Terence Roe

dog cat mouse tale

I caught it first
on the warm air
dog-nosed open
the shed
the stench was strong
she shut the door
made strong tea
burned the toast

we put it off for a day
hoping it would somehow
go away
evaporate into summer
heady honeysuckle
clad the garden air
hung everywhere

except the shed

so we bit the bullet
went sniffing around inside
a sniffer-hound
in the semi-dark
looking for the source
she more reticent
her feline nose
lifting to the scent
mine keener then
of course
located a dim liquid form
from where death emanated
on a concrete slab

I retched
she got a shovel

stock still
alert and watchful
I stood
nostrils flared
“it’s moving”
she said as she ladled the soup onto
the metal plate
into summer light she strode
cat wailing

I followed

in the sunlight
we watched the white grubs writhe
in delirium of the feast
“it’s a mouse’ she said
”been” I corrected
she concurred
“stay here”

I sat down
lapped some milk from a jug

she went off
to our burial ground
to bury
the bones