(See UPDATE at bottom.)
This afternoon while cleaning upstairs, I came across a baby mouse in a never-used sink.
Our house used to be three separate apartments (believe it or not), so we have a small half-kitchen upstairs. We don't have running water to this sink and it's never used. The slick stainless steel sides meant this little fella couldn't get out once he'd fallen in. How long had he been there? No idea, of course, but he seemed very weak.
I scooped him up in an old cup...
...and carried him out to the barn, where he started to crawl away.
But I couldn't leave him there. He was nearly falling over, and he had his eyes closed. So I gently put him back in the cup and brought him inside, where I ensconced him in a plastic container with a capful of water and a few crumbs of chicken crumbles.
He started nibbling at the crumbles right away.
I took a pipette and put a drop of water from the cap onto the floor of the container, which ended up soaking some of the crumbles. The baby seemed to prefer these (moist plus softer, I guess).
I'll let him regain some strength before releasing him into the barn.
I'm fully aware of what pests mice are, but somehow I couldn't let this helpless little creature loose into a strange place without at least a fighting chance of survival.
No doubt he'll grow up big and strong and migrate back into the house, father a dozen litters, and plague me for years to come.
Such are the dangers of misplaced compassion...
UPDATE: The baby died. Oh well, at least he died with something in his belly.