Happy Mother's Day Mama Mouse!

... unusual Spring cleaning discovery

Debbi Collar

Spring cleaning can turn up many forgotten discoveries.

Forgotten college text books, special trinkets dating back to high school days from old boyfriends that you were going to "save forever."
These treasures have resided in attics, basements and garages for many years. Time has quickly passed and now you have reached the age of downsizing. You continue to agonize at the thought of throwing these items out or passing them on to another generation but it is something that just has to be done.

On a recent Spring Cleaning Safari with my mom, brooms in hand, our mission was to clean out the garage.

She, doing most of the cleaning, and me, as I cleaned out a cabinet, taking a walk down memory lane, viewing pages of writing, old clippings from newspapers, and special items that could not just be tossed in the trash.

Each item deserved just "one last look," before it respectfully was bounced into a waiting barrel or packaged for a yard sale.

This particular trip to the garage also turned up one of the most unusual finds for our household. It was my mother who discovered the treasure.

It was a tiny, very smart field mouse.

She had not only chosen our garage for her living quarters. This little mother had also chosen an antique cast iron tea kettle with a sturdy lid to call her home. It was a home built to withstand other dangers that lurked within the walls of the garage.

Smart move for Mama Mouse as there were feral cats living in the neighborhood.   

When my mom, Elli, made the discovery, at first she did not realize what I was seeing from my perspective standing directly in front of the tea kettle. As she was pointing out to me that "something made a nest in here," I was looking directly at the culprit who was peeking out of the spout of the tea kettle.  

Always having camera in hand, I couldn't help but snap the little lady's photo.

Our next challenge… what could we do now? We could not toss her in the trash. We are a no kill garage!

Mama Mouse, being a good mother, had set up her living quarters to raise her young and had worked hard at dragging the nesting in through the tea kettle's spout in an effort to keep her family safe and warm.


Inside the tea kettle that day, another surprise, the discovery of several little babies that Mama Mouse was taking care of -- a mouse version of the Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme, "The Little Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe."

The two of us carried Mama Mouse and her charges around the garage for a little while trying to make a
decision as to what we would do.

Our final decision was not to evict and to let Mama Mouse and her newborn family continue to reside in the sturdy kettle. We closed the lid that served as the home's roof, the spout would provide plenty of air, and it being closed, would not allow those feral cats to get their paws near her horde -- it was a safe place for her and for her all her little mischief's.  

Mama Mouse had also made her mark that day. It was the beginning of my learning how to create greeting cards from photos. She also was responsible for helping me win my first photo contest and have my first photo published in a book entitled, "Gallery Of The Imagination."

Unfortunately, Mama Mouse didn't stay long enough to find out about her prize winning accomplishments.

When we went to check on her the following day, she had made the decision to move out. She must have moved each one of her four children out through the tea kettle's spout during the night and taken up residence in another area.

She did not leave a forwarding address.

Once again, she continues to make her mark as she has not been forgotten.

She appears here today in this issue of the Melrose Mirror and is fondly remembered.

Happy Mother's day Mama Mouse!

May 4, 2014

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