[There’s no date or reference included in this story but from the reference to the catching of crawfish and the fact it’s in North Texas, I believe it to also be 1910 to 1911.]
When we lived in North Texas, Ralph, Harry, and I used to catch the field mice.
They were a soft gray color, white underneath, light gray faces and feet, and longer tails, – and thereby hangs a tale!
Ralph and Harry had mastered the art of quickly picking them up – when I dug out of their nests – and dropping them into the screen-wire cage Ralph had made for them. But when I gingerally picked one up – it promptly climbed up it’s long tail and bit my fingers.
Ralph and Harry made me promise I wouldn’t cry if one bit me – or else I couldn’t go along.
I was, however, allowed an outraged “Ouch!!” This distressed Jack, our Bulldog, whose duty it was to protect us kids, so he was always with us. I guess he remembered when he was a pup and a rat severely bit his lip. So, he whined his sympathy when a mouse bit me.
But I didn’t get any sympathy from Ralph or Harry. Just a disgusted “I guess you’ll learn you can’t sneak up on a mouse!”
We kept them in a cage for a while, feeding them corn and other grain, then took them to the field and let them go. And caught others.
Dad said we fattened up about every mouse in the county, and the Screech owls should be happy.
It’s a wonder I didn’t get Tetnus, being pinched by crawfish and bitten by mice so many times. Seems I always had a few fingers bandaged. And when Grandma Burns visited us, or saw me at church and Sunday school, she was very disproving of such unladylike pursuits. So she bought me a pair of little while gloves to wear to church, to hide my mangled fingers!