I love exploring in the pickleweed.

I was pulled out, the cotton tangled around me.

I’m on the left.  Uncle is on the right.  We hung there in the air, dangling.

Being held by the scruff of the neck never hurts.

My back paws clawed at the air.

I tried to get some balance with my tail.

I could see all around.

I saw the biologists, the fields of pickleweed, and many boxes filled with mice.

They set me on a flat piece of wood.

I grabbed onto the edge of the ruler.

“Let’s measure him,” a voice said.

Someone else was writing something down.

They turned Uncle on his back and placed him in a cupped hand.

I still had the grey fur of a young mouse; Uncle had the golden-bronze fur of an adult with the cinnamon-colored belly.

Then they dropped us back into the metal box.

The door opened.

Faster than a hawk can dive . . .

That was the fastest I ever ran in my life.