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Oracle Mouse


“When mouse appears, it is a time to examine life’s lessons, especially those going on at the moment.”

As mysteriously as it appeared, my mouse problem has disappeared. The traps were still loaded this morning, and I could not find a single dropping anywhere. Amazing. There is more to it than just this, of course, but I must digress.

The invasion was an intersection with nature, and I have learned to pay attention in unusual ways. Over fourteen years of walks in nature with a beautiful white dog, I tapped into the idea that we live in an “ensouled” world that is animated and communicative. Symbolism seems to be the preferred language, and I have collected quite a library in the process of increasing my vocabulary. As I’ve written before, numbers also have special meaning, and that came in handy with the mouse issue.

Now back to the story. I set up a pair of mousetraps back to back behind my desk where manila envelopes had been eaten and a drawer used as a restroom. In the middle of the night, the sound of clattering traps woke me up. When I went to investigate, the traps were turned over, and the bait was gone. Great. Now the mice are full of Snickers. I reloaded and moved the set to the kitchen counter.

That morning I scoured the house and found only one dropping on the counter and one on the floor. One trap was empty, but the other one was loaded. A hefty mouse, I thought, as I headed out the door with it.

There were many burrows in the gully where I decided to release it, so I thought it might find a new home quickly. The trap was a snug fit, and the mouse dangled for a moment as I had to jiggle it a bit to help him exit backward. I say “he” because I caught a glimpse of pink testicles. As I set him down in the bright sunlight, I couldn’t help but admire. He was a very fine mouse indeed, plump with a sleek coat. Perhaps he was having to adjust to the bright sunlight or was in a slight state of shock from confinement, but he remained still, his bright black eyes looking right into mine.

As I walked back home, I thought about the general feminine orientation toward compassion, remembering the male clerk’s amusement at my request for a trap that wouldn’t kill. However, we do have our limits, and I got in touch with mine as I sat down at my computer and pulled out the shelf with my new keyboard. One of the keys had been deeply gnawed, and my mind immediately flew to traps that kill. But wait. Which key had been gnawed? It was the number four key on the number pad, which I never use, so that wasn’t too bad, and then I thought about the meaning in numerology of the number four.

It is readily associated with the square and relates to wholeness, completion, foundation, and the earth itself. My home in its beauty and tranquility embodies that concept for me, and the appearance of a mouse invasion had gnawed a big hole in all that it meant to me.

But what about the meaning of the mouse? In one of my favorite books, Animal Wise Tarot by Ted Andrews, I read that “The mouse is an amazing animal–smart, fastidious, and highly perceptive. . . When mouse appears it is a time to examine life’s lessons, especially those going on at the moment.” He goes on to say that mice are a reminder to pay attention to detail, including paperwork. Maybe that was the reason for the desk focus.

How appropriate. I had well and truly arrived at a crossroads on several levels and needed to pause, take a breath, and basically figure out where to go from here. This involved analyzing some pending paperwork and making arrangements to get on with a couple of home projects.

And it was wonderful this morning to find not a single sign of mouse, as though I had been quickly liberated by learning the lesson. It made me think back on the creature I had released. He really was a very fine looking mouse, and when our eyes met I was reminded again that each creature is an individual, just as we are. I have decided to believe that it was he who gnawed on the number four key, and I am grateful for the guidance.


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