, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Imagine if you will, a warm and sunny day.

I was out and about in the car for the afternoon when I noticed the bakery tucked away in a remote little corner of town.

This bakery was precious to me as my husband worked there while we were dating.

He drove the delivery van.

At the end of his day the boss would give my boyfriend the go ahead to take home all the leftover pies and rolls to his Mother.

Now it was twenty years later.

It did not look like the same bakery from the street. Curious, I gave the rough exterior the benefit of the doubt. I parked my car and went inside.

Before my eyes adjusted to the lower level lighting I was disappointed that I had not been met by the scent of fresh baked rolls.

I then noticed that I was the only customer in the store. The only other person visible was a burly man leaning against a counter opposite from the cash register.

His arms were folded across his chest. His grim face told me that I was welcome to leave anytime.

This was not the atmosphere of a bakery.

This was a warehouse.

Boxes on the floor were crammed with strange paraphernalia that I knew weren’t cleaning supplies.

Everything was layered with dust.

About half a dozen rolls sat on a ledge behind him. I did not dare ask him how fresh they were.

A single sunbeam coming in from a side window accentuated the swirling dust particles suspended in the air. They were obviously refusing to settle until they had found a clean place to land.

The vats in the back of the store looked like they had been cooking something, but nothing that was for public sale.

Before turning around to leave my eyes landed on three cheesecakes contained inside a dirty glass counter located at the opposite end of the store. The cakes looked strangely out of place.

As I approached the cheesecakes, I noticed a hole in the bottom of the cheesecake to the far left. This hole was about the size of a quarter. I wondered if the shopkeeper had stuck his thumb in it to steal a taste.

I was immediately proven wrong.

In the blink of an eye, a small, brown mouse popped his head out of the hole that I had been studying. His eyes were bright and shiny. His fur looked exceedingly neat for just having been inside a cheese cake. The ends of his whiskers were heavy laden with cheesecake crumbs.

Needless to say, this mouse looked very happy as we continued to stare at each other.

Within fifteen seconds, I experienced emotions that went from shock, to revulsion, to disbelief, and then to amusement.

And as quickly as the mouse had appeared, he suddenly disappeared back inside the cheesecake.

He must have been right at the centre of the cake far from my view, because there was no trace left of him, no tail could be seen, no crumb laden whiskers.

For about two seconds, I considered telling Mr. Stoneface about the mouse. But without a word, I turned around and simply walked out of the store.

Certainly, this mouse, this incredibly lucky, audacious mouse would meet his demise all too soon. If not caught, he would indeed succumb to a fatal case of cheesecake poisoning.

I cannot think of a more wondrous and imaginative way for a mouse to succumb to the inevitable.

May we all be so fortunate.