What’s the strangest pet you’ve ever seen anyone own? At one point in my life, I would’ve mentioned a hog, bringing up how the wife of a veterinarian friend would walk with her bristled, obese pot-bellied pig around their yard.
A few years later, I would’ve brought up the sugar glider. I was standing in line for a concert when I first encountered one of these tiny marsupials.
It sat on a concertgoer’s shoulder and occasionally would leap to one of her outstretched arms. But after writing this story, I now have a new answer, and the animal is anything but exotic.
According to her website, The Sugarbee, Rebecca Stoneback describes herself as a glass-making artisan. A student of Italian glassmakers, she has plans to open her own jewelry store.
But Stoneback hasn’t been getting attention lately for her designs. Rather she has drawn attention for the unusual pet she adopted.
“I got a phone call from my father that he found something, but he didn’t know what it was,” she told The Dodo. “My parents live in the middle of the woods.
“There are all sorts of little wild creatures everywhere.” But this wasn’t just any ordinary critter.
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It was a newborn animal, something so small and wrinkled and almost embryonic that Stoneback couldn’t identify it. At first, she wondered if the creature might be a young possum or squirrel.
It turned out to be something entirely different. In fact, Stoneback soon learned her dad had rescued the world’s most common rodent.
She said, “I never thought he would’ve found something as small as a mouse. She actually looked like a little tiny lima bean (and) that’s how she got her name!”
Stoneback didn’t hold out much hope that her itty-bitty charge would survive. After all, mother mice usually abandon their babies for good reasons.
Still, she decided to try. “I’ll be feeding this tiny bean every two hours around the clock with my fingers crossed. Wish us luck!” she wrote on Instagram.
One of the problems she encountered was how to feed tiny Bean. The mouse was so little that she couldn’t figure out how to feed it.
So Stoneback settled on an ingenious solution: She soaked a paintbrush in formula and dipped its tip into Bean’s mouth.
Against all odds, Bean not only survived, but she also thrived. Stoneback’s Instagram account now shows a perky-eared, bright-eyed, absolutely healthy mouse.
“All living creatures are deserving of our kindness and love and respect, including the tiniest mouse,” she said. “We’d have a much happier world if we were all just nicer to each other.”
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