The little mouse

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Grahamcracker

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The little mouse
« on: May 18, 2017, 11:00:56 AM »
I wasnít sure whether to put this in the Cafť or in Religious and Spiritual issues.  I chose the latter because, however trivial this story may seem, it does have the virtue of being true, and means a lot to me.  And I want to share it.



When I was a kid I had mice.  Many of them.
 
Not an infestation of rodents.  Fancy mice, who started out as fertile couple dad brought home, who did what mice do so that before long I had a couple dozen.  I found them fascinating, everything from teaching them to run mazes to watching newborns grow into adult of various colors, unique personalities, all hand-raised and friendly. They all had names.

But things couldnít last.  The numbers threatened to go up exponentially, and the rusty creak of their exercise wheels and smell of urine from the various cages filled the basement rec room and seeped upstairs.  Mom and dad finally said they had to go.  All of them.  But where?  No pet store wanted them, except maybe as feeders for snakes.  Maybe a classroom would want a couple, but not 20 or so, with no doubt more on the way.

Dad  knew of a few abandoned farmhouses not terribly far from the city.  He and I had gone hunting rabbits there a few times.  He suggested letting them all go there, where they would at least have a fighting chance at survival.  I didnít like it, but I had no choice, so I began to gather them all up.
The latest litter had been born shortly before the eviction edict came down, four or five fuzzy pink peanut that quickly grew up.  Except for one.  He was obviously deformed, could not walk well, grew only sparse fur, and might have been blind.  I donít know why I didnít ask to keep him, but I didnít.  The parents were not likely to listen anyway.  They were sick of the mice and the smells, so all had to go.   I let it happen without protest.

So dad and I drove out to an old house, walked across an overgrown lawn and through an open doorway.  We crunched across fallen plaster and broken glass, into a world of dusty sunlight and solid shadow.  We each carried a shoebox with mice in it, set the boxes down, and tipped them on their sides.  The mice came out, cautiously, sniffing the air, and slowly meandered away.  Even the deformed one, though he didnít move well and it was obvious he had no idea of or ability to survive.

We drove home.  But I couldnít get the image of that little mouse out of my head, helpless and lost, and doomed to certain death, either quickly from a predator or slowly by starvation.  And it was my fault, because I didnít stand up enough for him.

I had trouble falling asleep that night, haunted by the experience.  Suddenly I felt a warmth in my chest that I had never felt before, a feeling of well-being.  And heard a message without words.  Not a promise that the mouse would be transformed into a healthy one, or that it would not suffer, or even survive.  The message was that things were as they should be, and that whatever would happen would not be the final answer and it was out of my hands.  That I was forgiven.

That was many many years ago, and I have neither forgotten it nor experienced it again.  But I still believe the message, that things are more and different than I understand, and that somewhere in this universe lies a reservoir of forgiveness.

I donít claim to know much about spirituality.   But I know I was forgiven once, from beyond my understanding, and that gives me hope.
I believe in the God of the little mouse.  That much I know.  And thatís about all I know.
"Wisdom's a gift, but you'd trade it for youth, Age is an honor but still not the truth"  Vampire Weekend.

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: The little mouse
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2017, 05:37:03 PM »
Oh how my heart hurts as I picture this scene and I have a lump in my throat. At the same time though I see freedom in letting go of the unnecessary guilt and handing it all over to a higher power if I understand the message correctly. Thanks for sharing.
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Bloomie

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Re: The little mouse
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2017, 09:26:07 AM »
Graham Cracker - what a poignant story as I imagine your young self having to let these loved creatures go. I believe in The God of the little mouse, too! Just a beautiful and important post. Thank you!
Bloomie 🌸
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Grahamcracker

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Re: The little mouse
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2017, 12:37:07 PM »
Thanks Spring and Bloomie. 

Spring, I hadn't thought of the higher power perspective, but it seems to fit.  Except that I was not trying to turn it over.  That concept never occurred to me.
 In fact, looking at it again, I'm not really sure that I felt guilty in the sense of having done or not done something (that might be my later self inserting itself).  I had more observed than anything else, and I think now that I didn't feel so much guilty as simply bothered by the situation of the little mouse.  I just felt bad, and that was what made the unsought message so impressive.  Not so much that I was forgiven as assured that things would be ultimately all right, that there was more to the world than those details.  Not that the mouse would be spared, but more that it was all okay in the scheme of things.  Not divine intervention, but more like divine perspective.  If that makes sense.  I could apply all sorts of religious concepts now, but as that young me all I took from it was these sense that it would be okay and not to fret about it.  That the mouse was in good hands now.
"Wisdom's a gift, but you'd trade it for youth, Age is an honor but still not the truth"  Vampire Weekend.

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raindrop

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Re: The little mouse
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2017, 03:25:24 AM »
What a beautiful story, though it's sad you had to let your mice go, I love the message of peace and forgiveness that the God of the little mouse gave you, that you have carried with you all these years. I'm so grateful that you shared it here for us to read.
It is our vocation to prevent the harmful exposure of our inner sanctuary, not only for our own protection but also as a service to our fellow human beings with whom we want to enter a creative communion. Openness loses its meaning when there is no ability to be closed.
-- Henri Nouwen