Of Mice and Women

I am a killer…

of mice.

Seven to be exact, and counting.

I do not know how long the carnage will continue before 1) the hardware store runs out of mousetraps, 2) I run out of money to buy mousetraps, or 3) The vermin decide to wave the white flag and retreat to some other unsuspecting domicile.

It is entirely my fault that so many of these creatures have taken up residence in my home. Last fall, having decided that my bird feeders were attracting only crows who scared away the songbirds, I dismantled them and stored a nearly full bag of bird seed in a dark corner of the basement. As the outside temperatures dropped, my basement provided both shelter and food for the little critters, who came forth and multiplied. Once they had finished {or stowed) ALL of the birdseed, they began to venture out from the recesses of the basement in search of more food. The result is that we are now facing an infestation of mouse-u-mental proportions.

I considered buying a humane “catch-relocate-and-release” trap, having used one last summer when chipmunks became a problem in my garage. But I have less sympathy for mice. For one thing, they poop everywhere. For another, they build disgusting nests out of pink, fiberglass insulation and old woolen socks. They chew wires, destroy stoves, and die inside walls. One winter a mouse couple raised its family inside the base of our old upright piano. It created such a stink we had to take it to the dump (the piano, not the family; they were already gone).

When I am disposing of the dead mice, I try not to  think about Tom Thumb and Hunka Munka, the “two bad mice” from Beatrix Potter’s children’s book of the same name, or Aesop’s mouse that frees the lion from the hunters’ net. They are endearing but fictional, and the mice infesting my house are all too real.

As I said, I do not know when the carnage will end. In the time it took me to write this, two more traps were sprung in my kitchen, bringing the count to nine.

To be continued…




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