An Enemy Becomes a Friend
The garage seems so cold this time of year. The days of grass, nuts and scampering down the driveway are gone. Now Mother Nature puts on her white cloak of winter, and it nearly suffocates our little family. We manage. We have always managed through the last dozen generations living in this spot, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. But this winter, things changed. For the better. Our enemy became our friend, and no one really knows why. It all started about a month ago, and the beginning was terrifying. We have to live with the constant threat of the car, the truck, the motorcycle. The lawnmower is particularly frightening, and sometimes the snow blower catches us by surprise. But we are very fast, very small and ever vigilant. One has to be to survive. Usually around sundown, the car returns. We don’t know where it goes all day, but as the sun goes to sleep, the car roars in, and we have to scamper. We can hear it long before it arrives, so it’s not really a crisis. We just get out of the way and of course, out of sight. Humans, dogs, cats—none of them seem to like us, so we don’t tempt fate. Just hide is our motto. Then, like I said, it all shifted one day. One of my sister’s boys was gnawing at the Indian corn left lying on the concrete. It really has been quite a feast for weeks now. He was in the zone, nibbling and nibbling like only a teenage mouse can do. The car got closer and closer. We all started shouting to him to get into the hiding place. The human never stays in the garage long after getting out of the car, but this mouse was determined to keep eating until the last second. Finally, he came to his senses, and he tried darting across the path of the car. I know he planned to dive into his family hole with no time to spare. He didn’t make it. We all held our breath. His mother wailed. The woman had spotted him. She couldn’t help but see his sleek little body darting behind the stacked...
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