Sunday, October 22, 2006

Death of a Mouse, 1974

Robert Burns comes to mind:

To a Mouse, On turning up her nest, with the plough, November, 1785


The best laid schemes o' mice and men
Gang aft agley.



V-Grrrl said...

Gang aft agley


k said...

I particularly like the bandage on the foot.

pepektheassassin said...

Yeah, the bandage is a nice touch. I thought so, too, k.

v-grrrl, yes.

Tammy said...

I've been trying to catch up but was that a sperm I jusr saw float by. LOL

Maryellen said...

Personally, I'M LOST!

pepektheassassin said...

What are your coordinates? Can you see the North Star? Did you bring your compass?

pepektheassassin said...

tammy, yes, one GIANT SUPERSTAR of a sperm, headed North, I think!

maryellen, follow that sperm! It will lead you to the headwaters!

twitches said...

Love that picture, but I don't know why. Yes, perhaps it is the bandage.

k said...

North? Is this perhaps where Desert Cat's caterpillars are heading?

pepektheassassin said...

twitch, if bandages are your thing, you should take a look at k's!

desert rat said...

Great picture. I like the patches on the knees too.

Btw pepek I've added you as a NaNoWriMo buddy.

Anonymous said...

This is a super pict.! Very journalistic- reminds me of a swan I found on the beach once in a similar circle of stones. We have more than you know in common- I'm also a Taurus.

desert rat said...

Should probably add that I'm posting under "fishcat" over on NaNo, not desert rat. See ya over there!

k said...

pepek, if you liked THOSE bandages, just wait until I post *Poor Mr. Foot - The Prequel.* I'll have to have squeam warnings left and right on that one. See, he had bandages inside the foot, too.

I took pity on your readers and deleted a last, more detailed sentence.

pepektheassassin said...

Ok 'fishcat' you're on mine!

pepektheassassin said...

ren.kat, we are living parallel lives--except I'm not in Norway! My cousin and his wife spent a lot of time in Norway, however. We call them Sven and Lena (tho' that's not REALLY their names!)

Anonymous said...

Nostalgic photo, Pepek. For me, it's thought-provoking. It brings up memories of my childhood the way I, with all of my brothers and sisters and the neighborhood kids would have "funerals" for dead animals, whether they were pets or wild things we had found in the meadows and woods.

For me, this photo holds so many layers, emotions, memories it is a story in itself. The bandaged toe, the toddler's summer underwear, the implication of children interrupted in the midst of play, each attending to the death and burial of a mouse in his or her own way. I couldn't help it just seeing the picture I had to write this today:

yesterday was barefoot rough
and tumble playing in the
meadow grass and dirt and mud
and creeks and woods, we had our fort
and climbing tree and wagons
bikes and bridges and popsicles,
we raced through sprinklers tagged the
rainbow drops that sparkled in hot sun,
we ran until our mothers called us in at dusk and we,
reluctant, yelled goodbyes, laughing
carrying jars and buckets and lunch-pails full
of salamanders and beetles and fireflies, two
tadpoles and a mouse my best friend caught
in the meadow by the creek by the cave over the bridge
our captives for a day amidst the swarming
groaning weight of life we took for granted

today we make a procession down our street,
all plodding carefully behind my best friend’s wagon,
his shoebox filled with cotton and
the small grey lump wrapped in a hanky
yesterday we took turns holding its quivering warmth
now no one wants to touch it so
we dig a hole out by the garden wall, where
rocks and sticks mark our memories of other
pets who died and looking down
(all serious and silent) on this new stone-ringed
grave, my best friend's feet turned out,
my little brother's in, I place a flower on the center,
and pause as I have seen the preacher do, we wait
in puzzlement (a tinge of sadness) to send
the tiny mouse across an inexplicable void, purse our lips
with fascination, avoid stepping on the grave

my best friend’s baby sister cries, we shush her,
tell her what we’ve heard grownups say
he’s in a better place now but to myself I think
how is the dirt is the shoebox is the forest
a better place than the meadow in the sun
better than his grass and flowers and mouse family
and sky? Why do things die? Why mice and goldfish, why
dogs and baby birds, what happens to
their tiny thumping hearts, why is the furry body cold, why
do people cry, where do the bodies go, will I
go there too, will my best friend, will
Mama and Papa? And as we stand
thinking of the death of a mouse, we hear my mama
call us in for lunch and race each other to the house
through thickening air and buzzing bees cicadas chirping
squirrels and wind and light and smells of lawn and
mud and open arms race through swollen life
and joy and laughter for the world.

pepektheassassin said...

Thank you, maureen, for that beautiful poem. I am going to print it and keep it.

(And did you notice how the biggest boy is stepping on the foot of the little one? Big brother, keeping order.)

Anonymous said...

ahh, I did notice the foot ... but didn't think of big brother (that would be me, big sister, heheh)
Body language is pretty revealing.