What the Night Mouse Saw

The original seed for this series came from one of my favorite photographs -- “New York City, 1974 (Dog Legs)” by one of my favorite photographers -- Elliott Erwitt. In "Dog Legs," the first thing you notice is a tiny Chihuahua, wearing a ridiculous knit beret and cape and looking a little bewildered. Compared to the Chihuaua, the black boots of its owner seem like those of a giant. Finally to the left is Erwitt’s punch line: the enormous paws and legs of a Great Dane.

So, floating around somewhere in back of my mind was the question: what does the world look like if you’re very small?

This question popped into my consciousness one night when I noticed a small pile of food trash near the entrance to an otherwise spotless tunnel leading to a Barcelona subway station. I was curious if a mouse would enter this brightly lit tunnel and find the food? Maybe at night when the trains stopped running and no people were around? Which got me wondering, what is a mouse's life like?

  • what interests them?
  • what are they looking for? (food, water, warmth, shelter, mates)
  • what are they avoiding? (people, cats, cars, bright lights, excessive heat/cold, escalators)
  • what makes them feel safe? anxious? playful? terrified?

So I started taking pictures at night, with my camera on the ground, trying to view the world like a mouse. Trying to put myself in a mouse’s “shoes” — physically and emotionally. Which is hard because what do I know about how a mouse thinks? For that matter, how much does anyone really know about their fellow sentient beings -- whether mice or men? Maybe the best we can do is try to "walk a mile im his moccasins" -- as urged by Mary Lathrap in her poem "Judge Softly?" To view the living world with compassion, kindness, empathy and understanding.

Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In