So there I was, vacuuming the stairs, and what to my wondering eyes should appear…
behind my shoes on the top step….
A little gray mouse.
He didn’t really seem like a wild mouse. He was extra attentive, present and curious. He looked healthy and well fed. The stairway carpet provided perfect camouflage. He matched!
He didn’t run far, which surprised me. After scurrying a bit, he sat and looked at me. I had the odd thought that he was glad to see me.
Maybe he was just happy I wasn’t Bella – our cat!
And then he must have remembered he was a mouse and I the (big scary) human) could be (big scary) trouble — he dove behind my shoe again.
“Hmmm,” I thought. “How can I help this little guy?” I pondered the pros and cons of climbing up past him vs. retreating down the stairs to find something to capture him.
While I was thinking, two little gray eyes came out from behind the shoe again. He peeked!
(I swear) he was communicating with me.
(I swear) he said, “Can you get me outta here?”
I found myself talking back — out loud, no less.
“OK, let me get something to catch you in. Stay right there. I’ll be back.”
A drinking glass and something to cover the top of the glass should do. I wondered if he would still be there, or whether he would run off?
But after all, he had asked for my help. Yes, he’d be there.
With drinking glass in hand, I perched on the stairs, studying my shoes for signs of gray movement.
It took me a few moments to realize I was actually staring at his back and tail. His tail was tucked in the crease of the stairs. (And hey, it was all the same color.)
His head, however, was inside the open toe of my shoe. I’m sure he fell for the theory that if you can’t see someone, they can’t see you!
To get the rescue fully underway, I moved my shoe again. He hesitated (“Crap, I’m visible!”), then dodged into the open corner where there was no protection at all, (“Crap! Still visible!”)
So (I swear) he just gave into the moment, and sat, as quiet as could be — him looking at me, me looking at him.
“Wow, this is different!” I thought.
I reminded him I was here to help…
(yep, there I am in my stairway talkin’ to a mouse)
…and put the glass quickly in front of him. He ran in willingly and sat down as if to say, “OK, now what?”
So out of the house we go, me and a glass of mouse, and who comes to greet me, but Bella the hunter cat. She’s the one who brings playthings into the house for late night fun and frolic, and I’m sure he was one of her toys. She eats some, plays with some.
I had a little conversation with Bella and attempted to walk away casually, but she was like, “Hey what-do-ya-got-there-in-your-left-hand?”
A little voice said, “Open the door to the house and see if she’ll go in.”
(Wait. Who said that? Was that my mouse friend coaching me? I swear…)
So I followed directions, and invited Bella into the house. Much to my amazement, she went happily inside! I couldn’t believe it.
(What in the world is going on here???)
I turned, headed to the nearby woods, and clearly heard “no, not there.” Dutifully, I changed course. The next stop felt right, so I set the glass down on its side, and said, “Go for it, cutie pie. Happy to help!”
Well, he did go for it. Without hesitation, he ran out of the glass, but then PAUSED and looked back at me (I swear) before he ran off to his new life.
Such a simple thing, yet so instructive!
So what I did I learn From My Friend, The Small Forest Creature?
- Hiding is OK. It’s temporary. Also, it can be helpful, even life-saving.
- Who says you can’t live in a shoe?
- Help is ready and waiting to surprise you at any moment. Go ahead — expect it.
- Things are not always as they seem.
- The crisis before you could elevate you — and free you.
- Big, scary looking moments can be totally to your benefit. They probably are. Have a little faith.
- Talk. Someone could be listening. Good things could happen. You never know.
- See and hear through your spiritual eyes and ears, not your physical ones. It works every time.
- Always say thank you.