Drama in the Palms
Sunday, March 28, 2021
Every year, I meet with Son #2, DIL and her mother to arrange palms at church for the Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday services. DIL orders the palms, which are shipped from Miami in a huge box. There are two layers of palms, grouped and rubber banded in a dozen fronds each, separated by a large piece of brown wrapping paper.
Son brought in the box and put it down near the choir risers and he and the others went down the hall to gather the pots of spring flowers that would sit amidst the palms in the display pots. I opened the box and noticed a pile of small pieces of the leaves in one corner. Hmm, I thought, someone was a little careless and messy. I grabbed a number of the rubber banded dozens and began setting them down near where I knew the pots would be going. As I did, the first group wasn't rubber banded at all, the stems were very short and the leaves were missing on several of the fronds. When I picked up the next groups, I noticed the stems had been gnawed.
By the time the others returned, I showed them what I'd seen, and we determined a mouse probably had been sharpening her teeth and building a nest. Oh dear! What if she was still in the box?! We put the top back on the box, shoved pieces of brown paper in the finger holes at the ends, and hurriedly grabbed the box and took it outside. Son took the top back off and gave the bottom of the box a couple of kicks. Nothing. He completely turned it over, spilling out the rest of the palms onto the lawn. Out ran a fat (doubtlessly pregnant) mouse, which scurried into the bushes. Screaming and jumping all around from the humans.
We got the dumped foliage back in the box. I took the top down to the dumpster and we all returned to palm display duty with extra energy gained from our harrowing experience. Nothing like dealing with a mouse surprise to get our hearts pumping. We were done in an hour, which is pretty good, considering we put about 18 fronds in each of a dozen display pots, then place them and the accompanying flower pots.
I wonder how Miami Mouse and her brood are going to fare in this cold Ohio climate.