A Tale of Things That Happen When Living on a Farm
These are Annike's favorite pair of shoes. She refuses to wear anything else.
It's no wonder that she likes them because everywhere she goes someone comments. Plus, they are so soft and fuzzy inside. You would like them too, if you were one and a half.
Last week we drove to Salinas to do some shopping and drop in on my mom at the school where she teaches. Of course Annike wanted to wear her boots, so I put them on her in the morning before we left. At the end of a long day, I set Annike in her car seat for the drive home and decided those boots must be awfully hot. Removing them, I noticed a black smear on her left foot.
Strange, I thought. We didn't play in the mud. We were in stores all day long. Pause. There must be something inside of her boot.
In telling this story to others, I have heard numerous conclusions about what was inside of the boot - everything from a spider, to rat feces, to Annike's feces. The answer is far far worse.
As if in slow motion, I looked inside of her boot, and resisted the urge to scream. I saw a flattened lump of fur with a tail, and some entrails. An adult mouse was squished dead on the inside of Annike's left shoe.
How did this happen? I have no idea. The facts I do know are these:
1) The boots were left inside overnight.
2) She had worn them the day before, and there had clearly been no mouse inside either shoe.
3) By the end of the day I periodically noticed a foul odor coming from what I thought was Annike's diaper. Because it was empty, I attributed the smell to bad gas.
I assume the mouse was in the shoe when I put it on her that morning. The only logical conclusion is that Annike killed it when I put her foot into the shoe. Christian thinks the mouse was already dead, but how does a dead mouse get into a shoe?
Either way, Annike walked around for an entire day with a dead, flattened mouse in her boot. She may have killed a live mouse with her bare foot, or squished a mouse that had crawled into her shoe and died because it was sick. Neither option makes me feel good.
I came close to throwing the boots away, but because of Annike's great love for them, I threw them in the washing machine instead. Mouse actually washes out pretty well.
The boots are so soft and fuzzy inside. You would like them too, if you were one and a half, or a mouse looking for a cozy place to die.