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What Spring Means to Me: Dead Rodents

E.O. Schaub

Spring is here; I know this for several reasons. One is the fact that Scarlotta’s Car Hop and Diner’s sign says so. Also, the maple sap has been running, and sap houses everywhere are venting great marshmellow clouds of steam. The other day we heard birds- real birds!- singing their songs outside our windows and instantly it felt as if a long-lost, dear relative had returned. The constant, drumming sound of March showers, and their thunderous ensuing runoff is always a sure indicator of Spring, too.

Also, around our house, there’s the multiplicity of dead and dying rodents. This time of year they turn up scattered randomly throughout the house, kind of like an Easter Egg hunt designed by Hannibal Lecter. Take this morning. I was walking down the basement steps to the garage when I came to the abrupt realization that I was not alone. (Cue the ominous music.) Sadly, it was true. Murray the Mouse had left this mortal coil at the foot of our basement steps and lay there for all the world looking like a tiny piece of furry driftwood. He was perfectly in-tact, four tiny paws extended straight out as if he hoped to be used as a dollhouse coffee-table after his departure, clearly the victim of a progressive, neuro-muscular, stress-related, nervous-seizure-heart-breakdown-attack-spasm. (Mice get those a lot, you know. Being a mouse is extraordinarily stressful.) As he lay there on his side, finally at peace, I knew that our two cats could not be suspected of foul play in this tragic event. Firstly, because they are not allowed in the basement. Secondly, because no one had attempted to chew little Murray’s face off. In fact, Murray actually looked astonishingly good, for a dead mouse. A little petrified around the whiskers, but still.

I couldn’t say the same of the poor fellow I found yesterday, next to the bathmat, dear me. The only reason I knew that pathetic little puddle of blood and fur had ever been a mouse at all is the fact that the cats had executed his hapless brother the night before that and of course I instantly recognized the distinct similarily in the kink of their tails. (Plus his name was Milfred, and that is actually a very common mouse name.) It was clear Milfred never really had a chance, as half his body was noticably missing, and plump little piles of organs were distributed about the linoleum like gifts from a particularly small and twisted Santa. Continue reading What Spring Means to Me: Dead Rodents