Beneath the covers
of snow and multicolored
leaves, mice dream warm dreams.
Grasses form their beds,
gathered on thick mattresses:
sweet, late-summer seeds.
In winter colors,
now, the world is white and black…
brown in hope of spring.
Copyright © by Elizabeth W. Bennefeld.
All rights reserved.
Most field mice don’t make it to their second year of life because of predation, but in protected areas they can live years longer. As in our house, as we were growing up. There were lots of cats in our home, and they came and went as they pleased. And so Mother Cat would go outdoors of an evening, catch a field mouse or house mouse, and bring it inside (with our mother’s cooperation) and down into the basement, where she would gather her kittens around her and teach them how to attack a mouse. Inevitably, some mice were wiser and more skillful at getting away from kittens than the kittens were in catching mice.
And so we had a mouse population long after the last of the cats had died and been buried. I was fortunate not to have personal encounters with them. I did, however, keep pet mice for some years. Mice are nice people. — Lizl