setting free the mice
farewell marbles and ralphina!

23 april 03


leaving home

marbles and ralphina have packed their bags and are ready to go.
well, actually, marbles and ralphina are packed into my bag and ready to go.



ralphina was the first to go. I didn't post a picture of ralphina earlier because she lived by herself in rivendell's 'scary room' where it was too dark for pictures. (I don't think mice are afraid of the dark.)

ralphina is a domestic mouse, the little gray kind, or as my housemate jason put it, 'the kind that ride motorcycles,' hence her name. domestic mice have co-evolved with humans and are not truly wild creatures like deer mice. ralphina is a true pioneer, exploring lands where none of her species have gone before. she bravely departed her metal ship (one of the tin cat traps we used to evict mice in the past) and began checking out her new surroundings, the inside of a large tree stump. after scurrying about for some time, she scaled the wall of the stump and ran into the woods.

like the brave sailors and explorers of the past, ralphina faces many dangers on her journey... click for larger versions.

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marbles' travelled in style in his (now mobile) home. I don't know whether he was sad to go (he does seem to be looking at me wistfully over his shoulder) or just had further to go to get out into the big wide world, but marbles hung out for a bit before departing. then he jumped up to where the screen lid of the his cage had been, feet poised upwards to grab the screen. (marbles used the entire inside of the tank like a giant mouse wheel, jumping onto the ceiling, running across the screen, dropping back down, running back across the tank, jumping up again...)

I decided to let him use the lid as a ladder. after climbing out, he crawled deep in the nearest hole in the stump and stayed there. I hope marbles hooks up with a cute girl deer mouse, maybe one of his relatives that made the journey from rivendell to the tree stump in the fall.

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ann maria bell

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