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Salient: Victoria University Students' Newspaper. Vol. 24, No. 7. 1961.



At the beginning of the year I happened to visit one of the psych, labs, where the students keep their white mice.

Has anyone thought how these animals see us and our world? No, no one knows or ever will know for sure but there are always suppositions one can make ...

When I entered the vivarium there was an unpleasant smell filtering through our nostrils and penetrating our clothes.

We opened a second door and a kind of warmth mixed with that particular, concentrated odour enveloped us. We became aware of the little mice which froze us as we entered. Numbers 1, 2, 3, 7 ... like convicts.

No. 8 was the youngest, I think, with a long tapering tail which he stretched out to support himself. Pinkish soft paws at the end of furry legs and sharp claws ready to scratch or kill. But the outstanding feature of this mass of snowy fur were the eyes. Red, flaming-bright eyes, open wide, pleading, and as if to take in, at one glance, all aspects of human life.

We looked at each other and all of a sudden I became aware of a state of hypnotism.

"... You are going to experiment on me ... injecting stuff into my blood and then you are going to measure my abilities ... have I the intelligence to go through a ring? Then you'll starve me ... you have no feelings ..."

I stood there irresolute. He was eyeing me with contempt and enmity. I approached the cage and was ready to unlock the door, when suddenly his words rang in my mind like bells of evil ... "we shall never be friends, Never."

All my resolution and strength abandoned me. I stole to the door and stopped there. He was looking at me, mocking and defiant.

I left the lab. and tried to forget the incident but its memory haunted me all day. That evening I dreamed that I had been locked in a cage with No. 3 who had been previously starved for four days.

Next day I went to the office and had my course changed.