One of the cats, Xena, brought a mouse into the house last night, and then let it go - preferring to laze in the sun and watch it rather than eat or play with it. I bailed the mouse into a corner and proceeded to gingerly pick it up. I'm not afraid of mice, it's just that it was not frightened of me in the least, preferring to attack my fingers, biting and scratching. It was very funny, but I didn’t want it to break the skin for fear of some grotesque, horrible mouse-borne disease entering my bloodstream and causing me to turn into a brain-eating zombie - it does happen, read the "Sunday Star Times"!

I finally got a good grip of the scruff of it's neck and it settled down, curling it's tiny feet under itself, and just twitched it's whiskers and blinked at me. I showed the frightened 6 year-old to allay her fears and she then thought it was cute.

I took the wee mousey up the back of the section and told the 6 year-old not to follow. At the back of the section was a slab of concrete. I knew what I had to do. The mouse knew where there was food and shelter, and the cats would soon find it again. Fortunately mice are not a huge problem in our country as the climate keeps them under control, but still, vermin is vermin.

I threw the mouse hard at the concrete slab. I felt a shudder of disgust at my action, but hoped for a quick and painless death that the mouse wouldn't notice. It lay there and twitched. It may have been nerves, but I didn’t want to take the chance - for the mouse's sake. I took hold of it's twitching tail and spun it the circumference of it's tail and body, to have it land once more on the concrete, then threw it into the bushes once satisfied it was no longer moving.

I went back to the house. Thankfully the 6 year-old didn't ask if it ran off happily, simply asking if it's mum was waiting for it. This caused a wave of guilt to surge through me, but I answered honestly "No." I sat back down inside and felt the world crush in on me. I had ended the life of a helpless creature, for no other reason than selfishness, not wanting it to come back again. Well it did come back. I couldn't get rid of it. In my mind that soft, warm, twitching body lay there on the concrete slab, looking at me with shiny black eyes asking "Why?"

Are we such a brutal species that we must destroy what may get in our way? Anything that does not conform to our model of convenience must be eliminated, as we are the master race that decrees it so? I don’t think I'll forget that feeling. It isn't power over things weaker than me, nor a blood-lust or thirst to kill. It is a necessity, which I will not forget the guilty, sickening feeling of for some time to come. I will live on without a pesky mouse running about the house eating crumbs and shitting on the floor, whist its body is devoured by maggots and beetles until it is once again returned to the Earth.

I’m so sorry little one

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