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A mouse found grace…

April 23, 2007

at our house this weekend.  Let me explain. 

On Thursday, a serpent was seen crawling up the side of our basement.  He was seeking to destroy a birdnest filled with eggs.  My husband intervened by snatching him up, and placing him into the aquarium for observation by the boys.

We decided to use the unique nature opportunity as an animal science lesson, to feed him, and then release him back into the far, far, far, far away wilds. After some consulting with reptile experts though, the conclusion was made that a snake from the wild would not eat, um, dead bait.  This serpent would expect live food, something about the killing, destroying sense they have.  I called around in search of live bait and found a pet store that sells mice.  I loaded all boys into the car, and we made the trip to purchase a small white mouse for said serpent’s dinner.  It all seemed right in a nature discovery channel, circle of life, sort of way.

Complications were inevitable.  The day of feeding, Saturday, arrived.  However, in the morning this mom was up before 5:00 a.m. to participate in a multi-family yard sale, so the feeding couldn’t occur until my return.  And when I did return, plaintive calls for mercy to the mouse were heard.  In fact, the youngest had even caught a lizard to feed the serpent–a substitution for the mouse, eh?  Being moved by the plaintive pleas, the decision was made to offer the lizard.

The lizard, after an initial exciting escape attempt, was dropped into the aquarium, and all, at this point, 8 children watched with "baited" breath.  Nothing happened.  The serpent coiled, looked ready to strike, and watched us watch it for what would happen next.  The lizard dashed around the tank, bouncing on top of the serpent’s head four different times, but with no retaliation made on the snake’s part.  Minutes turned into hours turned into the next morning and still the lizard and the serpent co-habited with one another, albeit uneasily.

The Lord’s Day dawned a new beginning for the mouse.  The house sovereigns consulted and decided to intervene on its behalf.  The serpent was dumped back into the outer darkness, the lizard was released back to its lizardy things, and the mouse was moved from its little kingdom of darkness, the shoebox, to its new kingdom of light–the newly refurbished aquarium habitat, fit for a mouse’s dominion.

So now the mouse named Scamper does just that, scamper from corner to corner, feasting on sunflower seeds and mouse kibble.  He has no idea of the destruction he narrowly missed.  He has no idea of the grace he’s received.  He’s just about frolicking in the shredded paper.

A mouse found grace yesterday.  Have you?

7 Comments leave one →
  1. April 23, 2007 8:22 am

    Okay…I’m having a hard time even reading these posts because there’s just NO WAY that a snake would willingly be brought into this home, no way, no how. Eeewww! Big shudder.

  2. April 23, 2007 10:30 am

    : )

  3. April 23, 2007 10:34 am

    That would be a great children’s book. Seriously.

    And I’m all for creatures and habitats and learning and junk. I think I’ll turn THAT into a homeschool how-to book. Or pamphlet. Or maybe a bumper sticker.

    Have a great week!

  4. Jif permalink
    April 24, 2007 7:05 am

    Elle, you are to be commended. That’s quite a noble and selfless undertaking to have a snake in your house for the sake of the boys’ education. However, I’d have to agree with EM—I don’t plan on knowingly volunteer to have a snake in my house. (Notice I didn’t say “I’d never…” Around here whatever comes after the “I’d never” seems to come to pass! Ahhh, sanctification.) A cute white mouse on the other hand is a definite possibility. It’s amazing the difference a little fur can make.

  5. April 24, 2007 1:56 pm

    I’m with Jules…EWWWW…no way…shudder…not just in regard to the snake, but the mouse too…

    “baited breath”–I love it!

  6. April 24, 2007 3:19 pm

    Aw, I’m a sucker for a good animal story. I’m so glad Scamper is still with us. Is Mr. Serpent out in the WAY far away outer darkness?

  7. April 27, 2007 11:37 pm

    Oh, I really like the way this ended. We’re quite the rodents-for-pets household around here. We have a new guinea pig now, but we’ve had Chinese dwarf hampsters, mice, and even pet store rats (awesome pets).

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