The Duality Of Nature

Posted by Helen Scott Taylor | 11:13 AM | , , , , | 6 comments »

We have a bird table outside our kitchen window where we sprinkle birdseed and hang two bird feeders, one filled with peanuts, one with sunflower seeds. Yesterday morning while I drank my coffee, I watched the morning flurry of activity around the hanging feeders, and on the ground beneath where fragments of seed and nut fall.

Many small birds pecked around between the blades of grass. In amongst the feathered melee one small chestnut field mouse boldly held his own in the contest for scraps.

I watched, fascinated, as the delicate silky creature threaded his way back and forth between the tufts of grass, now and then nipping back to his hole between the stones bordering the lawn.

Today I checked activity beneath the bird table while I had my after-lunch coffee, hoping for another glimpse of mighty mouse.

It seems he wasn’t so mighty after all.

Between the small birds pecking up seeds lay a tiny furry shape. I slammed my mug down on the counter and hurried out to check what I’d seen, hoping I’d made a mistake.

No mistake. As the birds fluttered away, the frail little body was left on its side on a bare patch of earth, surrounded by seed husks. The smooth chestnut guard hairs were ruffled in places, revealing soft dark fur beneath. A creature must have mauled the mouse. But there was no sign of blood or injury.

I nearly cried.

I have a horrible suspicion my darling cat might be the murdering beast, which makes the scenario worse.

How can the sweet natured cat who rubs lovingly around my legs, and is even now, as I type, sitting by my side purring, be the hideous monster who murdered the brave little mouse.

Terrible, yet intriguing--this duality of nature, where my loving pet is another creature’s nightmare. Doesn’t this enigma seem to occur so often in nature and in life? There are no absolutes.


  1. Mona Risk // May 21, 2008 at 6:35 PM  

    Relax Helen. Your darling cat is not the culprit. Not that she would have pitied the mouse, but darling cat would have moved it away, hidden it, and eaten the poor thing completely. I remember my Wendy making a catacombe of the chimpmonks, mice and squirrels in our backyard. Only the bones were left. The same darling Wendy who would cuddle on my lap in front of the TV. Be realistic, Mama Helen, your darling cat has to eat too.

  2. Mona Risk // May 21, 2008 at 6:37 PM  

    I'll be without computer for another five days. Grrrr.. I blogged about my nightmare to vent my frustration on my own blog.

  3. Beth Trissel // May 21, 2008 at 9:07 PM  

    Sorry about your computer horror Mona. And for your sadness, Helen. Cats are, well, cats. I love mine dearly but wouldn't trust them to mind the bird, or anything small and furry. But Mona is probably right about the remains not pointing to kitty.

  4. Mary Marvella // May 21, 2008 at 11:02 PM  

    I agree. One of my CP's has a huntress kitty. Kitty brings her kill back to her human mommy with pride! La cat dashed in one door and out through a garage door. In a flash kitty pounced on a chipmunk and wan't gentle.
    (Bad French.)

  5. Beth Trissel // May 22, 2008 at 9:34 AM  

    Our inside cats are avid bird watchers. Positively adore them.
    They'd also adore chipmunks given the chance.

  6. Nightingale // May 22, 2008 at 9:43 PM  

    I nearly cried. I had a cat once who liked to play with them but wouldn't kill them unless they had a heart attack! Poor creature but that is the way of nature. Not that I'm callous. I boo-hoo over a bird or the 4 iguanas that died in my possession. Gave my cat a proper burial under the pear tree.