Of mice and boys

It is true that children have added immeasurably to my life. It is true that because of my children, I have had experiences I would not have had otherwise.

It is also true that some of them go like this: A visiting cousin tumbles down the stairs to pronounce that one of my son’s two white mice has died and the survivor has eaten half of it. Would I like to see the headless mouse?

My son was nonplussed. The mice were leftovers from a long-ago science project. He refused to let them go into the wild, not wanting them to suffer, and has fed them faithfully. But frankly, he was tired of them and waiting for them to die.

So this was much less dramatic than the Saga of Cocoa, who met an untimely demise several years ago. There were recriminations all around. The boy was angry at his sister for fatally wounding his favorite gerbil. The girl protested that she was just running down the stairs and didn’t expect a gerbil to be loose on them. The boy replied that he didn’t expect the gerbil to be loose on the stairs, either, because he had put her in a Lego car.

(Yes, a Lego car is quite possibly the worst small object someone can leave on a staircase. If you have to ask why a Lego car was on the stairs, though, you clearly do not have children.)

As for why Cocoa did not wish to remain in the Lego car, well, she was gasping her last breaths so it didn’t seem like the time to ask. But somewhere in the piles of family photos is a shot of my son holding her in her final moments.

No such recording this time. I believe the mouse still is in my son’s room. You might think I would be able to walk in and do a quick sniff test, but the hockey bag overpowers everything else.<P>

<em>This post originally appeared on <a title=”Midland Daily News” href=”http://www.ourmidland.com/”>ourMidland.com</a&gt;, the online home of the Midland (MI) Daily News. Republished with permission.</em>

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