Simple pleasure: Unexpected wildlife
Last week, I was walking on a pavement alongside a busy city centre road, a somewhat dull part of a route I take most days. It was the same as always: the air was smoggy from the exhaust fumes of sitting cars, and passing pedestrians were in their own worlds, staring at their smartphones while blindly navigating oncomers.
But then, from under the overgrowth to the right of the pavement, a cute brown friend changed everything.
At first I thought it was a leaf as it was barely moving, but then the sun highlighted the tones of the creature’s chocolate-coloured fur. Its short skinny tail became apparent, too. I was stunned and had, without realising, stopped on the concrete conveyor belt to look at this marvelous mouse.
I wasn’t alone in this. When it retreated to the hedge, I looked up and saw that three other people had stopped to watch the critter go about its little life. We smiled at each other then went on with our journeys.
It’s funny how wild animals - big and small - can interrupt whatever we’re doing to wow us with their fascinating ways. Even the allure of a screen can’t steal our attention from them. Maybe it’s because animals do their own thing, independent from us but always alongside us – and half the time we don’t even know they’re there.
Next time you go for a walk, leave your earphones in your pocket and listen instead to the sound of nature. You never know what you might discover.