The Field Mouse is a small rodent, found in long rolling plains or alternately old houses and any place in between. Low on the food chain, these beasts reproduce at an alarming rate. They aren't especially vicious and rely on their size, speed, and own ingenuity to survive.
|Image description: A typical field mouse, a cousin of the rat. Picture drawn by Erelen.|
Appearance. The Field Mouse is a cousin to the rat and the two share certain attributes. For instance the coloring of these rodents are similar, blacks browns and whites, although more commonly mice will be more white or grey than others. Field Mice do not share the large front teeth of rats and their claws are much smaller. A full grown Field Mouse is between 10 to 20 nailsbreadth across, including its tail. The tail is usually as long as the body and is completely hairless. It has extremely small, though sharp claws attached to its stubby legs.
Unlike the rat, or for that matter most other animals, the
Field Mouse is unusually intelligent. It has been proven by researchers that
Field Mice will, if given the time, think out a strategy before doing something.
A Field Mouse is also unusually fast for its size. It can move its legs
incredibly fast and go at a speed of almost ten strals per hour. A final
interesting ability is its sense of smell, which is by no means exceptional, but
it is much better than a man's.
Territory. Field Mice are found in all places of moderate temperature on Caelereth. There are unusual collections in cities but many more live out in the open fields or forests.
Habitat/Behaviour. Field Mice are scavengers. They will eat anything they think they can. They occasionally dig through homes at the scent of food and stay there for the shelter inside the walls. Most buildings are home to at least one Mouse which quietly eats whatever it can before escaping to its home. Field Mice have the longest list of natural enemies of any known creature. These rodents are eaten by snakes, cats, dogs, hawks, owls, bears, wolves, one breed of rabbit, and almost any other organism it gets too close to. This is probably why the Field Mouse is nocturnal, to avoid many predators.
Picture description. Picture of Gnumpy the field mouse, a celebrity of many a children's bedtime story. Image drawn by Bard Judith.
Field Mice assess situations before doing anything and if they judge it to be
too risky, or impossible, or useless, they will not do it. They are often
assumed cowardly but more are cautious, not wanting to risk their lives, they
consciously look out for themselves and their family. Mice unfortunately are
prone to carry disease, usually not plagues, but virulent things all the same.
In defense from predators, like owls or snakes or a plant which accidentally
left Ximax's herbarium, Mice blend in with
their surroundings via their small, solid colored coat, making them appear to be
a rock of sorts. They dart under bushes or other things to avoid being sighted
by birds, and they often run into nooks and crannies to avoid being caught if
chased. Even with all these defenses the Field Mouse is going to be eaten. Wild
Field Mice have an unknown life expectancy due to the fact that all the tracked
ones were eaten before they were two years of age.
Diet. The Field Mouse's diet is quite simply. It feasts on whatever it finds. Whether this be a slice of chesee, or an old tomato, to a rotting corpse in the street. A Mouse doesn't care.
Mating. Mice mate incredibly often. It is said that once a month within a pair the female is pregnant. During this time the male will bring extra food and take extra risks for its mate. After maybe two weeks of pregnancy the mother births three to five baby Mice, all of which are blind initially, as well as deaf and bald. Almost instantly their hair starts growing, albeit slowly. After approximately three days they're able to hear, one week later their eyes open. A Mouse is usually fully grown within three weeks and leaves with instincts on how to survive.
Information provided by Belgarion