by Diana Hockley
Elegantly dressed, a vision in camel and olive tweed, she approached the Circus somewhat hesitantly. Her sweet face registered interest, like an “outside” cat approaching a roaring fire: not sure how close to come, but lured to the warmth.
She had never seen a Mouse Circus before but was willing to be entertained.
The music played, the lights twinkled, the mice twirled merrily in their wheels and people laughed uproariously at their antics. Intrigued by her I watched, and smiled as her face relaxed, her eyes twinkling behind her bifocals. Her diamonds glittered in the coloured lights as she waved her hands in delight like a child at a party.
Sensing my gaze, she looked up at me and we shared a moment of understanding. Her focus shifted to my shoulder as my pet rat Frisbee – resembling a somewhat fat, flattened fox brush – stirred sleepily, paddled his little legs and wriggled his not-inconsiderable bum to get himself into a more comfortable position.
“Ooooooh!” Her eyes widened in surprise and her hands twitched convulsively.
Here we go I thought, expecting horrified exclamations and laying a protective hand on Frisbee’s expansive posterior.
She came straight over and without the slightest hesitation, held up her hands.
“May I hold him?” she begged.
Astonished and delighted, I put his sleepy squishy body into her eager clasp and she enfolded him lovingly to her bosom, firmly stroking his head and back with gentle bejewelled fingers. He lifted his broad, sleek head and gazed manipulatively into her eyes.
She cooed to him. Nose to nose, they bruxed and eyed boggled in unison.
Twenty minutes later disaster struck!
As I watched, movement ensued and my horrified gaze landed on a stream of pee and poo pouring down the front of her elegant clothes.
“Oh my gosh!” I muttered as I looked wildly around for a towel – a sponge– anything! Frantically, I mopped up the mess, as she continued to clutch my pet rattie to her bosom.
It was then that my admiration knew no bounds. This elderly, elegant, beautifully cared for lady said grandly, “My dear, it doesn’t matter a bit!”
You can find other short stories and articles by Diana involving rats/mice in our Rodent Ramblings section.