M. SCOTT MORRIS: The ballad of Mr. Jingles & other friends

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

The usually tame world has taken some wild turns lately, and I’ve collected three stories of the critter kind.
We’ll start with the Mighty Daily Journal’s mouse, who moves among our cubicles. He’s been dubbed “Mr. Jingles.”
The other day, business writer Carlie Kollath heard squeaking. A search of her desk revealed a Nestle’s Crunch bar with a hole eaten through it.
A bit later, she heard more squeaking and turned to see a little gray mouse, Mr. Jingles, on her desk.
“I let out a yell,” she said, “and all of these male co-workers rushed to my desk, very chivalrous.”
Carlie said she wasn’t so much afraid as she was surprised.
“I’ve had pet mice. I’m not scared of him, but he was on my desk,” she said. “He was a shock, right?”
There are two camps concerning Mr. Jingles. Some think he breaks up the monotony of work-a-day life; others believe he’s a filthy rodent that deserves a quick death.
Me, personally? I’m pulling for the little guy, partly because of our second story.
I was lost in thought during a late-night walk in the neighborhood. I heard a rustle, then turned to see a wild rabbit about 10 feet away.
He stayed still and kept a nervous eye on me. I watched his quick, in-and-out breaths for about a minute, then wished him well. The walk ceased to be routine and became a mini-adventure.
The next morning, I took another walk, and spotted something grisly and dead in the road.
There’s no way to prove it was the same rabbit, but what are the odds of seeing two different wild rabbits in the neighborhood in less than 12 hours?
Another question: Was that exceptionally cool moment at night nullified by the morning light? No, but it’s not the same, is it?
We can’t end things there, so let’s go to the Gulf of Mexico for our third encounter.
During Spring Break, the family took a dolphin cruise. Two boats lined up about 30 yards apart, which created a combined wake that the dolphins used for bodysurfing.
We saw their slick forms darting beneath the dark water, then one jumped out of the wake and landed with a giant flop.
Just guessing, but I probably saw about 100 jumps that day, and the novelty never wore off. The deckhand encouraged us to give the dolphins a round of applause, which seemed strange and appropriate. I hope they understood the clapping sounds were for them.
There you have it, three brushes with the animal kingdom. You could argue that the dolphins were somewhat trained, and how wild could Mr. Jingles be if he eats Nestle’s Crunch bars?
Still, an office cubicle farm or a neighborhood subdivision give only the appearance of order. Amid life’s routines, there’s often something more, something wild.

M. Scott Morris is a Daily Journal entertainment writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@djournal.com.