We live out in the country where rodents are a constant problem. I recently had the following conversation with Hal, the five year old.
“Mommy, I just found a dead mouse in the game room!”
“Ok, tell Daddy.”
He hollers to his dad, who responds that he’ll take care of it.
There’s some silence and then he says, “Mommy, it’s really soft.”
“Did you just touch the mouse?!”
He quickly responds, “No.”
“Hal. Did you touch the mouse?”
“No.” Now he sounds cautious.
“Tell me the truth. Did you touch the mouse?”
“Yes you did. How else would you know that it’s soft?”
He tries to sound nonchalant as he says, “It was just something I was thinking about.”
I sigh. “You aren’t going to be in trouble. Just tell me if you touched the mouse.”
Finally… “Okay. Don’t lie to me about stuff like that. Make sure you don’t touch your face or mouth. Go wash your hands. Mice can carry disease.”
He leaves the room to wash his hands. When he returns, he gravitates back toward the mouse.
After a few seconds, he calls out softly, “Mommy, that mouse is so cute.”
“Go get ready for bed honey.”
Cute? A dead mouse with its head squished under a metal bar is… cute?