The House Mouse

Sightings in the dining room have become the equivalent of counting coup. None of us is sure where it lives, perhaps inside the wainscoting panel on the wall.

We know the mouse lives on food dropped from tables, and we know the exquisite timing of its forays — the moment of food dropped and the vacuuming of the floors. Traps are put out by the staff but unspoken among us residents here is the wish that the mouse eludes them. We don’t want it to be caught.

I saw it the other day. I threw it a small piece of pie crust, which was almost bigger than the mouse. In an instant crust and mouse had disappeared into the wainscoting panel. The mouse’s name? Chumley.