Monday, June 18, 2007

Cottage moments #1

Saturday morning, 4:30. I woke to the sound of birds babbling (yes, I know it's brooks that babble, but we have no brook at the cottage and believe me, they were babbling). Then I noticed a scratching sound. At first I thought that a squirrel or a mouse had gotten into the house (it happens and for the record, if you read the linked post he never came back, intelligent creature that he is).

But then I realized it was outside. Being the curious fool tht I am - though how I can be curious at that ungodly hour is beyond me - I got up, wandered outside nekkid as the day I was born (it was a hot night) and realized the noise was coming from the BBQ.

I shook the plastic BBQ cover and it stopped, so I wandered back to bed thinking that shaking a BBQ cover nekkid in the middle of the night when you don't know what's in there might not be the most intelligent of moves.

In the morning the sound woke up Mr. Jazz. So, being the good wife that I am, I go outside, take off the plastic cover and opened the lid.

There, tucked away into the corner was a nest.

In the nest was a little brown mouse and her three little mouslings (is that even a word?) They were about as big as my thumbnail. Wee little things. Blind and hairless wee little things. Blind and hairless remarkably ugly wee little things - like most brand new babies I suppose.

Now, I usually have no problem killing the mice that get into the house, otherwise we'd be overrun. I am our family's official mouse killer. Mr. Jazz is just too damn nice. Though to his credit, he is turning into a decent disposer of already dead rodents.

But her?

Sitting there with her little babies?

I shut the BBQ and told Mr. Jazz he simply couldn't use the gas grill for a couple of weeks. After all, he also has a charcoal grill.

It seems that was not an option. If the official family cook tells the offical family rodent terminator that something to do with food is not an option, it is definitly not an option. No discussion. The problem must be fixed.

So I got a box, made a hole and tried to get her the hell out of the grill, cept she went under the pumice stones (it's an antique grill, we need a new one, and a future "Cottage Moment" will explain why we probably won't get it just yet. Not a pretty story, but I digress). She still had one baby stuck on her teat, and she was running around dragging him (her? it?) along behind her. Ouch.

Let your mom go you idiot! Must've been a boy. 'Cause boys and boobs, ya know.... Brand new wee baby mice are definintely not the most intelligent of creatures.

I almost caught her. Almost. But it's amazing how quickly such a tiny thing can move, and off she ran under the outdoor fireplace. Since I didn't have her, I picked up the nest and the three babies and put them in the box which I tucked under the fireplace with a few sunflower seeds cause all that excitement must have made her hungry and I figured we sort of owed her one. I'm such a freaking bleeding heart.

Next morning, the seeds were eaten and the babies had been taken away.

Either she came to get them (and they're now living in the fireplace and might be inadvertently roasted) or some squirrel came and had a snack.

I prefer to believe the first option. Though I’m probably wrong…

PS: Why does Blogger insist on adding multiple spaces between my paragraphs if I add a picture to a blog? I know Blogger, like God works in mysterious ways, but this is ridiculous. I usually have to edit 4-5 times in order for it to be ok. Grrrrrrr


Ian Lidster said...

... or are they 'mouselets?'
What a sweet and compassionate story.
Years ago I had a workshop in an outdoor shed and there was a mouse that became so familiar he would sit on the bench and watch me while I worked.
Then one day I had to get something from under the bench. There I saw an odd thing. The mouse had build himself a little fortress with a circle of old bent nails and little caches of food on the inside. I realized they are much brighter than we give them credit for.
But, I guess being so little you have to be bright.
Neat story.

ticknart said...

This story is like a prequel to Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh. I can't help picturing the mice tapping into the propane to use it for cooking things.

geewits said...

I bet she retrieved them and found a new safer spot. Yeah, sure that's what happened.

Josie said...

Jazz, I once adopted a baby shrew mole and he/she lived in an Eddy's match box and I fed him/her spiders. Baby mice are so cute. Lovely little story.

BTW, if you go into the html codes when you upload a picture, you will see a code that says div /div. I you remove those, you will get rid of the extra spaces.


Voyager said...

You big softie.
With three cats we don't have a mouse problem. Except when they proudly bring them in to show us what talented hunters they are.

Hageltoast said...

awwww. cuteness.

Big Brother said...

Should have just turned on the propane. You didn't even have to light it, the gas would have done the job. Of course if you lit it before moving them whilst toasting some hamburgers, it would probably give a "j'ne sais quoi" of flavour to the meat. ;o) You are such a softy, mind you I once moved a mouse family out to the field in back, only to have a crow come down and eat them. Such is life.

Jazz said...

Ian - They are little cuties, aren't they? I want a mouse in a fort!

Ticknart - Cooking things or setting fire to the cottage, depending on how evil they are.

Geewits - Yeah, of course that's what happened. Are we naive or what?

Josie - I bow down before thee, oh goddess of all things HTML.

Voyager - I had cats. They ran from spiders, let alone anything bigger. Pathetic they were.

Toastie - Yeah, just watch those babies come back and make my life miserable soon.

BB - A softie? Isn't that something along the lines of the pot calling the kettle black?

Dorky Dad said...

I'm a bleeding heart, too, so I'm going to tell myself that the mom came and found the babies. That's what I'm going to say.

Anonymous said...

oh THE conundrum! You handled it well. A mice family lives in the roof of my car (I know, I know--) and one day recently I found a blind hairless baby (minutes old?) on the floor of the passenger side.

What to do? so I put some peanut butter on a dog biscuit and tucked him next to it over under a nice rock--protected and cool-- hours later he was gone--

we won't think about anything but him cheeping next to the peanut butter biscuit which was how I last saw him.


Dan said...

Must've been a boy. 'Cause boys and boobs, ya know.

Very funny! Do you know me??

Poor little mousies. I hope it was option #1 too. (Did your neighbors see you bucked nekkid??)

Jill said...

Oh how sweet! I'm a sucker for baby animals of any kind too. And I just know Momma Mouse came back for her babies. She DID. End of story.

Jazz said...

DD - Seems we have a bunch of bleeding hearts in this batch of bloggers...

BP - I can't help but wonder how they managed to get themselves set up inside the ROOF of your car. Do you take them on road trips with you?

Dan - How is it I'm not surprised you picked up on the boob thing, eh? ;-)

As for my neighbors, they were sleeping the sleep of the just, or the dammned or hung over, whatever that saying is. Only ones who saw me are the birds, the mouse and assorted creepy crawleys.

Jill - She DID. End of story.