To the mouse

A couple of days ago, I slept the night on the living room sofa bed. I woke up in the morning, and,¬†through the haze, before I wore my glasses,¬†I saw what looked like a mouse. Indeed it was a mouse. A dead mouse. I stared at it in horror and then looked around me at the house. How had he come in? From where? Was he seeking shelter when he knew he was going to die? Had he been poisoned? Is this how this little series of bungalows in this gated community kept itself so clean? My husband picked it up in a tissue and put him at the base of a plant outside. In India, people believe strongly in signs. Don’t sneeze on your way out, do not eat eggs when you are about to write an exam, that bat that hangs outside your window on a tree, that black cat, that girl who talks too much or laughs too much, that dead mouse in the house… For the fearful, for the superstitious- life, the decisions made, the steps taken or not taken are guided and formed by the signs. That dead mouse, it came to my house to die two days ago. This evening before I sleep I mourn him.

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