The relentless rain and gale-force winds (or feels it like anyways) over the past few days have basically kept me tied up in house. I have already finished The Hobbit, Edmund Hillary: The life of a Legend… which was meh, and am now reading New Boots. This book is about a female who does all the Great Walks in NZ and describes her experience at each one. This is exactly what I wanted as it is both entertaining and informative for my future tramping.
I have the house to myself with the fire roaring and the couch pulled up close to it. I sit in long johns, a neck gaiter and fingerless gloves (to allow for warm page turning). The room is quiet excepting the flames of the wood stove burning along. As I go to turn the page I notice a movement to my left: a little mouse is scampering through the middle of the room to the kitchen. Hmmm I think he looks familiar. Last week I opened the door to the little ‘closet’ that houses all the firewood and the plastic bag hanging on the wall that is the entire home’s trash bag (Seriously, there are no trash bins in the entire house); as I reached out to throw away something a little creature leapt out of the bag and into the wood. A mouse no doubt from the flailing tail. So this must be that little mouse!
Curious I stand up to watch him, but he has seem me and has now run behind Richie’s huge Search & Rescue pack sitting on the floor of the kitchen.
I know! I’ll go fetch Jim. Jim is Richie’s big black cat who is known for leaving his latest kills scattered all over the house. I even went into my room once and there on the twin bed next to mine was a decapitated baby rabbit. Either it was a present or I’ve done something to offend him. Nevertheless, I close my door now. So anyways I go grab Jim off Richie’s bed. He looks at me like merrrr I’m too tired to care. I bring him into the kitchen and set him down and move Richie’s pack. As the mouse moves off Jim just sits there and watches him. Ugh you lousy cat! I say out loud. Jim just meows at me and saunters back to Richie’s room.
I go back to reading and after a couple hours the little mouse has come out of hiding and is now sitting at the French doors. Even when I come closer to watch him, he just sits. He is staring out the door almost longingly out into the bushes (well that’s what it looks like anyways). I then kind of feel bad that he has been trapped in here for who knows how many days. I approach the door very slowly and open it. The mouse sniffs at the fresh air and slowly makes his way to the door edge and then quickly runs out. I say after him “Bye bye little mouse, you’re a good boy!” I don’t know why I have dubbed it a ‘He’ or that I needed to compliment him in being a good boy haha, but I feel good for freeing him. I shut the door and go back to my reading. I left off In my book about the Abel Tasman Coastal Circuit (the 2nd track I’ll be doing) and this was the very next part as I sat down to read:
“My food was hung up, wrapped in layers of bags and packed inside my sleeping bag stuff-sack, with the cord drawn tight. Yet something has climbed up (or possibly down) the wall, sat up on the top of the stuff-sack and patiently nibbled through layer upon layer of plastic before tucking into the sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and ginger biscuits that were on top. Mice.”
- New Boots in New Zealand, Gillian Orrell