This is a vole, also known as a field mouse, or a meadow mouse. According to Wikipedia, the average life span of a vole is 3-6 months. This one didn't get that old. How did this happen? Well, it was due to Taz the Hunter!
Freda was out with the dogs, and Taz came running up the hill, his mouth slightly open and his tail wagging furiously -- he was obviously very very pleased with himself. Freda saw this and recognized this as his behaviour when he had caught something. He dropped it out of his mouth and Freda saw that it was still alive at that moment. It didn't survive much longer, so who knows if it died of fright, or if it had some internal injuries when Taz picked it up.
Unfortunately, being prey is part of the lot in life for voles. They don't live long, have 5-10 young at a time, reach sexual maturity in a month, and can have 5-10 litters in a year.
So, Taz's catch and kill totals, that we know of, are:
- two baby foxes
- two baby skunks
- one baby vole