Monday, October 14, 2013

Field mice and pee

   Yesterday, I went into our shed to get my big gardening bag in which I hold all my beekeeping equipment. It was initially purchased for  raking a few leaves into and dumping them on the compost heap when we lived in Baltimore in a house with a tiny yard and leaves from the neighbors' trees. Then we moved here, and with our four maples in the front yard and ridiculously abundant number of backyard trees (I have never counted how many we actually are growing) this bag became laughably small. But it is perfect for holding a couple of hats and bee nets, a smoker, three hive tools and a bee brush.
   Apparently it is also perfect for building a winter nest, particularly if you are a field mouse.  They like to fill the hats up with grass clippings, leaves and other snippets of soft things, and bed down for the winter.  It is usually in the Spring that I discover them.  I do not begrudge them a home. Truly I do not, but my hats?
    Yesterday, I pulled out the aforementioned bag and a very frightened field mouse scrambled out, leapt the three feet from the edge of the bag to the shed floor and dashed away under some sports equipment in the corner.  Hmm...having played this game before, I took the bag outside and dumped the contents on the grass and saw a very distressed little mouse  caught in the netting of the hat, trapped and terrified.  I let her go, and discovered that in her terror, she released the contents of her bladder into the hat.  And I am left to ponder the age old question: WHY???

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