Friday, June 02, 2006

Alien Invasion

Proper Procedures

This post by my Median Sib reminded me of the following story.

We occasionally have a tiny illegal alien decide to further his education at our institution. Somehow mouse interest groups haven't attained sufficient influence within the current administration to attain legal admittance, even via student visa, so the janitors wage cruel battle against the little intruders.

Last year a wee sleekit made his appearance in my classroom. With the help of volunteer ten-year-old vigilantes we herded him toward the hall doorway where I intended to confine him in a big "bug-box" so that my science classes could observe him before he would be deported to his own nation. Instead he brazenly squirted between my legs and into the hall and thence two doors up the hall and into the Blonde’s classroom.

The Blonde is an unabashed Rodent Bigot. She set out numerous traps.

Our earliest arrival at school almost daily is the enthusiastic Blonde. True to form, she arrived shortly after six the next morn to find our tiny would-be-student stuck fast to the glue-trap and grumpy about it. The Blonde was anxious to have the unwelcome learner expelled, but refused to do it herself, unwilling to share an enclosed space of any size with the mouse. She summoned help with an enthusiastic vocalization that would have done Caruso proud.

No man being handy, another Fourth Grade Educator, the Nature Girl, came running. NG patiently unstuck the frightened visitor, digit by digit.
Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie, O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
She cradled it in her hands, carried the rescued rodent to the edge of the forest, bid him farewell, and sent him off to find his folk.

I tell this story in order to model for my Median Sib a proper response to univited guests. :-)

Our Nature Girl, by the by, raises (and races) hissing cockroaches in her classroom and feeds 'possums and foxes and 'coons in her backyard! What a girl!

And here's Burns' reaction to disturbing the peace of a "Wee Sleekit"

To a Mouse on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough
November, 1785, by Robert Burns

Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Th need na start awa sae hasty,

Wi' bickering brattle!

I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,

Wi' murd'ring pattle!

I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken nature's social union,

An' justifies that ill opinion,

Which makes thee startle

At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,

An' fellow mortal!

I doubt na, whiles, but thou may thieve;

What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!

A daimen icker in a thrave

'S a sma'request;

I'll get a blessin wi' the lave,

An' never miss't!

Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!

It's silly wa's the win's are strewin!

An' naething, now, to big a new ane,

O' foggage green!

An' bleak December's winds ensuin,

Baith snell an' keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste,

An' weary winter comin fast,

An' cozie here, beneath the blast,

Thou thought to dwell--

Till crash! the cruel coulter past

Out thro' thy cell.

That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,

Has cost thee mony a weary nibble!

Now thou's turn'd out, for a' thy trouble,

But house or hald,

To thole the winter's sleety dribble,

An' cranreuch cauld!

But Mousie, thou are no the lane,

In proving foresight may be vain;

The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men

Gang aft agley,

An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,

For promis'd joy!

Still thou art blest, compared wi' me

The present only toucheth thee:

But och! I backward cast my e'e,

On prospects drear!

An forward, tho' I canna see,

I guess an' fear!

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