So we’ve been having this unseasonably warm weather and along with it the anomalies that brings. I heard on the radio this week that we can expect a bumper crop of mice. One pair of mice reportedly can result in over 3,000 offspring in a single season, and mating rituals are starting early this year. For mice, that is.
People who know me will tell you of my long and embattled war with critters. Some of the worst mouse experiences were chronicled in Of Mice and Me (under Critters in the archives), if you’re interested. I don’t care to write about them again. Right now I am girding for the next semiannual skirmish. Spring and fall is when they start scouting for weak spots in the foundation.
Personally, I leave mousetraps baited with peanut butter in the basement all year. I don’t check them, of course. In fact, I surround them with paper bags and furnace filters, so I won’t have to see a dead mouse. Then I wait for my son-in-law, Bret the Brave, to show up and check the traps. He hasn’t been by for quite a while. It could be getting ugly down there.
When my mother was well, I used to complain to her about having to pick up dead mice in the basement. She wasn’t especially sympathetic. “Oh, just get over it,” she’d say. Which reminds me of the time she took out a loaf of bread and found a live mouse in the bag. Mom dumped out the bag in the kitchen sink, hit the mouse with a wooden mallet, and stuffed it down the disposal. Did I mention that she was raised on a farm?
I have no intention of getting that close to a mouse myself. Otherwise, what was the point of having that big wedding for Gina and Bret? My role in this mission: pick up more mousetraps and peanut butter.
Photo: ©2000 Craig Orsini
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