The Unexpected Hitchhiker

Life is full of surprises, as you have probably noticed, some big and some small. I think of a startling moment that occurred on a day not so long ago.

My husband pulled up at the drive-up window of our local bank. Just as the teller greeted us, a gray field mouse popped up on the car window and studied us with his shining black eyes. He wiggled his delicate whiskers, picking up clues to his whereabouts. I yelped (as is my custom when encountering a mouse) and the bank teller laughed heartily. Mousekin darted back under the hood to continue his pleasant ride into town.

A little research in my favorite science book, Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Comstock, revealed that mice like to travel, following men wherever they go, all over the world. Here is what Comstock had to say.

They came to America on ships with the first explorers and the Pilgrim fathers. They now travel back and forth, crossing the ocean in ships of all sorts. They also travel across the continent on trains.

I do not know where Mousekin is now. Perhaps he hitched a ride to the local airport and flew down to Boston. Maybe he caught an international flight to Italy and is getting his first taste of genuine Italian gelato.

I reflect on this episode and know for sure that life is full of little miracles. All we need to do is open our eyes and minds to those unexpected moments that fill the complex tapestry of our lives.

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