When it’s a Vole!
Now comes the hard question — ready? When is a Vole a Meadow Vole? Ahhh, stumped you. That’s okay, I didn’t know the difference until I started writing this post. The answer is quite easy. A Meadow Vole is a Meadow Vole and not a regular Vole, which is also called a Woodland Vole by the way, when it (the Meadow Vole — keep up for pity sake) has fur colors ranging from yellowish to blackish brown AND has a long tail; one to two to two-and-a-half inches in length. Woodland Moles, also called Pine Voles, have shorter tails and less variety in coloration. There you have it.
Where am I going with this? Well, it’s actually a funny story. You see the other day, okay, the other early evening, around sixish I decided to take Harlee for a walk. Truthfully, I was already in my jammies and dreaming of a gin and tonic but Harlee was giving me that look. You know the look I’m referring to if you have a dog. It’s the ‘Take me out, please,’ look.
It mattered little to my canine companion that I was already showered and in my PJs. Nope, it was walk time in his book and, I must admit, the weather was a pleasing sixty-nine Fahrenheit. So, I donned a lightweight jacket over my pajamas, put on my sneakers, and off we went.
We got as far as River Street when Harlee spied something tucked against the sidewalk curb. At first I thought it was a black sock but it turned out to be covered in black, shiny fur and frozen in fear, which is not how socks tend to behave. Harlee gave the impression he thought it was an after-dinner snack.
I wrangled him into submission and inspected the little creature. To me it looked like an immature rat. Whatever it was I refused to leave it in the street where it might get squished. Did I mention that it’s eyes weren’t even open? It was a young whatever it was, that was for sure.
Doing what any self-respecting Earth Witch would do, I removed my jacket and wrapped the little fellow, or gal, I hadn’t checked that far, and Harlee and I walked back home, my PJs visible for all of Elsie Ave to see and Harlee keeping his eyes on my jacket because it contained his snack.
We arrived home and I put Little River, that’s his name and ta-da, it’s a male, in a box with some sweet meadow hay that I use for Isabella’s litter box. I added a bowl of water and called it a day. My gin and tonic was waiting.
The next day I spent time working in the gardens and I had Isabella in her outside pen and I brought River’s box outside. I inspected him closely and discovered, to my horror, that he had a tick on the side of his head. I tugged at the disgusting bloodsucker but it wouldn’t budge. I’m embarrassed to write I was actually tugging at River’s ear.
I dare you to tell me that ear doesn’t look like a swollen tick. Double dare you.
River is still alive after three days. Not bad considering my track record with trying to save injured critters. Remember Little Ducky?
I’m sensing a pattern here — Little Ducky, Little River … hmmmmmmm.
Okay, as of tonight Little River is still alive and nestled in the cage my friend Bob donated. River drinks from his water dish and nibbles on seeds. He seems in good spirits despite having his ear almost ripped off his little head and enjoys sleeping on his back under the heat lamp.
Now comes the big question: what do I do with River when he’s fully healed? Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention his back legs are questionable. I can only imagine he was dragged from his family nest by a hawk and got dropped onto River Street from mid-air. Or, dragged from his family nest by a carnivore or cat, although there are no puncture marks and no dried blood. Truthfully, I can’t imagine how a young Vole, eyes still closed, got from his family nest to River Street but he did.
So, what would you do?
Oh, and his ear is fine.
Blessed be :}
Mi manchi, mia amata immortale.