In the grand time of change in my life these months I have lived in my woman's apartment for a few weeks, preparing our travels while she was working her last hours in the bar downstairs. It's a wooden house, something of a forest shack if you will - cozy, genuine and really interesting.
The apartment upstairs had been empty for a while before she got the offer to live there for basic costs of living and since I was ready to move out of my friend's house to put our travel preparations into high gear I got to experience some things I had not experienced before.
We kept food in plastic containers on the attic down the small hallway and one night we heard a funny noise. Not that there weren't funny noises all the time (it's an old wooden house and it creeks and knocks in all sorts of magic sonic patterns) but this sound was different. We got up and went to the kitchen to check it out - a weirdly organic... gnawing sound below the kitchen boards. Sounded nothing like the cracking of the wooden walls, more like... a rodent! It was ALIVE!
We didn't really see him at all but we started coming up with all sorts of stories about "Mr. Mouse". Who he was, where he came from, how we have saved his entire family by leaving some food laying around in the kitchen and that he will come to get it all once he has gnawed all his pathways through the old planks.
Imagine my face when the next morning I went to the attic to get our loaf of ciabatta-bread wrapped in aluminum foil only to find that it had been completely hollowed out! I went back to the bedroom and asked my girl whether she had a new way of snacking the insides of the ciabatta first and leave the crust for later. She said "no" and instantly referred to Mr. Mouse. Naturally.
We didn't see him anywhere but he came into our life more and more every day. There was still a slight chance that something else was going on but we felt it was only a matter of time now. And guess what. A few days later we were sitting in the small living room of the apartment, with the kitchen door open and suddenly we heard a noise. Noises. Something had moved the aluminum foil in the kitchen and there were scratching sounds too. We instantly stopped our conversation, snook over to the kitchen door and... there he WAS! Mr. Mouse is real!
He was a rather good looking easy fellow, going into the kitchen solo and taking his sweet time to find something edible. When he spotted us he ran back behind the counter (where a whole had been carefully gnawed into the walls presumably - maybe like everywhere else in the forest shack) and we thought we must have scared him away. But the same night he came back and he didn't seem to mind our presence at all anymore.
It seemed like he was getting used to us really fast. Maybe because we didn't treat him like a dirty rodent but more... like a pet. Or a flatmate. After all, the forest shack was home to many people (down in the bar/restaurant level) and we were only guests here ourselves. Felt wrong to forbid the mouse to have his share.
The following days we heard him move in between the wooden planks near the roof above our heads and more and more food started to go missing ;) We tried cheese on a plate but he really didn't care for it that much. Instead we found all sorts of leftovers from carbs. Half eaten raw potatoes on the attic, bread most of all, and even some soft bitter chocolate my girl had carelessly left on the floor after Mr. Mouse had already revealed his being there to us.
We developed all sorts of stories about the dude, but ultimately only lived with him for a short while, now that we have moved out and are ready to leave with our camper van. We'll really miss the guy! We actually hoped he would join us on our travels cause it was rather sweet to live in co-existence with some more aware aspects of nature for a while. We wondered how he had seen us and what we meant to him. Did he get that we left him food on purpose?
Anyways Mr. Mouse, if reality is anything like our imaginary stories about you, your colleagues in your underground hi-tech lab will probably read this one day, translate and decode it and relay it to you. If so please know that we really enjoyed your company and that we wish you all the best even though no more food will be laying around in that apartment, unfortunately. Please don't go into the kitchen without checking for humans first. We have a feeling the people there will not welcome you the same way you have gotten used to with us...
Good luck dude!