Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Ode To A Mouse

"The best laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agley" ~ Robert Burns

Our vegetable garden has been neglected the last couple of months and was overgrown with weeds and prairie grass, which has long since choked out any life that once brought forth tomatoes, peppers, cantaloupe, squash, zucchini, green beans, and corn. And popcorn! Yes, we planted popcorn last spring. But, alas none grew. We just don't have the time or the energy to tend a garden.

So, today, I endeavored to take advantage of the pleasant Indian Summer-like conditions to mow the jungle we used to call a garden.

In so doing, I rousted a poor unsuspecting mouse from it's nest. As I watched the poor frightened little beastie scurrying to safety far from the mowers murderous blade, I was reminded of a poem written long ago by the Scottish Poet, Robert Burns, entitled, "Ode to a Mouse".

With apologies to Rabbie, I here present my own modern American English version of his masterpiece:

Small, frightened, timid beast,
O, what a panic is in your breast!
You don't need to run away so hastily
Scampering in such a hurry!
I would be loath to run and chase you,
With murdering lawn mower.

I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has disturbed your social union,
And justifies that ill opinion
That makes you startle
At me, you poor, earth born companion
And fellow mortal!

I doubt not, sometimes, that you must steal;
What then? Poor mouse, you must live!
One single ear in twenty-four sheaves
Is a small request;
I will get a blessing with what is left,
And never miss it.

Your small house, too, in ruin!
It's feeble walls the winds are scattering!
And nothing now, to build a new one,
Of coarse green grass!
And bleak December's winds are coming,
Both bitter and keen!

You saw the fields laid bare and wasted,
And weary winter coming fast,
And cozy here, beneath the blast,
You thought to dwell,
Till crash! The cruel mower passed
Through your cell.

That small bit heap of leaves and stubble,
Has cost you many a weary nibble!
Now you are turned out, for all your trouble,
Without house or holding,
To endure the winter's icy drizzle,
And bitter frosty cold.

But Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be in vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Oft go awry,
And leaves us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!

Still you are blessed, compared with me!
The present only touches you:
But oh! I backward cast my eye,
On prospects dreary!
And forward, though I cannot see,
Yet guess and fear!


Lone Ranger said...

Maybe you should call the White House and have some aids plant fully grown veggies in the dark of night like Michelle did.

Mark said...

Ah, You read the Obama diaries, too.

Lone Ranger said...

Nope, I live close enough to smell the fertilizer. It's common knowledge around here.

Mark said...

I'm not sure that's the smell of fertilizer emanating from the direction of the White House.

Always On Watch said...

I can't say that I'm particularly fond of mice. A few took up residence in my Mustang's engine compartment and glove box last winter when the vehicle was sitting unattended. Quite a bit of damage.