One of The Most Inspirational Stories You’ll Ever Read, Sent Your Way By A Mouse
So as I have said before in this blog, I once was a bodyguard to the rich and famous. When I first came to prison, I celled up with a young Native American man. Which in of itself is unusual because my skin is white and he’s a native. Usually the races cell up together. I’m Italian, which is Latin, so I have never figured out if I am white or Italian? I’m half of a Latino, so, I’m confused. [See how little all that stuff matters.]
This precious young man who at the time, he had never been off the reservation and knew little about life as a world traveler like I did at 43.
So he’d ask me to tell stories about stunt work, bodyguard jobs, growing up in mob neighborhoods, etc.. This was his favorite story by far.
While body guarding Mrs. Jack Warner on the biggest estate in Beverly Hills, I had to stay up all night because she had insomnia. As I do now ever since those days. She at one time of course was the queen of Hollywood. Having people work for her and Jack Warner like Ronald Reagan, Humphrey Bogart and all the big stars. We’d talk during the night about what Jimmy Dean was like or about the special box Errol Flynn brought her from skin diving.
So, at night on 15 acres by myself, as I did my rounds, I would hear things crawling through the ivy, and it was spooky. It sounded like someone was sneaking up on me all the time. In the 70’s and 80’s Beverly Hills was still full of animals. Deer would be at my back door on the other side of the fence in the mornings. Possums would watch me from the top of our 9-hole golf course at night with pink eyes just staring at me. Like I said, spooky.
So, I decided to start trapping the mice that were so popular there. One night as had started happening, I heard the sound of a trapped mouse in the cage I had set, and when I picked it up, sure enough, a little mouse was scrambling around in it. So, I did the usual and brought him over to the many fountains we had and dropped him in to put him out of his misery. But this time the show was different.
I put my high powered flash light on the scene and this stage play unfolded. [I usually just dropped it in and came back later but this time I watched and was horrified.] The mouse started swimming back and forth trying to find a way out. And it broke my heart. He went this way and that way, back and forth, reaching around trying to get out of drowning.
This went on for what seems to be an eternity, and his or her eyes were starting to bulge out. When all of a sudden, the mouse reached around the outside of the cage and pushed the trap door in. [Which was the secret to opening the cage.]
He [or she] saw the cage door move up and it reached underneath the door and pushed it up like a garage door and swam out!
Now, it’s midnight in Beverly Hills, and I am alone on 15 acres and dressed like the Frito Bandito with guns all over me, just in case I’m invaded by another country and ready for war. I am so freaked out by this mouse who swims out of the cage, up to the surface of the water and climbs up on the volcanic rock stands up on hind legs and spits the water out at me, that I draw my handgun thinking this dude might take me down!
If there’s a Comedy Channel in heaven, I was on it. The mouse vs the Beverly Hills bodyguard and he’s got me shaken in my boots. [I’ve always called it a he so bear with me.] He then shakes his head as if to say, “you idiot, don’t you know who I am?” Then he scampers off. I’m still in shock and have viewed this performance with full spotlight alone and had to share it with someone. Well who else is up but Mrs. Warner.
So I call upstairs and tell her the story, she’s like, “Oh my goodness, we have the smartest mice in the world at the Warner Estate, I have to call Cary Grant and tell him this story, I got to call Sinatra.
After that, I never hurt an animal again. I to this day have such a respect for animals and their place in society that it’s profound. So picture an Italian telling a Native American stories like this. About how we baby boomers danced in the 60’s and 70’s and you’ll get a picture of my idea for a TV show that goes out of that cell nightly to portray one of my many true stories that helps give a young Native an idea of life outside the reservation. Picture this and you’ll understand the experience that is prison, that is so different from what most movies and TV shows portray.
I ended up training this former cellie to be a theologian, and he is an incredible Christian, that hopes one day to go home to his wife who has waited for him for 23 + years. This is why this noble cause of Prisoners Hope and the National Justice and Law Alliance is much more needed than one can imagine. [We can do miracles if you will help us.]
Be inspired folks, when life is sinking and your drowning in a cage with no way out. Instead of pushing out, push in. And the door will open. Never forget my little friend, the mouse at the Warner Estate. If that mouse had run up my leg, I probably would of passed out. Some tough guy I am. But you got to admit, that mouse male or female, was a bad dude.
Have an inspiring day, Pastor Dino Gentile [You don’t have to be a believer to read this blog by the way.]