Die Not Alone: The Pathetic Saga of the Dead Mouse

A few days ago I woke up with a dead mouse lying beside me on my bed. It was a stellar moment, one that will certainly rank among my personal best for 2008. It’s not every day that you wake up, turn over, and see a deceased rodent with a painful “the end is near” grimace frozen on its lifeless face staring right back at you. That’s something that sticks with you for a while.

But what better way to start off the day? It definitely motivates you to get out of bed, even if you have work that day. I wish mice and other small creatures would crawl onto my bed and die beside me every night. I’d never be late to work again (although to be quite frank, that’s not really an immediate concern for me anyway, thanks to my recent “liberation” as I like to call it).

Anyway, what makes the event most remarkable is that this particular mouse chose specifically to die with me. It could just as easily have chosen my landlady or a neighbor. Maybe there’s a newborn infant that lives somewhere nearby that it could have gone to. Babies are warm and cuddly and good for dying next to. But instead it decided to expend the remnants of its life force in a last-ditch effort to infiltrate my room, find a way to crawl on top of my bed, and then keel over and die in the comfort of my presence. To be picked as someone’s, or some creature’s, final companion in life is an honor unlike any I have ever known.

So it is with a heavy heart that I must declare that my respect for the mouse falls a bit short of its full potential, and this is because the damned varmint didn’t make a single effort to die gloriously in battle. I mean, it didn’t even try. There was no scratching, no biting, no clawing. It did not lunge at my sleeping face in a desperate bid to invoke my wrath and get sent to rodent Valhalla in the course of my violent retaliation (I did succeed in bludgeoning a mouse to death once last year, but we hadn’t been sleeping together). No, instead it just gave up hope and died peacefully.

And what does that say about me? Something distressingly non-Viking, I’d guess, because I’m apparently just a big beacon of solace and body warmth to dying rodents. Even if the mouse had wanted to fall in battle, to be smacked ruthlessly with the nearest available blunt object and thereby gain entrance to the feculent golden hall of its brethren, it plainly would not have chosen me as its adversary. It probably would have gone instead to see the insane pit bull that lives upstairs.


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