Nature Nearby: Not necessarily a ‘Silent Night’
By FRED SEITZ — p‘Twas a few days past Christmas and all through my house, several critters were stirring, especially house mouse (Mus musculus).
My dog (Canis familiaris) was nestled and snug in my bed, while both he and the mouse hoped soon to be fed.
Normally consuming small tidbits of seed, mouse may eat its brethren when fighting to breed.
Promiscuous females seek multiple sires, while males’ high-pitched songs display their desires.
Their young (about six) are born in three weeks, and Mom may, in a month, birth more tiny squeaks.
Two to four — yes FOUR — four inches long, the species numbers some 2000 strong.
An invasive species, Indo-Asia their home, mice hopped aboard ships, the U.S. to roam.
In my house, Mus musculus downed sweets lying about, while leaving his scat, himself to announce.
While traps were laid, his intrusions to cease, mouse learned to steal bait, with the traps not released.
Live traps had been tried to little avail, so these scampering souls — their munching prevailed.
Musculus, however, has served us through time, quite often used in research of various kinds.
Mice often are raised as cute, furry pets, but they spoil our foods and diseases beget.
While Felis catus (domestic cats) delight in musculus, we know, my Canis familiaris little interest shows.
So in this season of cooling and ice, the circle of life moves on through the night.
But suddenly out of bed my dog, he does leap, barking and clawing, outdoors to be reached.
And there in the cul de sac, my eyes then did see, several white-tailed deer crossing Crittenden Street.
While no jolly old elf do I happen to see, nature once again fills me, full up, with bountiful glee!