I haven’t worn my boots much lately. And when I slipped them on yesterday my foot discovered what felt like a pile of dirt and pebbles in the right one. Now, I know when you’re camping you always dump your boots out in the morning before putting them on, because sometimes scorpions or rattlers or other unpleasant creatures will have made them a snuggly home during the night. But these boots were sitting in front of our fireplace. I did not expect scorpions or rattlesnakes.
Curious, but unalarmed, I pulled my foot out of the boot, carried it over to the trash can, and upended it. A small hoard of sunflower seeds spilled out. It seems our house mouse had been storing up some food for a rainy day and had chosen my long unused and dusty boot for a larder. We have sunflower seeds in the house because we feed the birds with them, and of course there are always a few spills. No wonder the mouse (mice) has moved in. Imagine how gleeful he or she was to discover the rodent equivalent of King Tut’s Treasure.
Then I began to wonder. Was it truly a mouse or mice? One of my favorite books as a kid was The Borrowers by Mary Norton. If you haven’t read it, you should. It’s incredibly charming, about little mouse-sized folks who live in the houses of big people and “borrow” things they need. I always thought it was as good a reason as any for why you lose things in your house all the time, like safety pins, needles, thread, fingernail clippers, etc. Maybe my borrowers like seeds. And socks. Yeah, what’s with all the missing socks? Good bedding perhaps?
At least I haven’t “misplaced” any guns yet. I’m not going to start worrying until the borrowers borrow a pistol.