Rhymes, Rants & Accolades from North Central BC

MURPHY AND MINNIE

1990s – 2000 Sense and Nonsense

“What we need around here is a mouse-eating cat,” my husband stated after inspecting the un-sprung trap that he had set out before going to bed the previous evening. Our resident mouse had once again slipped past the trap’s deadly prong, managing to slurp up every vestige of the peanut butter bait. The night before the delicacy had been cheese that he, or as I suspected, “she” had dined upon. And before that it had been bacon bits. Our wily rodent would probably live forever, unless it developed a cholesterol problem.

Our youngest daughter had been clamoring for a kitten for some time. The problem was our big dog liked cats too–too much. If we got one, she would probably chase it through all nine of its lives before we could convince her that it was part of the family. Any cat of ours would have to remain an inside cat. The outside was the dog’s domain.

One morning I listened to the radio and sure enough, there was a listing on the Trade-eo program for a kitten “to give away” in Fraser Lake. My ten year old and I drove into town to pick up the tiniest, wimpyist-looking feline that ever lived long enough to be weaned and taken from its mother. Ithought that our Super Mouse (I saw her once and she WAS big) could easily have dragged that spindly hunk of yellow fur by the scruff of its neck and drowned it in the toilet bowl.

But “Murphy” did not stay small for long. Our daughter looked after the fragile-looking creature, feeding it the finest of fare and smothering it was love. He grew up to be big and tough to match his name, and one day left home in order to conquer the world. He never returned.

But Murphy had done his duty. Our log house was now officially mouse-free. If we spied pepper flakes on the counter we knew them to be from the shaker, not from a warmer, more animated source. Secretly though, I sometimes wondered about the mouse that was. The glimpse I’d had of her reminded me of the fatter of the two cute mice featured

in the Disney cartoon version of Cinderella.  I wondered if, when she (gulp) died, did she leave behind a family? If so, Murphy probably polished them off too.

One day having some time on my hands I composed a poem about our late belated mouse which, in a fit of sentimentality, I had named Minnie. I titled it “The Lifeand Death of Minnie Mouse”. The events described are not necessarily true, but neither can they be proven false:

Deep within the tunneled woodwork
Of an old but sturdy house
Behind the kitchen sink and cupboard
Dwells the family of a mouse
Sixteen children and a spouse
Make their home there in that house

Commuting daily ‘cross the carpet
To the stairway in the hall
Beneath the crumbling cement casing
Minnie Mouse works at the mall
In a rodent restaurant small
Below the stairway in the hall

Now she scampers happ’ly homeward
Winding through the mouldering maze
Paycheck clutched tight in her cheekbones
She has finally got a raise
Proud she is and proud displays
As she scurries through the maze

But a lean and hungry house cat
Waits for her upon the stair
When she exits from the mouse hole
He will have his supper there
Later… those of hers who care
Find her paycheck on the stair.

 

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