Wednesday, December 28, 2005

New Life

I wanted to make of this a poem, but poetry comes not easily to me, so prose it shall have to be.

A small, pointed snout and a pair of liquid ebon eyes projects from the darkened enclosure. Sinuously, the mother emerges and advances a short way, peering about, alert for threatening movements. Seeing no danger, she rotates halfway toward her starting point and pauses, watchful and waiting. Two tiny noses then manifest, one above the other and very close together, identical sets of whiskers twiddling madly away. Two little heads emerge, eyes throwing out minuscule points of bright light like an onyx pierced by a moonbeam. Reluctant, anxious, they peer at their mother, hoping for her quick return. Return she does, but only for a moment, retreating and staring back toward them, silently urging them forward, her pelt of ash, earth and foam rippling with the muscles beneath.

Tumbling over each other, the pair advance partway through the small arch, outsize ears wheeling about like wee satellite dishes, before rapidly snaking back through the opening and disappearing anew into the impenetrable interior of the enclosure. The proud but exasperated mother peers briefly at the humans watching the tableau before trailing after the kits.

Long moments pass, as we wait and wonder what will happen next.

Mother reappears, halting just outside the opening, glancing back and seeming to make a come-hither motion with her head. She shifts forward and back, forward and back, and one tiny head comes into view, senses sampling the surroundings. Quickly the mother moves to the diminutive charcoal-colored kit and leans against the young one’s haunch before it can vanish once more. Pressing against it, pushing it from the doorway, urging it forward, she directs it toward the food and water that has been temporarily situated to provide a private place for the young ones to eat and drink.

After the first kit had been encouraged to stay at the small food bowl and eat, mother returned to her abode and brought forth the sibling, prodding it forward as she had the other. The first greeted the second, and they set about examining the dishes and the small shreds of soft cheese to which their sensitive noses quickly led them.

Their mother’s milk had dried up a week ago, and she had been bringing seeds and small chunks of nuts to them to accustom them to their new diet, but now it is time for them to learn new ways and establish their own homes. They will find empty enclosures and abundant nest material with which to furnish them, and set up housekeeping (with some help) for themselves. They were reluctant to be parted from their mother and ousted from their home, but all young ones must eventually make their own way in the world ... it is the way of maturity and life.



gdireneoe said...

Lovely.  Now go to bed. ;)  C.

fitzzer said...

wonderful! (did M&M have babies for Christmas?!?)
~ L

mutualaide said...

Oh, how I wish I could have watched too!  

mymaracas said...

As long as there are little mice and gentle folk in the world, there is hope for us all.

sunnyside46 said...

how do you keep from being over run by your little blessings?
It happens to me with cats from time to time

randlprysock said...

You write so beautifully!!  It makes me think of our kitty London.  Hope you are enjoying a wonderful holiday.  New Year's is almost here!  Yay!

tsgerkin said...

Hey Bon and Mal, if you two haven't thought about writing a childrens book, maybe you should.  Your stories would make great life teaching experiences for children and the adults that read to them.  

Your mice are adorable and so are both of you!  Pour the eggnog please.

Hugs, nibbles and smiles,


ckays1967 said...

ashen pelts worn
with grace
dance merrily

seeking cheese
and nesting things
sniffing for home

mother loved them
well enough to
teach when to go