Eli Durst

I was looking through crafting websites last fall when I discovered that there was a world of people who made and sold mouse-based taxidermy online. Some of these people would arrange the taxidermied mice in elaborate scenes with miniature props and sets. There was an artist mouse with a paint-covered frock, a palette, an easel, and a tiny canvas. There was another mouse that had been made to resemble Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker in “The Dark Knight.” These mice were too expensive for me to buy. I settled on a mouse that had a blue bow and was reading from a prayer book.

When I received the package in the mail, I noticed that the artist had included a small piece of folded paper. When I unfolded it, I was touched to see that the artist had handwritten “Thank You” in a whimsical font and taped mouse legs around his message.

Eli was featured in Romka 10 in 2017.