The Haxtun-Fleming Herald - What can we reason but from what we know? -Alexander Pope

Under the Wire

The great mouse hunt


April 29, 2020

If you have way more money than you know what to do with, some, I have read, go on an African Safari. Don’t know any of those folks personally. They must not hang around cattle auctions or the John Deere parts counter. Too bad for them because I just finished a hunt unlike any most have ever experienced.

Over 20 years ago when Sue designed the house we live in, she had a definite idea what she wanted in a home. Spent hours watching the builders to make sure it was done as she wanted. She also knew what she did not want in it. Ever. A mouse. If the contractors missed a possible rodent highway into the structure, she plugged it herself. It worked. Twenty years, no mouse. Until last Saturday.

In the spring those of us who begin the day outside don the old Carhartt, then discard it as the day warms up. I had thrown mine down in the shop. At day’s end, I picked it up and carried it under my arm into our utility room where I dropped it on the floor. No sooner had it hit the linoleum, out shot, of all things, a mouse. He must have been as startled as I was and ducked under the door of the coat closet, where my jacket was supposed to be, anyway. My loud shout, don’t ask me why, alerted Sue who spent the next few minutes continuing to shout. Finally I calmed her down and said, “Don’t worry, I’ve got this handled.” She pointed out that statement had “about a 30 percent success rate.” My quickly developing plan first involved blocking his escape. Towels jammed tightly under the door were a temporary fix. That gave me time to rush to town for a pair of mouse traps. Sue was waiting with peanut butter for bait when I returned.

Carefully, I opened the door and placed the mouse munchers inside the door and repacked the towels. Then my plan began to get creative. If I could keep him in there, sooner or later he would get hungry and take the bait. Just had to make sure he stayed there. Out came the roll of duct tape. “I’ll tape those towels to the floor, door and each other,” was my plan. When a solid layer of silver connected the door to the floor, It actually looked pretty cool. “If a little will do a little good, a lot will do a lot of good,” has always been my motto. I began by taping the sides of the door to the frame about two feet up. That looked so good and not knowing how high a mouse could jump while squeezing through a crack, I decided to tape all the way to the top. Then it crossed my mind if I taped the seam at the top of the door, our vicious invader would have no choice but go for the peanut butter.

While admiring my work, another thought crossed my mind. The closet is now air tight. “Killer rodent,” I had to vilify my prey, didn’t have to take the bait. Sooner or later he’d run out of air. It was while I was googling the lung capacity of a mouse and measuring the estimated volume of the closet, I heard a snap. Tape is off the door, towels washed and my coat still lays on the floor where I always “hang” it.

If there is a hall of fame for famous Safari hunters, this may get me a place in history.


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