In Peter Jenkins’ book, Looking for Alaska, I read about two Eskimos that he met at Deering–Millie and Gladys Iyatunguk, who practice what they call “Mouse Trading”.
Every early September, they look through the fields where little field mice have been gathering mussu root and storing them in little underground food caches so that they can have food for the winter. Gladys and Millie would look for slight disturbances on the ground and they would very carefully open it up and take out the cache of mussu root. Some mice would clean up the roots of little strands of hair before stacking them neatly in a pile. Some would just stuff them every which way. Mice aren’t all the same, just like people. Then, instead of just taking the mussu root that the mice have gathered for themselves, Gladys and Millie would replace the cache with potatoes, carrots, and celery, then carefully cover back the food cache so the mice would have something to eat for the winter. They trade instead of just take.
How awesome is that?
This kind of kindness shown towards little creatures show how beautiful their connection is to the world around them. I only hope to be more mindful in my ways as well. What a gem it is to meet such people.