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The Life And Death Of Dave

Dear Dave,

You're sudden death took me by surprise. Fear and a bit of bile rose up in my throat when I came upon you, curled up in pain and obviously half dead. My first instinct was to step on you put you out of your misery but my darling children insist you pass on in a natural fashion. So instead of smacking you to death with a broom helping you along, I sat on Death Watch, peering intensely at your chest, waiting for the rise and fall to finally stop.

(Really, that wasn't the sounds of happiness you heard when you finally bit the dust. It was my death whoop, so overwhelmed was I with your passing.)

You were a good mouse friend. Fric and Frac loved you dearly. I'll admit, I thought you were cute, with your big ears, long tail and fabulous white fur. I'm sorry you were only two months old, but in the life of a mouse, surely that is middle aged.

You were courageous right from the start. You nibbled on your big brother's tail with impunity and stood your ground in the rodent ball when your neighbours, the Hamsters, tried to invade your turf.

How I'll miss your leaping ways. From the moment I first opened the box the pet store clerk stuffed you in, and you sprung out at me as though you were wearing invisible springs for foot wear, I was freaked right the fuck out charmed with your Mexican Jumping Bean impersonations.

I'm sorry I complained about the aroma you emanated on a daily basis. I realize now it was the stink of love. Frac's room just doesn't seem the same with out the lovely mixture of rotten apples hidden under his bed, sweaty socks and mouse shit love. I promise you Dave, I'll never forget that scent.

I know your passing was unexpected. You thought you had many more months, years even, to run that little rodent wheel, spin in that ball or climb the seemingly endless and ridiculously overpriced array of tunnels I was forced to purchase when my Darling Sister In Law imposed thoughtfully delivered you to us.

You will be missed by all. Nixon, the World's Greatest Dog, Ever. will miss sniffing your ass and drooling as he watched you run around in the ball, bumping into walls. He will surely miss you Dave, and the hope you gave him that one day you would run free and provide him with a delicious, freshly served snack.

You deserved a better burial than me threatening to flush you down the toilet insisting on a modest affair. Frac lobbied hard for you, insisting that we box you up, drive you to Bug's cemetary and bury you next to his brother. Forgive me, for not planting you in consecrated ground, mere inches away from my son's head. Forgive me for not wanting to tarnish the sacred soil of our family burial ground with the rotting remains of a rodent.

I am not completely hardhearted, dear Dave. I saw the tears in my children's eyes and felt them spring up in my own (I assure you, they were not tears of joy, oh sweet joy.) After all, I did find you a box to plant you in, instead of the ziploc baggie I threatened to stuff you into. That must count for something.

And I did bundle up and head outside with my devastated children, cussing and moaning the entire time to find you a suitable resting place. I only vetoed the flower bed because I thought your remains might be dug up in the spring. Really, I was respecting you, even if the kids just thought I only cared about my flower gardens.

Did I not stand in silence as my son dug your shallow, sure to be found by the nearest feline grave? Did I not offer to say a prayer over your fluffy white, dead body? Does it really matter that once you were buried and the kids were walking into the house I jumped up and down on your grave? As I imagined the crunching of your bones, I swear I was only packing the dirt, securing your grave site.

Dear Dave, you were a good friend mouse to us all. You will be sadly missed, I assure you.

At least until I go to the pet store and fork out $2.99 for the next one.


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Dave. Or at least, an artistic rendering of what was once a mouse named Dave.

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Reader Comments (29)

rest in peace, dave. may there always be fresh cheese where you roam.

October 28, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjen

We had some madly procreating hamsters for a while. The last one ended up boxed and triple bagged in the freezer until my daughter got him buried. No more rodents at our house!
We still have 2 or 3 colorful, plastic homes - can you say - garage sale?

October 28, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBetteJo

I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I do not miss the smell of rodent shit. Lesson learned after two gerbils and a hamster.

October 28, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBennie

RIP, Dave. He was cute, reminds me of Stuart Little!

But, I can' tbelieve you flushed him, I would've been afraid of clogging the pipes!

October 28, 2007 | Unregistered Commentercarrie

RIP Dave.

October 28, 2007 | Unregistered Commentercrazymumma

His name was Dave. That rocks.

October 28, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterflutter

Dave is dead.

Flags are at half mast here. Well, if we had any flags, they would be.

RIP Dave.

October 28, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew

Farewell sweet bat... um... rat... um..... Dave.

October 28, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

We have two wee mousies as well - Despereaux & Antoinette. Stinky little shits. They're still alive though, and pass their condolences on to you and yours, at the tragic death of Dave.

Speaking of passing things on to your family, there's these two mice that live at my house, and you're all bereft and everything......

October 28, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAlberta Girl

Oh, poor Fric and Frac, I'm so very sorry for their loss...

But I have to confess, I share your feelings about long-tailed rodents, Redneck... Ew.

RIP, Dave.

October 28, 2007 | Unregistered Commentercandygirlflies

RIP Dave (*does a happy dance in private for RM*)

October 28, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer McKenzie

Perhaps he'll be reincarnated as the next mouse/gerbil/hamster/rodent to make its way into your household.

October 28, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterb*babbler

RIP dear Dave!

October 28, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMBKimmy

Poor little rodent - RIP Dave. (I see you dancing in the background there. You better stop before they catch you.)

October 28, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLisa Milton


Get a rat instead, they're way better than mice!


October 28, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLotus Carroll

I had a pet hedgehog when I was a teen. Loved him at first, but he turned on me. I was so happy when he died, I swore I would never have another rodent in my house. Now- 13 years later, my 3 year old wants a hamster. Thank you for reminding me.

October 28, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterpbjinabowl

Um, I must have missed something, I didn't even know there was a mouse in the house... just how many pets have you crazy rednecks got, anyway?

Rest in Peace, Dave. Or... pieces? (Sorry, I couldn't resist).

October 29, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterHannah

Um...ew. I dread the day my son asks me for a pet rodent. *shudder*

October 29, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

ICK ICK ICK, a mouse.
My daughter wants some sort of pet rodent, oblvious to her mother's total rodent phobia.

October 29, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterbeck

Did Frac pick up the dead body as trained?

October 29, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterFrench Fry

Be careful, Dave may come back to haunt you!

October 29, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLori

Rest in peace, Dave. May you live happily in mouse heaven with that little gray mouse my dogs killed this summer.

October 29, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. Chicky

R.I.P. Dave.

I think the fact you found him a box makes you a hell of a better mom than I ever could be - I don't even know if I would have sprung for a ziploc.

October 29, 2007 | Unregistered Commentermotherbumper

At least he lived a long, long life.

In the real world he could have had half the life.

October 30, 2007 | Unregistered Commentercreative-type dad

Rest in Peace Dave...though my hubby would have not been so kind in his dealing with your demise, alas a pet Dave never would have been here. Rodents do not come into this home if my man can help it.
I love your writing, so inspiring and entertaining.

October 30, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterPenelope Anne

Adios, Mouse-ito!

October 30, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterOh, The Joys

We have a few candidates to replace Dave in our basement. A mouse as a pet? Phht. Kill 'em all says this farm girl.

October 30, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMad Hatter

first of all, lol! i love your writing! and secondly, my heart goes out to the late great dave... you will be missed.

October 31, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJay (DatCurious.com)

I am sorry for your loss. I have 5 pet rats, (down from the masses I had) and I can tell you as an insane rat lover who had at least 30 in one room (yeah my bedroom. insane I tell you) my mother never complained of the smell until I brought home two wee little mice. Then her cats ate one and I gave the other back to the pet store. Rats do make better pets and smell less. my website means rats.com raffins=rats but I am done finally at 38 with the rat scene so I changed my URL. If you are interested in the new one. Email me. I am trying to get away from a weird crowd.

November 1, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDebi

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