Friday, August 2, 2013

Eulogy for a Mouse

In my recent scurrying around organizing my 2 free days on Amazon for The Dyrad's Kiss, I came across this blog again. I'd forgotten about it and never provided any closure. So here it is.

After my many failures capture momma mouse in humane, non-lethal ways, the poop trails through our kitchen forced me to up the ante. It was clear, this mouse was smarter than me.

I went out and bought a good old fashioned less-humane, lethal snap-trap.

Feeling a bit guilty for my deadly intent, I set the trap under a cabinet near the dog food, but my wife had made it clear that it was me or the mouse. Easy choice. Judging from the amount of poop in the dog's dish, it was one of her favorite dining spots. We started taking up Knight's dish every night and baited the trap with cheese.

Apparently, the stereotype of mice loving cheese, is not as correct as I wanted to believe. This mouse
gave my trap full of cheesy goodness a miss.  I left the trap there under the cabinet for a week, faithfully replacing the cheese every day. I don't know if she had been holding out for more dog food, but after a week, the mouse took the bait... and left the still-armed trap behind.

I repeated this 3 times over three days and had to admit myself that this was one slippery mouse. Well, I consider myself a clever guy and I refused to be outsmarted by a mouse so I went downstairs and brought up a bag of my daughter's legos.  I then built a little 3 walled shelter for the mouse-trap which meant the mouse either had to drop from the wall onto the trap, or walk across it from the open side. Either way, that mouse was going down.

For the next two weeks that mouse didn't touch the cheese, but every morning it was obvious that the mouse was still being well fed. So, at the advice of several people, I switched to peanut butter. I was assured that no mouse could resist peanut butter.

Apparently mine did. Finally I admitted defeat, removed my cool lego walls and went with nothing but peanut butter. I briefly considered poison, but I didn't like the idea of poisoning the dog. So, I went with nothing but peanut butter.

She liked peanut butter. I could tell because when I came down the next morning, it had all been licked off the trap. By this time, all semblance of sympathy for this little poop monster had evaporated.

The mouse was obviously able to just delicately remove the cheese from the trigger,  so I glued a piece of cheese to the trigger plate with peanut butter.  I was sure that would work. It didn't.

The next step was taking a wad of cheese and molding it into a cheese ball surrounding the entire trigger plate.  After a few test runs of the snap bar on my fingers, I finally had a ball of cheese I was satisfied with.  I left the trap out with low hopes.

The next morning I come down and check the trap, and there, in the trap, is a little dead mouse. The snap bar had broken her neck.

"Ding Dong! The Mouse is Dead! The Mouse is Dead!"

I picked up the trap, and looked down into two beady mouse eyes staring at me accusingly and all my triumph flumped. In the end, I had won the battle of wits and patience against my clever prey, but it had been hard fought, and the mouse had been a worthy foe. I admitted as much to the mouse, and feeling sad, I buried her in the back yard.

I still think of that brave little mouse and the hard battle for my house and realize that though the mouse died in the end, she shall live on in my heart and serve as a role-model for perseverance and courage in a world way bigger than any of us.

Silly? Maybe. But, I could do worse. 

Oh, and I forgot to mention: she had eaten nearly all the cheese before she set off the trap.

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