What is a Mouse Good For?

a little brown mouse 
nibbled on my book cover
in the night
his little teeth marks
and claw scratchings
were distinctive

do we call an exterminator?

what are mice for?
i mean, what do they do in this world?

a small warm animal
covered in fur
a long scaly tail
nobody likes mice…
except other animals 
who eat them
or scientist who
put them to use 
in experiments…
for you know who

i am starting to think more about mice

they are quiet and alert by nature
they are very quick and quiet
they can run and jump
they are often scared

they too are trying to live their lives
find food
feed their families,
protect their children
be warm and safe

i feel less like calling the exterminator now
let’s look on the internet… 

well,  it turns out that this seemingly little useless house invader is
“the most important herbivores in the eco system. In forest, fields, farmlands and backyards, mice sustain predators of all sizes. They link plants and predators in every terrestrial ecosystem.” 


reading further it turns out these little critters are trying to save humanity! 

“ The mouse genome is very similar to our own, making mouse genetic research particularly useful for the study of human diseases. ... Mice are extremely useful for studying complex diseases, such as atherosclerosis and hypertension, as many of the genes responsible for these diseases are shared between mice and humans.” 

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is the largest animal rights organization in the world, with more than 6.5 million members and they say, “Friendly and highly intelligent, mice are just as smart as dogs and can even recognize their names and respond when called.”


you who chewed on my copy of “The Way of the Bodhisattva” by 
Shantideva was no other than a Bodhisattva too!

invading my house as a pest
you were a visitor of great consequence
in your simple way, without intention
you are my brother (or sister)
certainly part of my family,
your DNA proves it

I only hope my life may be
as meaningful as yours 
I gassho, 
to the great bodhisattva
little brown mouse 

—Bruce Linton

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