I’m short. On a good day I measure all of five feet and two inches. Once I did yoga every day for a week straight, stood up very tall and was just over five foot three. But like most people, the majority of the time I slouch which leaves me at five feet and one inch. This means that I am never far from the ground which is useful in Canadian winters because slipping on ice is never followed by a long or hard fall. Along this line, it’s not difficult for me to go from standing to a crouch. As such I’m often the person asked to squeeze into small places or arrange items close to the ground at work.
Mr. Delkirk is a tall man, well over six feet. He’s often grouchy and rarely smiles. For him to go from a standing position to a crouch is an undertaking. One I’ve never seen. Last month, I was tasked with working in the common area of his building. This entails providing resources and assistance to other employees. So there I was crouched and arranging resource books on a shelf near the floor when Mr. Delkirk walked in.
Now if Mr. Delkirk somehow got it into his mind that he was going to pack himself up like a folding chair and shove himself into a suitcase, he wouldn’t have much luck. I on the other hand compact into a small package. Thus in my crouched position near the floor, Mr. Delkirk didn’t see me.
“Good Morning Mr. Delkirk” I cheerfully interjected from my scrunched pose, “What can I help you find?” Grabbing his chest, the tall man took a step back. “You scared me Unwashed, I wasn’t expecting anyone to be in here.”
“I’m sorry about that Mr. Delkirk, is there anything I can help you find?” I responded.
“No.” He said shortly. With his hand still on his chest Mr. Delkirk commented “My heart is pounding”. And then, that grumpy man decided to anger the gods of the little people, so he added “You’re mousy, so silent and creeping around the shelves in here” before walking out of the common area.
Now I will admit, my short stature and small size lends me a hushed gait. And yes, I have on occasion surprised people with my quiet footstep. But under no circumstance would I call myself mousy, nor do I take it as a compliment. If Mr. Delkirk thought I frightened him badly when I wasn’t trying, just imagine if I did make it my life’s goal to scare him. As a rule, being well over six feet tall and facing off against a tiny person in a yearlong game of “I can fit in that” is a poor choice.
Mr. Delkirk will find me popping up in all sorts of places; out of his office cupboard “Hi Mr. Delkirk, could I borrow this stapler?”, under his desk, “How are you today Mr. Delkirk? I dropped something back here”, behind the shelves in the lunchroom, “Just cleaning out the dust, Mr. Delkirk”.
Challenge accepted sir. I shall see whether I can “mouse” you to death before the year’s end.
*Names have been changed to protect the identities of those foolish enough to unknowingly challenge child size people to a year long game of hide and go seek.