> jumping into life.

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A good mouser,
and he gets fed in round with
the cows and chickens, but not too much:
a working cat, so keep him hungry. And the barn
is undeniably mouse-free.

But then what?
The small bodies pile up:
moles, chipmunks,
baby squirrels,
just-returned songbirds
caught in mid-song.

Twice a day I scruff him,
and the fear-frozen thing drops
paws up, shaking,
and I throw him in the house and hope.

Of course he doesn't know
the difference between pest
and wild. To him, they are the same:
a swift-beating heart with sweet-tasting blood,
a bright dark eye, a game to play out slowly
to its end.