Spotting the mouse the previous week, it died by trap and was disposed of by gloved hand. But it was too late, apparently, as pain flared in abdominal muscles four days later. At first attributing that pain to overexertion while bringing in extra firewood ahead of the approaching blizzard, fever-induced chills soon convinced me I was ill. Good thing I had plenty of firewood inside. The blizzard turned out to be a howling monster.
Strange nightmares of the infected mouse plagued fitful stretches of sweaty sleep. Elated I had killed the damned thing, I hoped it wouldn’t kill me. Snowed in by the blizzard, there was no chance of driving down to the nearest hospital more than thirty miles south where the storm raged on with blustering whiteout fury no rescue helicopter could brave.
Four days and five nights later I felt fantastically well again as the sun rose into clear sky and bathed me in warmth streaming down through bedroom windows. Driven by a strong urge to compose a new piece of music about the experience, I gladly left bed to first fix a feast of a morning meal.