The tick of the calendar had just notched forward,
The new day still very young,
When Reba came to her master.
She sat beside me, her obedient eyes gazed skyward.
She nudged and whimpered, and got my attention.
Her ears were lowered,
And her eyes glued to mine.
I sat there a moment and contemplated her intention.
The day swallowed by hard work and determination,
I now sat idle at my desk;
Pondered where time had escaped.
Reba nudged again, she cared not for my rhyme or literation.
I patted her head lovingly; I knew she had to go.
My bladder sought relief too.
It had been long since,
My eyes had strayed from the screen; prose I did sew.
I rose to my feet, my shoes secured in hand.
Before I knew it,
She had bolted out.
Guilt and pain sat in, her eagerness I did understand.
Out the door and down the hall I did flee,
But to my surprise,
Reba was not at the door.
Her tail and ears were raised, her nose buried in debris.
Bags of old toys and clothes bound for Goodwill,
Littered the floor,
Where she stood.
Her tail wagged with excitement; what was the deal?
I strolled over to the bags and moved them around.
A muffled chatter,
Came from the pile.
Reba tilted her head quizzically; she did not give ground.
It was an old doll I had determined, my mind cemented.
I ushered Reba along,
Up the stairs and into the night.
The wilderness our quarry, we did our business; our midriff contented.
She wasted little time; her movements were swift and sure.
Through the door,
And down the steps she ran.
Eager to bed I thought; my reasoning empathetic and secure.
I followed her lead, shutting off lights and closing doors as I went.
When I reached the bottom,
She was not in her bed.
Her nose buried again, her insistence renewed upon a foreign scent.
I hastened my steps; my curiosity now peaked.
I moved the bag,
And Reba lunged.
Out ran a mouse, quick and nimble; how it did squeak.
It ran for its life, darting and zigzagging across the floor.
And she pounced.
In her mouth it did land, its hope for escape was no more.
I gave command to drop her newly acquired prize.
Reluctantly she did,
As she was told.
A motionless heap, wet with slobber and blood; dead I surmised.
Another sharp command, and off to her bed Reba did go.
My attention now diverted,
The mouse sat up.
Chattering in protest and pain, it lived; my heart filled with woe.
My pulse raced, my frazzled mind followed in suit.
What to do?
Let it go,
Or stamp it out and render it mute?
The drool pooling at her feet told me what Reba would do.
Was it diseased?
Who could tell?
It was suffering, its blood ran red was all I knew.
I bounded around the room, desperate to find,
That would give me a clue.
Wrapping paper will do, with it I shall bind.
I tore off a piece and made my approach.
I grabbed the mouse,
The paper enveloped.
Its fate I held tightly, it squealed in reproach.
In my hand the harmless invader became alive.
He kicked and squirmed,
The will to live not inhuman.
He begged to be set free, but I knew then he would not survive.
The mouse was persistent, hell-bent on escape.
I squeezed harder,
His heartbeat I felt.
The paper compacted and conformed around his diminutive shape.
Back up the stairs and into the bathroom I went.
A quick toss,
And a plunk.
The paper writhed, but the watery tomb he could not accent.
I watched in horror, my mind lamenting, my heart filled with dread.
Little bubbles appeared,
The water now still.
What once shared air and space was now most certainly dead.
I killed a mouse today.
Michael A. Walker
Ever have to kill something you didn't want to? What better ways do you think I should have chosen to put the little mouse out of his misery?
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