The Landscape of Thrace
The island has remained free from snakes since the creatures do not trespass the ice during winter and cannot swim the sea. Fortunately, water snakes have also kept distance. However, the lizards of the islands do have a small niche and are not violent to the mice. They occassionally cause a nuissance to ants and beetles corralled by mice. These are skinks largely, but a few anoles also find a home on Thrace island. They cannot swim away from the island.
The insects are a great source of food and simple labor for mice. The spiders range from the black widow, orb weavers, and jumping spiders to the wolf spider, diadem spider, and yellow sac spiders. All of these spiders are treated as wild game, and mice excel at hunting the spiders. The spiders prey on various flying insects as well as crickets, grasshoppers, and beetles. The crickets are also treated as game insects. The grasshoppers are often corralled for training and use as household music-boxes. The beetles are captured or reared captive as laborers–they most use is found in quarrying stone. Ant colonies are permtted to thrive enough that mice can use them as a source of delicacies. The ants often tend to aphids as a source of food, so mice are careful not to upset the balance by over harvesting aphids or ants; both are sweet and tasty.
The mainland mice tend to bees in grand apiaries, yet the thracians have not suitable hive site for wild bees and lack the knowledge of beekeeping. They cannot take advantage of this passing visitor on their island. They cannot brew mead without honey.
The island plays host to several water-borne creatures including the otters which have friendly relations with the thracian mice. They serve as auxiliary fishers, water taxis, shoreline protectors, amusement, and fascinating whistlers. Several turtle species make homes amid the shore reeds. The painted turtle is hunted as game while larger breeds are left alone. Multiple amphibians are at home in a similar niche to the turtles. Mice hunt frogs and salamanders for meat, but are careful not to take too much food away from the otters. The mice tend to leave most aquatic food for otters to thrive, yet do enjoy some seafood dishes from time to time.
The water birds are not a problem for mice, but they have not yet allowed a friendly relationship to grow like the otters have. The mice would love to take to the air or even have a mount for hunting among the tiny niches of the reeds with lances. The birds appreciate their freedom and do not have an inclination to be ridden by a mouse. Some will serve as spies for predatory birds to save themselves from becoming a meal.
Predatory birds cannot form appropriate nest sites on the island. As such, they find the fishing as they approach satisfying enough to ignore the island mice much of the year. Still, most predatory birds do recognize the easy targets. They are not foolish, but find easier prey more frequently than attacking the mice.
Like the snakes, foxes, wolves, and skunks have made no place there, yet cross the frozen ice during winter to prey on mice. Foxes especially enjoy the winter hunt. The bright red creatures are a fearful sight. Because the mice fear fire destroying the grasses and fruit-bearing plants, these fire-colored beasts are terrifying for thracians.
Deer, elk, and moose easily wade the lake to the island for its many abundant food sources. The mice do not present a barrier or nuissance. In fact, the mice call upon these creatures to provide rumors and gossip of far distant lands. The above-mentioned brambles are used to create natural barriers of protection for community sites and homes against deer, elk, and moose.
Most treasured of the thracian mice is the bear. The island itself provides a sufficient food pantry for perhaps 5-7 bears fattening for winter, yet the population of bears in this area attracts only 2 (sometimes 1) bears seeking the berries. The thracians celebrate the season of the bear; they name each bear that visits (much as we name tropical storms and hurricanes). Bears bring many seeds in their fur and scat to diversify the flora of their island. The bramble defenses protect community sites and homes from the bears moving too far inland.