Lennie's greatest feeling of security comes from petting soft things. When the rest of the world gets complicated and scary, petting soft things helps Lennie feel safe. In petting dead mice, Lennie is doing something that makes him feel safe. Society as a whole would disapprove of what he is doing, but Lennie sees nothing wrong in his actions. When they have their farm, as George tells him at the end, Lennie will not need to be scared of bad things any more, and he can tend the rabbits and pet them.
Lennie's prodigious strength combined with his lack of intelligence and conscience make him dangerous, and he needs George to keep him out of trouble. George takes care of Lennie and makes the