canadian mice

by underswansea


We are rolling up on Canada Day weekend. For me it’s already here. Cue the maple syrup, beaver pelt and beer.

I noticed a tiny Harvest Mouse trapped in our basement stairwell. It was lucky I discovered it first instead of Willow. I put down a board so it could make a quick escape. It would have escaped anyway come night, but I didn’t see a reason for it putting up with the hot evening sun.

With all my trouble with mice over the years, perhaps I should have pointed it out to Willow.

It reminded me of a Canada Day long ago. My parents owned the small town newspaper. For the Canada Day parade they attached a large nose and glasses to the front of the best car they could find. The banner on the side of the car said, ‘The Lake Windermere Valley Echo – A Nose for News‘.

There was probably no more than a handful of floats in those days and The Valley Echo float was a hit. Most floats consisted of new cars with riders, smoking Mark Ten and Sportsman’s cigarettes, throwing unwrapped hard candy while drinking rye whisky.

The nose and glasses float, was made of paper mache, by my sister Deb and her boyfriend Kurt. They were fresh out of art school in the 70’s. They had plenty of old Valley Echo newspapers to complete the project.

After the parade our father put the nose and glasses in the basement to be used next year, because it was such a big hit.

When the day before Canada Day rolled around the next year. My father and I went into the basement to get the prized nose and glasses. We found only a wire sculpture. The mice, over the past year, had chewed all of the paper mache away.

The wire sat in a heap of newspaper clippings.

It ain’t Citizen Kane, Rupert Murdoch or Conrad Black scale problems, but, ‘shit’ (the only word my Father said) the newspaper business can be hard. And then he laughed.

I am not sure what my parents did for a float that year.

Perhaps Deb and Kurt were able to put something together on short notice.