The ward was squared away and I was sitting around bored, waiting for something—anything really—to happen. My boredom gave way to a tiny, but quick movement in the corner of the tent.
As I focused on the area of movement, I realized I was looking a small field mouse. I grabbed my empty coffee cup and dashed over to catch the little rodent.
To my surprise, the mouse didn’t run away. Instead it moved towards me, its little nose twitching in interest. I put my hand down and it climbed on to it without fear.
That’s when I was struck by a great idea.
The next day, during my spare time, I started training my new pet, which I named, “Mighty.” The training didn’t take long as I had only one singular trick in mind.
By the second day I was certain Mighty was good to go. So taking the long strand of wire with the mouse attached at the end, I took Mighty for a walk around the fire-base.
Mighty was an immediate hit with the other Marines. They thought I was the smartest SOB in country because I was able teach a mouse to walk on a leash.
Within a few minutes I was being begged to let this Gyrene or that Jarhead walk Mighty. Being the ever-enterprising corpsmen, I told those who asked, it would cost them five-bucks for the pleasure.
By the end of the day I had a couple hundred dollars in my pocket. The cash would go a long way when supplies ran low or were slow in coming. I also noticed over the week that sick-call numbers dropped by three or four men a day.
It was funny to watch those big, ol’ tough, burley manly-men taking turns walking that itsy-bitsy mouse around the fire-base. Some of the men actually argued with one another to see who’d get the next turn.
It was day six since I had discovered the mouse, when the base was hit by mortar and small-arms fire. Somewhere in the ensuing melee, Mighty disappeared never to be seen again.
Needless to say the boy’s were disheartened by the loss of Mighty the Mouse. I jus’ wish I’d more time. I think I could have house broke him.