During a birthday party for her kid sister on Sept. 1, Caroline tied a pair of helium balloons to Mousie and began pushing her around the house, partly to give her rodent friend an aerial view of his lodgings and partly to find out how many balloons it takes to float a mouse.
But someone left her bedroom window open and, as Caroline watched in horror, a sudden gust carried the floating Mousie out the window, past the maple tree in the backyard, over the rooftop and gone.
Caroline and her mother began running down the street, trailing the floating mouse, until it drifted past the Claremont Hotel and over the East Bay hills.
"I don't think he wanted to see the world,'' Caroline said. "He wasn't that kind of mouse. But he's seeing it now, whether he wanted to or not.''
Thankfully, the literary possibilities are enticing. An enterprising children's author could update one of Skylar's favorite Golden Books, the one where Theodore Mouse embarks on an adventure using a sheet as a hot air balloon. Or someone with a love of Alexander Pope could write a sequel to "The Rape of the Lock."