Sunday, May 23, 2010

Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie

Well it turns out that today is Mousiepalooza - an actual mouse got into my apartment and both cats were ecstatic. Neither of them has seen a mouse in at least 5 years.

I'm very happy it's gone since I did not look forward to the prospect of cleaning up mousie guts. Although they seemed to look at it as a toy rather than food. Mr. Fuzz kept catching it and carrying it around like a kitten, and then letting it go so they could chase it some more. Willow might have seen a mouse in her youth since she was semi-feral. Mr. Fuzz has never seen one I bet - the closest he's ever gotten to a mouse are the real-fur mousie toys that he always wants to play with.

This real mouse event might well be the happiest day of Mr. Fuzz's life. The most real prey he's gotten in the past is the occasional fly.

But nothing gold can stay, as I told Mr. Fuzz - I finally had to trap the mousie and let it go outside - I didn't have the heart to watch the cats kill it or even (gasp) kill it myself. I blame Robert Burns:
Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty
Wi bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murdering 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, whyles, 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 win's 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 monie a weary nibble!
Now thou's turned out, for a' thy trouble,
But house or hald,
To thole the winter's sleety dribble,
An' cranreuch cauld.

But Mousie, thou art no thy 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 are 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!

And that cranreuch cauld is a bitch!

Burns was quite a babe, and a ladies man - they were all about Burns at the Edinburgh Writers Museum which I visited a few years ago. You can see a plaque on Google maps right near the museum (between the Cashmere Factory Outlet and Heritage of Scotland on Haymarket St.) which reads:

In a House
on the East side of this Close
lived during his first visit
to Edinburgh 1780

Here is the cutie Robbie Burns

They were also big on Robert Louis Stevenson at the Writers Museum - here he is:

I know an actor who could totally play Stevenson if they made a movie about him. Pretty uncanny.