Today as I was rummaging around in my top desk drawer (which I really only use to store packets of oatmeal, confiscated earrings, and batteries), I noticed that my last oatmeal was eaten open. Ah, the oh-so-recognizable sign of a rodent.
“Dangit. A mouse was in my desk!”
My students, completely nonplussed, suggested I check to make sure it wasn’t still in there. Before I could respond I noticed that the small plastic container of pushpins I keep in the drawer was completely empty. I picked it up and marveled at the idea that a mouse had eaten through the plastic and then meticulously carried each pushpin to wherever-it-made-its-nest. And I encouraged my students to join me in bewilderment:
“Why aren’t you guys freaking out about this?! It took my metal pushpins! This is really weird!! Look! These things are just metal and plastic! They’re pointy! That’s terrible nest material! Hello? Don’t you guys think this is weird?”
Shrug shrug shrug until finally one girl screamed with me “Oh my gosh Miss that is so weird! I’m freaking out now!” and I was temporarily appeased.
Then, when I returned to my desk and opened the drawer again, I noticed that several of the papers I’d placed in it yesterday were eaten up. And then I saw the pushpins! They were deep in the back corner, forming some sort of weird nest. I started pulling half-eaten strips of paper out, oh so carefully, until suddenly a half foot of fur came flying out of the drawer.
I’m no stranger to rodents. I’ve seen my fair share of scurrying mice and rats. I’ve found their hoards of scrap garbage in the corners of my kitchen, underneath my stove. But I’ve never seen a mouse fly out of a desk drawer. I screamed. Like, a lot. I screamed and jumped and then laughed hysterically as the furball scampered into the closet a few feet from my desk.
It was a pretty entertaining site for my students. When we’d all stopped laughing, they were all about me cleaning out my desk. And when I started pulling out each sheet of paper (copies of finals I’d placed in my top drawer for safe keeping–all of which are now full of little rat-tooth holes), I saw something moving. Some little eraser-sized, pink, squealing, see-through thing. And then I really freaked out.
It was a baby mouse! After I got over the shock of seeing this weird fetus-outside-of-the-womb creature, I scooped it up to show my students. They were also grossed out at first but then we were all ohhing and ahhing over it’s teeny-tiny, cutesy-wootsy-ness. (I also took it over to The Beard’s freshmen science class for a minute.)
Unfortunately, Mama isn’t coming back so I don’t think Baby Mouse will make it. I tried to put it near Mama’s hide out in the closet but so far she’s still MIA. Eh. Nature and what not. All of my students want me to throw it into the jungle-bush-area beside the school (it’s a mouse, after all, bane of my existence and such), but I can’t bring myself to do it.