The tiny mouse listened as Alex described the relationship he and the old mender and magician had struck up. It was an odd but fitting partnership that was in fact an Initiation for both mouse and man. Not meant at all to be a pun on the obvious, Resident Mouse was learning something he would need to demonstrate to his most respected Elder, Mouse Woman. She was not eavesdropping or monitoring the young mouse's activity at this point and was busy with her hands making cozy nests of wild goat fleece in some other place. The man Alex Santiago who was trying on a new name was very much involved with Raven, Mouse Woman's spiritual counter-part. In many traditional tales the adventures and misadventures of beings tangled up with Raven might have to do with creating mischief. This story has a bit of a twist to it: an agreement has been struck and the reverse is in the making. Raven, the son of the Silver-haired Raven and his mate Pale Wawae the Border Witch must undo the stitchery of misplaced values. And who better to assist but a woman familiar with handwork.
Like they say about sacrifice, it happens all the time. Sacrifice, from the root sacra, to make sacred. The tiny mouse moved aside as Camilia and Alex stood. Alex tentatively pulled the door wider. "I stay on this side," Resident Mouse read Alex's thoughts and explained, "They don't like the leavings that are inevitable for a creature such as I." The man understood, it was just those signatures that were most distasteful about this arrangement.
Alex automatically reached to hold the door open but the light that now substituted for his once facile and busy hands moved through the heavy door. Camilia stood beside him and helped. Together they looked at long and short bones, hallow bones and funny bones dangled like a beaded curtain just inside the now fully-open doorway. "You, both, must sacrifice something of yourselves on the way into the room," said Resident Mouse. "There is something of your old selves no longer necessary. Can you imagine what that might be?" First looking at each other the old married couple exhaled at the same moment. Resident Mouse was gone in the same instant, his shadow as quick as that.