Sunday, October 17, 2010
This Is War
I have a heart. I do. And it’s generally soft where small creatures are concerned. Except now, when with the whole outdoors to romp in, the meadow mice decide my house would make a wonderful “their” house and move in. I discovered droppings in my utensil drawer one morning when I reached for a can opener. Disgust is a mild word. I filled the sink with boiling hot water and an anti-bacterial cleanser. I put on a pair of rubber gloves and dropped the utensils into the foamy water. I left them there all day, then drained the water and rinsed everything in more boiling water. They gleamed and twinkled from the large bowl on the counter but I couldn’t help washing each one again before I used it.
I baited the small Have-A-Heart trap, set it in the drawer, admonished the cat to start earning his keep, and went off to work. The day netted nary a mouse. But much later, when the cottage was dark and I was deep in a dream about sea creatures about to devour me, I heard an unfamiliar noise. I sat up, my soft heart pounding, and listened closely. What in the world…?
Oh. I’d caught a mouse, that’s what.
Sure enough, in the morning there was a wee furry creature in the trap, its eyes bulging, its feet scrabbling on the slippery plastic floor. I carried it gingerly across the street and along the road toward the pond, scolding the whole way. I tipped the trap sideways, the door swung open, and the mouse fled into the undergrowth.
Where there’s one mouse there’s more so I baited the trap again that night, repeated the morning release and by the third morning and the third mouse, began to wonder if it wasn’t the SAME mouse. The next day I began the Mouse Deportation Program, driving each mouse ever longer distances in ever more circuitous directions until one morning, there was no mouse. Nor the next. I have been mouse free for three days now. I have grown used to reaching toward the bowl for utensils.
Still, this is war. Perhaps I will bait the trap one more time…
photo credit: www.coolnotions.com