A mouse bravely snacks in the open area of the Earthfire OfficePhoto by: Earthfire

 by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. —

I took the day off for my birthday—the one day a year I refuse to work. Immediately the mice came out to play. The day before Sally,our office manager, had said in her inimitable Texas way, ”Houston, (meaning me), we have a problem.”  She showed me a mouse-chewed wire; I acknowledged the fact. But when I returned, Sally showed me a picture she had taken of a young mouse walking casually across the office and just sitting there completely relaxed in the middle of the floor. As if it owned the place. (Sally didn’t tell me how long she watched that mouse on office time – I was away, remember). Now this very same Sally, who told me “Houston, we have a problem” searched out one of my precious jars of nuts (in this case organic unroasted almonds) and without permission took two and gave them to the mouse. It sat there, according to her, eating in great contentment. I commented mildly on the fact that she was the one who said we had a problem and now she was feeding, aiding and abetting. She replied with zero sense of shame, “But it was so cute!!!”

There are times I have to crack down and assert my authority. I baited our live mouse trap. This morning  we caught the perpetrators. Three of them, now incarcerated. What next – was she planning to feed all three? I took them to the woods and released them into the woods in the soft summer morning. With almonds, just in case…….

Sally the Office Manager…looking so innocent

One has to have some rules in the office…..

Dr. Susan Eirich is the Founder and Executive Director of Earthfire Institute Wildlife Sanctuary and Retreat Center. A licensed psychologist, biologist and educator, her goal is to widen the circle of conversation about conservation to include the voices of all living beings.

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