One of the many realities of living in a national monument is: for better or worse you share the space with an assortment of wildlife that unfortunately doesn’t always stay outside. OK so I admit, I’m a city girl in disguise. New York suburbs are not a training ground for living off the grid or learning how to tough it up when it comes to rodents. No traps for me, except for the “Have A Heart” one I keep in my car. If I see a little mousie still alive, despite the efforts of my overfed cats, I grab my trusty recycled yogurt container, and catch the critter. If it’s not too cold outside, I store the mouse transport in my car; if the weather would freeze the beast, into the greenhouse it goes. In the morning, it’s off to Mouse Corner, the drop off point, about 10 miles down the mountain, below the frost line. I picked it because it has a year round creek and what I hope are mouse pleasing plants. One day my rescue mission gave me an extra dose of hope for humanity. It was a serendipitous example of the possibility of finding common ground despite vast differences. You may have guessed I am not a hunter. Truth be known, I have never even touched a gun. The other truth is I live in a place that is inundated with hunters because we have an abundance of deer everywhere. Well on this particular trip to release my fortunate furry friend, I saw across the road a stalled, hood up, truck. Very visible behind the driver’s seat was huge, loaded gun rack. A woman, dressed totally in “camo”-that would be hunter talk for camouflage hunting clothing, (I seriously wouldn’t have been surprised if her bra was camo) waved at me and very politely asked if they could get a jump because their truck installed. I said “sure as soon as I release my mouse.” We looked at each other for a moment. I could just imagine what she really wanted to say, but she nodded pleasantly and said, “sure.” (We both knew at that exact moment we were at opposite ends of the deer universe.) Even knowing I had them, I mean I could have delayed one truck load of killers for at least until the next car passed, I instead returned the pleasant nod. I released Mickey, turned my car around to give them a jump. She said nothing. I said nothing. We nodded amicably at each other as one of her equally camouflaged hunter friends attached the cables. I started the truck, they all extended sincere thanks which I graciously accepted, and we all went on our very separate ways. I smiled all the way home. They knew they needed me more than they needed to address our differences, and I put their needs, as fellow human beings, over my less than enthusiastic attitude about hunters. A small mouse tale, but a tiny glimmer of hope for humanity.