Tuesday, June 13, 2006

country mouse

There's a lot to be said about the culture shock from moving from rural LBG to the metropolis of OKC. It's true that there's only a minimal relationship to the country mouse- city mouse story, but the divide between the two was (and continues to be) worthy of mentioning. The world of children's literature comes full circile again.

One of my coworkers is very much the essence of a city girl. We are frequently amused by each other's stories -- mine of the country mouse, hers of the city mouse. Today at work while we were doing our thing, some birds outside our big windows started fighting and one ended up being killed. The city mouse I worked with flipped out. She yelled at the window and knocked on it, telling the larger bird to stop picking on the smaller bird. She was really upset.

me: What's going on?
her: It's attacking the little bird.
me: Oh.
her: Well, what are you going to do about it?
me: Do about it?
her: (looking out the window) It's flopping around. The big bird is coming back!
me: Well, I guess I could go outside and put it out of its misery.
her: Do you mean kill it?
me: Yeah. Would you rather it flop in misery?
her: (gasp) You wouldn't really kill it, would you?
me: Sure would. It would be more humane than calling a mini-code and trying to start a central line...
her: (looks out the window) Well, he's stopped flopping now. But the big bird's coming back! What are you going to do?
me: What do you want me to do? It's already dead.
her: But it's just out there on the ground.

At this point she's really getting upset. Our patients are all crooking their necks to see the show between my coworker and the dead bird outside. I get the silent nod from my boss and I donned a pair of gloves** and a bag and headed to the outside door. City mouse stopped me.

her: What are you going to do?
me: I'm going to take care of it.
her: You're not going to hurt the little bird, are you?
me: Not if it's already dead.
her: What're you going to do with it?
(I showed her the bag.)
her: You're not just going to throw it in the bag, are you?
me: No, I'll have a memorial first.
(She liked that answer.)

I took care of the bird.

I won't mention that one of my more astute patients asked me if it was a sparrow. When I replied that it was, he asked me if I gave the grackle a reward. City Mouse didn't get it, and thusly didn't appreciate the fowl humor.

I guess there was just enough Country Mouse in me to not only get the joke, but I was really amused by it, too.

Dorothy was right; there's no place like home.

**And there's also enough Country Mouse in me to note that the only reason I put on gloves when I went outside to dispose of the sparrow was because I didn't want to come back into the treatment room, wash blood off of my hands, and then turn around and start an IV on someone who had just seen me fix the bird -- and I was also halfway afraid I'd get out there and it would still be alive, requiring another step prior to disposal...

1 comment:

Kate said...

I can't say that I've ever had that problem...

But one of the girls I'm in classes with is the most naive creature ever. Whilst explaining things to her, I sometimes feel like I'm attempting to explain the workings of mother nature to the city mouse.