Intramural Murine Mortality
Pardon my alliterativeÂ exuberance. This phrase is simply a fancy way of describingÂ what we’ve just seen here at our house. Or I should most certainly say SMELLED.
We live in a place with miles and miles of forests around us. The wildlife was here first and our shelter is their shelter. I can’t blame them for wanting to get in out of the rain and cold. I’m just happy that only certain of our faunal co-inhabitants are small enough to live–and die–in our walls.
Small comfort to learn that not a few of our friends and neighbors have had much larger animals to get where they don’t belong–and from whence they cannot extricate themselves–only to die and rot in place.
So we are accustomed to the drill where the day after listening to the track meet in the space between our bedroom ceiling and the floor of the room above–the incessant scurrying wind-sprints in the dark of tiny cleated feet just overhead–we feed the little dears a meal in the walled-off storage space that is their food court.
In theory–and this has always been the case until now–they eat the “bar bait” (we hear the telltale chiseling away in the wee hours) and in addition to that last supper playing havoc with their coagulation chemistry, it makes them thirsty. They have the good manners to leave the house to find water, and expire al fresco.
The uncooperative guest three weeks ago saved itself the travel outdoors and gave up the mousy ghost in the wall behind the head of the bed. Stuff happens.
“Do something!” she repeatedly demanded, breathing through her mouth.
“What would you have me do, dear? Take a chain saw and just start anywhere?”
We slept upstairs for a week and a half, keeping the door to our bedroom closed and the windows open to the frigid air of a petulant and balky spring.
What probably cut this expulsion from paradise a bit shorter than it would have been was that the dermestid beetles and other carrion-feeders found the putrifying protoplasm and reduced it to a tiny fleshless skeleton.
Still, this gives me sympathy for all those who have told me dead-possum or groundhot or black snake horror stories.
We have our sad tales from within these walls, but they could always be worse.