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?
Last 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.
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.