by Laura Crum
As I have written here before, ever since my husband died, he has sent me messages and come to me in dreams. This may sound creepy, or sad, or maybe just like wishful thinking to those of you who read my posts. And that’s fine. Each of you should think whatever you want to think. From my point of view it has been deeply reassuring and enlightening. Very comforting, very helpful. But I’m here to tell you that it has also been amusing.
My husband, Andy, has always had a playful sense of humor. So it does not surprise me that he might send me an amusing message from beyond the grave. Thus I never had any doubt about the mouse. It was so like Andy.
You see we have mice. As everyone who lives in the country knows, mice are a constant problem. They get in the house. And you can’t have them in the house because they pee and poop on things and carry diseases and chew up your stuff. Neither Andy nor I liked to kill them (and I refuse to have any form of poison on our property), so we trapped them in live traps and released them. And here is where the argument began.
I liked to release them by our front gate, which is about a quarter of a mile from our house. Andy always said they would come back from there. I said it wasn’t likely—such a little animal coming back a quarter of a mile through rough, brushy country? Andy kept saying that they did come back—that we were trapping the same mice over and over. He wanted to turn them loose further away, and when I wasn’t looking, would take them to a nearby park. I felt sorry for them—being taken so far from their home, and said we should release them by the gate. Andy said he was going to put paint on them and prove they were the same mice (though he never did). And so the argument went on—playful and constant. Should the mice be turned loose by the gate or further afield?
After Andy died my son and I kept trapping the mice. We had to—they kept coming in our kitchen. We have two cats, but they seem to feel that mouse catching is beneath them—well-fed pets that they are. In any case there were mice in the kitchen.
We trapped them and released them at the gate. Over and over. My son finally said, “Papa is right. These mice are coming back. We need to put paint on them.”
I said, “I don’t believe it. These little animals coming back a quarter of a mile? I don’t think so.” I’m pretty sure Andy was listening.
So the very next day we trapped a mouse and for some reason I took a good look at it. “Hey,” I said to my son, “this one has a divet out of his ear. We’ll know if he comes back.”
Sure enough, the mouse had a distinctive half moon scallop out of his right ear, about halfway up. My boy and I looked at it closely. I was quite cavalier, pointing it out, because I was sure we would never see that mouse again.
You know where this is going. Not two days later we caught another mouse. And sure enough. He had the exact same scallop in the exact same place. It was the same damn mouse.
Both my son and I burst out laughing and we said the same thing at the same time. “Papa proved it.”
We were both completely sure that Andy had sent us that mouse. How likely is it that we would get a “marked” mouse and that particular mouse would take less than 48 hours to make it from the gate to the house? I think it took a little intervention, myself. And I know Andy was laughing.
So yes, my dear, humorous, quirky, and opinionated husband proved his point, to both my son’s and my amusement. Ceding the argument to Andy, I have since taken every single mouse to the park where he used to take them. I’m pretty sure they can’t come back from there, though I keep my eye out for mice with notches in their ears.
And this is one example of what I mean by the fact that messages from beyond the grave can be amusing. Perhaps some of you have also had experiences of this?