Chop Water, Carry Wood

As the weather turns to fall, we start to think of warm cups of tea by the stove, and maybe a cat curled up nearby. At least that is what we are supposed to think. Today it was 103 in Jackson, the warmest day of the year.

As we were hefting our winter firewood, it was raining on my shirt. More precisely, it was raining directly under my sweaty brow, and saturated head. “Wood heats you many times” is the old saw. The irony did not escape me.

We shifted the jumble of cherry chunks into the semblance of a proper wood pile and uncovered a mouse. Mouse dashed out from under one log and dove under another. Zip! Whoosh!

There was something strange about her. Mouse had extra stuff hanging off her tummy.

I stopped throwing wood and tried to reconstruct what I had just seen. Grey fuzzy mouse, (knew it was a mouse by the big ears and eyes) with fuzzy grey tendrils attached to her belly. For a horrible moment I was afraid we had injured mouse with our rough and tumble wood chucking. But mouse wasn’t bleeding.

She made another dash to a weedy pile of bark. It was then I realized what I was seeing. Mother mouse had baby mice and she must have given them the word to hang on tight. “This might be a bit bumpy.” She accomplished her change of address with little fuss, no losses and no notice from the resident cat population.

May we all see change coming, and manage it with such economy.