A crowd had gathered outside the revolving door at 36 East Grand. A woman squealed and a fat man next to her laughed. Business-types in shiny shoes paused for a moment to stare. As I slowly approached, I too was intrigued. What was everyone staring at?
Suddenly, from under a trashcan, a furry critter darted diagonally across the sidewalk and headed North on Wabash. A mouse. A poor, presumably misunderstood creature stuck in the city probably looking for a warm place to hide.
Sure, I’m guilty of setting traps and killing mice. I realize and agree that humans shouldn’t have to share their space with these pests—but I felt bad for this guy. Where I’m from, a mouse at least has a chance to scurry freely and if they find a way inside and get caught in a trap underneath the stove, it’s a fairly private and somewhat humane death. However, this particular mouse had the extremely bad luck of winding up on a really busy street corner in downtown Chicago. His attempt to survive had an audience.
One guy mumbled, “Kill it!” and two ladies backed him up by nodding their heads in unison. I didn’t stick around the see what happened next, but I hope the mouse got away. Or at least made it to the next corner so a whole new cast of characters could squeal, stare, point and maybe, possibly realize that we humans really aren’t that different.