The Creature In The Mailbox

Something is alive in the mailbox.

A few months back the door of the mailbox rusted to the point that it just fell off. But the rest of the box was fine and I see plenty of boxes around that don’t have doors at all – so I opted to not add this to my lengthy list of things to worry about.

After some windy weather a few days back, I noticed a few leaves way in the back. I figured that they blew in. And since I generally drive up to my mailbox and my arm isn’t long enough to both reach out of the car and all the way to the back, I left them.

Then another day went by and the pile in the back got bigger. But it was night when I pulled up and I couldn’t see clearly to the back… but it seemed odd.

Two days ago I got suspicious – there was a genuine and significant pile of unexplainable stuff in the back of the box. Way too much to have randomly blown.

I mentioned it to the kids that it seems like there was a nest (or something) in the box… but we all laughed it off as nothing. A nest in the mailbox? Ridiculous. Who moves into a mailbox?
The mailbox mouseLast night I met the new neighbor. And it didn’t go well. Perhaps if I’d brought a casserole…in stead of barging into the new home in the midst of setting up the furniture.
When I reached in to get the mail I immediately noticed that one envelope (junk mail) was shredded to pieces! Alarmed, but slow to react, I reached back in to gather the rest…and something jumped from the back towards my hand. I jumped too – back into the road with a squeal. Thankfully I wasn’t hit by a passing car.
But again I returned (there was mail to be gathered!) and it jumped at me again. Now, there was a passing car. On my country road, I am sure I was an odd sight, jumping away from the mailbox, tentatively peering in, reaching in and jumping again. I probably looked like a kitten playing with a piece of dust.

I waved meagerly and tried to act like an authoritative police person directing traffic.

I can’t tell you what it is — it seemed the size of a giant mouse. As in 2-3 times the size of normal mouse. It also seemed sort of round. But it was darkish and I didn’t get a good look. I wonder if it is a pregnant mouse? Or something else… but what?

So we have a job to do today (me and the kids) – relocating this new neighbor. Issac has a plan that involves the firewood log tongs. Meredith concurs. I don’t think it will work. I am pondering detaching the box entirely so that it can be tipped and dumped. It needs to be replaced anyway – my theory about it needing a door is obviously wrong.

I’m headed out now to document the developments and take some recon. pictures so that we can strategize.


I’m back, I got some pictures (I added one above) and my heart is pounding.

It is a mouse and we just had an altercation that I don’t think either of us is happy about.

For my part, I approached with caution – taking pictures as I closed in and using a zoom lens for protection.
The mailbox mouse

In the full light of morning, there is unquestionably a large pile of stuff in the back of the mailbox. I decided to kick the bottom of the box. My logic, I have long legs…which gives me distance.
I do it again.
Closer, I use my fingers to thump loudly on the metal box.

Is anyone home?

Maybe it is off doing some morning hunting?

I snap a few more pictures.
Of course it morning rush hour on my road (which involves six cars and which I am sure I know every single person in each of them) is in full swing. It is a curious scene, and I look like an idiot.  Someone who drove by will surely ask me about it in the coming days.

Before I departed with my reconnaissance shots, I reached out to give the box a shake, just one more time.
And like a rocket a mouse shoots out of the box! A loud swear word flies, followed by a scream.
Thank God I was standing to the side and it didn’t fly into me! As it was, that creature flew nearly 2 yards, turned, and ran off the side of the road.

I am lamenting my novice skills in wildlife photography. I should have known. I should have seen it coming. If only I’d have had an assistant – and second guessing the outcome, I could have been poised to capture the mouse in flight and children’s screaming, startled, maybe even beautifully tortured faces in the background. THAT is the dream shot.

But no, I was too busy jumping and squealing to even get a shot of the creature before it darted away.

I wonder if it will come back? And maybe, if I keep quiet about what just transpired, I can gather my assistants later today and try for a second chance…

The joys of motherhood.

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About Rochelle Greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.
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1 Comment

  1. Jacki ~ Blue Fox Farm on November 11, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    A mouse? That’s it? I thought it must be a packrat, at least! Just be glad it wasn’t a skunk! Guess you’re moving the mail box door to the top of the list now…

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