I like wildlife…when it stays in the wild. Once critters invade my spaces, it’s a problem
At our recent girlfriend retreat, we had a mouse. Our location of choice is near lots of trees at the end of a long driveway. We delight to see wildlife – again, from the windows. I’ve written about what we affectionately call the year of the raccoons at one location. We frequently see deer; this year was no exception, and they visited on two occasions. Birds and the occasional cat or dog don’t bother us. Mice don’t either- unless they come inside.
Years ago, I lived in a house in the middle of cornfields with a significant mouse problem (blogged on that, too). God and I made an agreement, of sorts. I believe He is extremely powerful and can do anything. Considering the account of Noah and the animals making their way to the ark gave me an idea. If God could communicate to animals to get into someplace, surely, He can tell them to get out. So, my deal was that if they stayed outside, they could live. However, any unlucky species choosing to share my abode was fair game. Mice, spiders, flies…all faced traps or the occasional shoe to end their life.
This brings me to our recent visitor. It is winter and mice don’t like to be cold; they want to be inside the house. I get that. So, this mouse saw a chance to get in when the door was open at some point and we saw him early in our week. Worse, he was nibbling on a Reeses that had been nearby. Eeek! as the cartoons would add at this point.
We found a trap, set it with the remaining part of the Reeses (still mourning that loss) and waited. Either God would tell him to get out while he could or face the consequences. Mice, like me, find peanut butter hard to resist, and it wasn’t long before we caught him. Some of us heard the “snap,” and others recall a whacking sound which turned out to be the door slamming because the one who found the mouse wanted to get it out of the house. Using a snow shovel, she scooped up the mouse and tossed it outside (where it belonged in the first place and would still be alive if it had stayed put). Slamming the door (whack), it became a problem to deal with in the morning.
Much discussion ensued as to what to do with the now-dead mouse still in the trap. Should we throw the whole thing away – trap and all? Should we unload the trap and discard the mouse, saving the trap in case he had a friend? Spoiler alert – no evidence or mice were seen for the rest of our stay; hallelujah! We opted to save the trap, just in case. Remembering the snow shovel and the realization that we had kitchen gloves (the kind worn by service workers), we devised a plan. One of us would un-spring the trap and a second woman would throw the mouse over the fence into the woods – hoping some animal would find an easy meal for the day. Surely, his peanut butter breath might help.
Since I was a nurse, I thought I could grab the mouse and toss it. I won’t go into details, but I’ve touched my fair share of body fluids, abscesses, wounds, and the like (enough said). This should not be a big deal, right? But I. Could. NOT. Do. It!
I decided during my nursing education to decline to become a pediatric nurse. While I had no trouble causing pain (IV, drawing blood, changing dressings, forcing you to walk after surgery, etc.) to adults, I hesitated when the face of a child looked at me. I am not kidding, when I saw the mouse looking at me (and yes, I know he was dead), and still floppy from only having been dead a short time, I just couldn’t grab it, gloves or not.
Then we thought that we could use the snow shovel and chuck him over the fence like they do pumpkins in the fall. Great idea! I held the shovel as the trap was unloaded. The mouse plopped into the shovel. We were under the gazebo, and I needed to get closer to the fence to discard the mouse. However, it had snowed, and I was wearing slippers. Not wanting to get them wet, I slipped them off to walk closer to the fence.
Stepping into the snowy path resulted in the quick realization that cold slippery snow on bare feet makes it hard to keep a mouse on or in a shovel, My exclamation of surprise and horror alerted those not participating in the mouse funeral to come to the windows in time to see me slip-sliding in the snow at the edge of the pool (covered for winter). With alarm, they wondered who would rescue me if I fell in. I didn’t; years of athletic training came in handy as I righted myself and continued to the fence. (Disclaimer: that comment about being an athlete is totally false. I got lucky).
Arriving at the fence, I did not feel the need to “say a few words” or sing a chorus like you do at the graveside – the snow was cold on my still bare feet. Unceremoniously, I leaned back and flung the mouse over the fence, expecting it to land much further than the resulting plop. Had this been a baseball game, the catcher could have tagged me out faster than I could have dropped the bat. But, outside the fence, it landed. Mission accomplished.
Having recently assisted with science lessons during the covid related virtual school/homeschool days, I immediately realized what had gone wrong. I should have turned the shovel over and, placing the mouse on the back, I could have swung with more force as the shovel would mimic the aerodynamic additions to semis – if the mouse didn’t slide off and land on me during the swing. Keeping the shovel as a scoop provided a drag, which lessened my power launch, but kept the mouse inside secure for his journey.
Making my still barefooted way back through the cold snow, I hastened to get back into the house. As I “scurried” back inside, I briefly identified with the mouse and somewhat understood his desire to get warm. It was a brief thought, and my agreement with God continues.
One thought on “Mouse Chunking”
I chuckled all through this read, visualizing your actions with this dead pest disposal!! I applaud your courageous tenacity to perform said deed, barefoot in the snow.