I found a little mouse this morning. Half desiccated, she lay curled up, neatly folded into the cracks of the paving stones. A work of art left for me to admire by a trick of fate or an artistic cat with a taste for the macabre.
The following lines are from a poem by Theodore Roethke
…Where has he gone, my meadow mouse,
My thumb of a child that nuzzled in my palm? —
To run under the hawk’s wing,
Under the eye of the great owl watching from the elm-tree,
To live by courtesy of the shrike, the snake, the tom-cat.
I think of the nestling fallen into the deep grass,
The turtle gasping in the dusty rubble of the highway,
The paralytic stunned in the tub, and the water rising,–
All things innocent, hapless, forsaken.