There was something unusual about Sir Mattie’s behavior this morning, especially since it’s a cold November one and typically he is snuggled near the woodstove when the temperatures dip. Not today. Nope. As I made my morning cuppa, he peeked around the corner, a wide-eyed you-can’t-catch-me expression on his face.
“What’s up with you?” I ask sleepily and he took off running as though I’d said something not only profound, but markedly frightening. He raced from room to room, kicking up his heels in rare form, darting beneath the draft-curtains hung between living and music rooms, and then back to the other end of the kitchen where he hid behind the plants, again peeking out at me with that up-to-something look.
I commented to Papa Hare as I settled in my chair by the fire. “What’s with our boy this morning… he’s just full-of-it.”
“Oh… yes… he has a mouse somewhere…” He tells of Mattie’s nighttime adventures, and a poor hapless mouse being tossed about, running for it’s life only to be captured and tossed some more. My heart sank. Bic. Or Ben!
Now you see we have a no-kill policy in this house… if it’s possible to capture and release, we do. Sir Mattie on the other hand has little discretion in this area. If it smells like mouse, well then it’s fair game… and I mean that in both senses of the word. The game is on till the mouse is dead, and then, it becomes... well, you get the picture.
On went the lights in the music room. I was in rescue-mode for cowering mouselings. Sadly, all I found were remnants and a tell-tale stain. Sir Mattie watched from the doorway, blinking innocently, licking his whiskers and washing his paws fastidiously.
Despite the cold dark hour, I fled out to BackPorch and looked up at MouseHouse's front door. It was tightly closed, but a glimmer of light shone from underneath. I tapped ever gently with one finger, and immediately Sir Fivel appeared.
“Yes, Ma’am…” he saw my stricken expression. “Is everything alright…?”
“Sir Fivel, I’m sorry to intrude so early in the morning… but please tell me if all your family is accounted for this morning.”
“Yes, Ma’am… they’re all abed yet except the missus and I. Why do you ask?”
Not wanting to alarm him, I shook my head sadly. “I’m relieved to hear that, Sir Fivel… but you must warn the children again not to ever come inside Big House… they would be in great danger. One little mouse wasn’t so lucky this morning. I hope all your close relatives are safe.”
He nodded gravely. “Thank you, Ma’am. I’ll tell the children. Good day to you now.” He bowed low, punctuating the gesture with a tip-of-his-cap. Of course gentlemen don’t wear their caps in the house, so it was just that—a gesture, but I got the message.
Smiling and not-just-some relieved, I hurried back inside to warm up and pour that cup of tea. And yup… you guessed it, Sir Mattie was curled snugly by the wood fire, belly full, and lots of adventures to dream about.