Revenant Redux


If you saw the film, The Revenant, you know the character is mauled by a bear and left for dead.

And then returns.

The word revenant comes from the French, for return: I will return–je reviens.

In my case, the mouse has returned.

La souris est revenue.

I found evidence this morning.

A tiny bottle of face oil had been unscrewed and left on the fuzzy mat underneath the bathroom sink.

The bottle is so tiny it could pass as a milk container in a small house that belongs to a wee doll. A doll’s doll.

Just a few drops of oil fill the bottle, which is a freebie given to folks like me who buy face products.

This morning I found the open bottle on its side, next to its lid, along with three itty-bitty mouse droppings—the size of miniature black rice—on the fuzzy mat at 5 a.m.

There’s a mouse in the house.

Not only had the mouse gotten into my lotions and oils: she pawed at the toilet paper, leaving a trail of fluff in her wake.

She found the paper pleasing, especially the piece I used to blow my nose.

Seems the mouse recovered a used tissue I left in the wake of a nasty allergy attack yesterday.

Pollen had reduced me to a vessel of mucus with swollen eyes, pupils the size of pin-heads, and a prickly disposition to match.

Truth is, my tissues never meet the dustbin.

They sit in piles around my shoes—wherever I leave them.

I got into the habit of husbanding used tissue because my pup, Romeo, used to raid the trash for my cast-off Kleenex.

Romeo would excavate the wastebasket for Kleenex—my Kleenex—which he would chew and nuzzle, leaving paper clouds in his wake.

Instead of throwing away my used tissue, I keep a pile beyond Romeo’s reach to discard later.

My pup had an unconditional love of snot that is … endearing.

After he died, I toss used Kleenex into a pile, far away from the recycled paper–usually near my feet.

And yesterday, a mouse showed up, who has taken my pup’s place.

She searches the room for used Kleenex and tries on my makeup.

She leaves paper-puffs in her wake, just like Romeo.

Perhaps the wee rodent is a revenant—Romeo returned in mouse-form.

Revenant redux.


20 August 2019














About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. Dr. Coleman is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation.
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