Jack was cleaning out the garage the other day and emptied an old cardboard box, which he thought had junk in it, into the trash barrel, only to find, to his distress, a mouse-nest at the bottom. The mother jumped from the box into the rose bushes leaving a small, baby mouse at the bottom of the box. Not knowing what to do, Jack put the baby into the bushes at the same spot where the mother had seemed to go, but he felt terrible. The baby still had closed eyes and just a little fur.
We decided there wasn’t anything we could do, and hoped that the mother would return for her baby. An hour later, I heard one of our cats, Bodhi, making that cry (the sound that means he has caught something) and I went outside and saw him with the little mouse. My heart fell. I went back inside, but Bodhi’s meows persisted so I went out again, and then something amazing happened.
Bodhi looked at me, picked up the baby mouse (which was on the ground in front of him) trotted up the steps, and deposited it at my feet. When he was satisfied that I was going to take the mouse, he trotted away. I gently picked it up and could tell that it was unharmed. Bodhi had gone into the thickest, most tangled mess of old rose bushes, thorns, and undergrowth, retrieved this baby mouse, and carried it 50 feet, without even a slight injury to its tiny body.
I held this tiny creature in my hand and said to it?, “What am I going to do with you?” I didn’t think that it could live long without eating, so I sat in the studio with it in my palm, but as I looked at it I just felt like it wanted to live. It was about 9:30 a.m.and I had appointments all day, so Jack got a soft towel, and set it inside the studio (right next to the bushes where the mother had gone). We hoped that the mother would be able to find it in there and it would be safe and warm in the meantime.
When I checked on it again at 4 pm, I was hoping beyond hope that the mother had found it. She hadn’t, but it was still alive. I knew that I couldn’t take care of it myself since the next day I was going to visit my new grandson for a couple of days. Suddenly an idea came to me. Earlier this year, I’d met a man who did wildlife rehab and I wondered if he would take the mouse. The only problem was, I could only remember the town he lived in, not his name.
I went on the New York State Wild animal rescue website and tried to look through the names to see if anyone rang a bell. Finally, I just decided to call one of the names on the list and ask her if she knew of this man. It felt like a shot in the dark, because even if she did know who he was, would he take a mouse?
I left a voice message for a woman who lives about an hour from me, telling her about the mouse and asking if she knew the man I was looking for. Fifteen minutes later, she called back and said, “So you have a mouse! This is so odd. In all of the years that I’ve done wildlife rehabilitation, I’ve never gotten a call about a mouse until today, and you are the second one. When I took the first baby this morning, I was wishing that it wasn’t alone. Where do you live?”
Within an hour I was driving north to meet a woman who I can only call an angel. As I drove along, the name, Bernadette came to mind, and I thought this was a good name for my tiny friend. I arrived at the meeting spot and after filling out the official paperwork, this wonderful woman took my tiny friend home with her. Driving away, I felt like I was a part of, and a witness to, the Living Web. It brought me to tears.
The following day, as I drove to my son’s home, thinking about my precious grandson, who I would soon be holding in my arms, I also thought about the little mouse who was being cared for, and who even had a tiny friend to keep it company. I turned on the radio and was flooded with goosebumps. The song, Bernadette, was playing.
“Everything in life is interconnected. If we could see these connections, we would be instantly relieved of all of our fears and worries about the future.” Alan Watts