Saturday, 27 June 2015

A Cautionary Tale.

This may well be a tale with a moral.  It certainly reads like it, but I can't for the life of me think what the moral is!

A couple of weeks ago my hairdresser and her partner went on holiday to Cornwall.   Sitting looking out of the window in their cottage one evening, she noticed a little mouse on the top of the garden wall.   It looked decidedly sick and dejected.   She went out to look at it, stroked it - it shivered gently but didn't move.

She decided it was very dehydrated and possibly hungry and would probably die unless she did something.   So she went into the house and put some milk on to a plate and took it out and put it on the wall.   Immediately the little mouse began to drink.   Its skin was so dry she thought perhaps it needed rehydrating so she put some warm water into a spray bottle and went out and gently sprayed it along its back and it seemed to appreciate this too.  They watched it for a little while and it really perked up - cleaning its whiskers after the milk and looking ready to scuttle away to its hole.

It was at this point that a magpie flew down, snatched it up and carried it off - presumably to make a tasty meal for its brood.  My hairdresser was quite upset by this (I would have been too).   With hindsight perhaps it would have been better to pick the mouse up and put it behind a bush before giving it the milk - thus making the whole operation not quite so visible.   Nature red in tooth and claw.   Every man for himself and all that.  A whole list of proverbs and the like spring into my mind - but the whole episode  has stuck in my mind.

14 comments:

Heather said...

Oh dear! What a sad outcome to your hairdresser's act of kindness. In reply to your comment on my blog - the book is on hold on account of quite a lot of gardening recently. However, if the weather is going to be hot and humid I shall hibernate indoors and maybe get a lot more book done!

SandyExpat said...

Your hairdresser meant well however perhaps the moral of this story is "leave the mouse alone"

The natural world is a cruel place and one unlike any other. The strong survive. If they die they end up as food for another animal so that they might survive.


Tom Stephenson said...

Oh no! I spent ages as a kid rescuing a butterfly, released it out of the window and it was immediately snatched by a bird. Some things we just have no control over - like the fools who released the Mink into the wild from fur farms all those years ago, decimating the indigenous wildlife for almost ever. If we cannot do good, let us not do harm, eh? Iraq also comes to mind... I

John Gray said...

This made me laugh like a drain......whats wrong with me

donna baker said...

What a terrible ending. The bird could have done it while she wasn't looking. At least now, I don't feel so bad about the little pinkies I had to raise after their mother was killed. Everyone was telling me to throw them in the trash or give them to the cats,but I just couldn't. They were crying from hunger. I finally released them in the woods, so all was for the better.

Terra said...

What a dramatic story, a sad ending for the mouse and a tasty meal for the bird. Your hairdresser was so kind to feed the little mousekin.

Rachel said...

The hairdresser finds herself in an emergency situation with a half dead mouse.
Like John, I think this hilarious. Sounds like she was having a gripping holiday....

Joanne Noragon said...

Our better natures come to the fore. Still, a sad end for the country mouse. Or the village mouse, as it were.

Mac n' Janet said...

Sad, but that's life, always a struggle.

Hildred said...

I had this discussion with my youngest son last night, on Skype. He lives amongst all the critters who make The Meadow home, and was dismayed to find that the weasel who has adopted him as a friend is also emptying the swallows nests of all their little ones, and they are dear to his heart as well. What to do, what to do - I think Mr. Weasel is in a lot of trouble.

Cro Magnon said...

Something similar happened to Lady Magnon, she put a mouse outdoors after having spent ages trying to catch it without harming it, then the cat got it. She was FURIOUS.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Yes, I think we have to let all things natural find their own place in the world out there. Thanks for the visit.

Gwil W said...

On TV once the now retired Pope (Cardinal Ratzinger) released two white doves from the Vatican balcony as a sign of peace. They were immediately attacked by seagulls. Probably killed, although TV didn't show that bit.

Countryside Tales said...

I would have done the same thing and been just as upset.