almost step on him and I nearly had to push him aside: "Look out for the mouse!" I exclaimed. The mouse was almost the same colour as the cobblestones in the courtyard. I texted my colleague, told him to bring down some cake (there's always cake in the office).

I put my hands down in front of the mouse, and it crawled onto them. I stroked it. It was so cute – little feet, little whiskers, little nose. It looked like it had little hope of survival. My colleague came down with cake and we set it down near a hole in one of the adjacent buildings. And left it to it – what else could we do? I was tempted to take it home, but was going out that evening and didn't want it squashed in my coat or bag. I went back down half an hour later – the cake and the mouse were gone, hopefully a good sign.

*Like in my dreams and fantasies, in my stories too I'm always the one who takes control of the situation and provides the jokes – though in this case, true.


Caspar said...

That's actually very touching, Really! And yes, it is odd how women are seemingly universally terrified of mice, isn't it. Even if they're not scared of spiders.

Barnaby said...

It was sooooooo cute.