An Immoderation of Mice
Before we found our current Sri Chinmoy Centre premises in Auckland we occupied a large upstairs space in an old building scheduled for demolition.
The only other tenants here were mice and a few attic pigeons – many of us also felt that a ghost had settled into an old and disused stairwell exit as well, although the consensus was of a harmless one, and we had many late night experiences that indicated this probability.
My wife Subarata liked all animals and set about capturing then relocating our many resident mice with the help of an ingenious cage. We had several ring-necked doves as pets as well and these lived happily in a very large walk-in cage – the mice revelled in all the birdseed, thrived and multiplied despite Operation Relocation. A pleasant rapport existed between all the tenants – we would often walk by a bowl of birdseed with four or five tiny mice, new arrivals, sitting around snacking. The word was out that we were friendly and they showed no signs of alarm at our presence.
During the occasional purge we would capture four or five mice at a time, take them in their cage one hundred metres down the road and liberate them in a park. When the population remained static we realised they were simply finding their way straight back. During the rain and cold of winter Subarata didn’t have the heart to banish our homing-pigeon mice to the elements and so we left things till spring.
When the mice finally began disturbing our public meditation classes with untimely scamperings we had to act – the captives were taken by car, a noble and dignified departure across a busy road and liberated a full mile away. A line had been drawn in the sand.