Saturday, November 14, 2009


His name was Ralph. Robbie, Jeff, and myself had found him in a window well on the side of Robbie's neighbors' house. He had been running in circles, kicking up dirt and dead leaves. We thought we were doing him a favor by sealing him in that shoebox. But Ralph's new digs probably weren't that much more accommodating than his previous residence. Searching through window wells was a regular part of our summer afternoons when we were eleven. It's how all three of us had found our pet toads. Mine had recently escaped to glorious freedom underneath our deck and I was looking for a replacement. But Ralph was better than any toad. This was a one in a million find. I hadn't quite figured out how I was going to warm my mother up to the idea of a pet mouse but that was a minor detail.