Friday, January 05, 2007

Hickory, Dickory, Dock

The other day one of the loopers in my writing group told a story.

She was working in her church basement, typing away and concentrating on a nonfiction book. She felt something watching her. She looked up and there forming a circle around her were several mouse staring at her. They did that for several days.

Wondering what she was doing? Trying to figure out why she'd invaded their territory? Hoping to get something (cheese?) from her?

I loved the story!

If any of you have read snippets of my mystery, the protagonist (heroine), Tara, has a pet mouse named Hickory. You might ask--why choose such a pet?

Here's why: because I like pets in my stories. (I love animals, but I won't start spouting about that!). In this one, I wanted a pet that could travel with Tara: small, smart, interesting, and different. Something that would get Tara attention and questioning looks. And a mouse came to me.

In the book, Tara first receives the pet as a joke from her twin brother, but ends up loving the little fellow. He even helps her in his own initiative way, in her cases.

I researched mice before using Hickory: went to a pet story, studied (in the store) a book, checked on the mice they had, and even considered buying one for an experiment. They are smart, fun, and who knows? If you've ever owned a pet, you know that most of them are NOT predictable. They have senses that go beyond what we know or feel. Why should mice be any different?

So, I rest my case. I think I made a good choice for Tara's pet.

What do you think?

Don't you just hate it when you've gotten a stain on something you love?
Stain Remover Hints:
Rubbing Alcohol--Grass
Baking Soda--Odors
Cream of Tartar & Lemon Juice--a great homemade bleach
Hydrogen Peroxide & Cold Water--Blood
Shampoo--ring around the collar, mud, & cosmetic
Pine-Sol--any stain
Dish Soap--Olive oil/cooking oil & grease
WD-40--salad dressing, grease splatters, crayon (spray on, set 10 mins, work in soap, wash)

Don't ever let yourself get so busy that you miss those little but important extras in life--the beauty of a day, the smile of a friend, the serentity of a quiet moment alone. For it is often life's smallest pleasures and gentlest joys that make the biggest and most lasting difference.


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