I posted this as a comment at a blog I read, but I liked it enough that I decided I should save it for myself. So here’s the tree mouse story:
A quick backtrack, we have a huge tree in our backyard and a happy squirrel population. Also cows across the road, chickens nearby enough to hear, lizards continually, and occasionally some other oddity, like once a gopher tortoise got trapped in the backyard while on its commute to the mating grounds (no idea where those were, it’s just what the books say gopher tortoises do) and once, extremely oddly, some guinea fowl had to be lifted over the fence. It had been a windy night so apparently they got blown in? The question mark is because honestly, it made no sense to me, but my point is that strange wildlife in the backyard is not an anomaly. A tree mouse sounded plausible.
So the boy sees the tree mouse a few times and reports it to me every time but somehow I always miss it. Then yesterday, he calls me, and I come running. Tree mouse? It’s a rat! A RAT! In my backyard!! Climbing the tree!!!
He still thinks its a tree mouse however, so we go online and look at pictures, and confirm that no, it’s a rat. A real rat. Apparently Florida has rats called roof rats. And they can climb. And there’s at least one, probably many more, living in my tree–or possibly my roof. Ack. I am completely creeped out.
But then, I go off with my boyo to visit my sister and her kids. And as we drive, the boy says, Look, look, mom, there’s a feathered tree mouse!
It’s a bird.
And then five minutes later, it’s look, look, Mom, there’s a predatory feathered tree mouse.
It’s a hawk.
And ten minutes later, it’s look, look, Mom, there are some GIGANTIC tree mice.
Deer, three of them.
And the tree mouse being a rat, okay, that was funny. But my boy being able to laugh at himself like that, that was priceless. It turns out that 13 actually does have a good side.