Saturday, December 09, 2006

Sunday Scribbling: Punishment/Reward

As we found out Thursday morning, my "debt to society" came to $200 in American money. Can't figure out how to calculate my karmic debt to the Universe after what happened later that evening.

A mouse has been living in my house. In my pantry. to be more specific. After rejecting the idea of poison and spring traps, live traps were set in the pantry, laundry room, and kitchen. (I'm using the passive voice purposely here. I was not the one who set the traps and THAT is another story, entirely.)

So, when I got back from my day in court, I checked the traps. The doors on two of the traps were down, indicating the presence of mice. I picked those traps up and started outside with them, thinking mice didn't weigh anything at all. I opened the first little door, found NOTHING, and thought that meant there was nothing in the other trap, either, as they seemed to weigh exactly the same thing. Back inside, I opened the little door to reset the trap and OUT SPRANG A MOUSE!!!!

Little Mickey darted across the floor and took refuge behind a stack of old suitcases under a table in the front hall. When I stopped screaming enough to move the suitcases, he darted out into the foyer and to the basement stairs. My little dog, Cassie, got into the act, pouncing on the mouse and snapping at its head. I grabbed her, pulled her off the mouse, and set her behind me on the stairs. The mouse scurried down a few more stairs, Cassie escaped me and pounced on her again, and I screamed some more. We repeated this little act several more times before Mickey made it to the floor at the bottom of the steps. By this point, he was dazed but not dead. In fact, every minute or so, he tried to stand and collapsed in tremors.

To put it lightly, I was near hysteria and at a total loss about what to do. My original goal had been to release him unharmed, but boy howdy, that didn't happen. Now that he was hurt, my only choice seemed to be to put him out of his misery quickly; the question was HOW? Some of you have seen the stone Buddha head on my altar. I seriously thought about putting him in a ziplock bag and dropping the head on him. Surely a mouse killed by a stone Buddha would go straight to being a cow in India, don't you think? In my hysteria, I thought so, but didn't want to be disrespectful to Buddha or the stone, and so rejected the idea. I also considered flushing him, but that seemed really awful, too.

To make matters slightly more complicated, I remembered one of the most chaotic evenings of my newly-divorced life when our dog, Biscuit, managed to get our hamster, Snickers, out of the rolly-ball the kids had put him into. After lots of shrieking by the four 6-year-old girls spending the night with my daughter, we found Snickers behind the dining room drapes, stiff as a board. The whole story is hilarious—filled with flying grape juice, a scampering dog, and stampeding children—but the upshot is that we put Snickers in a shoebox for burial at a later date. (Can't break ground in Minnesota in January, not even for a hamster-sized grave.) The next morning, we found Snickers sitting up, ready to take nourishment.

Remembering that, hope for Mickey set in. Maybe he's just catatonic from fear like Snickers. Holding firmly to that hope and a broom, I brushed him into a bucket and gently set him out in the lawn, crying so hard I couldn't breathe. When light broke in the morning, I checked on him.

Dead as a little mousey doornail.

So now, I've not only killed a sentient creature, I may have let it die in agony. By the time I put him outside, he hadn't even twitched for more than 10 minutes, and I hope he was already dead but don't know for sure. Now THERE's a karmic debt for you.

Don't know what the bill for that will be, but I'm quite sure paying it won't involve my check book or my bank balance.


heartinsanfrancisco said...

I think our karma depends upon Intention at least as much as Action, maybe more. At least, I hope so.

You demonstrated your intention not to hurt sentient beings when you set (or had set) the live traps. Perhaps the mouse agreed to die for your sake, to teach you something.

I say that because I once asked my higher self/spirit guide/whoever to show me the truth of a confusing relationship I was in.

I was driving at the time.

Instantly, a huge bird appeared out of nowhere and flew straight into the grill of my car, thus showing me that the relationship was dead, and what is more, that I was hurting myself by trying to make it work.

Of course I pulled over immediately. There was no sign of the bird in my grill or on the road. I decided that he must have been a spirit bird.

And maybe your mouse was a spirit mouse who chose to leave his body behind.

Jerri said...

Heart: SO hope you're right but don't know what the lesson would be. Gonna meditate on that the next few mornings. Your lesson was so clear, it couldn't be any other way. Hope I figure mine out.


tinker said...

Jerri, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who agonizes over such things. You were acting from the right intention, and surely that must count towards a plea bargain for a lesser charge in the karmic court. Actually I think I like heartinsanfrancisco's suggestion better than my own. Don't be too hard on yourself though.

Anonymous said...

Oh- I read this as fiction. And thoroughly enjoyed it.

Anonymous said...

I can so relate- I had a mouse in the kitchen one time when hubby was on a business trip- and I called the cops to come roust him out. They came but couldn't find the little guy. As soon as they left, he came out... smart fella. The ending was just as sad as your story and I always felt bad about it. But I was also glad I didn't have a mouse in my kitchen anymore!
I am sure the little mouse had no hard feelings toward you or your dog- that might help you. Thanks for this sweet story...

Carrie Wilson Link said...

I agree, it's all about intention. Have you read Seat of the Soul, Gary Zukov? You gotta!

BTW, Zeuss' Daughter arrived, I'm dying to start it!


holly said...

Count me on the side of all about intention!

Great - laughing out loud - read!

Jenny Rough said...

Oh gosh, we have a mouse in our garage. For now I'm letting him be, but if he gets in the house...

Anonymous said...

When I was a student we had a mouse living in our house. Being the vegetarian I was (but am not now!) I was all for letting him be, as he didn't seem to be doing anyone any harm. My housemates weren't so sure about this, I think we were planning to call the council but to deal with it. But one night, one of my housemates was working late on an assignment when the mouse came out to play. Now obviously we'll all do anything to avoid actually trying to work on an assignment, so my housemate decided he'd try to catch the mouse. As the story goes, he had a tube, or something, which he was trying to convince the mouse to run into. However the mouse seemed less than cooperative and a struggle ensued, it ended, apparently with the tube coming down rather forcefully on the poor mouse. I heard its little mousey eyes, literally popped out of its little mousey head! The others weren't going to tell me, but eventually the truth came out!

Thanks for visiting my blog, btw!

giggles said...

Mice are smarty pants.... I decided to sell my home when I got one! Actually it was in the plan anyway! Loved this sad story...I agree that it's all about intention! Yours was no worries! No bad Karma coming your way....

Hugs for the Mouse experience!!

Remiman said...

I think that if the mouse was in a state of positive Karma you're home free. If however, the mouse was in negative karma'll have to add it to your bill of fare.

Btw...There's a video right?